Archive for December, 2009

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts)

Am I hitting the New Year’s Eve cheer a little early? I wasn’t aware that you could hit the New Year’s Eve cheer too early, but, no, I’m sober (at this moment) as a judge (a sober judge).

Could n Republican take Ted’s seat? Some are beginning to wonder:

Hey, folks, I’d love to tell you a Republican win is well within reach in Massachusetts. But the Democrat is fairly well-known and has run statewide before, the Republican is relatively little-known, and, as noted, Democrats start with a big advantage in the pool of possible voters.

Still, two readers make the case for optimism. From a reader in Cambridge:

I’m not saying you’re wrong, but you cannot believe the number of Democrats that I’ve talked to over the last month who intend to vote for him. Martha Coakley is not a formidable candidate by any stretch of the imagination. She is running solely on the “D” next to her name. It will be interesting to see what happens if and when a poll comes out showing Brown within 10%. If that does come to pass, I would hope that the national party would blitz the state over the final two weeks prior to the election.

And this case, which almost persuades me, from another reader in state:

First, It’s a special election. The few times Republicans have won elections in Massachusetts, it has been in special elections.

Second, the number of votes there are in the Democratic Primary is usually the high-water mark of what the Democrat will get. In 2001 special congressional election, Steven Lynch got more votes in the Democratic Primary than he received in the General Election. Fewer people voted for Nikki Tsongas in 2007 in the general than voted in the Democratic Primary.

Third, Coakley has basically shut-down and set the cruise control. She thinks she’s already won. Her base is no longer motivated. Scott is Senator 41. Obama’s Agenda screeches to a halt if Scott is elected . . .

All reasonable arguments, all backed by fact.

And this guy crunches some very interesting numbers:

[I]n the absence of any polling done in the past month, I embarked on a little thought experiment. One of the interesting things about the 2009 Governor’s races was how similar the movements in the states’ electorates were. In Virginia, the Republicans’ share of the electorate increased by 12% from 2008 to 2009; in New Jersey it was 10%. In Virginia, Democrats were at about 84% of their 2009 level; in New Jersey it was 93%.

In both states, the Democrats’ share of the Republican vote dropped by about 50% (50% in Virginia, 56% in New Jersey), and their share of the Independent vote dropped about 66%. The Democrats’ share of the Democratic vote was pretty stable; up 1% in Virginia and up 2% in New Jersey.

So what if we see a similar trend going into Massachusetts in 2010? Let me say before I go forward with this that I developed this methodology before I’d looked closely at any of the numbers, and without any real understanding of how the outcome would play out. I was kinda surprised.

In any event, if we take a 38%D, 19%R, 42%I electorate and have Coakley win 90% of the Democrats, 4% of Republicans and 38% of Independents, we come out with an exceedingly close 51.06-48.9% Coakley win. I did not expect that.

I skipped the minutiae, and there are plenty of caveats, but you get the point.

Let me give you my own take. I’ve heard Scott Brown on a number of local radio shows over the last couple of years, commenting as the nearly sole sane member of the Massachusetts General Court (our fancy name for the legislature). Scandal after Democratic scandal, sleazy maneuver after sleazy Democratic maneuver, Scott has appeared on Howie Carr’s or Michael Graham’s shows to decry the abuses of the one-party state. And he’s been on one or the other almost every day since the campaign started. He’s not flashy, he’s not eloquent, but he’s exceedingly decent.

Someone very smart and very gifted is advising his campaign. He produced only two commercials in the primary, but both were strong and memorable. They didn’t cost him a lot to make or run, but they did the trick.

And he’s doing it again:

Talk about the audacity of hope!

People are not enthused by this election, or by the machinations that led to it (well chronicled by our own humble selves). If enthusiasm means turnout, Brown could have a real chance. Coakley may have a record to run on, but more importantly, Brown has her record to run against. So far, he hasn’t done so, preferring to highlight their differences, not merely her deficiencies. Not going negative is probably prudent; she’s already played the victim card in the few debates she’s agreed to.

If things get too close, they’ll fire up the Kennedy machine, and we’ll have more oversized incisors in our faces than a horse dentist. But Brown is good looking (his family even more so), confident, a military man, and, not least, as far from the usual suspects as one could possibly imagine in this state (with fairly centrist stances on some social issues). I’m going to vote for him, I’m going to give him money, and I’m going to work for him.

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Turn ‘Em Loose Huss (-ein)

Remember the New York City judge, Bruce Wright, dubbed “Turn ‘em Loose Bruce” by the tabloids for his penchant for letting perps walk?

Well, imagine now he’s president, and you’ve got “Break the Lock Barack”:

“We let a very dangerous man go, a man whose hands are stained with US and Iraqi blood,” a military officer said. “We are going to pay for this in the future.”

The US military has maintained that the release of members and leaders of the League of the Righteous is related to a reconciliation agreement between the terror group and the Iraqi government, but some US military officers disagree.

“The official line is the release of [Qais ] Qazali is about reconciliation, but in reality this was a prisoner swap,” a military intelligence official said…

“This was a deal signed and sealed in British and American blood,” a US military officer told The Long War Journal. “We freed all of their leaders and operatives; they [the League of the Righteous] executed their hostages and sent them back in body bags. And we’re supposed to be happy about it.”

There is absolutely no benefit to releasing a militant Islamist with hands stained by American blood—something the administration as much as admits by letting it leak on New Years’ Eve, the deadest news day of the year. I won’t even begin to try to imagine a motive.

But you don’t have to be Dick Cheney to realize—again—that we are less safe every day that this man is president. Our security comes way down on the list of his concerns.

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Why Must the Good Die Young?

I suppose it’s understandable that Dr. Death would, uh, live up to his name:

A former coach says Steve Williams, who wrestled professionally as Dr. Death after a successful college wrestling and football career, has died. He was 49.

Williams’s family said he died Tuesday night in Lakewood, Colo., after a long battle with throat cancer, according to Stan Abel, former wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma.

You don’t suppose he abused “dietary supplements”, do you? Professional wrestlers have the odd habit of dropping dead before their time, and I wonder if it might be too much Ovaltine, or something.

And if it’s not professional wrestlers dropping like flies, it’s rock drummers.

Cue Spinal Tap:

James “The Rev’’ Sullivan, drummer for the Orange County heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, whose apocalyptic songs full of biblical imagery resurrected for a new generation the sonic template of ’80s hard rock laid down by acts such as Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, died Monday at his home in Huntington Beach. He was 28.

A statement released by the Orange County coroner’s office said that Mr. Sullivan was found unresponsive inside his home and that no other information is available because an investigation is underway.

A spokesman for the Huntington Beach Police Department said there were no signs of foul play and Mr. Sullivan was pronounced dead at the scene.

And he’s the picture of health!

I suppose if I have a point to make (that’ll be my New Years’ resolution), it’s that life is pretty special, and I can’t fathom how guys like Dr. Death and The Rev would piss it away. I can’t say for sure that they did, but their deaths certainly lie at the end of a path well-trodden by those like them who came (and went) before.

Maybe there are lives so miserable they are not worth living, but I think the instinct to live is the most fundamental in all creatures. Which is why heroes like soldiers and cops and fire fighters are evolutionary freaks. And why rock drummers and wrestlers and others who abuse their bodies and think they can cheat death are perversions of that instinct.

I’m sure Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Williams are mourned by those who knew and loved them, and my words of no help. I’m sorry for that. I’ve been taken to task for that before (when I noted the death of a dare-devil rock climber who tempted fate, died, and left a young child behind).

But I didn’t know them—had never even heard of them before reading their obituaries in the paper this morning—and I too am sad. It’s sad when any life is ended prematurely. I’m sorry—if not for them, personally, then for the waste.


The Profession of Engineering and Terrorism

Just as the profession of journalism aids terrorists by continually pointing us in the wrong direction (they’re poor! they’re desperate! it’s our fault!), engineering has contributed to the growing cult of terrorism. But, unlike journalists, who only blather on, engineers actually know something

This article caught my eye because I happen to know that engineers were invaluable to the Germans in designing gas chambers, crematoria, and the poison gas, zyklon B, which was used to murder millions of people. Engineering is a set of knowledge; it is not particularly good or bad. If ethical education is missing, or if the students simply choose the trade because they want to commit murder and mayhem, the field of engineering is invaluable to promoting those goals.

Another possible explanation would be that engineers possess technical skills and architectural know-how that makes them attractive recruits for terrorist organizations. But the recent study found that engineers are just as likely to hold leadership roles within these organizations as they are to be working hands-on with explosives. In any case, their technical expertise may not be that useful, since most of the methods employed in terrorist attacks are rudimentary. It’s true that eight of the 25 hijackers on 9/11 were engineers, but it was their experience with box cutters and flight school, not fancy degrees, that counted in the end.

Gambetta and Hertog propose that a lack of appropriate jobs in their home countries may have radicalized some engineers in Arab countries. The graduates they studied came of age at a time when a degree from a competitive technical program was supposed to provide a guarantee of high-status employment. But the promises of modernization and development were often stymied by repression and corruption, and many young engineers in the 1980s were left jobless and frustrated. One exception was Saudi Arabia, where engineers had little trouble finding work in an ever-expanding economy. As it happens, Saudi Arabia is also the only Arab state where the study found that engineers are not disproportionately represented in the radical movement.

What else might account for the radical, violent politics of so many former engineering students? Is there some set of traits that makes engineers more likely to participate in acts of terrorism? To answer this question, Gambetta and Hertog updated a study that was first published in 1972, when a pair of researchers named Seymour Lipset and Carl Ladd surveyed the ideological bent of their fellow American academics. According to the original paper, engineers described themselves as “strongly conservative” and “deeply religious” more often than professors in any other field. Gambetta and Hertog repeated this analysis for data gathered in 1984, so it might better match up with their terrorist sample. They found similar results, with 46 percent of the (male American) engineers describing themselves as both conservative and religious, compared with 22 percent of scientists.

Gambetta and Hertog write about a particular mind-set among engineers that disdains ambiguity and compromise. They might be more passionate about bringing order to their society and see the rigid, religious law put forward in radical Islam as the best way of achieving those goals. In online postings, Abdulmutallab expressed concern over the conflict between his secular lifestyle and more extreme religious views. “How should one put the balance right?” he wrote.

Terrorist organizations seem to have recognized this proclivity—in Abdulmutallab, obviously, but also among engineers in general. A 2005 report from British intelligence noted that Islamic extremists were frequenting college campuses, looking for “inquisitive” students who might be susceptible to their message. In particular, the report noted, they targeted engineers.Engineering is not a profession most people associate with religion. The concrete trade of buildings and bridges seems grounded in the secular principles of science. But the failed attack this Christmas by mechanical engineer Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a reminder that the combination has a long history of producing violent radicals.

The anecdotal evidence has always been strong. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Mohamed Atta, was an architectural engineer. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed got his degree in mechanical engineering. Two of the three founders of Lashkar-e-Taibi, the group believed to be behind the Mumbai attacks, were professors at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore.

A paper (PDF) released this summer by two sociologists, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog, adds empirical evidence to this observation. The pair looked at more than 400 radical Islamic terrorists from more than 30 nations in the Middle East and Africa born mostly between the 1950s and 1970s. Earlier studies had shown that terrorists tend to be wealthier and better-educated than their countrymen, but Gambetta and Hertog found that engineers, in particular, were three to four times more likely to become violent terrorists than their peers in finance, medicine or the sciences. The next most radicalizing graduate degree, in a distant second, was Islamic Studies.

So what’s with all the terrorist-engineers? The simple explanation is that engineering happens to be an especially popular field of study in the countries that produce violent radicals. But Gambetta and Hertog corrected for national enrollment numbers in engineering programs and got similar results. Even among Islamic terrorists born or raised in the West, nearly 60 percent had engineering backgrounds.

I’ve known many engineers over the years and my impression is that this is bullshit. Here’s an alternative take: Engineers are trained to be “problem solvers”. That is what they do. The government or some higher up in a company says: This is the problem, can you solve it? During the Holocaust, the “problem” was how to inexpensively kill millions of people and how to dispose of the bodies without spreading disease to the general population. Engineers helped to “solve” the “problem”. Personally they can be on the left, right or center. But they need to be trained to question whether the problem that they are being asked to solve is actually a problem or not. Is it ethical to design a gas chamber? Even if you are a local hero, is it a good idea? The pull of the society works on engineers exactly as it works on the rest of us. (Doctors also worked very hard to figure out convenient ways to kill people during the Holocaust, and doctors have been involved in terror attacks in our own time).

A more useful approach, I believe, would be to look at both the societies that produce the most terrorists and see what is written in the media, what is taught in the classrooms and in the mosques. What is acceptable and desirable in the culture or sub-culture that produces these people? Because future terrorists, like anyone else, want to contribute positively to their own societies. If the culture says it is a good thing to figure out how to explode an airplane in mid-air, the Problem Solvers will get to work. Engineers are excellent problem solvers and that is why terrorist recruiters seek them.

- Aggie


Terror Attack In Finland?

As bizarre as it sounds, it wouldn’t be the first

The Myyrmanni bombing took place on October 11, 2002 in the Myyrmäki, Vantaa, Finland, in Greater Helsinki, in the local Myyrmanni shopping mall. The bomb killed seven, including two teenagers, a 7-year-old child and the bomber. 166 people were injured, including 10 children. Sixty-six victims required hospitalization with the remainder treated and released at the scene.[1] The shopping center was especially crowded, with almost 2000 people, including many children who had come to see a clown performance.

This one was more of a Ft. Hood style event

(CNN) — Police in Finland are searching for a 43-year-old man who is believed to have killed at least four people at a shopping center near the Finnish capital Helsinki.

Finnish police confirmed the shooting happened at 10:08 a.m. (3:08 a.m. ET), leaving three men and one woman dead.

CNN affiliate MTV3 and state broadcaster YLE reported that five people were killed. YLE said the fifth victim was found at an apartment in Espoo; MTV3 said that victim was a woman.

Police named 43-year-old Ibrahim Shkupolli as the suspect in the shooting, saying he was considered armed and dangerous and still at large. Shkupolli has lived in Finland “for some time,” police said.

The shooting happened at the Sello shopping center in the town of Espoo, just to the west of Helsinki, witnesses said.

The mall was busy with shoppers when the gunman started shooting at a grocery store inside the mall, said Mika Pettersson, editor-in-chief of Finnish news agency STT.

These events often seem to generate copy cat crimes, even if the motives differ. So far, the police think this guy was jealous, and decided to shoot up a mall to make himself feel better.

- Aggie


Unprecedented Increase In Terror Threats!

Finally, something that really is unprecedented

You may not have noticed, because most of the plots were foiled, but 2009 saw an unprecedented surge in terrorism events on U.S. soil. When analysts tally these events, they refer to anything from a disrupted plot to U.S. citizens traveling abroad to seek terrorism training or a lone gunman running amok in the U.S. And by the calculations of Rand Corp. expert Brian Jenkins, more terrorist threats were uncovered in the U.S. in 2009 than in any year since 2001.

“There appears to be an increase in [terrorist] activity in the U.S.,” warns Jenkins, who calculates that there have been 32 terrorism-related events on these shores since 9/11 and that 12 of them occurred in 2009.

Some of the more noteworthy events of 2009:

• In January, Bryant Neal Vinas, a Long Island, New York, convert to Islam, pleaded guilty to helping al-Qaeda in a plot to blow up a train in Penn Station.

• In late 2008, Shirwa Ahmed, a Somali-American college student from Minneapolis, became the first American suicide bomber on record when he killed 29 people in an attack in Somalia. Earlier in the year, the FBI revealed that at least 20 Somali-Americans from the Minneapolis area had traveled to Somalia to join al-Shabab, a radical militia tied to al-Qaeda. Five Somali-Americans are believed to have died in fighting there this year, and Somali officials say at least one more unnamed U.S. citizen has become a suicide bomber for al-Shabab.

And so it goes. Go to the link if you’d like to read the entire depressing list.

Elections have consequences, boys and girls. They have consequences in Gaza (see previous posts) and they have consequences here at home.

- Aggie

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Palestinian Terrorism

I would like to make it clear to those who are into blaming the victim – the citizens of Israel – that Palestinian terrorism brought the current hardship to Gaza. I could have chosen more violent documentaries of Palestinian terrorism, but this is more fun to watch.

- Aggie


Is This A Sign Of End Times?

NY Times notices that terrorists tend to be affluent, not poor

Gee, all this time they’ve been preaching that terrorists are poor and downtrodden and have no “Hope” (™Barack Obama). I have an uneasy feeling that this doesn’t bode well. The NY Times is like a hot cup of tea and a good mystery book, reassuring in its world view. What would ever cause them to observe reality? And, more alarmingly, why would they choose to write about it?

NEW YORK — That Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, fated to go down in history as the failed underwear bomber, comes from a prominent and prosperous family in Nigeria invites comparison with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist who is accused of killing 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, in November.

Both men came from middle- or upper-class families, went to good schools and would seem to have had much better prospects than to destroy numerous lives, as well as their own, in acts of terrorist mayhem.

Both men seem to illustrate the observation made by historians of violent political extremists from Robespierre to Pol Pot: that they tend more often to be intellectuals with a grievance, a concept, and a thirst for power than the desperate and wretched of the earth on whose behalf they usually claim to have acted.

The way recent Islamic terrorists embody this notion is quite striking. Mr. Abdulmutallab, who is accused of trying to set off a bomb on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, didn’t come from the sprawling, desperate slums of Lagos but from the upper crust of Nigerian society. He went to the elite British School of Lomé, Togo, and to University College London, where he graduated with honors in 2008.

Then, apparently because of a false statement on his a application to continue his studies in London, the British authorities did not renew his visa. He was accepted for a master’s degree program in Dubai, but he told his family that he wanted to go to Yemen to study Shariah, or Islamic law.

Those recruited as suicide bombers are supposedly poor and without prospects. Many are, yet most of the Islamic radicals who have attacked the United States or have tried to in the last decade come, like Mr. Abdulmutallab, from the elite of their countries. Osama bin Laden himself came from fabulous wealth in Saudi Arabia; his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, was — like the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara — a medical doctor from a distinguished family.

Though not from the same elite social class as Mr. bin Laden or Mr. Zawahiri, the operational leaders of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were uniformly from upwardly striving middle-class families. Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, studied architecture and engineering in Cairo. His father was a successful lawyer who had the connections to get his son a spot at the Technical University of Hamburg, which is where he seems to have volunteered for the jihadist cause.

Another of the 2001 attacks’ operational leaders, Ziad Jarrah, came from Lebanon, where his father was a senior government official in the social security administration and his mother a schoolteacher. His family sent him not to a Muslim school but to a private, Christian school in Beirut, because they were more interested in helping him to get ahead than in furthering his religious affiliation.

Whether Major Hasan, accused in the Fort Hood killings, could be a classical Islamic terrorist is a matter of dispute. What is clear is that he was an upper-middle-class Muslim influenced by radical Middle East preachers. His parents, Palestinian immigrants, operated an upscale restaurant in Virginia. Major Hasan got a degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech, went to medical school at the expense of the U.S. Army and did his residency in psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

And so on. These are Inconvenient Truths (™Al Gore), aren’t they?

- Aggie


Young, Gifted, and Black-Eyed

That’s life in Gaza, if you’re a chick:

The vast majority of women in Gaza face violence of varying types, a new survey has found.

The study, by the Gaza-based Palestinian Women’s Information and Media Center, found that violence against women in Gaza has increased since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in the June 2007 coup and Israel subsequently imposed restrictions on the coastal enclave.

The study found that 77.1% of Gazan women have experienced violence of various sorts, with almost half experiencing violence of more than one type.

A quarter of the women said they do not feel safe in their own homes because of violence and more than a third said they were unable to fight back as they had more urgent priorities to deal with.

67% of the women surveyed said they had encountered verbal violence, 71% mental violence, 52% physical violence and more than 14% sexual violence.

The report tries to pin the appalling level of violence against women on poverty. But Gaza was never exactly 5th Avenue. No, the real cause of change, it seems certain, lies in these words: “violence against women in Gaza has increased since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip”. I’ll leave it to the psychologists and sociologists to explore the correlation between radical Islamists and abuse of women (and child abuse, and racial hatred, and gay-bashing, and mobocracy, etc., etc.).

I’ll just observe that it undoubtedly exists.

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The Meaning of Is

While guest-hosting for Rush yesterday, Mark Steyn interviewed Connie Hair of Human Events, and they recalled this interesting exchange between Eric Holder and members of the House Judiciary Committee from last may, which I had quite forgotten:

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) then switched gears to a line of questioning aimed at clarifying the Obama Justice Department’s definition of torture. In one of the rare times he gave a straight answer, Holder stated at the hearing that in his view water-boarding is torture. Lundgren asked if it was the Justice Department’s position that Navy SEALS subjected to waterboarding as part of their training were being tortured.

Holder: No, it’s not torture in the legal sense because you’re not doing it with the intention of harming these people physically or mentally, all we’re trying to do is train them —

Lungren: So it’s the question of intent?

Holder: Intent is a huge part.

Lungren: So if the intent was to solicit information but not do permanent harm, how is that torture?

Holder: Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

I’m sorry, would you repeat that?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

I see. Can you elaborate?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

Yes, I got that part, General Holder. Anything else?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah… it comes out to question of fact as one is determining the intention of the person who is administering the waterboarding. When the Communist Chinese did it, when the Japanese did it, when they did it in the Spanish Inquisition we knew then that was not a training exercise they were engaging in. They were doing it in a way that was violative of all of the statutes recognizing what torture is. What we are doing to our own troops to equip them to deal with any illegal act — that is not torture.

So, if “it comes out to question of fact as one is determining the intention of the person who is administering the waterboarding”, as you so eloquently put it—leaving aside the Spanish Inquisition for moment, if that’s okay—waterboarding with the intent of discovering plots of mass murder is torture, is that right? Training Navy SEALS, no problem; saving hundreds or thousands of lives, no way. Do we understand that to be your position?

Holder: The intent is in the person who would be charged with the offense, the actor, as determined by a trier of fact looking at all of the circumstances. That is ultimately how one decides whether or not that person has the requisite intent.

Thank you, that’s much clearer now.

I think I’d be safer driving after midnight on New Years’ Eve than flying under the watchful gaze of these criminal buffoons.

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Collateral Damage

Moment of silence and respect and all that, but come on—why didn’t she just put a gun to her head and pull the bloody trigger?

Residents of the city-owned high-rise at 95 Martensen St., which houses elderly, low-income, and disabled residents, said they had warned 62-year-old Donna Marani not to smoke in her apartment – especially because she regularly used home oxygen devices.

“She was a smoker,’’ said Jenn Fell, 31, who lives in the building with her two young sons. “Several people in the building have warned her about smoking while on oxygen. Smoking can be very dangerous, and unfortunately everybody lost a really good friend out of this tragedy.’’

State, local, and Norfolk County officials determined yesterday afternoon that a cigarette ignited the fire.

“The investigation revealed the cause to be consistent with a smoking-related fire,’’ State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan told the Globe yesterday. “And there was home oxygen in the apartment.’’

Tragedy my ass. Her death from an electrical fire would have been a tragedy. This was indifferent suicide.

No wait, you know what would have been a tragedy? A tragedy would have been the death of the 31 year-old mom and her two small children from the fire Donna Marani set. If you think I’m being unkind, think about them.

As it is, their lives have been made more difficult:

[Quincy Fire Chief Joseph Barron] said there was nothing firefighters could have done to help Marani, but he praised them for preventing the fire from spreading.

“It was an aggressive attack on the fire, which was contained to the one area,’’ Barron said in an interview at the scene. “The crew did an excellent job.’’

Two residents were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

While firefighters managed to contain the fire to Marani’s apartment, significant water and smoke damage could be seen throughout the building yesterday. Cleanup crews were on hand all afternoon. Most residents were allowed to return home, but more than a dozen from units near Marani’s apartment were being sheltered at a Salvation Army facility, fire officials said.

EMS crews from Fallon Ambulance were at the scene assisting the building’s elderly residents, many of whom were in wheelchairs, back into their apartments yesterday.

Old people in wheelchairs, young children—may Donna Marani rest in peace, because those who survived the fire she caused won’t for a little while yet.

That’s enough from my heartless self. If you want to hear her sympathetic yet scared and angry neighbors, you can see a local TV news story about the fire here.


We’re Very Safe


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