Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thinking On A Rainy Night

Think about this: If someone on the Presidents cabinet spoke out of line should others in the cabinet take a passive posture, or an active posture protesting the behavior?

Lots to think about here. If the words spoken were hurtful, derogatory, and/or vulgar then the behavior should be addressed by peers and colleagues. This is usually done privately, and most often a good result is obtained The reprimands, and other action, is addressed by the President. The Boss.

Then there are the times when the event makes it to the media. Now what? And, what if the behavior occurred not during a cabinet meeting, but a meeting of another committee? Again, then what?

Well, protocol would say that unless the other cabinet members were directly involved in the matter, or the episode affected them personally, that they should refrain from offering anything more than the cursory condemnation of the behavior to the public, and in private, they should address the matter more vigorously.

Just the way things work. The proper way of offering up corrective measures. This prevents vigilantism that can undermine the proper response. Now, occasionally, an individual will take it further, and condemn the behavior of a peer in public, and to the media. I guess if they are asked specific questions about the incident by the media they could either answer it, or give out the standard "no comment" response, and it would be fine.

Then again...

Think on this: if the unoffending cabinet member goes further with their opinion, and aligns them self with those citizens demanding censure, a resignation, a recall, and talks it up at this level, instead of at the level of their post, then have they done something that, although not wrong, changes who they are? No longer are they acting as the cabinet member, they have, by their own choosing, become just one of the crowd. One of the angry spectators. They have donned the uniform of the pissed off, and for some, have just entered the proverbial glass house.

They stand out more than they may want to.

So, I guess what I'm thinking is this a wrong thing to do? Does it depend on the actual situation? The person?

Somethings just need more thinking on. So, in the meantime I am going to step out of my role as a writer, and become a chef for just a few minutes. Consider the words above as food for thought.


  1. It does matter because the offending member was representing the unoffending members at the time of the offense. Unless the unoffending members agree with the offense they must distance themselves from the offender who was representing them at the time of the offense.

  2. As a chef you should know that one secret to a good meal is the right recipe. Your meal seems a bit bland and maybe because you used ingredients from the wrong recipe.
    Cabinet Heads earning big 100,000 plus dollar salaries are a far cry from volunteers giving up precious time to help their community. You seem to have used pepper when cinnamon would have been better.
    Cabinet Heads are appointed by the President/Executive branch answerable to the President. He would expect his appointees to disagree but not stoop to filthy, sexist comments. Committee volunteers in Sturbridge are also appointed by our executive branch (selectmen) and are accountable to them. Problem here is that the disgusting comments came from a member of the executive branch – a selectman himself. This selectman like the president is accountable to the voters and there are consequences for horrendous behavior. A few presidents and many senators and representatives have learned that lesson the hard way. Maybe a bit too much salt added here when a tablespoon of sugar would have been better.
    Your recipe calls for Cabinet Heads making big bucks meeting in private with their boss (the President) who could simply replace them if he desired. I seriously doubt the President’s cook book includes any of the following ingredients: “shut the BLEEP up, no-one cares about your opinion” or “you are dirty, you’re a whore”. Sounds like hot peppers used here here when sweet peppers would have done the trick.
    When the Executive Branch fails to provide a recipe that creates a safe place for the exchange of ideas and then tries to lie about it and blame everyone else there’s another recipe called IMPEACHMENT. In Sturbridge it’s called a RECALL. With this recipe it’s good to have a lot of contributors so that the meal is successful.

  3. What the Scott said was awful. No excuse for the words he chose, or didn't stop from popping out of his mouth.
    Let's not forget, however, that this was an ongoing, two sided fight. He had also been insulted on more than one occasion.
    I am not a fan of his at all, but the ingredients being added by too many chefs are spoiling the soup.

  4. Would the last commenter please elaborate on when and how Mr. Garieri was insulted on more than occasion? I read the news articles. Scott's a public official and he violates sign bylaws. In the April 5th T&G article, it says HE chastised and attacked both women. So what the heck are you talking about?

  5. For a refresher, read Thinking Out Loud in Sturbridge in the March archives,
    Sunday, March 28, 2010:
    Scroll to this title:
    Holy #$%@!

  6. My friend's wife stopped at Garieri's Girls Nite Out (I'm still scratching my head on that one) and left after 2 minutes. The running joke was what kind of whore-d'oeuvres Garieri was serving. She was disgusted. He's not sorry and never will be.

    April 17, 2010 12:59 PM

  7. What is "Garieri's Girls Nite Out?"

  8. It's an event at his store for women to buy jewelry. Tasteless humor about a resident was on the menu that night.

  9. “One mustn't criticize other people on grounds where he can't stand perpendicular himself”

    Mark Twain

  10. there is actually a place on facebook about this whole mess. I have a feeling that this is going to haunt people for a long time to come.


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