Everyone’s uncle, niece, cousin and coworker has opinions on the Presidential race. Hovering between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, we blowhards just le it rip. My turn.

I’ll drop my cornhusker conclusions ? Bernie, Hillary, the dropouts, Trump, Cruz,?and Rubio ? plus New Hampshire know-it-all forecasting.

My 6-month granddaughter is among Sanders’ youngest supporters, aided by her mother. They went from Seattle to Des Moines and now on to ye olde Granite State. So expect some skewing.

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CoinsHuge disadvantages of the fabulously wealthy include no one around with the guts and wit to say, “You’re being stupid!” Another, more intractable one is the delusion if you are rich you must be brilliant…in everything.

Over the past decade or so, John Henry has pushed his The Boston Globe and Red Sox to the edge of ruin and seems to have no sense of that. He is the ugly side of capitalism or one of the ugly sides. He jacked up ballpark/ticket prices to the highest in baseball. Likewise, he is huge in expensive newspaper paywalls and has made both home delivery and online Globe prices the highest in the nation, higher even than papers like the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Those two, at least, give you info to earn you money back and more. The Globe simply relies on its almost monopoly status (there is an asthenic Murdoch-owned tabloid for a weak competitor.)

This past week, Henry blew it again. He’s already pared the writing/reporting staff to the nub. Now he went after the delivery contractor, switching to a cheaper vendor. That makes perfect capitalistic sense; bottom line, don’t you know. The problem is that the new contractor has already failed elsewhere and certainly plonked here.

Let us consider Henry’s empire and whether the delusional rich can ever objectively judge their decisions. I suspect you already know my conclusion.

icon for podpress  Capitalism gone stupid [26:25m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Speaking of post-9/11 effects, as I do from time to time, I lace gunslinger civilians, police brutality (and murder), and Americans’ gulping obeisance to authority. I talk locally, as in the sniveling shelter-in-place orders and behavior after the Boston Marathon bombings. (Boston Strong is more like Boston Gutless.)

George Zimmerman types and open-carry monsters kill without consequence, as do far too many police officers. Word is OBEY, obey authority, obey anyone with a gun, obey TSA gropers and on and on. Too many cops kill and skate with the casual claim, “I felt my life was threatened.”

How did so many police officers turn into knock-kneed murderers? How could they even think to justify shooting repeatedly from a distance and slaying instead of disarming or, well, policing? I contend it is an emotion-based mind shift that we need to reverse immediately. Mayors, police chiefs and superintendents, prosecutors and judges have to put their palms out. Basta! We absolutely must not continue to infantilize cops and let them escape responsibility.

See also, Lethal Force as a First Resort, by Slate’s Jamelle Bouie here.

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How cynical can humans be? Let’s consider anti-gay winger hate groups, those that pretend they are being oppressed by inference. I went on about a local example, an anti-gay group (of one) that published a report of an Australian RC archbishop who might get fined for foisting a homophobic pamphlet on parochial schools.

Sure the Australian laws differ from U.S. ones, as do Canadian versions. Most large countries forbid and punish the type of hate speech America allows.

Hence, it’s all the more astonishing to read or hear of wingers here playing drama queens. Oh, oh, someone in Australia just might have to pay a fine for hate speech…that could happen here…unless you write us a check. Be prepared for your crazed old relatives at the family dinners.

icon for podpress  Anti-gay victimization [16:07m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

These are not bookends, rather bookmarks. Two days ago in No More Anonymous Guns, I went on about the basic gun-law changes that must be a small but necessary part of getting us relatively safe again.

Today’s show recognized the type change we have experienced as a nation. It’s no longer a difference of degree, as so many European and Middle-Eastern countries have experienced in recent decades. Since 9/11 and even more intimately this year, Americans truly are at risk, on our own soil. We should no longer pretend that terrorist attacks happen over there or that we exclude any one religious or ethnic group from settling or visiting, we’ll be safe again.

Yeah, yeah, we can point to this or that Muslim murderer. Yet if we deny that nearly all mass murderers in memory have been self-identified Christians who are native born. Retreating into xenophobia and isolationism will fail us now as it always has over several centuries.

Here’s a call to deal with guns designed and sold exclusively for mass murder, and to begin to find and neutralize homegrown terrorists. We all need to go to our Congressional and state legislators.

Another bookmark. I suspect it won’t be my last.

icon for podpress  Orks inside and out [19:47m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

I did not want to do another gun-violence podcast, but too much is more than enough!

I go on for some modest proposals, a few steps down a not particularly slippery slope. Like:

  • Pass universal background checks already
  • Ban all private, unregistered, no-background private and gun-show sales
  • License guns like cars, with tests and insurance

These and similar regulations are obvious, simple and may save thousands of lives a year. Unfortunately, lawmakers at state and federal levels are largely too gutless to do these without prompting. So prompt them.

icon for podpress  No More Anonymous Guns [18:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

I have little to no patience with anti-gay and anti-transgender sorts. The ongoing hate campaign against public accommodation in the likes of gyms, showers and toilets is absurd and needs resolution in favor of equality.

Today’s show went on about that.

I promised a few links.

  • Here’s one to Peeing in Peace from the Transgender Law Center
  • The OSHA guidelines for employers are here
  • Click here to see Lambda Legal’s FAQ about the regulatory and practical issues
icon for podpress  LGBT accommodation, toilet version [22:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Pisser of an issue

November 8, 2015 | Leave a Comment

I have really tried to avoid disnifying the hate mongers on the issue of pubic accommodation in schools, restaurants and even toilets. They just won’t quit lying and scaring. So let’s do this.

This Sunday’s NYT has a good wrap-up here. Ignore that they tucked this in the Styles section, what used to be the Women’s pages. Harrumph.

This is a big issue. Wingers and anti-gay types have been moderately successful in co-opting an equality issue, reframing it as a bathroom bill. The pretext and pretense is that if legislatures or ballot initiatives give transgender kids and adults access to gender-neutral facilities — showers, johns and such — child rapists will track little girls into toilets and do awful things.

Let’s talk about what the real issues are and name the dreadful, hateful lies. You can see samples here and here. This craziness has to stop, but first we have to call it out.

I’ll kick around the topic Tuesday, November 10th at 3:30PM Eastern. If you can listen in, click here for the live show. If you want to speak up, do so at 718-664-6966; just don’t block your number.

If you can’t catch it live, you can get it on demand back here, at the show URL or on the Left Ahead iTunes page.

Consider this a sort of break from pure politics and a follow-up to the multitasking rant earlier this month. If you’re not too impatient to do a bit of reading, check out the Pew Report Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives.

I tee off on this report, observations and other readings. Then I posit a bifurcation. The instant gratifiers who are constantly connected invariably push themselves into short attention spans. They feel, feel, feel. They feel they are worthy of the fastest net connections, fastest phone connections, and zero waits for page loads. These extreme first-world issues can seem amusing, but they are also crippling.

Those who habituate themselves to snippets like tweets quickly lose the ability to and have no interest in analysis, much less reading. That can seem very trendy, yet at what cost. As Pew’s work points out, it means stress and dissatisfaction, and a serious loss of mental skills.

I go to hold that there will be a great bifurcation. The Millennials and close groups will break down into those who can analyze and assimilate information and those who only parrot snatches of this and that and the other. Employers and customer, even acquaintances, will see the distinctions among those who live by impulse and thinkers. Whoa to the instant gratification types.

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Tim McCarthyA rambling conversation with Boston District 5 City Councilor Timothy McCarthy touches on the quotidian of Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale neighborhoods of Boston. I have a stake, as he is my Councilor.

For non-Bostonians, note that he won the low throne. His seat was the springboard for our longest-serving Mayor Thomas Menino followed by the energetic Rob Consalvo. Locals pay attention to the District 5 Councilor.

Listen in as we speak of his running for his second term, his emphasis on parks, playgrounds, new housing, crime, and business development. He has devoted much of his professional and political life to constituent/neighborhood services and loves to say and act out, “What your see out your front door is important.” We get to how Mayors Flynn and Menino involved and hired him ror positions that stressed that.

This is a very localized show. We speak of Boston and his District’s development, housing, crime, and business. We speak of after-school programs and the new types of Boys and Girls Clubs. We get down with education with such fundamental and rhetorical questions as whether it makes more sense to pay to create opportunity for students or later for prisoners.

Click below to hear Boston local talk.

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