You want to do something exciting and edgy? Boston will watch from a distance.

Let’s not talk about the old Banned-in-Boston literature and performance. Let’s not talk about Blue Laws. Let’s come to recent times, the past few years

The mayor, other pols, and citizens have defeated:

  • Summer Olympics
  • More, easy-to-get liquor licenses
  • A single F1 car race
  • In town casino
  • 24-hour mass transit
  • Late-night mass transit

What gives in a city, town really, that loves to brag it is world class? Alas, Adam Gaffin over at universalhub.com is like spot on when it call this the city that always sleeps.

A few centuries ago, Boston and Charleston SC were seen as sister cities. Their social conservatism accounted for much of the zeitgeist. They did develop stifling Blue Laws together. Boston also hid behind Puritans, then and still it ducks behind its Roman Catholicism. Those were supposed to account for and excuse the petty and nasty limits on human behavior, speech and even thought.

I’ve lived in Boston for 36 years, after a decade in Manhattan. I draw my conclusions on why this town will live vicariously through its huge student population and asthenic arts life, as though that was plenty of vitality and creativity for everyone. Harrumph.

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Maura Healey, the MA Attorney General, joined me for a quick show on her efforts to reverse the addition and deaths of opioids. She reminded me that she promised this as a priority two years ago when she was running for office. She’s on it.

Last week, I covered the new prescription drug law. You can hear that here.

Listen in as she talks about her office’s multifaceted approach of education and enforcement. This is serious stuff with daily deaths and addition everywhere in the commonwealth. She looks at the US having 5% of the world’s population consuming 80% of the opioids. She has plans and policies to change that.

icon for podpress  MA AG on opioids [16:50m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

MA Attorney General Maura Healey joins me Monday, May 2nd at 3 PM Eastern for a quick session on opioids. The crisis is very real, very deadly.

We’ll talk last month’s new law designed to help. The chief law enforcer will tell us what that means and how far it gets us.

I’ll drill down a bit into the role of doctors and pharmacists in this mess.

If you can listen live, catch us then at by clicking here. Otherwise, get her show on demand back here, at that URL or on our iTunes page.

Podcast Eve Note: I shall run an intro show Saturday, April 23 at 1:30 AM (click here to listen live). I intend to discuss my own, non-addicted medically based experience as a foretaste of the Healey show.

jessicaYou likely don’t know much about exotic dancing or dance studies. Reading guest Jessica Berson’s <>The Naked Result: How Exotic Dance Became Big Business will fix that.

She came on to discuss her book, what goes on in private dances as well as on stage, and a lot more. Click below to hear the personal, the business, the history, and surprising (to me) analysis of the meanings of the dancing. We also spoke about how dancers and customers interact and what they get from each other.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at other august institutions. She is professorial type and dancer, one who got the most out of her year on stage and in front of single clients. Her book ended up at once academic and highly readable, concentrated on exotic dancing, but from its many angles. While it has personal vignettes, it is not yet another stripper memoir as Berson is quick to note.

icon for podpress  The Naked Result [31:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

This coming Thursday, April Fool’s Day Eve Day, 3/31, the guest will be Jessica Berson, author of The Naked Result. That’s a definitive study of exotic dancing — the methods, the people, the business.

She teaches dance studies at Yale and has at Harvard, in the UK and elsewhere. She earned grad-school money as an exotic dancer. Then as an scholar, she studied the industry. She has both the personal and the professional view. Plus, from her book, I learned quite a bit about the methods and meanings of movement.

Her story is not a woe-was-I one. Be prepared to insights, history and the human sides of it all.

If you want to join us live, click here at 11AM EDT, Thursday, 3/31. Afterward the show will be available on demand there, back here at Left Ahead and on our iTunes channel.

The huge, diverse Super Tuesday elections clarified things…at least for Democrats. Hillary Clinton almost surely will arrive at the July Democratic Party convention with a majority of delegates, and a first-ballot nomination.

It’s not so simple for the GOP, even though Marco Rubio lost his home state, Florida, and dropped out. Kasich did win his home state, Ohio, and Cruz did OK behind Trump. The latter is very unlikely to come to his party’s July convention with a majority of delegates. He’d have to win 59% of all remaining delegates to do so…unlikely. Even more unlikely, Cruz would need to get 80% of them and Kasich 100%. Haar.

It looks like Sanders, even with loads of adoring supporters and lots of cash will be relegated to influencing Clinton’s positions. She’s long been like her husband, a moderate to moderately conservative deal cutter. She has picked some of Sander’s (and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s) lingo. I could easily see a Pres. H. Clinton jettisoning those positions.

Now the show shifts almost entirely to the Republicans. a contested convention would be a festival of threats, pouting, accusations and other theater. I speculated a bit on who might emerge as the nominee assuming Trump does have a majority coming in.

 

icon for podpress  Stupor Tuesday [18:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

The MA legislature and recent governors have lacked vision, and still do on mass transit. They look for shortcuts, quick fixes and binary left-brained answers to questions that should demand deep analysis and keen insights.

Residents, particularly those in the Boston area, will get another fare hike of between 9 and 10%. It makes life harder on poorer citizens and solves absolutely none of the T’s troubles.

I talk a bit about the absurd and irrational debt service, about the shameful forward-funding scheme the legislature pile on the MBTA, and why they won’t even consider admitting they thoroughly blew it, much less try to fix it.

When these hikes are under discussion, a few of us call and yell and write and testify that they need to ask meaningful questions. The only one they seem to come up with is not meaningful, rather it is “How big a fare raise and we get?”

Honk. Wrong question.

My rant is has two sides. First and most obvious is fix the damn funding blunder, so the T can have cash flow for operations and maintenance. Harder but more important is asking what we want and expect from the T.

The answer is not the stupid one — on-time trains that are clean and safe. Those should be sine qua non. No, if we want mass transit to be affordable for getting all from where they live to where they work, if we want it to reduce vehicular traffic, noise, pollution and other congestion, we need to be willing to subsidize it like we do with cars and trucks.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report on T funding is here.

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Let’s interrupt the political theater for a brief moment of reality. My guy, Bernie Sanders, has almost surely lost the Dem nomination for President. On the other side, there’s an even chance Donald Trump will come into the GOP convention with a majority of Delegates.

Clinton vs. Trump in November. The war hawk vs. the hate monger.

I talked about the mundanities, such as number of delegated needed and already bagged for the nominations. I spoke of the likelihood that each will arrive at the July convention with a majority and the nomination.

I also stuck my neck out with a prediction that Trump will have his 35% or so of the electorate that responds to emotion and bluster. Yet we see that every for years. There is always at least that much or even up to 48% who will vote for any bozo who honks his clown nose to the proper tune.

This was just a rant. At least my Boston precinct voted for Bernie yesterday.

icon for podpress  Demon vs. Raptor [26:16m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

That suddenly vacated Supreme Court seat could sit for 11 to 13 months before the next President touches the Bible.

The real subject before us is how to bring the SCOTUS up to its 9 justices. However, let us not fall prey to the urge to overly praise Antonin Scalia. Everyone from President Obama to plain old lawyers have tried to outdo each other calling him brilliant and a towering figure.

In reality, he was petty and puerile. His deeply held and often emotionally based dicta on the law and Constitution were skewed by politics and worse. He strongly and anachronistically voted for states-rights interpretations of law from marriage to equal opportunity in education to women’s rights.

Let us not confuse cleverness with brilliance. He was quick to insult without intellect. Disdaining a group such as homosexuals is no excuse for harming them. He clearly did not believe in the editing adage that if you have fallen in love with a phrase, cut it out of the text.

Dems need only 4 Senate seats to take control again. Here’s betting that if GOP Senators refuse to have hearings or vote on a SCOTUS nominee, that could make the difference in the 24 races the GOP faces in the Senate in November. If they have any wit and sense of self-preservation, they’ll deal on one of the tepid centrists Obama would surely nominate.

icon for podpress  SCOTUS Replacement [22:49m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

ghostscotus

Around tomorrow (WED. 2/17) at 2:30 Eastern)? Will your brain be in gear? If so feel free to call in at tell me your truth about filling the suddenly vacated Supreme Court seat in the 11 months before the next President touches the Bible. Call (718) 664-6966 then and make sure your phone number is not blocked — (718) 664-6966. Go here for the live show or to catch it on demand later.

You can be sure I’ll have my opinions and I shall fill the slot without you if that’s hjow you want it.

Consider:

  • President Barack Obama has a Constitutional duty to nominate a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.
  • The GOP has a Senate majority and before Scalia’s corpse left Texas their leaders were swearing to block ANY nominee from the Dem Prez.
  • There are huge cases (think voting rights and abortion for two) next session.
  • Right now the left/right wings are evenly split after many years of a 4/5 favoring conservatives.
  • A divided court decision in effect upholds lower federal court rulings, which lean left.
  • The Senate must approve any nominee but is not required to hear or vote on any.
  • 24 Republican Senate seats are up for reelection in November and no one can be sure how voters will treat obstructionist, duty-shirking sitting Senators.

Call in or leave me to go on by myself.