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.

icon for podpress  Peril of Impatience: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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.

icon for podpress  Councilor Tim McCarthy [38:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

one-man bandLet’s pledge to each other not to be foolish, not to let vanity and ego, well, kill each other on the streets.

Fact is that we’ve eagerly bought the shoddy goods of multitasking. As a species, humans are terrible at it. Start by watching wrecks and near wrecks as drivers using cell phones career at each other and slam on the brakes (usually in time). Less dangerous and more common and certainly amusing see pedestrians on sidewalks or indoors walking into each other or walls as they try to ambulate and talk or text into the smartphone. It’s good perhaps that the phone is smart if the users are not.

Doubters’ Resource. Start with the collection of data and studies from around the nation and world at the National Safety Council here.

I run down some stats — how dangerous using phones while driving is, and that hands-free use is no safer. I talk about why we were even introduced to the idea that we can, should and must multitask. Alas, unlike a PC, we can’t get a retrofit of more RAM and a faster CPU. We really are trying to switch sequential tasks instantly. Our brains can’t do it. Multitasking is at best an illusion and at worst a deluision.

I go into a little background of CEO/manager think that led to the multitasking mythology. Bill Gates? Yes, Microsoft has been a primary villain here, promoting its Office and other software with a fantasy that every employee is a multitasker and is robbing the company if she or he isn’t working on many duties at the same time all day and every day.

icon for podpress  Multitasking kills [25:27m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

cartridgesAngry and saddened by the latest and legacy of mass killings by a gunman, the POTUS demanded state and federal gun laws to deal with licensing and sales issues. Sure, sure, those are essential, but let’s change America’s gun culture. That would literally be the gift of the century to current and future citizens.

I exhort us to do that. We can. Already as polls show repeatedly, over 90% of us want greater gun licensing and sales controls. Clearly the state and Congressional NRA-bought solons lack the courage and will to attend to our desires and judgment. So we need to help them.

In my lifetime, I have seen us advance from segregated schools and miscegenation laws to at least half way to racial tolerance and balance. That cultural shift can only continue. We need to do the same with our gun culture. We need to employ naming and shaming — yes, to our lawmakers, but as important in our normal interactions with friends, neighbors, coworkers and those we need. Think the office or factory, the church coffee hour, on the subway and on and on.

Implicitly and explicitly, threatening in any way our fellow citizens has to and can be made unacceptable. Listen to my raving on this by clicking below.

By the bye, the best info on the Roseburg shooter I’ve seen appears in the Britsh The Daily Mail here.

WaPo created a sobering graphic of the number of mass shootings in the U.S. (four or more killed) this year. See it here. There has not been a week without one and up to 5 per week.

icon for podpress  Roseburg implications [19:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Finally, it’s showtime. The pretenders will dribble off in the background. The loud. colorful summer gives way.

The inevitable (Clinton/Bush) were not. The highly improbable (Trump and most GOP candidates) are simply taking longer than we predicted for the inevitable flame-outs. Who’s left.

I raved today about the effects of the pending Joe Biden announcement. That promises a much more interesting and meaningful political fall that I could have hoped. I consider Sanders/Biden/Clinton in combat.

The pathetic Republicans and floundering, so many gasping fish on the boat deck. I doom Trump, Fiorina and others, keeping a JEB door open.

Listen in for my take.

icon for podpress  2 party 2016 update [28:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Tim McCarthyFirst-term Boston City Councilor Tim McCarthy looks to consolidate and reinforce his District 5 election. He faces a challenge from the same camp as two years ago.

Schedule Change:
He’ll talk with me Thursday, Oct. 15th at 3:00 PM Eastern on his prospects, accomplishments and ambitions. If you can catch it live, click here at showtime. Otherwise, hear or download his show on demand at that URL, back here or on our iTunes page.

McCarthy has made a career of delivering constituent services in several positions in Boston. He’s carried that over to this District office as well. We’ll talk about what he sees as his accomplishments…as well as his goals. You can prepare by hitting his campaign site.

Fairmount LineI’m not the first to propose fare-free mass transit. I’ve done it before, shall do it again, and won’t be the last. Yet, the proposal and concepts behind it continue to astound those who accept the current unnatural order of things transportation.

The shock to many is shifting from the it’s-only-common-sense idea that sure, a bus, commuter rail or subway has to charge for a ticket. Otherwise, who’ll pay for the expenses. Well, the commonsense thingummy almost always means, “I have nothing. I’ll just deal in cliché and stereotype.”

After our last terrible winter when the mass transit in Boston (the T as we call it, for MBTA) failed us countless times. The newish Gov. Charlie Baker set a task force to defining how to fix it. Not surprisingly, they wanted to do the same things, just cheaper and more efficiently. They never asked what we expect from mass transit.

I talk a bit in a short show (19 minutes) on why we should have zero-fare transit. There are many advantages in clearing road congestion, minimizing pollution, noise and wrecks, all by shifting the governmental (you taxes) expenditures from conductors, ticket vendors and such to the fares. I’d bet that be done for the same or less.

Then drivers who often disdain mass transit have to look at the huge subsidies they get in road building and maintenance, gas price supports and more. The are more heavily riding on our taxes than T riders would be. Let’s get real, boys and girls.

Many library as well as internet sources cover the topic. You can start with our 5-year-old Left Ahead chat with MA Gov. Mike Dukakis, here. Of course, Wikipedia as a multi-page recap of cities who are offering free transit, here. An excellent think piece on the subject by Henry Grabar appears in Salon, here.

icon for podpress  Free Mass Transit: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

U.S. Gun Violence Podcast

September 3, 2015 | 1 Comment

I’m either exactly the wrong one to comment guns or just the right one. I don’t own any and have no desire to do so. I don’t hunt and am not paranoid.

Yet, citizens of the U.S. of A. love guns. Stats read that our 5% of the world’s population owns nearly 50% of the non-miltary guns. We’ve averaged a mass shooting (4 or more deaths at a time) A DAY this year. One of us dies every 16 minutes, w24 hours from gun violence. Consider too our rates of mass shootings are five times the next highest nation (the Phillippines).

As I am wont to ask my sons, what can we learn from this?

I run on about what needs to change, what’s not going to change, and how to affect change.

Think Links:

icon for podpress  Guns, Bullets and Bull [23:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download