Archive for New York

No! Town, Boston

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 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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Stupor Tuesday Podcast

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.


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Buehrens on Equality Outlook Podcast

Long-term marriage equality warrior Rev. John Buehrens does not see smooth seas for that struggle, but to torture the nautical image, he is sure the ship will arrive…and sooner that many think. He’s served nine years on the board of Freedom to Marry and joined us today.

Listen in as he talks about the five states in play this year, with legislative votes or referenda in the works. Two are defensive actions.

He speaks of the trends favoring per-state and nationwide equality. That will of course include removing the Defense of Marriage Act. He also foresees the 14th Amendment (equal protection) coming into play as more courts base decisions using it.

He paints a picture of 10 states with equal marriage and 10 more with all-but-marriage legalization. He figures that will be the tipping point. Coupled with the slight and growing national support for equality, he sees that math as undeniable.

He discusses the big parties as well. He would be very surprised if the Dems did not include an equality plank in this year’s platform, even it it phrased in mild terms. For the Republicans, despite the current POTUS candidate rhetoric, he finds many GOP pols and legislators far from monolithic in opposing marriage equality.

Listen in as he touches on state-by-state and national trends and expectations.

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Occupy Boston Podcast

Ryan gave us a ground report from Dewey Square, where Occupy Boston has been protesting and camping. He was there and posted on it in Ryan’s Take.

He also spoke about the police actions in Manhattan and Boston over the long weekend. For more on that, check out the pix and words at UniversalHub.

On the show, we discussed the dichotomy of a city famed for protest speech from colonial times with the mayor and police opposing what most would call peaceful free speech. We also talked about the implications of an amorphous action suddenly taking form and doing it in 100 cities with positions and demands gelling as quickly as it became a true movement.

We didn’t get to the other topic we intended to cover — whether identity politics and zip-code voting in a traditionally monolithic South Boston will hold. We’ll have at-large contenders incumbent Ayanna Pressley and former Council Prez Michael Flaherty on shows before the November 8th election…Insh’Allah. Check back here for the dates and times.

Mike’s piece on South Boston’s role in District 2 and at-large Council races is here.

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MA on Casino Abyss Brink

It’s highly likely that MA will take the first giant step to casinos. We’ll do an update show today. We’ll talk economic realities, as well as fantasies.

Join us live here at 2:30 PM Eastern today, Tuesday, September 27th.

You can always hear it later at that URL, here at Left Ahead, or on iTunes.


SSM Forecast Podcast

In a welcome surprise, John Hosty-Grinnell joined Ryan and Mike for most of today’s show. The blogger/activist added his insights to our analysis of what follows the NY state marriage-equality victory and the RI tepid civil-union thingummy.

We extrapolated from the passage of SSM in Albany beyond to Maine, California and other potential transition states. In particular, Ryan and Mike are optimistic and reserved for different states. The three of us did concur on the decreasing efficacy of SSM and gay rights as campaign issues for wingers.

Listen in as we parse the trends.

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Big and Little Equality Podcast

Big and small doings on marriage equality will be our show tomorrow, Tuesday, July 12th. Ryan and Mike will talk about what did and did not happen in New York and Rhode Island.

You can catch it live at 2:30 PM Eastern here. Afterward, you can get it on demand there, back here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.

It’s also a good time to consider the effect of leadership, as in the three paths of NY’s governor, RI’s governor and house speaker, and the POTUS. We need to consider the recent laws in relationship to the national temper, threats from anti-equality sorts, what we see coming next.