Archive for July, 2015

OK, No Boston Olympics; Get to Work

Wring hands and rend garments…or not. Boston won’t host the 2024 Summer Olympics, as a big fish might not host a lamprey eel.

I spoke of why we simultaneously backed out of the bid as the US Olympics Committee told us to get lost. Fundamentally the catalyst came when the USOC visited and our Mayor Marty Walsh said in effect, “If you won’t tell me what I’m signing up for, I won’t sign.” Frankly both the International (iOC) and the USOC are accustomed to in fact demand, obeisance. Walsh is a simple man from the land of the maple trees (Guantanamera), not palms and ring or butt kissing aren’t his habits.

Of course the queering of the deal involves a lot more and I got into some of it.

More important, I am on the side of the many who not only resent the don’t-you-worry-your-pretty-little-head attitude of both the national and local proponents of the bid, but also stomp and point to the big promise. The USOC and Boston 2024 folk said repeatedly that we need this and that (infrastructure improvements, transit overhaul, affordable housing), and that we’d do it only under the deadline pressure of the Olympics bid.

We do need those things, but diluting our resources of money and time with Olympics folly can only delay or prevent that. Instead we need:

  • a governor, mayor, and legislative leaders committed to achieving these improvements
  • a clear and precise vision of where we want to go with mass transit, roads, housing and such

So far our newish governor, Charles D. Baker, has not shown himself a visionary. Moreover, our legislators are capons scratching the Beacon Hill yards clucking, “No new taxes. No new taxes.”

They may not have guts and smarts on their own. Yet with the passions educed from this 18-month bid process, the public has gotten a taste for improvements.

icon for podpress  Olympics '24 Banned in Boston [25:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Banned in Boston, for 2024, No Games

Oh No rings I had no intetion of a solo commentary on the Boston bid for the summer Olympics in 2024. They are making me, making me.

The bid is off. The US Olympics Committee reps came to down for some ring kissing, but got something else kicked instead.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what went suddenly bad after over half a year of promises, lies and politicking. If you want to listen live, click here, Tuesday, July 28th, at 2:30 PM Eastern. If you have your own comments, call 718-664-6966 during the show.

As always you can hear it on demand back here, at the show URL, or on our iTunes page.


Go Set A Watchman Commentary

Yes, there were spoilers in the review/commentary of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, but let’s be grown up. Read the book or belly up to the intellectual bar, or both.

After all, the new (really the very old) Lee novel is under 200 pages. They read well because even before all the editing that morphed this rudimentary work into her To Kill A Mockingbird, her splendid observations and analysis of Southern, small-town life find excellent expression in lyric prose. Even in her 20s, she wrote far better than nearly all of us.

I concentrated on how we might interpret the big shocks, particularly Jean Louise finding that her father Atticus and maybe future husband Henry are in with deep South racists in Maycomb, AL. That is so apropos in this era of murder of black folk by white cops and everyone from the SCOTUS to Congress to state legislatures trying to limit African-American rights to vote and more.

Nearly all of us grew up with Mockingbird as a book and/or a movie. The simple moralism and openness to all are lessons as useful as base Christianity or Scouting (pardon the pun). Some things are just right and others just wrong.

I did get into differences in what happened in the two books and what we’d expect of the primary characters. I spoke of the few major flaws of Watchman. Yet, I would like others to read the new/old book. It is good literature at least three-quarters and thought-provoking ever it lags.

icon for podpress  Go Set A Watchman [22:32m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download