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.
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.
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.
From 2004, I had blogged at Marry in Massachusetts. I’m closing the figurative shop.
Thinking of doing that kept me awake. I rose those relieved and still delighted that the SCOTUS declared same-sex marriage as a right and the law of the land.
Yes, I’m heavily invested in the themes and the blog. Yes, I know that plug nasties and loons will still try to harm, hinder and hurt homosexuals. Yet over a decade ago, I pledged to shut it down when marriage equality won in the Untied States.
This show is self-indulgent. It is omphaloskepsis. I did it coming up on 12 years. I spoke out for equality. I am not one of the magnificent warriors who made this happen, more a fellow traveler. I know we have come to a good stopping place.
Communications guru Marshall McLuhan married a South Carolinian and continued to visit the state regularly from his native Canada. I once heard him speak to the educational broadcasters down there. He concluded that South Carolina was ready to lead the parade into the 21st Century, because it has missed the 20th. He was optimistic but his half jest had a true basis.
Yes, SC was the first to secede from the U.S. Yes, it led in slavery, both of Native Americans and the African/West Indies trade. Yes, it saw active KKKs and lynchings. Yes, it is known for racism.
I spoke to the years I was in SC, as a student and working. I married a native and visited many times, with more in the works. I edited the weekly for Black South Carolinians. I saw quotidian racism. I interviewed a Grand Dragon.
I saw changes in the 70s and more recently. I live in Boston, where we admit African Americans and Latinos are not yet equal in many ways. Yet, we pretend we are not racists here.
I spoke of why SC is much worse than MA and whether McLuhan had a real point.
While I’ve lived 35 years in Boston, plus nearly two in Cambridge in college years, I have deep and wide Southern roots. As a child, I knew segregated schools, stores, pools and water fountains. My first college was in South Carolina. I used to be the editor of the Black weekly newspaper in the SC capital. My wife is an SC native, and on and on. I know a lot about the state.
Let me speak of the people and events I knew in my childhood and youth. Perhaps as I talk, I can come to some terms with the brutal murders of nine in a Charleston AME church yesterday.
If you are not already at work or on the way and can listen live, click this URL at 10:30AM EDT Friday to do so. I’ll take calls so long as your number is not blocked to view at 718-664-6966. Of course, any swearing or racist callers get the mute immediately.
Today was a 17-minute tirade, but a fairly jolly one. Evangelicals and anti-gay types try to copy the political success of pinkos, but with no good purpose means failure. Lefties frequently influence politicians, corporations and others through personal letters, visits, calls and yes, even boycotts. How hard can that be?
Well, apparently too hard for the other sides to emulate.
BGEA reads like a gay-friendly support group. It’s the opposite. The late Rev. Billy Graham;s son Franklin now heads daddy’s church-like object. He doesn’t care for homosexuals or equal rights and positively hates same-sex marriage. Lately he’s calling for a boycott of Wells Fargo and other companies who support equality and gay rights.
The proximate cause of the boycott call was that Wells Fargo used a TV ad that showed two women learning sign language and signing to a little girl they were adopting that they were going to be her mommies.
Many wee-brained folk live by such bluster and bombast. I’ll speak about a few, such as MA-based MassResistance. They are a small but loud and yet dwindling group. I have heard their only continuous member, their leader, spout anti-gay rhetoric since long before the group started, when we were both members of a computer society here. He could work homophobic lingo into even geek speak.
These anti-equality folk promise much and deliver little to nothing. They pick up on effective left-wing boycott talk and action, only to fail again and again.
June 2, 2015 | Comments Off
Rather than season like firewood, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has been all in his first term. Like the other dozen councillors, he is up for re-election in November. He is very comfortable in his role.
Locals know the family name, at least for the entry to the city over the bridge named for his social-activist father Leonard P. (Lenny) Zakim. His parents were role models that inform his current life.
We spoke of the many areas he’s led and insinuated himself in during his first term. You can delve into them on his Council-site link above or at his campaign site. Those also have details of his background and his various causes.
His District 8 sprawls from the West End and Beacon Hill through the Back Bay, Fenway and Mission Hill, that is from the very richest to the most downtrodden neighborhoods. He sincerely seems to support all Bostonians from the privileged to the poorest immigrants. In fact, he authored and drove through the Boston Trust Act, which makes a hardline pushback on the federal policy of crushing undocumented immigrants. That policy in turn made it unlikely that immigrants, even those with documents would report sexual assaults, domestic violence and other crimes they experienced or saw. Instead, Zakim wants them to feel comfortable in approaching authorities without fear of government retaliation or deportation.
Listen in to hear Zakim speak of:
- Getting bucks for the city in the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program from universities and other non-profits
- Ensuring acceptable living conditions and rents for students and others in rental housing
- Helping keep mortgage payers in their homes in a rapacious realty market
i kept looking for trouble, as in getting Mayor Marty Walsh or the PBD to guy into the Trust Act or getting buy-in on various legislation from fellow Councillors or having Northeastern (he’s an alum) cough up more PILOT money. Yet he got it done, and as he said about the vote on the Trust Act, it didn’t start as unanimous in Council but got there.
It looks like we have a continuation of Zakims from parents to son in coalition building.
In a personal show, I discuss what lead to stopping delivery of the local paper…after 30 years. Boston Globe owners are right in there with cable providers in jacking up prices and seeing how much subscribers will tolerate.
They passed my chokepoint at last. That was hard to do, getting a former reporter and lifelong newspaper reader to drop them.
For a bit of background, we had a paywall show in 2009, with newspaper publisher Martin Langeveld, available here.
The economics of cash-rich, low-inventory newspapers are unlike most businesses. They also need customers to justify their real source of income, advertising. Driving customers away by attempting to profiteer off them, treating them as a profit center, seems foolish, but is the new norm.
n activist from a family of activists, first-term Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim jumped right in. He chairs the Committee on Human Rights and Civil Rights. That alone lets him put fingers in many pies. He’s on immigration, housing, policing and much more.
He joins us to talk about his goals large and small, To hit hot buttons like the 2024 Olympics and casinos, and, of course, the pending Council-wide re-election campaign.
Join us at the usual day, but an hour later at 3:30PM Eastern. To listen live then, click this URL. Afterward, you can go there to download or listen to his show, return here to do the same, or go to our iTunes page.