Cold comfort

06Dec18

‘Tis the season to be banning things. You’ve no doubt heard about efforts to ban the song Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

And that’s not even the most absurd example. It’s becoming harder to argue that the War on Christmas is a myth when stories like the following keep surfacing. In 2018, 69 years after it was written, we have suddenly discovered problems with a fictional Christmas story about animal characters that don’t really exist.

Apparently, there are objections to the story of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, who is “marginalized” and “bullied” by other reindeer because of the color of his nose.
Continue reading ‘Cold comfort’

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No thanks

23Nov18

The first two Massachusetts recreational marijuana shops opened this week, just in time for your holiday celebrations!

Marijuana hasn’t been in the news this much since the election two years ago that legalized the drug for recreational use. You’d think on this Thanksgiving weekend, the Cannabis Community would be grateful for the wall-to-wall media coverage of this much-anticipated, “historic” occasion.

But they aren’t. That’s because most of the stories in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and local TV and radio tend to remind the public of why legalizing weed might not have been such a great idea after all. Reefer Americans would actually prefer less press fanfare right about now.

So naturally, I’m happy to add to it. You’re welcome.
Continue reading ‘No thanks’


Early and often

10Nov18

The Nov. 6 election is over.

Or was it the Nov. 2 election? Or the Oct. 30 election?

It all depends on if you voted early and on which day. Because now, every day is Election Day!

Election Day used to be special day. Not so much when you have 12 days to vote. When everybody voted on the same day, you had to at least make a mental note to get to the polls.

Now that we have two weeks to do it, what’s the urgency? You’ll get to it one of those days. No need to write it down, mark it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. You’ll remember. You have two weeks!
Continue reading ‘Early and often’


Well, well, well.

It seems that as the date approaches for the first recreational marijuana shops to open, more and more communities in Massachusetts are getting cold feet – including towns that voted overwhelmingly to legalize the bud.

That includes Brookline, where they voted 17,803-11,066 to legalize recreational marijuana statewide. But now, in a community so progressive that a Prius is considered a gas-guzzler, they’ve gone all Jeff Sessions over an application by “Ascend MA” to open a 6,200 square-foot pot shop at 1032 Beacon St.
Continue reading ‘Weeding out NIMBYism’


When the New England Patriots are in the playoffs, people can’t wait to hang their Patriot flags and put out their Patriot signs, banners, pennants and even display their inflated Patriots lawn ornaments. Sometimes even before the regular season ends. You can’t drive half a mile in town without seeing Patriots everywhere.

So, what are the Red Sox, chopped liver?

The Red Sox are in the World Series. They won 108 games, a franchise record. They rolled the Yankees in the American League Division Series and dispatched the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series without breaking a sweat. They’re up 2-0 in the World Series and appear to be on the cusp of their fourth World Championship this century.
Continue reading ‘Apathy grips Hub’


When Ralphie Parker received a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas, the adults’ biggest worry was, “You’ll shoot you eye out!”

But the mid-20th century America of A Christmas Story was a simpler time and in many ways, a better one. Today, everything is a lot more complicated, and not in a good way. That includes what was once every American boy’s dream of owning a BB gun.
Continue reading ‘Realistic danger’


I try to make it to the Topsfield Fair once every 20 years. So, I checked my internal calendar and it turns out this was the year!

Despite my infrequent visits, I like the idea of country fairs. They are authentic relics of traditional America. You can go there and get a taste of what the United States used to be like back when respect for God, hard work and the flag were considered normal.

The Topsfield Fair lays claim to the title of the oldest agricultural fair in the United States, dating back to 1818, making this the 200th anniversary.

So, this seemed like a perfect time to make my vicennial pilgrimage and, because I’m a giver, I am prepared to share what I’ve learned with those who may be planning to attend before the fair closes on Columbus Day.
Continue reading ‘Lost at the Fair’




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