Out of the Chestnut Tree Café, Part One

April 3, 2020:- It was on April 4, 1984, that Winston Smith embarked on his thought-crime spree, inscribing in his journal the words DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER. On the eve of the anniversary, and to honor memory of Winston’s creator, George Orwell, I offer a three-part short story. Here is the first installment. Out of […]

The Idiocy of the Crowd

March 25, 2020:- “For generations there has been no better illustration of the idiocy of the crowd than the story of the English calendar riots of 1752.” So begins the article by Robert Poole titled “Give Us Our Eleven Days!” Calendar Reform in Eighteenth Century England, Past and Present No. 149 (Nov. 1995) pp. 95-139.  […]

Message to Sen. Elizabeth Warren

March 5, 2020:-  Here is the text of the message I just sent to one of the two Senators who represent the people of Massachusetts (including me) in the U.S. Senate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has taught and practiced law. Dear Senator Warren: I have watched and listened to the video in which Senator Chuck […]

STATE LEAD PAINT LAW DISCRIMINATORY, SAYS TAX-FUNDED CORPORATION

Here’s a question I never anticipated having to ponder: May a federal judge order State executive-branch officials to lobby State legislators on behalf of a publicly-funded, tax-exempt corporation? Answer: I hope not. The question comes up because a tax-exempt corporation that relies primarily on government (i.e. taxpayer) funding, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Inc., is suing […]

License to vote

February 4, 2020:- File this one under “Bug or Feature?” As of January 2020, anyone who applies for a driver’s license in Massachusetts is automatically registered as a voter. And if the bill “relative to the issuance of driver’s licenses to certain persons unable to provide proof of lawful presence” (H. 3012) becomes law, people […]

Eviction sealing: fair or unfair?

August 31, 2019:- We quickly going from a culture of “you can’t say that” to “you can’t see that.” Some “advocates” want to keep Housing Court cases secret because the records affect their ability to find new housing. But what about the public’s right to see court records? For the podcast click here.