A rank choice

20Feb20

What do you call an electoral system where if your candidate loses, you get to vote again?

Some people call it “ranked-choice voting.”

I call it “legalized voter fraud.”

If a measure on the November ballot in Massachusetts passes, you can say goodbye to such quaint concepts as “one person, one vote” and “the candidate with the most votes wins.”

Say hello to “we keep voting until our candidate wins.”
Continue reading ‘A rank choice’


If there is one group of individuals about whom a discouraging word must never be uttered, it’s public school teachers.

Wakefield teachers have been without a contract since last summer, which you’ve probably heard as their supporters have been using social media and other means to spread the word.
Continue reading ‘The cost of learning’


Massachusetts state lawmakers are currently weighing a proposal that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.

In other news this week, the latest viral trend among teenagers involves partially inserting an iPhone charger into a wall outlet and sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs, causing an explosion of sparks, electrical damage, and potentially fires.

Fun!

In a sane state, the second story would shock some sense into legislators considering lowering the voting age. But this is Massachusetts.
Continue reading ‘The spark of youth’


Old school

16Jan20

Coming on the heels of the great news that the Greenwood School would at long last be getting a new roof came the even better news that the 123-year-old structure would not support solar panels on the new roof.

There goes the planet.
Continue reading ‘Old school’


Since it’s the New Year and a new decade, it seems like a good time for your periodic reminder that Wakefield is not in fact turning into “Condoville” or “Malden” or any of the other haughty labels that the snobs on social media like to toss around.

What’s wrong with condos? Or for that matter, Malden?

Lots of people live in condos. Young people just starting out, older people looking to downsize, and people who either can’t or don’t want to deal with owning and maintaining a house. How do you suppose they feel when those who can afford to live in homes worth three quarters of a million dollars look down their noses at condo dwellers?
Continue reading ‘Condo Condescension’


When any person or group tells you that they want to “reform” the way we conduct elections to make voting more “fair” and increase voter “participation,” your BS detector should go off.

Because when it comes to elections, one thing and only one thing matters: winning. When proposals are advanced to change how elections are run, the first question you should ask is, “Which group, party or candidates will benefit from these changes?”

People who say they care about voter turnout and making it easier to vote are lying. This may come as a shock to you, but people are willing to lie to win elections.

Another red flag is the label “nonpartisan.” When any group seeking to tinker with our elections goes out of its way to tell you that it’s “nonpartisan,” find a shovel, fast.

These basic principles came in handy as I read a study released last month called, MassForward: Advancing Democratic Innovation and Electoral Reform in Massachusetts.
Continue reading ‘Fixing elections’


If you thought the local plastic bag ban passed by the town a couple of years ago was bad, take heart. It’s about to get a lot worse.

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a measure that would ban plastic bags statewide. The State Senate is now debating the legislation before it moves on to the House.

Senate President Karen Spilka announced the bill this week. Apparently, they weren’t able to find a 14-year-old girl to cry on cue about the sea turtles, so Spilka was pressed into action.
Continue reading ‘Charging forward’




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