Jared Kushner’s White House role is far from unusual

(Because of their publication schedule, this op-ed in today’s Cape Cod Times was written two weeks ago, pre-Comey, pre-Sessions and pre-Republican baseball shootout. Dealing with the subject of sputtering outrage at the time, it now seems like a artifact from another era.) Critics, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker in “Family politics: Why is Kushner a…

No Time to Replace Sheriff Cummings

Ed note: To my off-Cape and out-of-state readers this Cape Cod Times op-ed is about a Barnstable County campaign. The application for a criminal complaint, which I predicted would not go far, was denied this morning. Thomas Johnson of Harwich Port includes a fundamental contradiction in his “My View” piece on July 9, “Consider Azzato to replace…

The Transgender Non-Issue

Note: The sentiment of this post was the the subject of a Cape Cod Times letter on May 19, 2016. May 16, 2016. Without any discernible public need, the federal, state and some local governments have taken up the cause of transgender use of public facilities traditionally segregated by sex, such as rest rooms and communal locker…

Sanders and Trump

Cape Cod Times letter, March 16, 2016. Columnist Cynthia Stead is on to something, noting that many Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters have the other as a second choice (“Voters disdain government, politicians,” March 10). What they have in common is disgust at the preoccupation of politicians of both parties with catering to big…

Agenda lurking in junket complaint?

Cape Cod Times letter, February 5, 2016 L. Michael Hager of Eastham writes complaining of a legislative junket to Israel paid for by the Jewish Community Relation Council of Greater Boston (“Ethics panel complicit in senators’ junket,” My View, Jan. 30). The trip apparently was filled with visits to cultural sites and meetings with Israeli…

Why on earth Donald Trump?

Cape Cod Times column, January 22, 2016 By Brian R. Merrick In any normal campaign season the lead story might have been a former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady poised to become the first woman presidential nominee of a major party. It could have been a successful former governor of a major…

Photoshopping History

Cape Cod Times column, December 18, 2015 By Brian R. Merrick During the Cold War Americans mocked the Soviet Union’s creation of “non-persons”- prominent political or military persons who disappeared, not just from the Kremlin wall at the May Day Parade, but also from the newspapers and even the next edition of the history books….

Defeat alway looms, whatever the game

Cape Cod Times letter, Nov. 26, 2014 Perhaps sensitized by Charlie Baker’s Election Night comment (“This is going to end very badly for one of us”), I felt worse than usual for the supporters of the losers in this year’s general election. And for the players, coaches, families and fans of the high school football…

B&Bs vs. Rentals; Let’s Reverse Question

Cape Cod Times letter, April 15, 2015 Noting that the hotel room occupancy tax has been extended to bed-and-breakfasts and arguing that it should be extended to summer home rentals (“Falmouth seeks expansion of hotel room taxes,” April 10), Falmouth Selectman Sam Patterson says, “It seems to me to be an unfair situation that needs…

Liston Henry’s Instructive Immigration Tale

By Brian R. Merrick Cape Cod Times column, November 2, 2015 Puzzling over the sudden extraordinary success of the presidential campaign of a certain noisy, immigrant-baiting real estate developer, it is useful to consider the case of Liston Henry (“Cape man deported after conviction wins appeal,” Oct. 3, and “Deported Hyannis man on long road…

Political Leanings Should Not Dictate Business Licenses

Cape Cod Times Letter, September 29, 2015 Stonehill Professor Peter Ubertaccio’s letter (“Davis’ actions singular in contempt for the law,” Letters, Sept. 25) perceptively notes the impropriety of the Kentucky clerk’s denial of a marriage license to a gay couple because of her own personal religious preferences. That thoughtful letter is a useful juxtaposition to…

Revamping Our Approach to Mental Illness

Cape Cod Times column, September 18, 2015 by Brian R. Merrick In a very thoughtful Aug. 27 column, Cynthia Stead asks whether it’s time to reopen state mental hospitals. The answer must be an emphatic “yes.” Reviewing the history of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, Stead notes that over the past half-century a perfect storm…