Wednesday, March 21, 2018


God forgot to check his calendar this year. Yes, I know all about global warming and understand that I will likely be sunbathing on the Hudson next January, but really what the hell is going on here?

I did the clock springing forward thing last week, but I am now staring out at what is, if memory serves me, the twelfth nor'easter in the last fifteen days. 

For all of you snowbirds thinking of heading north to watch the first bloom of the season, cancel your flight (it has probably already been cancelled anyway), put on another slab of 50 and head out to the pool. 

I think Punxsutawney Phil just saw his shadow (or is it that he didn't) and winter is scheduled to end here on June 11th. In fact, we have officially removed the phrase "April showers bring May flowers" from the English language.

For those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (sad) they remain unhappy no matter how many hours of daylight we now allegedly enjoy. 

And the millions who go into hibernation with the first reading of the thermometer below 40 are now desperately gnawing at the front door.

There have now been at least one million flights that have not taken off from the New York airports during the storms that never end, twenty million phone calls trying to reschedule for the next day, or the one after that. And no one who can really help.

We have all become meteorologists, checking paths, calculating possibilities, certain that this next weather pattern will suddenly veer off the coast. For weatherman are never right. Except when they are.

I went to Whole Foods yesterday to prepare for staring out the window today and they were out of bananas. Really? Is everybody stocking up on potassium?

I have a confession. I like snow storms and always have. Except the one time I tried to kick Robert Epstein off my property on the newly fallen snow and he punched me in the stomach. But apart from that, snow and I have always had a warm relationship (strike that, a "cold relationship"). But enough is too much.

So what is it that God is thinking? Is he punishing liberals on both coasts? Is God a conservative? I can't wrap my brain around that one.

Did you know that the snow hasn't stuck on my balcony in any of these storms? No, how would you know that? Anyway, I just thought it was important to pass along that information to you. Never know when it might come in handy. It could even be a question on Jeopardy some day.

I brought work home from the office to do today. Who am I kidding? I would rather daydream about the actual start of spring, when I can consider another year of beating myself up on the golf course.

I should really knock on my neighbor's door. Except I have never done that in the past twelve years. He might wonder why I took the sudden interest in what he likes to eat for lunch.

Well, I have checked the long range forecast (for the thirty second time in the last two hours) and there seem to be no more snowstorms forecast on the horizon. It may be that the baseball season can actually start here sometime before Mother's day.

And for those of you who suggest global warming was invented by the Chinese, just know that this long winter of our discontent, is certain to be followed by an endless summer.

But for today, if you can't stand the cold, get back in the kitchen. It is snowing harder than ever now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

We Hold These Truths to Be Self Evident

("The Wrong People Are Criticizing Donald Trump")

Here are some bipartisan resolutions recently introduced:

1) Declaring March 8 as International Women's Day
2) Establishing Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day
3) Condemning acts of violence against Burma's Rohingya population
4) Condemning migrant slave auctions in Libya
5) Establishing National Veterans History Progress Week
    6) Condemning white supremacist groups

This is not to minimize the importance of any of the above, but would it not be of equal concern that there be added to that list a joint resolution of condemnation for the tenor of our political discourse, and by implication, the actions of this President?

If the Republicans as a body wish to show even a scintilla of courage, let there be sponsors from both sides of the aisle who introduce a statement declaring every day National Civility Day in politics, mandating without equivocation that all in Congress agree that those invested with the public trust must perform their duties with honor, integrity, without the stain of pettiness or vindictiveness, with a responsibility to treat those with whom they deal with respect and courtesy befitting their station, and pledging to honor their office and this country by providing honest service and truthful reporting.

This does not have to be a specific rebuke of the practices of Mr. Trump, but rather a general statement of purpose and intent. Let the Republicans show they have the backbone and the moral fortitude to speak out against the omnipresent abuses.

I would hope that all those in office, Republican or Democrat, would hold to these self evident truths and could take a minute from the sniping and finger pointing to join hands to make it known (to borrow a phrase from the children of Parkland) that enough is enough.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Subjective Reality

Mr. Blow's error is in drawing a conclusion from verifiable information. In 2018, we commence with conclusions and then work backward to create underlying facts. 

It is the obvious distinction between objective and subjective reality. And objective reality is so yesterday.

It is why Mr. Trump is right about the trade deficit with Canada, about the Mueller probe, about crooked Hillary, about anything and everything. You see, what Mr. Trump says it is, it is.

Mr Blow, just vigorously nod your assent when Mr. Trump testifies that day is night, up is down, trade wars are good, global warming is a hoax, there is a 400 pound man eating bonbons in bed while screwing up our elections, and Stormy Daniels is but an interesting name for a weatherperson.

The world is a serene place if you stop trying to insert objective reality into the conversation. And Mr. Trump's hair naturally falls into place.

In this universe,  it is Donald Trump who cannot tell a lie. And he says Hillary cut down that damned cherry tree.

Friday, March 16, 2018

What I Will Miss - and What I Will Not

What I will miss when he is gone is the noise. The constant turmoil that churns the mind and the soul, that compels one to consider and contemplate, that makes rest an option that does not exist. The anger and disappointment that forces a visceral reply, that makes one feel red hot with passion, responding with every ounce of strength to that deep well of  trouble which lurks in his every sentence, every wave of the hand, every impossibly wrong action. He does not allow for quiet.

What I will not miss when he is gone is the noise. The constant turmoil that churns the mind and the soul, that compels one to consider and contemplate, that makes rest an option that does not exist. The anger and disappointment that forces a visceral reply, that makes one feel red hot with passion, responding with every ounce of  strength to that deep well of trouble which lurks in his every sentence, every wave of the hand, every impossibly wrong action. He does not allow for quiet.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

17 Dead in Parkland - How Many More?

"Four dead in Ohio. How many more?"

It is as if, a half century later, this land has again been awakened by its youth. In this generation, Parkland is home to the question, "seventeen dead, how many more" and the thunderous response is "enough is enough".

Fifty years ago we were the voice of protest, our hearts unsullied, our anger unwavering, our cries unrelenting. We would not take silent rebuke as an answer. We would not die anymore because our elders were either unwilling or unable to stop the bleeding.

And now, almost twenty years after Columbine, after we have perished in far too many numbers in far too many places, after we have grown old and weary and failed ourselves and our children, after defeat has become an all but acknowledged inevitability, after our voice has been diminished to a pathetic whisper, after all of this we have borne witness to the incredible sight coming today from our nation's classrooms.

From sea to shining sea they rose up as one. They stood united in their commitment to cause, imbued with a spirit we have not seen since the days of Vietnam.

How many more? None. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fire and Fury Redux

This is the real fire and fury.  Rex Tillerson but the latest to incur the wrath of Donald Trump. The "moron" doing his worst once again.

Mr. Trump now promises to form an administration to his liking. But what was his intention in the earlier days of his presidency? Were those he"trump"eted during the transition not aligned with his views? And if not, was that a failure to properly vet, a failure of Mr. Trump to have any policy positions, a failure to understand the role of those working under him or a failure to surround himself with those who primary mission was merely to protect the President (goodbye to Mr. Comey)? The inescapable conclusion is yes, yes, yes and yes.

We worry more each day as the President tries to put together a new group whose primary responsibility is to allow the whims and wishes of Mr.Trump to move forward unfettered and unchallenged. 

Which is exactly when the other fire and fury is likely to be unleashed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today I Am a Child

 It is not quite 6 AM. The first flecks of daylight are struggling to break through the darkness. I open the shade, my eyes trying to will the brightness forth. I peer out at the streetlight, looking for signs of what is imminent. 

Nothing yet, and I am as disappointed as I would have been six decades in my rear view mirror. A snowstorm is on its way.

It strikes me as strange that a person of Medicare age would still have a visceral response to the sight of white flakes tumbling randomly to earth. If I had asked my young self whether my enthusiasm for this occurrence would remain intact even now, I surely would have scoffed at the notion. You are far too jaded, old man, far too withered of spirit.

 I know it is near but not quite upon us. In detail, almost to the minute, I am informed by my twenty first century devices of  intensity, duration, the percentage possibility of what will and won't be. But yet, I still stand at the window, as if I can somehow compel the result I seek.

When I was in high school, I was assigned a writing task. The prompt I do not recall, but the tale I told was of capturing a snowflake in my hand, studying its size and shape for but a brief moment until it died and disappeared. I remember writing this piece while in the library, looking out upon a world of swirling, tumbling, frenetics. A half century later, it remains one of the few vivid memories of that period of my life. 

I even recall my teacher's reaction. How he spoke of the beauty in my soul. How pleased I was.

I have outraced the storm to this destination, driving in the dead of night. I peer intently at the street now, the light of day ever more intense. Still, the pavement is mockingly black, taunting me for my expectations. Time an enemy, moving far too slowly as it decides to make me wait until it is ready. I grow more impatient with each moment.

Today, children awaken to a snow day, with everything that these two words mean. Today I am a child.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Chief of Staph

("How Long Can John Kelly Hang On?")

John Kelly brings no honor to himself in the task of defending this border, in fighting to preserve a paper thin illusion of presidential competence, in doing battle on behalf of one so wholly unworthy of his station.

For a general who believes fiercely in America, he cannot possibly remotely believe in this American.

And for Mr. Kelly, if he perceives the opportunity to bend Mr. Trump to his will, there are a mountain of bodies strewn along this road who have tried and failed from Steve Bannon to Reince Priebus Jeff Sessions to the President's own son in law. Mr. Trump is far too volatile, far too neurotic, far too easily swayed against as well as for. 

Working for Mr. Trump is a suicide mission. Maybe not today, or even tomorrow, but one day soon. And for those whose necks do not suffer the guillotine, there is ultimately the determination to fall on one's own sword.

It is why so many choose not to go to war for Mr. Trump, thoughts of preservation of career, integrity and sanity outweighing the mesmerizing allure of power.

When will John Kelly go? He is already gone, he just doesn't know it. Defeat in this arena is an inevitable as death and taxes. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

All Star Nose Holders

While Jeff Sessions is certainly an All Star fawner he is far from the MVP of that league. Here are just four of the many worthy candidates for consideration:

1. Chris Christie - what list could not begin with the loud mouthed former king of insults who looked like he needed the bathroom break Hillary took as he stood behind Donald, practically genuflecting for the job the unfortunate Mr. Sessions now holds in his slimy fingers. If only Chris hadn't jailed Jared's dad.

2.  Mitt Romney - after reminding us that Mr. Trump should run a weak second in a race for dog catcher, he was just about first in line to apply for work as his Secretary (of State) as soon as Donald was taking applications. Now seeking to become a Senator in Utah, can he, as a devout Mormon, forgive and forget Mr. Trump's trespasses as a man and as  President?  Endorsement accepted.

3. Rick Perry - after calling Trump a cancer, it appears that this disease was miraculously cured as the man who couldn't remember that third thing that should be gone, now heads that thing, and protects the nuclear arsenal that the President threatens to use against his North Korean doppelganger.

4. Jared Kushner - yes, the President's favorite (and least favorite) son in law, who comes from a family whose political views are allegedly far removed from those of Ivanka's daddy. Maybe he thought he could kiss not only his wife but the Donald's ring and turn his father in law from monster into human being. Now, Jared contemplates banishment and possibly a six by nine foot bedroom as just compensation for selling his soul to the devil.

Mr. Sessions may hold his nose and bite his tongue every day that he has to deflect Donald's slings and arrows, but he should gain a measure of comfort in knowing there are many other qualified nose holders just a sniff away.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Stench

("Ties That Bind")

When the presidency is but the latest iteration of The Apprentice you are begging for disaster.

When your boardroom is mere showcase for family and friends, when experience and understanding of the complexities are not part of the job description, when loyalty is your only demand, when blood is thicker than readiness, you are begging for disaster.

When you have no gravitas, no acumen, no integrity, no interest in the intricacies of your craft, when discipline is anathema to your every instinct, when such is the message permeating and infecting your workplace, you are begging for disaster.

And thus the world according to Trump unravels, as Jared and Ivanka's incompetence and self dealing place them and this nation in harm's way. 

An apprentice is one tasked with learning a craft at the feet of a skilled mentor. When those feet stink to high hell, the ones who are supposed to absorb the lessons of their master only end up smelling horrendous.