Friday, August 7, 2020

43 Years and Counting (Every Second)

I remember little of that day, mainly of my soon to be mother in law fixing my tie right before I walked down the aisle. Even then I was not a capable person.

The years since just happened. No grand plan, merely two people doing what needed to be done. Strike that, one person doing and the other, well, something far less.

I sent my wife an email yesterday, setting out the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds since we exchanged I do's. I promised her that, if there was a God, her perseverance would be rewarded. But with her luck, who knows.

For those of you who continue to insist my inability is but performance art, that no one seemingly uncompromised person could possibly suffer such grave incapacity, I have one word in response: really?

I am what I am, or more accurately what I am not. 

And that means that most everything you can think of, I can't. Name a task. No, I can't perform that one. Try something simpler. No, even simpler. Still beyond my ken.

And through it all, stands my wife.  In some ways imperfect, for no one is without blemish. But in her willingness to shoulder the burden known as me for well over four decades, to perform the high wire act of life with no net, to get up each morning ready, willing and able to take on virtually every conceivable role of two people, she has been breathtaking.

I owe my wife much more than I have given her, much more than I will ever give her. But I am thankful every day that she has found the strength to persist in this endeavor, that she is willing to find adequate cause to carry on with a partner such as me.

I love her and my wish for her is that there is in fact a benevolent God.

43 years and counting.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Shakespeare On Baseball's Declining Health (Going, Going, Gone?)

Oh enemy most foul
For it be not fair that this sickness runs with abandon between these lines
How did this strike not one, not two but strike three
Out, out the cry piercing the air
And yet this disease steals our very breath
As we lay caught in its web
No safety found at home
Our protest in vain, our cry's bootless, a deaf ear turned to our fervent appeals
For if this be not a blow most mortal, it is nigh upon us
We are but walking shadow
Death waiting with grave intent at the top step
Our nation's heartbeat near extinguished
Fear rampant that the games we play today 
Will in all the tomorrow's to come be going, going gone

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Anarchy in Portland

("Help Me Find Trump's 'Anarchists' in Portland")

Why are we not surprised by Donald Trump's characterization of the Portland protesters?

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...They're sending people that have lots of problems... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists" Donald Trump, presidential announcement speech, June 16, 2015

"There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down." Donald Trump, speaking about Muslims at a campaign rally, November, 2015

"But not all of those people were neo-Nazis believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee." Donald Trump on the Charlottesville, Virgina protesters who included Ku Klux Klan members, skinheads, many heavily armed and carrying Nazi flags- August, 2017

"Many Gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan...This is an invasion of our country and our military is waiting for you." Donald Trump tweet on the approaching "migrant caravan", October 29, 2018

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

All For One. Period.

("The Cult of Selfishness Is Killing America")

The mindset was evident from the first day of the campaign and has been a cornerstone ever since: "do unto others anything you can."

It was there in the call to build a Wall to keep those fleeing the worst of circumstances from "infecting us"; from the executive order making sure Muslims understood their suffering was not ours; from the refusal to even consider taking the smallest of steps in gun control in the wake of continuing mass tragedies; from the lack of remorse as little children lay terrified in cages.

It is not black lives matter or even white lives matter, but that your life alone matters. 

It is a selfishness and egocentricity that emanates from Mr. Trump and has literally poisoned a nation. The mask is off and what we have seen underneath makes me sick, and has left nearly 150,000 dead.

The age of inhumanity.

All for one. Period.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Washington Football Team

("NFL- D.C. Adopts New Name 'The Washington Football Team'- For Now")

"The Washington Football Team."

What is their payroll? Wait, don't tell me. And they couldn't find anyone who could do better than this? Did they contact anyone at Mensa? Why not employ Watson, the computer, to sort through like a million possibilities? Or ask a group of first graders to make something up?

Here are a few options I would ask the team to consider:

1. The AC/DC's.
2. The Washington Debacle
3. The Team That Couldn't Name Themselves
4. The DC Dream (Of The Playoffs)
5. The Washington Wonder (If We Are Really This Bad)
6. The Washington Black and White (Skins)
7. The DC Lewisers (To honor John Lewis, of course)
8. The Washington (Weak) Constitution
9. The Washington 11
10. The Washington Impasse 
11. The Washington Post Route
12. The Washington Too Early To Call (.com)

They truly need more time to settle on a name? Why not just temporarily call themselves the "No Namers" or just plain "Washington"? Were they concerned we would think they were a baseball team if they stepped out on the field without this explanation in their title?

And we thought Donald Trump was the stupidest leader in the nation's capital? Move over and make room for Dan Snyder. 

PS-  I think the AC/DC's might actually work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The West Wing

This is so depressing. I am not sure how much more of this I can take.

Watching the President, day after day. Hearing him speak. Following the stated logic of his decisions. It is enough to make me cry.

Of course, I am talking about binge watching " The West Wing." Jed Bartlet, and those in his inner circle, all filled with insight, compassion, wit and searing intelligence. 

This is one of the casualties of the pandemic. Having run through a number of current or recent series in a desperate attempt to avoid anything resembling a show discussing either Donald Trump or Covid 19, I bumped into The West Wing while scrolling through the options which lay before me. It was something I occasionally brushed up against during its long run. I recalled it as a brilliant piece of writing. So why not now dip my toe into the water. What a mistake.

I am now 17 episodes into season one. Only another 139 before the swan song in season seven. I don't know how I will survive seeing a fictional government run so well.

Actually, we now have a fictional government in this country. No functioning Congress, members of the administration whose sole task seems to be to shine the President's shoes, a leader whose moral compass was lost at birth, whose lack of intelligence gushes forth every time his mouth operates, whose prejudices would have made Jane Austen put down her pen, whose errant conclusions outweigh the good ones by infinity to some figure less than zero, whose large fanny is the only way in which he fills the seat in the Oval Office. This is the antithesis of what The West Wing would suggest we are or at least what we can be.

The Bartlet family, at least in season one, ranks even above the Obama's I think. Well, maybe it is a tie. And then I focus on the Trump boys, on his favorite daughter and I get very sad.

There is no Fox News in this universe, at least not yet. There is hardly an internet. No cell phones acting as full on computers. No tweets. A President careful with his words. 

Maybe in the episodes to come everyone will get a little stupider, a little uglier in ways that will make me less uncomfortable with what I have to face each morning when I awake.

Maybe President Bartlet will consort with bad women, bad leaders, bad people. Maybe he will allow a virulent disease to run wild because he doesn't like how he looks in a mask. Maybe he will build a Wall, or tell immigrants from around the globe not to bother coming here. Maybe he will forget how to speak in coherent sentences or form a thought not fed to him by someone on his TV screen. Maybe he will become addicted to golf.

I can only hope so because this Jed Bartlet makes me want to hide under the covers for the next 104 days (and, God forbid, for another four years after that).

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Fauci v Trump

("The Doctor versus the Denier")

Why is anyone surprised that Trump would turn on his own?  Do the names Steve Bannon, Reince Preibus, Jeff Sessions, Michael Cohen, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, James Mattis, Rod Rosenstein and John Bolton, ring a bell?

Anthony Fauci is not the fawning sycophant who Mr. Trump requires much as the air he breathes. The President sees treachery and betrayal at every turn. And when his demands to bend the facts to meet his version of reality are not met, then we have the inevitable string of allegations and accusations.

Covid 19 has not obeyed Mr. Trump's order to disappear. And Dr. Fauci stands in direct line between this illness and the President. What separates Dr. Fauci from many of the others was his reluctance to be Mr. Trump's willing co-conspirator. But, good or bad, he is but one more victim who Donald Trump has thrown under the bus in his never ending attempt at self preservation.

Ten Presidential Quotes As Modified By Mr. Trump (Original Attributed Speaker Noted)

1. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do to you

2. I cannot tell the truth (Washington- before taking office)

3. Speak loudly and care not a lick (Teddy Roosevelt)

4. The only thing you have to fear is me. (FDR)

5. Yes I can... But I have chosen not to  (Obama)

6. Most folks are as happy as I make up their minds to be (Lincoln)

7. My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is still sitting in the Oval Office (Ford)

8. If not us, them. If not now, when can I play golf? (Reagan)

9. Mexico, build up that wall (Reagan)

10. A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he stops cheating. (Nixon)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Oh The Thinks You Can Think (Updated)

You can think of a word
Or even a few
You can think what you did
Or what you can do

Oh the thinks you can think
If only you try
Think of those who now live
Mourn those who have died

And think of the power
That rests in your hands
Think not what you can't
But all that you can

You can do the right thing
You can do what you must
You can do what is good
You can do what is just

You can say its enough
You can say it is done
You can say shut it down
You can say enough fun

You can say this is hard
You can say this is rough
You can say we are strong
You can say we are tough

Oh the things you can think
Why not give it a try
We could all use some truth
We are tired of lies

So Fauci makes you grouchy
So grow a thicker skin
Just don't be so prickly
Just shut up and grin

And think of the numbers
Three million and counting
Think I must slow it down
Can't let it keep mounting

So think dammit think
Its not as hard as you make it
And if you can't think
At least try to fake it

So come on now Donald
We're dying for answers
Stop saying its a flu
When we know its a cancer

Oh the thinks you can think
If only you try
You can help us to live
Or you can just watch us die