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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Should The Dems Govern In Contemplation Of Trump?

 ("Three Paths to Containing Trump")

Is not the point of governing just that? To govern.

I despair of a party that leads not on principles but contemplation of what is most likely to keep them in power. Of a democracy that does not reward ideals but more likely triangulations. Of a country that reasons not what is good for the whole but what may be likely to keep one man from taking the oath of office in January of 2025.

I say to the Democrats push your agenda with every ounce of your energy. Act as if you were elected to do the good you promised. Don't allow Donald Trump to dictate the future of this country from his golf course or wherever else he may plant his ample ego.

So, Mr. Douthat, if you are asking me, and you are, I suggest the way to make America great again (sorry to borrow that phrase from you know who) is to do great things, or at least be willing to die (politically) trying. Don't govern in fear but in fervent pursuit of your beliefs.

Go big or go home.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Do You Like Light Blue, Papa

 "Do you like light blue, Papa?"

"I do. We like so many of the same things. We are so much alike."

There is a joy that attaches to me when I am in her company. A smile my constant companion as she goes about doing and saying what one does and says at her age. It is not that I find something extraordinary about her. It is that I find everything extraordinary.

"Do you like ice cream, Papa?"

"I do."

She can burst into laughter as I pretend not to see her while she hides, a large unruly mass under a blanket in forever motion but a few inches from my feet. 

She can inform her grandma "you seem a little tired" as she watches her yawn.

She can offer to hold her uncle's hand so she can ascend the stairs with him.

She can be transfixed by Daniel Tiger, seeming instantly to absorb every lesson being taught in this Mr. Rogers like neighborhood.

She can "spy with her own little eyes" a yellow school bus or clouds in the sky.

She can study intently, taking in the information of any surroundings before deciding whether it is safe to put her toes in the water.

It matters not the where, the why or when. It matters only the who.

"Do you like flowers, Papa?"

The true answer is that all I ask is for this little girl to keep asking me that question.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Mr. Trump, Don't Take Down That Blog

 ("Trump Shuts Down His Blog, Frustrated By Its Low Readership")

Donny, sorry to learn you deep sixed your blog. I thought it was the perfect forum for you.

It is really the place where ideas can be shaped and crystallized without unnecessary angst. Take it from someone who has labored for well over a decade in this arena and can still count my followers on my fingers and toes with a few digits to spare. 

Here you can test out your vile bile, like a comedian doing late night out of town stand up, keeping in the lines that draw laughs and discarding the rest. Here you can get ready for your return to prime time hatred and inciting insurrection. Here you can perfect your art of misdirection. Here you can rededicate yourself to your engine of destruction without unwanted sniping.

So please rethink your decision. The blogosphere is your ally, not your enemy. Don't put it to bed, not yet. Spend a few more months, or maybe even a year, tinkering with your material, getting your act two together. The world will thank you for it. At least that part of the world who counts each day without your incessant whining as a blessing.

Mr. Trump, don't take down that blog.

And, oh, by the way, in case you are interested, you can catch my blog at tooearlytocall.com. I am certain you will love it. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Naomi Osaka

 ("Naomi Osaka Quits the French Open After Conference Dispute")

This was, at its most fundamental, not intended as an act of disrespect, not intended as an act of confrontation, not intended as an act of rebellion. Rather, to my eyes, it was an act of self preservation.

Who are we to question the motivation of Naomi Osaka? From the first she has shown a vulnerability, a hesitancy. Maybe that is what drew so many to her. And when she asserted herself, even in her silent statement with the masks she wore throughout last year's Open, we believed in the depth of her commitment.

And if she struggles with depression, no matter if she makes $50 million dollars a year, we owe it to her to listen and understand with the same respect we have shown her elsewhere.

Let us be compassionate and full of grace in our response to a woman who has done nothing but demonstrate both in abundance. 

The last year should have taught us all what is truly important. And it is definitely not  whether we are deprived a few meaningless post match comments.

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Great Unmasking

 ("The Great Unmasking")


Mr. Brooks writes of "The Great Unmasking" as an act of liberation, as an opening of endless possibilities, as a call to the young on their day of graduation to free themselves from self imposed restraints that weigh them down.

But after the past year, after the past five years, none of us, not even the young, are young anymore. We have been unmasked throughout this desperate time, our prejudices and hatreds no longer covered in covert words and signals but revealed in the office of the presidency, in the halls of Congress on an incendiary January day, suffocatingly evident on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes and twenty nine seconds.

Today there is a freedom to do the ordinary that, in the moment, seems anything but. An ability to say "I can breathe", unburdened by the fear of death lurking in the shadows. But the "Great Unmasking" comes too with the knowledge that we, as a nation, are filled with those who, when their masks are off, do nothing but denigrate and diminish, who act to destroy and demolish.

Freedom, as they say, is not free. And what we reveal, as we unmask, is something we can no longer pretend we don't see. While we cannot be blind to the light of tomorrow we dare not be blind to yesterday's darkness.

Monday, May 24, 2021

A Joyous Scream

He emerged from the crowd as he headed to 18 green, a man striding directly to a coronation, to a throne reserved for golfing gods.

In my mind's eye I could see Arnie's army enveloping him with love,  I could feel Tiger's magical triumphant turn in 2019. The adulation almost physically swallowing up Phil at the doddering old age of 50.

After a year where first golf disappeared, like so much in our universe, and then returned with tentative steps, a wobbly toddler, here it was again in full force, fists pumped, as strong and resolute as it had ever been.  

And here we announced the swagger was back in our own game, the recent difficulties, the nightmare, now receded and the sun once more shining bright.

Today was much more than the sum of its parts. Not merely the last round of a major. Not merely the resurrection of a star whose light had dimmed. Not merely an emotional crescendo, an aria sung by the gathered thousands, reminding us of how it once was and informing us what it once more could be, would be. 

Today was all of this. A testament to one man's strength, to one game's strength, to our own strength. Today was an exclamation point. Today was a joyous scream of survival.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Don't Let Sleeping Lies Dog Us

 (How the Storming of the Capitol Became a 'Normal Tourist Visit')


Andy Clyde didn't run and hide, it was just a tourist visit.

And dear Mitch says life's a bitch so suck it up and take it.

My man Kevin knows that heaven is in the beholder's eye.

And if truth don't fit you must acquit with considerable lies. 

Sticks and stones broke some bones but Humpty's good as new.

So damn your commission, your damn derision and preordained decision.

The battle hymn of this Republic is don't let sleeping lies dog us.

There ain't no sanity clause and there ain't no truth and reconciliation, not in this nation.

You say there was an insurrection. Well, you know, we all want to change the world.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Old Friends

 He sat there, the center of this universe. Diet coke, his weapon of choice, held firmly in his grasp. He said little, but he ruled with a smile, the occasional laugh, or an almost imperceptible nod of approval for some tale brought before him.

We were here in celebration of his birthday. In recognition of our many, many years of friendship. Knowing he was navigating, a bit unsteadily, through turbulent waters. Knowing that there were struggles already written in stone for all his tomorrow's .

But there was not a hint of sorrow in this place. Only joy in all of us recounting the same stories we have always told, those that we knew brought him happiness. Grateful for these hours together, these hours that until recently had been stolen from all of us. Pleasure in us knowing this was a good day for him. A really good day.

It is hard watching, even from a distance. Even from here the cracks in his armor bring silent sadness. Yet, for a sliver of time, we are able to provide salve for his wounds. We are not capable of more, but in this spot, gathered in a circle around him, as his lieges, it is more than enough.

We got a note from his daughter after we had all gone our separate ways, recounting her dad's comment on what had just transpired. "You know, I think the thing I've done best in my life is finding amazing friends."

My friend, my friend, my friend. 

May each of your days be filled with dignity. May each of your hours be bathed in love. May each touch bring you warmth. May each thought bring a smile to your face. 

With all I have to offer, your humble servant, your now and forever friend.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Touching the Heavens

 ("Claiming the Summit Without Reaching the Top")

Mr. Branch does not speak of any Rosie Ruiz moments among the 44. At most, it appears a matter of definition, not intention, that would separate success from something possibly deemed less.

Should accomplishment really be subject to such scrutiny? These are men and women who tested the boundaries of endurance, of inner fortitude and set their sights not merely on some now triangulated mathematical pinnacle, but on the infinite limit of the human spirit, of the soul's boundless capacity.

It seems an unworthy undertaking to be speaking of a few feet or inches in such context. So what if completing these eight climbs  does not have the meaning now affixed by the nit-pickers. Can that really diminish the magnitude of what transpired?

Rosie Ruiz recently passed away, her obituary leading with the recollection of her having cheated her way to greatness and fame. Shame having followed her as a lifetime companion from that day on the subway and streets of Boston to the grave. Let there not be a hint of failure, of sleight of hand that attaches to the feats of the 44. They do not deserve anything but our praise and our thanks for showing that we can indeed touch the heavens while still residing on earth.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Party With No Clothes

 ("The Trump G.O.P.'s Plot Against Liz Cheney- and Our Democracy")

This is now the party with no clothes, fully exposed. No longer hiding behind subterfuge, no more insinuation, no need for interpretation. Naked in its obvious contempt for the basic precepts of truth, of justice. Unadulterated, full throated in its embrace of a new version of the American way.

Donald Trump is not the catalyst but the excuse. Donald Trump is not the ends but the means. Donald Trump is not the why but merely the smokescreen for why not.

This iteration of the G.O.P. cares not whether Mr. Trump won or lost. It is only interested in how one plays the game. And it has decided that a field tilted in its direction is just fine, thank you.

Liz Cheney, your pledge of allegiance to something you long ago abandoned, is far too little and way too late. You and your fellow leaders in the House and Senate are Dr. Frankenstein. Your monster has been unleashed. You created it. You own it.