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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Reply to the NY Times Request for Suggestions on a Suitable Running Mate for Mr. Trump

THIS POST IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN THE ONLINE EDITION OF THE NEW YORK TIMES (LETTERS TO THE EDITOR) ON SUNDAY, JULY 3


("Donald Trump's Running Mate")

Donald Duck. 

We would then have two Donalds to lead us, one a cartoon character, a product of the imagination, orange his dominant face color, known best for his semi intelligible speech and often questionable logic.The other, a duck.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Nero, George Bush and Donald Trump

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. George Bush read children's books as the towers fell. Donald Trump hawked his wares as the Brits did their reverse Paul Revere.

To the perpetual rhythms of his great, magnificent theme song, speaking to a crowd in Scotland that had voted not to leave the Union, Trump brushed aside history and focused on renting out his hotel suites, sounding more like a spokesman for the Hilton chain than a candidate for President.

Mr. Trump's self absorption knows no boundaries. Standing in the midst of history, his myopia saw only personal capital at hand. Instead of devoting this moment to reflection of the monumental impact of the decision made, Mr. Trump considered Brexit irrelevant except as it related to Making His Golf Course Great Again.

This is the man who, after the worst mass shooting in the history of this nation, congratulated himself for predicting such a tragedy, his anti-immigrant rhetoric marching inexorably forward despite the unalterable fact that the shooter was a man born less than 10 miles from where Mr. Trump was hatched in Queens, NY. While the bodies of the dead waited to be buried, Mr. Trump preened.

What perversion of logic runs through the head of Donald Trump? And ours?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Don't Come Back

Sung to the tune of "You'll Be Back"  from Hamilton



DON'T COME BACK


(The heads of 27 remaining states of the European Union to the British people)

You say
The cost of our union's too much and you choose not to stay
You scream
You're free from all bonds, and your door is now closed all the way
Why so mad?
Recalling our love, our engagement has tumbled away
Now you're treating me bad
Remember, despite what you think, there's a price that you'll pay
You screwed up, soon you'll find
You'll be hoping I have your behind
You screwed up, listen well
You'll be going through a living hell
Trade will end, pound will fall
And you'll wish you made a different call
And when that time should come
I will send along a bouquet of thorns to give the Royal Mum

Da da etc

You think that you'll be happy now we are through
We may have separated but you have no clue
Cause you will be soon be lonely
No man's an island lonely
On your own and oh so lonely
Missing us, very lonely, tomorrow and morrow and oh in your sorrow, so lonely

Don't come back, not to us
We don't want you and all your fuss
We don't care for your kind
And we'll laugh that you are left behind
Now you're gone, we're not sad
And forget about the love we had
So be gone, you are toast
Auf weidersehn, au revoir, arrivederci, adios

Da da etc

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Blame It on Rio

AN EDITED VERSION OF THIS POST APPEARS IN THE LETTERS TO THE SPORTS EDITOR (ON-LINE EDITION) OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ON JUNE 25, 2016

("Rory McIlroy Says He Won't Attend Olympics, Over Zika Concerns")

Blame it on Rio. Or so we should if we accelerate the worldwide Zika outbreak by putting not only the globe's finest athletes but a half million of its citizens in harm's way. 

With there being some evidence that the health risks go beyond damage to new born to multiplying the possibility of contracting Guillaume Barre syndrome, who would suggest Rio, which appears to be at the epicenter of the outbreak, a good place to visit in the coming months?

For athletes who have dedicated a lifetime to this moment (echoes of Hamilton's "I am not throwing away my shot") the thought of a mosquito denying them their glory is ludicrous. But for Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh and other pro golfers who have their fame and fortune already assured, the decision to withdraw from the games seems a sane and rational course. 

"Let the games begin." Or should they?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Walk, Don't Run


He threatened last August, predicted in December and even contemplated in April. If the party didn't want him, Donald Trump said, he didn't want them. 

And boy Donald, they really don't want you. As toxic and extreme as the Republican brand has become, as xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-intellectual, anti-black, anti-latino, anti-poor as this party has clearly demonstrated itself to be, as much as you are the product of years of wrong headed, pig headed philosophy within the ranks of the establishment, you make even their blood curdle.

So take your toys, your golf courses, your shiny buildings, your crumbling casinos and your outrageous ideas and head home where, even if you are not respected, you are feared. Where no one wants to sit across from you on faux reality television to be humiliated and fired. Where you are king of your domain. 

No Donald, don't let them disrespect you, don't let them Ryan you into submission or McConnell you into speaking in tongues. Be the man you say you are and walk away. Or, in parlance of the moment, run. I mean, don't.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Buddha and Three Putts

("How Golf Makes You Confront Your Mortality")

Golf is literally a four letter word. Trust me, almost six decades into this form of torture, I believe someone dyslexic first named this undertaking. 

I am my worst self in my stroll around these bucolic settings. Often cursing out the Lord, or invoking the name of his son, cranky, moody and as many other uncomplimentary adjectives as you can conjure.

And when the moments of glory surface, when the ball obeys my mental commands, when the putts do not veer off target at the last millisecond, when the sun is shining and the warm breeze gently brushes my face, even then I sense the dark clouds gathering on the horizon. 

And if I could insert one thought about Buddha in  your contemplations of a life filled with slices and three putts, it would merely be this; Buddha was not a golfer.

Running To Daylight

("Why "Transcending Race" is a Lie")

Race, as it is said, is a social construct, not made of immutable facts, but of our own determinations. If, for example, one parent is black, while the other is Caucasian, how is one to be defined? Is it by skin tone? Is Barack Obama black but Derek Jeter white? Can one be considered black in this country but not another?

OJ Simpson saw a world of white privilege, of better educational opportunities, employment possibilities, where one was more free to walk down the streets or run through an airport as a man without color than one saddled with the burdens and condemnations that attached to every waking moment of being black in America. 

While we spoke of being a post racial nation in the aftermath of the election of 2008, we have learned that too was but a fiction. With every glaring statistic on our incarceration rate, with every new revelation of police brutality, with every attempt to suppress votes, with every action taken to remind us that color matters, we understand that the need to transcend rests not in the black community but in our white one. 

Until we face the reality of our prejudices and our preconceptions, until we understand the fault lies not in others but in ourselves,  until that day dawns we have doomed this nation to live a perpetual lie, where "transcending race" is something to be applauded. Where running away from his race was the best open field move that OJ Simpson  thought he could make.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Persona Non Grata


Dear Mr. Trump: 

Please add me to your persona non grata list. My blog and my Facebook page are largely devoted to diatribes excoriating everything that leaps out of your head and into the public domain.

What must I do to gain your everlasting enmity? Insult your manhood, your hair, your wife? I would suggest attacking your policies but you have none, unless an adjective a verb and any noun you can locate counts as a definitive stance. 

I would consider it an honor if you would add me to your Hall of Shame. I promise I would not disappoint, as I would take every opportunity to speak and write badly of everything Trump.

I ask that you vote me off your island, build your wall to keep me out, call me an illegal legal. 

Your devoted enemy,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Clear and Present Danger


The President is complicit in mass murder. The Muslim community protects those within their midst they suspect are planning an attack. The government exerts no oversight over who becomes members of our society and has permitted a tidal wave of potential terrorists to invade our shores. 

Donald Trump is as close to lunatic, as unfettered from rational contemplation, as unhinged an individual as any person who has ever disgraced us with his presence on our national stage. If the predicate for involuntary psychiatric detention is a finding that one is capable of doing harm to himself or to others, then why is Mr. Trump not in the care of professionals who can try to address his myriad deficiencies?

Why does he get to turn this tragic moment into yet another Trump headline? He appears, in his paranoia and fear mongering a clear and present danger to our nation. Is there no way to shut this man up, to shut this circus down?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Death in Orlando

It has become an indelible stain on the canvas of this nation. Blood red, flowing into every household,  an epidemic both incomprehensible and undeniable.

A President, wearied from far too many pleas for sanity in our response, seemed resigned to our determination to ignore the consequences of our inaction. While weapons intended for warfare turn each of our streets into the next war zone, we do nothing. 

Another community mourns the loss of lives not intended for this, never for this. In days to come we will talk of ISIS, of Islam, and except for those who would deny it's existence, of those in the Orlando nightclub just emerging to claim their rightful seat at the table.

But  we cannot lose sight of the guns. When we wake up tomorrow bathed in tears and wondering why the next tragedy has taken so many from us before their time, we must understand that our own fingerprints are among those on the assault rifle. While we did not pull the trigger, we cannot escape our own culpability.

When will it ever be time to stop the insanity and formulate laws to try to stem the senseless carnage?

50 dead in Orlando - how many more?