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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Harvey Weinstein

("Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood's Oldest Horror Story")

We wring our hands and shake our heads at Mr. Weinstein, sickened by his repulsive behavior, his abuse of the power his station in life afforded him, his mistreatment of those who sought his favor but not at the price demanded.

Today it is the plight of Hollywood actresses but tomorrow this will surely land somewhere else in some other form, just as virulent and just as omnipresent as Mr. Weinstein's casting couch.

Whether it be entertainment mogul, sports hero, boardroom chair or political leader, there are those whose appetites are unbounded, their behavior unregulated, their norms dictated not by society but merely by their own primal instincts.

Mr. Weinstein has now ended up on the cutting room floor, evicted from his own company and from the community that now seeks absolution from its own sin of turning a blind eye to his excesses. But this is more than just an ironic twist to a bad movie of heinous villain and myriad victims. 

The story of Mr. Weinstein is ultimately one of the corruption of the soul, of the great and terrible damage that can be inflicted by those who have both the capacity and the desire to do so.

Take one on the life and times of Harvey Weinstein. Camera, action. And for Mr. Weinstein, fade to black.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Art of the Undeal

("Donald Trump Takes a Hostage")

Do we really think there is method to his madness? That there is something behind the truculence except more truculence?

The art of the deal for Mr. Trump is merely breaking them. That mutual promises are one sided. That pacts are for the other guy. That the United States does not have to honor their commitments because, well we're the United States.

For those who felt this country had grown old and fat and needed a good shaking to wake from its stupor, welcome to what you have birthed. An unstable neurotic, with skin as thin as a roll of  see through toilet paper, a temper as deep as an ocean swelled by melting icebergs and a belief that no pledge of this country can't be undone with a swipe of a pen (if he doesn't forget to sign) or a tweet from the little birdie fluttering in his vacant and vacuous head.

Today it is our long fought seven nation understanding to slow the prospect of a nuclear Iran that is teetering on a precipice. Tomorrow it is whatever else he can blow up because he wants to.

Broken promises: Mr. Trump's life long calling card. Now it has become ours. 

The art of the undeal.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Undoing of America

He should be known as the great "undoer". Not what have you done for me lately, but what have you undone.

Today it is his intention to decimate several central protections in Obamacare and his refusal to certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord.  

In the months of his presidency he has backed away from numerous international trade deals, frayed alliances with many nations which have been intact since before Mr.Trump's birth and generally attempted to diminish or destroy relationships worldwide.

He has neutered our economic regulations, taken an axe to constraints on financial markets. He has treated the Constitution as a chew toy and has loosened the tongue of those whose  purpose is to denigrate and divide.

He has made us less healthy, less safe, less influential, less compassionate, less powerful. He has done nothing to elevate this nation or the office he holds.

He has done more damage and less good than thought possible. His is the undoing of America.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Key

It was the day before closing on the sale of my mom's apartment. She had lived there the last 37 years of her life. It was here she resided that final decade when the dementia overtook her mind and body. Here where my sister and I had spent so many afternoons and early evenings. Here where she took her last breath. 
 
And it was here that my sister came to say one last goodbye. She spoke to me that evening about that moment, how hard it was. 
 
I attended the closing the next day. It was uneventful and quick. The buyers were in the room when I arrived. We were introduced, exchanged greetings and got down to business. Documents were soon signed, checks provided and congratulations given. 
 
But before it was time to leave, the buyers said they had something to give me. I have been an attorney for 40 years and appeared at thousands of closing tables. Yet I cannot recall one time when a gift passed from buyer to  seller. 
 
Two small Tiffany boxes were handed to me, along with a note. One box was intended for my sister, the other, mine. Inside each were identical presents. 
 
I sat slightly stunned. I did not know these people, had never met them and most likely never would again after leaving this room. Neither my sister nor I had done anything extraordinary to warrant their generosity. If the roles had been reversed, it would never have  dawned on me to give more than a smile and a handshake to the one across the table. 
 
I opened the box. It contained a small key ring in the shape of a heart. It was simple, beautiful. I then read the note, tucked neatly in a tiny Tiffany blue bag: 
 
"We will honor your mother for all our days. (You'll always have a key)." 
 
What were these people made of that they would spend their time, effort and money to consider us and our difficulty in this moment? 
 
If I have a regret it is that I did not properly show my appreciation as we left that room. I gave a perfunctory thanks and hurried off to the next issue that was waiting for me back at my office. I was polite when the circumstance cried out for much more. 
 
The door to my mom's apartment, the place where we spent so much hard time together, did not fully shut when the keys were handed over to the buyer.  
 
And my sister and I received far more than money as fair exchange.





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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Barn Door

("Corker Told the Truth About Trump. Now He Should Act on It")

They have been trying to neuter him since he announced his candidacy for Emperor.

16 other Republican candidates railed against him, his petulance, his crudeness, his total and complete lack of understanding or interest in policy. And when he was nominated, the never Trump voice in his own party cried out.  

But no one and nothing was able to stop the most boorish, unprepared, unqualified lunatic from taking the keys to the kingdom. And nothing will stop him now.

We can try to placate him, warn him, ignore him but he is a pox on all our houses that will not disappear.

And the reality is the horse has left the barn, the genie is out of the bottle, the fat man has sung. 

Donald Trump and all the misery that attaches to him, is an unalterable fact of our lives now. And if we think we can remove his finger from that nuclear button we have just not been paying attention. Republican or Democrat, we are all consigned to the hell of holding our collective breath. 

We have unleashed the furies upon ourselves. What is done cannot be undone.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Of Dreams and Nightmares

("White House to Tie Hard-Line Conditions to 'Dreamers' Deal")

Reaching across the aisle with a dagger is not a sign of friendship.

This is, without pretense or subterfuge, trading the perpetuation of the Dream Act for a nightmare of policy prescriptions, a pharmaceutical of the best of the worst of an administration overflowing with horrid ideas on immigration.

Start with the go to favorite, the Wall, mix in a pinch of sanctuary city bashing, add a dash of separating families just to make life a little more painful and stir with the understanding that you will multiply the desperation for those whose only hope for escaping the danger and suffering has been eradicated.

Now that seems like fair exchange for allowing some 800,000 young men and women, whose mortal sin was not being born in this country, to remain here under the watchful eye of a government just itching for an excuse to send them back to a home they have little known and many don't even remember.

With friends like Mr. Trump, who needs enemies.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Killing as Sport

("Confessions of a Sensible Gun Owner")

Why do we hunt? 

We are not living in caves, we do not need to undertake this endeavor for our survival. Our food comes to us neatly packaged and ready for consumption. 

Is it because in the 21st century we are merely cave dwellers living under a different roof?

We speak as if teaching our children to kill an animal is a romantic undertaking, a noble exercise that can educate us to enjoy and appreciate nature, mold and shape character, a "firsthand way to learn about the ecosystem... and to sometimes bring home tasty, healthy food." I would suggest this is pure fallacy, but ready excuse for some darker reality.

Let us no longer elevate holding a gun in one's hands and shooting for the pleasure of the kill as a worthy endeavor, a sport of kings and commoners alike.

There are as many guns as people in this country. It is far beyond time we faced the truth that the Second Amendment is not there to insure a well regulated militia, but to indulge us. Don't romanticize our brutal instincts.

We no longer need to kill to live. Now we live to kill. It is time we begin to evolve.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blood

We lay waste when we consider health care a privilege, when we treat the environment with such disdain,when we close our borders to those who suffer,when we close our eyes to the devastation of  guns.

There is hate in our blood. There is blood in the streets. There is blood on our hands.



Monday, October 2, 2017

The Las Vegas Massacre

Dear Mr. Trump:

I beseech you, as a man of wisdom and reason, do NOT take the party line in this most tragic moment. You do a grave disservice to the dead if you assert that now is an inappropriate time to discuss the gun control policy of this nation (or more accurately, the lack of one).

You have said your heart aches for those who are slain, for their families and for a country that grieves. How better to honor the memory of the fallen then to demonstrate your true leadership  by calling for immediate passage of legislation that will address the omnipresent plague that eats at our very being. 

Ours is a land in which a weapon of mass destruction takes almost 100 lives each and every day of the year. It is not the leader of North Korea, not Iran, not ISIS,not Muslims, or Mexicans, who bring death in such grotesque and staggering numbers to our doorstep and into our homes. It is we who do it to ourselves.

The tragedy in Las Vegas was not the act of a terrorist, at least not as you would define it. This was rather an act of terror which we have the power, you have the power, to control.

Show the courage and the wisdom to break with the Republican party. Separate yourself from the NRA. Demonstrate that you are a strong and brave ruler of the people, of all of the people.

End the scourge, eradicate the smell of death that permeates this land and bring all the force of your office to bear so sanity can, at long last, enter the halls of Congress. Death by closing your eyes to what stands in BOLD LETTERS  before you is not an excuse.  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Price Is Wrong.

The Price is wrong.

It is interesting what qualifies for eternal damnation in this administration. As the world seems but a tweet from immolation, as Noah's ark is being readied, as the beating heart of Obamacare is killing Republicans, as hatred and bigotry have come out from under a rock, as immigration has become a four letter word, as weapons are unholstered and the Constitution rests on wobbly legs, it is but failure to pay the equivalent of a parking ticket in the world inhabited by Mr. Price that has brought the power and fury down upon him. Rape and pillage but don't embarrass the King.

Mr. Price was a terrible affront to this nation and we wish him a bad riddance. In the game of musical chairs that is the centerpiece of the Trump debacle, no pledge of allegiance, no begging on bended knee, can save a doomed party from execution. While Rome burns, this Nero fiddles around.

From no drama Obama to this.  Mr. Price has learned the true cost of a free ride.