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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thank God for Donald Trump

("Trump Backs Away from Demand for Immediate North Korean Denuclearization")

What, you mean dealing with a country on the issue of nuclear weapons is not as simple as suggested, that an all or nothing attitude will surely lead to nothing, that time and patience are required to try to achieve one's aims? 

Thank God we have a leader with such perspective, with an understanding of the great and terrible difficulties, the compromises and concessions that one must anticipate when trying to negotiate the kind of agreement that is good for everyone and no one in confronting such an enormous and volatile subject. Thank God he knows better than to throw away an opportunity for a better, safer tomorrow in pursuit of a perfection that does not exist in the real world.

Think if we had a leader without such a supple mind. Think of the possible damage he could do, the progress that would never happen. Think of what a destructive force he could be.

Think of Donald Trump. On second thought, don't.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

And we have guns, guns, guns

Well he got his daddy's gun
Took it to the high school now
Maybe thought about the library
But chose the art class now
And with those bullets blasting
Shooting as fast as he can now

And we'll have guns, guns, guns,
'Til the Congress takes the damn things away
(Guns, guns, guns, 'til the Congress takes the damn things away)

Well the kids can't slow him down
As he shoots up the place now
Aiming right for the heart or maybe the face now
Gotta lock down the school
As we all give him chase now

And we'll have guns, guns, guns
'Til the Congress takes the damn things away
(Guns, guns, guns, 'til the Congress takes the damn things away).

Well they knew all along
We were wise to this game now
And their votes were all bought
What a  damn crying shame now
Just another in a river of tears
As he shoots for his fame now

And we have guns, guns, guns,
Cause the Congress won't take them away,
And we have guns, guns, guns
Cause the Congress won't take them away
And we have guns, guns, guns
Far too many have seen their last day
Guns, guns, guns
Far too many have seen their last day
Guns, guns, guns,
And with our blood we all pay
Guns, guns, guns,
And with our blood we all pay
Guns, guns, guns
What else can we say
Guns, guns, guns
What else.............



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Say It Ain't So

("Robinson Cano's Suspension Wounds the Mariners, and His Hall of Fame Chances")

Say it ain't so, Robby Cano. At the risk of sounding like a combination of a bad John Sterling home run call and a possibly apocryphal tale of a young boy and Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo., I can't help but be saddened by the thought that now both of the C and C boys have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

I remember the forever smile on the face of the young Robby, as he and Melky Cabrera emerged as future stars of a team in the midst of a seemingly dynastic run. Enthusiasm, exuberance and innocence permeating their very beings. Now in retrospect, your photo of Robby and Melky high fiving with A-Rod close at hand, stands not so much as testament but question mark.

He was and will forever be a great player, possessed of such an easy grace around second base that it made it appear, at times, he wasn't even trying. His bat whipping through the zone as the reincarnation of Rod Carew. The game played with the skill and joy with which it was intended.

But now there is a stain upon his legacy that neither time nor distance can ever erase. As we look back on a career that led this man to unfathomable riches, we wonder how much of the loot was pilfered and how much earned. And worse, how much of our love for everything Robby, was based on a lie.

The Hall light, and the one in our hearts, may just have been turned off. Say it ain't so, Robby Cano. 

The Swamp

("Only the Best People")

This is not death by a thousand cuts, but by thousands. The positions left vacant, the reassignments. This is Mr. Trump's real version of draining the swamp,  ridding or at least neutering those in the system whom James Comey might suggest have a "higher loyalty" to the truth rather than merely to protecting and promulgating the President's intended goals no matter their legal or ethical shortcomings.

And the hiring patterns follow the lead of a leader who has a disdain for study and in depth analysis, who certainly has spent more time concentrating on his golf swing than contemplating the effect of withdrawing from the seven nation agreement with Iran. 

So too, the financial abuses of those like Mr. Pruitt and Dr. Carson cannot be considered aberrations but consistent with the dictate and demeanor of a President who believes rules of protocol and practice were not intended to apply to him.

Everything that is ill and ill intended flows from the head of the state, the head of the snake. Firings, hirings, misfirings all fit a pattern, all a product of a distorted vision of what government is intended to be.

Not of the people, by the people and for the people. But of, for and by one person only.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Signed in Disappearing Ink

("An Indecent Disrespect")

We elected the ugly American to lead us into battle. That talk loudly and carry a big schtick, half crazed, take what is mine and what you thought was yours caricature of everything that people across the globe despise.

This is Mr. Trump tearing down Atlantic City and building it back up in his image, only this time it is not merely a small slice of our own universe that suffers from his moral bankruptcy and total lack of vision and understanding.

Trump treating other nations like he has those bankers he left holding the bag, make a better deal with me or fall into the abyss. 

His word is your bond. His promise is he makes no promises. His contracts have only your signature. He commands not with his presence but with his commands. All for one and that one is me. 

It is a recipe for disaster, maybe not today but there will be a reckoning tomorrow. If not now, certainly not never.

He is playing Russian roulette seemingly with everyone but the Russians, a second Amendment gun pointed only at your head.

This is not policy, it is unmitigated chest pounding of the worst kind. Dangerous, reckless. Not making America great, merely making it grate.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I Elected Donald Trump

("Liberals, You're Not as Smart as You Think")

Are 60 million people racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, climate change denying idiots? No, but they knew or should have known what they were unleashing upon the world that Tuesday night in November of 2016. And that was a monumental error in judgment now playing out in agonizingly slow motion.

God forbid we do anything to turn a four year nightmare into an eight year sentence without the possibility of parole. But what are we permitted to say without deeply offending everyone who is considering voting Republican in November?

You have put us on the defensive with your piece, made us consider that we may be to blame for the mess we see before us. We liberals have driven conservatives away with our haughtiness. We have created Frankenstein. We are the true idiots.

Yes, it is wrong to lump all people in one boat. Like say all Muslims and Mexicans. But am I allowed to ask what you find so attractive in this President, in a man who is an insult to the office and to this nation? Or do I sound too aggressive in my tone, too demeaning in my inquiry?

Tell me what I must do to turn your heart and head around. I know Mitt Romney's 47 per cent remark was matched by Hillary Clinton's deplorables comment. That for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Please help me get it right. Tell me what to say. You see I am not as smart as I think I am.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sports in Black and White

("How Did Our Sports Get So Divisive?")

Patriotism covers up many sins. We are all as one, joined in heart and head against some terrible enemy hell bent on taking away what is ours by birth. I saw it in the stands of Yankee Stadium shortly after 9/11. The red, white and blue, the symbolic holding of hands. With us or against us. Black and white. 

But I realized then as I do now, that it is not that simple, that we are united in name only, that when we leave the stadiums and arenas we enter a universe that tells a far different tale, that God does not bless all Americans equally, that our prejudices and hatreds against one another did not vanish when the twin towers tumbled, that this coming together was but facade. Black and white with a very different meaning. 

And the constant tributes, the fly overs, like one giant recruiting poster for the military. Apple pie a la mode, our sporting events as complement to our surge of national pride. With us or against us.

And for the unforgivable sin of telling this country it should take a hard look at the reality of who we are, for informing us of the hypocrisies we don't want to admit, for saying there is a far more complicated truth then is being revealed, that if you want our sporting events to be venues for reciting more than statistics, if you are really asking us to look into our souls we should do so in unvarnished terms, for this ultimate blasphemy both Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have been stripped of their livelihood and, in the minds of many, deemed traitors to our very nation. 

All just a question of black and white. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On Canceling My Subscription to the New York Times

There was an article on page 2 of today's New York Times on the gathering I attended last week of the most "accomplished" of the letter writers to that newspaper.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/insider/new-york-times-letter-writers.html

There was one unforgivable omission. No picture, reference or quote relating to me.

Only Donald Trump and I truly know what it is like not to be fully recognized for our brilliance.




Is There Something Less Than Damning with Faint Praise - 3 Men Come Home

("Trump Welcomes 3 Americans Freed from North Korea")

The return of the 3 men imprisoned in North Korea is a triumph, for which we should all be grateful. But it gives me agita just thinking of Mr. Trump receiving plaudits for anything on his watch.

He was certain to mention the Nobel Prize (he would never speak of it, he merely noted that we did). And here we go again counting crowds (the most media ever at 3 AM). This was not all about him, until it was.

I can't even quantify the level of my distaste for everything Trump and the wrecking ball he has taken to this nation's standing in the world, destroying relationships and dismantling agreements at every turn. 

And yet, whether by sheer luck (even a stopped clock is right twice a day) or maybe, just maybe because his one flew over the cuckoo's nest strategy with Kim Jong Un proved effective, we find ourselves staring directly at the possibility of the easing of tensions with North Korea.

Is there something less than damming with faint praise? If so, that is my sentiment as Mr. Trump takes a victory lap while those, like me, who find every second of his presidency mind boggling wrong, shudder.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Killing the Deal with Iran

We have been witness to the attempted unraveling of everything Obama by Mr. Trump. Just as Mitch McConnell swore his party's overriding task was to stop President Obama from accomplishing his goals, so Donald Trump's obsession has been to take away every last success of his predecessor.

Mr. Trump failed in his first attempt, as his efforts to kill Obamacare ended in repeated defeat, the last at the hands of his own party with the deciding vote cast by John McCain.

But if Obamacare was the signature domestic achievement of his predecessor (although righting the sinking ship of the economy might be considered as well), the seven nation deal with Iran was its foreign policy equivalent. It's essential purpose, understood by all who took part in the years long negotiations, was to temper the flames and allow space for the possibility of better days. 

But Mr. Trump recognizes none of this. He merely sees red, a bull in a China shop, wherever and whenever he looks at a deal engineered through Barack Obama. And neither logical argument nor the entreaties of our allies and signatories to the pact with Iran will keep this courier from his appointed rounds.

Mr. Trump will kill this deal, smug and satisfied as he crosses off a big item on his to do list. A man on a personal vendetta not to make America great but to diminish the legacy of a former President who had the audacity to treat Donald Trump with the amount of respect he deserved. None.