Sunday, July 12, 2020

You're to Blame ( Yes, This Song Is About You)

He talked about Corona and everything its not
No mask in evidence upon his face
His skin it was apricot
He gave no sense of the magnitude
As we watch so many die
Oh all the dreams that were dashed in the mayhem, dashed in the mayhem

And you're to blame
Oh yes this is a song that's about you
You're to blame, and yes this is a song all about you, about you

All this started several months ago
When we were all quite naive
You said, like the flu it would quickly pass
That one day soon it'd leave
But you lied about how bad it was
And the destruction we would see
Filling our morgues, there are so many coffins, so many coffins

And you're to blame
Oh yes this is a song that's about you
You're to blame, and yes this is a song all about you, about you, about you

Well I heard you played some golf today
You said its your exercise
 I know you'd fly to Mar a Lago
Just because you like the fries
Well you're never where you're meant to be
But if you are I wish you would just stop your lying
While thousands lay dying, just stop your denying

And you're to blame 
Oh yes this is a song that's about you
You're to blame, and yes this is a song that's about you, about you, about you

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Does a Bear Poop in the Woods?

Does a bear poop in the woods? I am no longer unequivocal in my answer.

I spent a lifetime on this planet never having seen a bear up close and personal. Now I half expect one to pull up a chair next to me for breakfast.

Something strange is happening here. Not just the same "strange" that is impacting our entire planet, but the mystery of why bears seem to be showing up more frequently than deer on the streets in my neighborhood.
Yesterday, on a hike with family, my son noticed something moving in a field. It was not more than an ear sticking up at first, but soon it rose to full height. Maybe a month ago, this would have registered as an earthquake for me. Now it barely moved the needle.

I don't want to sound cavalier or dismissive of the danger, for these are not household pets. No matter how docile they seem, how much they appear to be more afraid of me than I am of them, I can't let my guard down the next sighting.

This was the sixth time I crossed paths with a bear in recent days. Twice within yards of us on our property, once crossing in front of me as I drove on local streets, once as I took an afternoon stroll, another time as I travelled on the highway and then yesterday's encounter, really the first where I could say that a bear does still likely poop in the woods.

I am sure there are explanations for this phenomenon. A late spring, an early summer. Too much rain in April. Too little rain in May. More garbage in each of our trash cans as we eat at home much more than before. Less garbage in the woods as we stayed put during all this weeks.

But whatever the reason, the result is astounding. A number of years ago I was hiking in a location where bears and moose were known to proliferate. I had been taught to react differently depending on which animal I encountered. I wondered what I would do if I ran into both at the same time. 

I saw neither during that time when I half expected I might. But until recent days, I never imagined bears might become a regular visitor to my world. Now I think they need to put "bear crossing" signs on every street corner.

Death, taxes and the answer to "does a bear poop in the woods" were the only certainties in this existence. But from here on, I will have to check the bottom of my shoes as I walk through town before I know whether or not the list is reduced to two.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Red, White and Angry

("At Mt.  Rushmore and the White House, Trump Updates 'American Carnage' Message for 2020")

This is Mr. Trump's America: red, white and angry.

It is the dystopian vision that Mr. Trump, initially with Steve Bannon's guiding hand, and then through Stephen Miller's (tele) prompting, has utilized to sow hatred and division. 

It is what propelled his candidacy. It is what he relies upon as his ballast to maintain a facade of stability while the waves of criticism for his myriad failings crash all about him.

It is the very air his supporters need to breathe, unmasked and free from what they perceive, and Mr.Trump rails about, are the shackles placed on THEIR freedoms.

Why is America  blue on this July 4th? It is because of our red state white rage and their Donald Trump led uncivil war.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Get Off My Back (thank you "Hamilton" and the king)

You whine
To cover my face and that other's will just do the same
Go dine
Go eat any place but Chinese, for it's them you should blame 
Wear a mask?  
Not ever, not cool, no Covid is all in your mind
You are making me laugh
I'm clever you fool, and you are the one who is blind

Get off my back, let me be
By September we'll be Covid free
Get off my back, bend your knee
And remember you belong to me
Fever's rise, you may fall
By December the numbers will be small
And if that's not the case
I will stop the tests and all the deaths I'll just erase

Da, da, dada, da (etc)

Don't say just shut it down, oh that Fauci lies
And I will be the judge of who lives and dies
And math's my favorite subject
No you're my favorite subjects
And science is not a subject
I think I flunked that subject
But I'm clever, so clever, real clever, forever

Stop that cough, get out of bed
Oh this Covid is just in your head
Stop that wheeze, what I said
Don't pretend you are the walking dead
If you die I'll be sad
Cause it will make the figures all look bad
Wear a mask if you must
Just remember that its Donald you should trust

Da, dada, da (etc)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Our Declaration of Independence

I have just read, once again, the Declaration of Independence, the document announcing an intention to break from the tyranny of an unjust ruler, in order to form a more perfect union.

And as July 4th is upon us, what better moment to reflect upon the words of our founding document, on the principles we hold dear and on the depravities and deprivations which this nation, if it is to continue its existence, can no longer countenance or abide.

We are in the throes of the most destructive presidency the United States has endured in its near 250 years. We have been in the grip of a man who believes not in the inalienable rights which should forever be our very heartbeat. And, as those who wrote the Declaration enumerated the ills of the King which could no longer stand, so we bear witness to the failures of Donald Trump both as a man and as a leader.

The Declaration directs us that when a Government is not guided by our fundamental values, then it is our sworn duty and obligation to end the power wrongly vested. 

It demands of us that when we are subjected to a "long train of abuses and usurpations" we must find "new Guards" for our future security.

And as the grievous wrongs committed by the King were set forth in this declaration, it seems in so many instances as if these words were rather directed at someone who would ascend to what he perceived to be his throne, 240 years after this document was crafted. There are echoes of Mr. Trump in the complaints of the King's refusal to "Assent to Laws", his obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners which would encourage migration, his sending swarms of Officers to harass the people, his cutting off trade with all parts of the world, his making Judges dependent on his will alone, his ravaging of our coasts, his destruction of the lives of the people, his exciting domestic insurrection, his declaring us out of his Protection and waging war against us.

And now, as then, we appealed to our leader's "native justice", to the ties of our common kindred to disavow his usurpations. But now, as then, the response has been deafness to the raised voices.
It is a moment of somber reflection for all of us, for contemplation of what the formation of this nation intended. And how we have entrusted our present to a person who has never read our founding document or followed any of its dictates.

And as we did with the King of England, this country must declare its independence from Mr. Trump. For if we do not, then we do not deserve to continue to celebrate this holiday, for it will have lost all its meaning.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Where Are the Urinals?

Among my myriad defiencies, a complete lack of observational skills easily fits in the top echelon. "You walk around with blinders on" is an oft repeated, undeniably accurate statement/exhausted plea from my beleaguered spouse.

Walks I have taken for years lack any detail. The location of virtually any item in the apartment in which I have resided for well over a decade is a complete mystery. Ask me for specifics of almost anything in my universe and all I can produce is a blank stare and a few mumbled guesses. Nothing gets by some people. Everything gets by me.

A number of years back my son and I  visited Tufts, my alma mater. He swears I pointed to a building I lived in for two years. Only it turned out it was, and had always been, an administrative office.

In this most perilous of times, it is most critical to be fully aware of one's surroundings. The six foot rule, masks up, is only as good as your ability to recognize the comings and goings of others.

Yesterday, my son and I found ourselves in Poughkeepsie on an errand. More than an hour from where we reside, nothing was familiar to me. After completing our task we decided to hike across an iconic walking bridge over the Hudson River. First, however I had to pee.

As luck would have it, at the beginning of this route, there was a small building with bathrooms. I started towards one. My son redirected me, as my choice involved first opening a door to get in. He pointed to my right and I headed to a space that led directly into a room.

I was a bit anxious as this was the first public restroom I had been in since Covid 19 entered the lexicon. I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible. Mask on, as little touching of surfaces as I could manage.

But as I surveyed the scene, I noticed there were only stalls, no urinals. I thought this strange, but managed to pry open a door using any body part but my hands. No one else was around, I was out in less than a minute, including the 20 seconds of soaping my arms ups to my elbows. I emerged content, after an unqualified success.

"You know you just came out of the ladie's room" my son said in a tone mixing exasperation with incredulity in equal measure. I turned around and, for the first time noticed that there were two different entrances off the main opening, one directing visitors to the men's room, the other to where I had wandered.

I had failed to see the signs or even notice there were two options here. I was most grateful that no one had been there to witness my failures in full blown operation. Except of course for my son. Who couldn't even take the time to text this one to his sister, to add to the Everest sized mountain of my similar faux pas. This one required an immediate call.

Because some things I do almost defy the gravitational pull of the earth.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

As We Approach a Covid Death for Every Minute of the Year


525,600 victims
525,600 endings to life
525,600 victims
How do we measure such unending strife?

In sirens?
In heartbreak?
In teardrops?
In isolation?
In graveyards, in darkness, in husbands and wives?

525,600 victims
How do you honor the end of a life?

Daughters and sons
Daughters and sons
Now they're all gone 
Now that they're done 
Daughters and sons

525,600 victims 
525,600 endings to life 
525,600 victims
How do we say goodbye to each one?

In words they never heard or in dreams that have died?
In rainbows, in flowers, in times that we cried?

Remember each day
Recall each setting sun
The love they once knew
Now that they're gone

525,600 victims
525,600 journies through life

Monday, June 29, 2020

Obama's Voice

("How the Trump Campaign Is Drawing Obama Out of Retirement")

There is a calculus that must be occurring for the former President: is it better to remain silent and let Mr. Trump self-destruct or should Mr. Obama shine a bright light on the enormous damage done by his successor to our standing in the world, to our rule of law, to our constitution and to the very health and well being of our nation.

Does the political math favor Mr. Obama becoming a fervent voice to energize the Democratic base, recognizing that he will also be exposed as a target for Mr. Trump to attack and argue a Biden presidency is but subterfuge for four more years of Obama? 

Do the numbers permit Mr. Obama to convey a message of the enormity of the moment, or will his oratorical skills merely reinforce Mr. Trump's efforts to portray Joe Biden as a diminished old man?

 Mr. Obama may hesitate, for many  reasons, both personal and political, to take center stage, as pros and cons are weighed. But would it not be a shame if we, having suffered the indignities of Donald Trump, were deprived of the eloquence and passion of our most powerful messenger. 

Mr. Obama, no matter your internal conflict, please step up and tell Donald Trump to take his anger, his hatred, his pettiness, his incompetence, his hubris and his divisiveness and get the Hell out of the office he has sullied every single hour of his presidency. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Nine Lives of Donald Trump

("Trump Retreats to His Hannity Bunker")

Ms. Glasser suggests that the President is in free fall and that June could well mark the beginning of the end of the reign of terrible.

But bad as Covid-19 is today, and bad as it will be tomorrow, November's reality has yet to be written.

How many times from 2015 to now have we been convinced of Donald Trump's political obituary? From his opening salvo about  rapists coming across the border, to his attack on John McCain as a loser for being captured during the war, we have spoken of the cruelty and absurdity of his rhetoric. From the revelations about the Michael Cohen hush payments, to the Mueller investigation and the impeachment proceedings we have assured ourselves that his masquerade had been finally fully revealed. From his trumped up trade wars with China, his bromance with Putin, his alternating threats of annihilation and unadulterated love with North Korea, his dismal response to the Black Lives Matter protests punctuated by his almost unfathomable Bible holding fiasco, each bridge was, in our estimation, one too far.

But his death knell never sounded. And while Ms. Glasser would wish this to be the final chapter in the book of Mr.Trump's presidency, let us not forget our premature celebrations for the first woman President, derailed less than two weeks before the election by the revelations of Mr. Comey of possible fire where there was smoke. And a last minute retraction that could not undo the irreparable damage done.

So, while I thank Ms.Glasser for her analysis, there are months to go before I sleep. I remain with my glass half empty until the last vote is counted on election day. That is, if Mr.Trump and his henchmen do not stop us from counting the votes.

Friday, June 26, 2020


("America Didn't Give Up on Covid -19. Republicans Did")

When you have a President who suggests that everything he doesn't like is but smoke and mirrors, from interference by Russia in the 2016 election to his hush payments to dalliances, from his trying to use the power of his office to persuade a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent to the realities of a globe heating up at a frightening pace, when every day he tells you not to be fooled into believing what are his inconvenient truths, then if you count yourself among the President's followers, when he walks around without a mask, so do you. When he tells you it is safe to resume your life, you gladly agree. When he states that he has done a terrific job of beating back Covid 19 and that all the noise on the left is but politics at its worst, you nod your head, thank him for his leadership and walk right in to the eye of the storm.

When you turn to Fox News and Donald Trump for answers you get an America that looks like we do today, with a pandemic spinning wildly out of control at a point in time when it need not have been this way. A Republican nation being cannibalized at the direction of its leader.