Tuesday, March 29, 2016


("Mr. Trump's Dangerous Babble on Foreign Policy")

Mr. Trump demonstrates, with each passing day and each non-comment comment that he possesses neither a fundamental understanding of the problems that face us, nor a thoughtfully conceived position relating to these issues. The transcript of the New York Times recent interview with the candidate reveals the depth of the shallowness of Mr. Trump.

On Nuclear Weapons for Japan and South Korea: "Well, it's a position we have to talk about, and it's a position that at some point is something we have to talk about... I'm sure these things are being discussed over there anyway without our discussion"

On Cyberwarfare: "Certainly cyber has to be, you know, certainly cyber has to be in our thought process, very strongly in our thought process."

On Spying on Allies: "I'm sure not I would want to be talking about that.... there's such total predictability in this country, and it's one reason we do so poorly. You know, I'd rather not say on that."

On Tensions in the South China Sea: "Would I go to war? There's a question I wouldn't want to answer... I don't want to say what I would do because, again we need unpredictability."

On a Two State Solution for Israel: " What I'm going to do is, you know, I specifically don't want to address the issue because I would love to see if a deal could be made."

On Boots on the Ground: "I know you'll criticize me for this, but you cannot just have a standard."

We worry and wonder where a President Trump would lead us. He is like the Governor in "Best Little Whorehouse" who gleefully croons "now you see me, now you don't."  The truth is that Mr. Trump is hiding in plain sight.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Is this the same Orrin Hatch who has in earlier times given such an unqualified endorsement of Judge Garland?

Is this the same Orrin Hatch who heaps such praise upon Justice Scalia as an originalist yet disregards the unambiguous mandate of Article II Section 2 paragraph 2  of the Constitution for the Senate to give advice and consent on a nominee for the Supreme Court? 

No, this is the Orrin Hatch who follows the party mantra to take any and all actions, unconstitutional or not, to thwart  the presidency of Mr. Obama.

This is not an OP Ed but a CYA letter.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

$omething Le$$

A strikingly similar story played out in a different arena earlier this week. We read the words not only of a tournament director but the number one male tennis player in the world seeking to diminish, financially and otherwise, the accomplishments of those women who trudge out of the very same stage as their male counterparts. 

Women continue to earn less eighty cents to the dollar of men in the overall workplace.

Just as this nation is far from the post racial utopia we had envisioned with the election of President Obama, so is it far from a time of gender equality, notwithstanding the elevated status of Hillary Clinton. 

Donald Trump's continued demonstration of utter contempt for the value of women, serves as vivid reminder that there is a long and difficult trail still to be traversed. 

The N.C.A.A. has never shown itself to be an enlightened body  (see the O'Bannon case) and it is little wonder that the women's team at U Conn is not feted for its accomplishments

While the statement of one tennis director, one star player, even one candidate for President, may in isolation be written off as an aberration, collectively they speak loudly and provide cover for the continuation of an intolerable policy determination by the N.C.A.A.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cruz Control

("Republicans' Sin of Endorsement")
In this, the season of political incorrectness, who could be more politically incorrect than Ted Cruz? Not only does he speak in offensive ways about his fellow candidates, his fellow man, but his is a history brimming with ways in which he has offended his fellow Senators.  
This is, for those in the Republican "establishment", a hold your nose season. Endorsing Mr. Cruz in the most unenthusiastic, sorry I have to do this manner is seen as the last best hope to stop the Great Wall of Trump from collapsing on their collective careers.

Mr. Kasich, for those who prefer a sane politician, would seem the logical choice. But this is a looking glass world where up is down and a strange haired orange faced egomaniac is saying everything wrong and yet threatening to capture the fealty of 1237 delegates and the party's nomination.

Republican leadership has come to the realization that they are facing a Hobson's choice. They must either endorse Mr. Cruz or face the unfathomable reality of Mr. Trump. Mr. Kasich, for whatever theoretical appeal he may have, is not the answer to the problem. In the actual universe in which this party resides, Ted Cruz is the most perfect of all the imperfect options.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Crash Landing

If this is not the ghost of Al Campanis, at least it is his cousin. It is that tone deaf, morally repugnant pronouncement that dooms its speaker to a purgatory of his own making. 

Mr. Moore must have been checking the help wanted ads as soon as the realization of his act of harikari penetrated the thick membrane that  kept rational thought from reaching his mouth.

We bid him farewell and wish him the best of luck in his search for future employment. Although I don't think he should be asking  Billie Jean King for a reference.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hearing Without Listening

("A Democrat and a Republican, on the Choices We Face")

The letter of Mr McClure crystallizes the "don't lecture me" attitude that seems to be pervasive among all those who support Mr. Trump.

Don't bore me with your contentions that we are anti-intellectual, anti-fact oriented. Don't point out the foibles and inadequacies, the contradictions and outright lies, the lack of fundamental knowledge or intellectual curiosity of Mr. Trump.

We know all of this, Mr. McClure seems to be saying. But we can forgive these shortcomings because Mr. Trump does not adhere to the dictates of political correctness. And the Lord will guide Mr. Trump's hand in times of trouble.

 And you wonder why we "the Establishment" can't convince those in Mr. Trump's camp of their folly. To quote Simon and Garfunkel,  Mr. McClure is hearing without listening.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Other Foot

What if the angry mob next turned its gaze upon you? What if your countenance should fall in disfavor? What if you were to become the hunted instead of the hunter?

What if that which you considered your birthright tomorrow was not? What if those you counted upon for allegiance suddenly, and without seeming cause, abandoned you? 

What then? What bewildered cry would emanate from within the bowels of your being? What anguished voice would plead for mercy? What beleaguered soul would beg for compassion?

What if the next sentence you heard, you were the enemy? What if there was no reason that placated or withered  the disgust for your very existence? What if there were no answers and, worse, no questions being asked? 

For you with your righteous indignation, your immoral certainties, your felonious assaults, your lines drawn in the sand, your justifications, what if when you opened your eyes in the morning it had all vanished?

What if the sun refused to shine, your rivers all ran dry? What if every door was shut, every avenue of escape sealed off? What if there was nothing for you but darkness?

What if you were suddenly and forever more the immigrant, the unwanted, the tainted, damaged goods? What if nothing had changed overnight except everything you knew? What if the shoe had changed its allegiance?

What then?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Dislike-ometer

("Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Winning Votes, But Not Hearts")

It is not merely the unfavorable numbers. It is the depth of the animus that is so striking.

Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump have been in the public eye, in our consciousness, seemingly forever. And it is this long courtship that only serves to exacerbate the problem, familiarity breeding contempt. We are not discovering these two, forming opinions. We are merely finding ample corroboration for our already cemented conclusions.

They are the odd couple, these two New York one per centers, about to engage in a civil war, testing whether this nation will be able to withstand a monumental battle of insults and innuendo without being torn asunder.

For a country which has witnessed the disintegration of our political process, where the parties seem ready to mark off 10 paces, turn and fire, the dual of the two most disliked standard bearers in all our memories seems a fitting climax.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I've Got Your Back

(soon to be King Donald)

- You moan
The cost of my vanity is pure insanity, a dollar is more than you'd pay

- You groan
The depth of my shallowness, dressed up in callousness,  nothing is something I say

Why so mad?
Remember you liked me, my ratings were high on TV

Now you're making me sad
Really you like me,  we're dating, don't cry, wait and see

We're on a break, not breaking up, there's nothing here that can't be fixed
We're stuck like glue, at least I'm stuck on you, we're not a combustible mix

-You cry
The price of my cruelty is your incredulity,  a cost that a nation must pay

-You sigh
The lower I sink, the higher the stink, there's nothing that I wouldn't say

Don't be mad
Remember the ratings, and remember it's not who I'll be

Don't be sad
Really you'll like me, after November you'll see the real me

You'll be there, by my side, I will take you for a wild ride
You'll be there, full of pride, I will make you my fourth bride

We're in a lover's spat, it's nothing more than that
We're in a lover's quarrel, but I'll be there tomorrow

But if we fail, and push should come to shove,
Just know that I am hitting you out of love

da da da dat da

Monday, March 14, 2016

White Like Me

2008 was the year it began. The axis of the world shifted as the white majority saw itself as being overtaken. The election of Barack Obama did not make us a post-racial nation. In retrospect it made us a hyper-racial one.

And who stoked the flames higher than Donald Trump in his Birther attacks? Mr.Obama became the embodiment of so many evils, a black Kenyan Muslim secretly intending to destroy our nation. Whiteness was in mortal danger.

And who turned the fire into a conflagration with his Great Wall of Trump and his deaf ear to the cries of Syrian refugees? If "the other" was not a terrorist, he was at least a threat to the American way of life.

Donald Trump has cast the villains in this play. For those confounded by the sense that the world was slipping away from them, the vitriol of Mr.Trump provided a voice for their fears, their insecurities, their anger, their hatred.

"White like me" is not the rallying cry of those who support Mr. Trump but it is in their every word. The dreams of 2008 have been replaced by the Donald Trump nightmare of 2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Future of Snowboarding

This appears as a letter to the sports editor in the New York Times, Sun March 13.

Global warming, anyone? The West suffered through a warm and dry winter last year, and now it is the East’s turn. Snowboarding, so dependent on consistent cold, must wonder whether it will even exist in a generation or two. So, too, twin-tipped skis, rocker and camber ski shapes, and other technological advances have allowed skiers to mimic much of what a boarder can do. The unique capacity of a snowboard is disappearing as quickly as the snow.

For an industry in need of constant exposure to capture minds and hearts, skiing and snowboarding are primarily Olympic year mainstays, a mere two weeks every four years. With day passes costing a small fortune, the sport faces tough times in a stagnant and often harsh economy. The combination of these factors can result only in bankruptcies and empty undersides of boards, lacking sponsors’ logos.

Philly the Bern

On 22nd and Catharine Streets in Philadelphia a mural now adorns the facade of the brick building . It is the work of 2 graffiti artists, and it is unlike anything else that you and I are likely to pass in our daily travels.

At 65 feet by 30 feet it is eye catching in its dimensions. But beyond that, it is an elaborately designed political statement. "Philly the Bern" is a very visual showing of support, by the artists and the owner of the building, for the candidacy of one Mr. Sanders.

I remember being escorted into the basement of the home where one of the artists, Disto, resided in his youth. He was even then, probably before his teenage years, a budding graffiti artist. The walls of this room were not adorned with old photos of grandparents come and gone. Strewn about this place were not discarded toys or crumpled up clothes waiting their turn at a washing machine. Rather, here could be found the tools of the trade of a  young man in the incubation period of his craft. The walls spoke not in sterile gray or white but were alive with the colors and  images of a mind hard at work.

Now Disto, along with his fellow muralist, Old Broads, is in the bright light of day.  A five day project from March 7 to March 12, transformed a nondescript brick wall into this. Like the postman, neither rain, sleet or snow was to impede these two in reaching their appointed goal. Fortunately, Mother Nature must be a Bernie fan for the artists were able to bask in unbelievable late winter warmth for much of this period.

Like Bernie, this undertaking relied on the financial support of the community for its well being. While the candidate reminds us of his grassroots campaign, with its millions of contributors averaging (you know) $27 each, Philly the Bern is a Kickstarter project, the company whose mission statement is to be a crowdfunding platform designed to bring creative projects to life. What could be more creative a project than a 74 year old, perpetually slightly disheveled, avowed Socialist, Jewish man running for President of the United States, trying to face down the political machine behind Hillary Clinton. Or transforming a silent building into a living breathing endorsement.

I came very late to this party, only learning of the existence of the mural from a Facebook post yesterday. But what a party it must have been last night and into today. When the Kickstarter fundraising goal had been met, I received a message inviting me and the other 178 backers to a celebration on the roof of the building where the enormous image of Mr. Sanders was now on full display.

I know the work of Disto and Old Broads is attracting attention, not only from local TV crews but from nearby residents.  When word of the transformation of this building was passed on to a relative in Philly, she wrote back that she lived nearby and had spent the past two days taking photos of the mural in progress.

There are parallels in the careers of artist and politician, from the basement of a home to an enormous public display, from Bernie's tiny state of Vermont to center stage on the national platform. Two paths intersecting, if only for a moment, on their respective ways to who knows where.

Monday, March 7, 2016



Mr. Trump appears invulnerable to attack. The 2008 party nominee, Mr. McCain, is deemed no hero, but a loser for being captured.  Mr. Romney, the 2012 standard-bearer, blew the chance to dethrone a reviled President. Even the Pope should just mind his own business.

The slings and arrows of Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio are swatted away by Mr. Trump as if they were petty annoyances. The size of his hands. "Really", Mr. Trump seems to be saying, "is that the best you've got?" 

In this the year of the implosion of the political process, where the Republican party is in open defiance against the President, unwilling to concede his authority to even place before them a nominee for the Supreme Court, all our understood conventions have been cast asunder.

So while the elder statesmen of the party, like Mr. Romney may castigate Mr. Trump and warn of the pending apocalypse, their voices are drowned out by the sounds of the cheering throngs welcoming the man who will save them from those who have tried and failed. The weak, like Mr. Bush. The incapable, like Mr. Rubio. The vile, like Mr. Cruz. 

And the losers like Mr. McCain, and yes, Mr. Romney.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Siren Call to the Minion

We are his minion, his opinion is all that we need
We want his guidance, inside us, driving our deeds
He has the answers, no cancers if we just believe
He is our master, our pastor and we are his seed

Don't McCain me, don't train me, don't Romney me to death
Don't huff me, don't puff me, don't waste your precious breath
Don't Cruz me, don't confuse me, don't talk til you snooze me
It's only the Donald I love

No Gentle Ben and Marco's no friend
Hillary I'll pillory, Bernie I'll gurney
No more denying, decrying, defying
It's only the Donald I love

He'll get them all twisted, don't try to resist him
You'll only get tied up in knots
The finest berater, the great master baiter
Don't hatch those nefarious plots

It's only the Donald I love
He's no OJ's hand in a glove
Kills all the misfits, and I must acquit
Public enemy number one

Prevaricator, pontificator, provocateur, for sure
Morally bankrupt, empty and corrupt, I've heard enough
Politically polluted, constitutionally convoluted, stop
It's only the Donald I love

Give me your tired, your humbled and poor
They'll be fired and bundled out the door
Give me your weary,  your masses yearning to be free
I'll show you the teary,  low classes, headed to sea (from shining sea)

Oh say can you see, over the wall that is
America the free, not for all that is
Don't look like me, taking the fall that is
Won't let you be, heed our call that is

Divided we stand, united in hate
Derided and damned, curse your fate
Decided by birth, defined your state
Diminished, you're finished, its too late

Mr. President, the residence in the big white house awaits
With no hesitation, no reservation, but plenty of guards at the gate
Its no Mara Lago, no eating at Spago, no Trump Towers for sure
Hope its ok, for a four year stay, and maybe then four more

It's Donald we love and his name we trumpet
Toot all the horns and ring all the bells
For those who resist, and on others insist
We welcome you all to hell

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Opening Statement of Donald Trump in His Debate with Jesus

Moderator:"Welcome to the final Republican debate before you, the voter, must decide whether Jesus Christ or Donald Trump is to be your choice as the party's nominee for the 2016 election. We begin with Mr. Trump's opening statement."

Donald Trump:

"First let me say that I don't believe my opponent has a right to appear before you tonight. On reliable information, I have been advised that he was not born in this country, nor is there any evidence that either of his parents (who have not revealed themselves to us) were born in the best nation in the world, the United States."

"While some of you have questioned my magnificent mass of  hair, I ask you to look at this leftover from Woodstock. He has refused to trim his beard, cut his locks or even take those stupid sandals off his feet. He wears a dress, I swear it is a dress, and he has never so much as given thought to putting on a tie and jacket. What kind of face is this? What is he hiding?"

"And he continually quotes his father, as though he does not have ideas of his own. He reminds me of Jeb! who tried to call upon his brother and his mommy and daddy to save him. That is not strength my friends.That is desperation."

"These are hard times requiring hard decisions by someone willing to stand strong. ISIS sticks a poke in our eye. The Chinese pilfer from us. The Mexicans rape our women and addict us to their drugs. And what would Jesus do to any of these jerks, to these low life scum? What would Jesus do? Turn the other cheek, that is what he would do."

"I may not be politically correct but these are not politically correct times. We can not allow weakness to be our calling card, we cannot be all nicey-nice with Assad, the North Koreans, with Iran. We cannot show signs of forgiveness, of tolerance of understanding. These animals do not respond to any of that. They will not listen until we put an American made nuclear weapon in their face.'

"And if you think Jesus is wrong on foreign policy, and believe me, he is very, very wrong, then look what he would do to us at home. He makes Bernie Sanders look like a conservative (not that there is anything wrong with being a conservative. I am, I swear, a true conservative). Socialist is too nice a word for him. Look, I am all for the poor, believe me, I care about them. I do not want any of them dying in the streets, at least not in front of any of  my many fantastic buildings, unbelievable residences or stupendous golf courses. But the rich are rich for a reason and it was not because we gave away a loaf of bread every time someone had a hand out begging for it. We are better than that in the United States."

"Don't get me wrong. I like Jesus. In fact, I really like the guy. He just doesn't have what it takes to do the job. This is too important a moment in the history of this nation to leave someone like Jesus in charge."

" Let's not give them four more years of Obama lite, of Jesus who says he understands others, forgives their trespasses. This is not who we are. I ask that you send a loud and clear message to the world that America is about to be great again. Send Jesus home to whatever country he came from. And for his sake, it better not be a place I will bomb my first day in office."

The Primary Battle - Jesus Versus Donald Trump

It can only be viewed as an ironic twist. Evangelicals as victims in need of a savior. 

So what if he shows disdain and contempt in ways decidedly ungodly. So what if he does not turn the other cheek. So what if he is faux religious.

Those who try to diminish Donald Trump are damned if they do and defeated if they don't. 

In this bizarre universe, Jesus would not make it out of the primaries. Too weak, too forgiving, too willing to overlook the fault in others, too willing to find fault in himself.

Even as many privately praise his unholy rants, Mr.Trump's legion of evangelical followers suggest they must turn a blind eye to his means to an end campaign.  Make America  great again, they say. Just don't tell us how you got there.