Monday, May 30, 2022

A 21 Gun Salute in Uvalde

 This is our nation's 21 gun salute

Filled with the blood of lost dreams and broken hearts
With empty words of sympathy and empty shell casings
Its grave message buried in a classroom morgue
Our c(C)onstitution reading thou may now kill with impunity
Raising an AR-15 middle finger on the hand of liberty

This is our nation's 21 gun salute
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, 

You're all dead

Sunday, May 29, 2022


 Why are so many in this nation abandoning even the pretense of reason? 

Why has the idea of best protecting ourselves against a killer that has laid claim to over 1,000,000 lives since the beginning of 2020 been met with such resistance?

Why has the notion that we are damaging the environment and  threatening the welfare of our children been countered by such adamant opposition, or worse, apathy?

Why have we all but abandoned the effort to control our obsession with guns and accepted as unalterable reality the idea that losing lives by the thousands each and every month at the wrong end of a bullet is fair price to pay to satisfy our unquenchable appetite?

It cannot be a question of immediacy or magnitude. It cannot be a matter of mere speculation. These calamities are omnipresent and unrelenting. They do not shrink or retreat because some choose not to acknowledge the damage that is laid at their feet.

We cannot ignore our vast problems into submission. It would be insane to hold that as our best solution. 

For far too many, insanity is just fine.

Thursday, May 26, 2022


 We are a nation with an estimated 400 million guns in the hands of private citizens. We are thus, each and every day, only a moment away from another spontaneous combustion.

The massacre in Texas, following in the aftermath of the horrendous calamity in Buffalo, following in, following in, following in.... What we don't address is the forest for the trees.

We have lost all touch with sanity in our reply to the pandemic of death that lays in the wake of our massively misdirected approach to this our nation's great shame. We speak of deleting of AR-15's from our vocabulary, of background checks, of raising the minimum age to legally purchase the right to kill, of so many matters, while valid, that will do absolutely nothing to alter the basic mathematics that doom us to unrelenting horror.

We lose about 45,000 each year to death by shooting. It is a simple statistical calculation. We cannot, we will not, stop this plague unless and until we resolve to remove the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction from the general population.

The Second Amendment is what we allow it to be. It is not, as we have now seen, a static set of rules and regulations, that can be followed without our further input, and serve as a dictate for do's and don'ts. It can grow larger, or shrink to nothing. It is within our capacity to alter the landscape

One day, some day, someone will take on the NRA and all the gun advocates without camouflage. Without trying to work the edges. Without tinkering here and there. One day, some day, someone will have the courage to say that enough is far, far too much. That this is not the Wild West. This is not the 1800's. That we don't need gunslingers. That we don't need individuals declaring war on their spouse, on their neighbor, on someone, on anyone because of color, religion or sexual orientation, or any other irritation or aggravation that results in extinguishing a life.  Not in a bar, not in a nightclub, not in a street fight, not in road rage, not from a rooftop, not in a supermarket, not in a movie theatre, or in a church or a synagogue, or a restaurant or a mall, or a subway car or a school filled with children. And not on ourselves, in a moment of great sorrow, anger or depression. That possession of guns is a privilege.. And that we have abused that privilege past the point of all reason.

One day can not come soon enough. But I don't know when. And I fear I don't know how.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

My First Word (On getting Wordle in Two)

 She asked what was your first word ?

Think, I think

So thanks to think

At least thanks, I think

If it was think then thanks
To what I thought

But had I thought not think

But blink or blank

Or even clink or clank

Then I do not think

I would have thought

What I thought thereafter

Instead I might have chosen drink

Or drank or plink or plank

Or maybe even gone with place

   Oh, what a place to go 

And if indeed I had gone there 

From there where would I have gone

Not anywhere, nor somewhere

No, nowhere would not work

And if I was not anywhere

I would be nowhere close

If not close, then maybe chose 

Is what I'd next have chosen 

Or maybe I would think

That maybe maybe would do

If not maybe then how about never 

But if never was not it

Then maybe would could work

Or if not would then could

But could would not likely be

Could be right is wrong
Or wrong is right
But left is never right

That is clear but can't be cloudy

Thankfully today I chose wisely

Though wisely I could not choose

At least that's what I think I thought

Thanks think, I think

    Is that clear (but never cloudy)?

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The End of Lying

 ("Johnny Depp and Other Pirates")

The fact is there is no big lie. Because there is no great truth. It vanished

when Rowe v Wade became mere suggestion 

when we were shot with a second Amendment gun

when the pandemic became a matter of personal definition

when January 6th became a capital idea

when immigrant became the correct spelling of enemy

when we witnessed the prestidigitation of a disappearing Merrick Garland nomination

when we colored everything black and white

when Donald Trump was not deemed ironic

when there is no counterpoint, there is no point

without truth, there can be no lie

and that's no lie

Monday, May 16, 2022



There is moral outrage at the images that parade across the screen. At the senseless deaths. At the indiscriminate nature of the brutality. We are horrified by the level of man's grotesque inhumanity to man. By the depraved indifference to the value of a life.

The war in Ukraine has united us in rage against the cruelty. And yet, outside our own front door, in Buffalo, but it may as well have been in your town or mine, it is business as usual. The absurdity of this nation's obsession with weapons of mass destruction creating another pool of blood. The Second Amendment providing cover for another, seemingly automatic, semi-automatic journey into Hell.

This nation does not practice what it preaches in Ukraine. The horror we recoil at is the horror we choose to reside in. Death has no borders. Cruelty knows no geographical constraints.

We pretend there is a difference between one hate and another, between one war and another. Between one person who, in a catastrophic instant ceases to exist, and another.

Tell that to the 10 in Buffalo. Or the next 10, or 100. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

One Bad Character

 ("Elon Musk Says He Would 'Reverse the Permanent Ban' of Donald Trump on Twitter")

It is not an act of character to permit a person with no character the right to decimate a democracy in 280 characters.

Elon Musk is out to prove that, while money can't buy you love, $44 billion can buy him the right to open the floodgates of hate.

One bad character at a time.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Old Friends

 I performed the role of sitting duck yesterday. It was glorious.

Twelve gathered to celebrate two of us (with an asterisk for a third) having successfully navigated through to our 70th birthday. Clean Covid tested and ready to eat.

Collectively, I have known the other five couples more than a quarter of a millennium. There were no skeletons hiding in these closets, every blemish having been fully exposed over the decades. It is a perversely comforting feeling to know you are figuratively naked, that every foible, each eccentricity has long since been given its public airing. That who and what you are is an open topic for examination and ridicule. That an arrow through the ego is pointed directly at you. And it will most definitely not miss.

And so my blogging became the target de jour. Poked and prodded like I was at a urologist's convention, my long time love affair with advising the world of my every thought, no matter how small or cumbersome, my scarlet letter. My chapter and versing the latest, greatest edition of how a grandfather swells with pride, the bullseye in this game of pin the tale on a jackass.

Lest you have concern, I was far from the only recipient of a psychological beating. We meet in anticipation of extracting every shortcoming of all the participants from their resting place, of making each person the subject of fully deserved critique, not so camouflaged behind a wall of laughter. But, as we were here for the express purpose of celebrating my mother and my friend's mom having gone through the discomfort of birthing us so many years before, this was our particular moment in the sun.

And as my friend was suffering some slings and arrows of tough fortune, and did not need nor deserve piling on, it was left to me to put most of the weight of the attack on my not very broad shoulders, one of which was still, thank you very much, recovering from the surgeon's embrace.

It was a delicious afternoon. The presents, including Twinkies, flowing like wine. The joy cascading like an endless waterfall. There is nothing better than being surrounded by the oldest of friends, secure in the knowledge that faking it will not do, to free one from the hesitations of polite society.

How else to explain one of the assembled proudly announcing he was removing his false teeth or another showing endless video of his less than sterling golf swing being broken down by an instructor who must have been seriously contemplating another line of work.

As we parted, we spoke of the possibility of gathering again at 80, and of what it would look and sound like if we did. It was not a pretty picture. But in my eyes, and those of the others, no matter how ugly it might look to the rest of the universe, that would indeed be our collective masterpiece. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Somewhere to Anywhere to Nowhere

 "We can go from Somewhere to Anywhere to Nowhere." We would later contemplate adding Everywhere and Elsewhere to the possibilities. But she informed me they were not present, so we excluded them from further consideration.

She carried her scooter down the back steps of the house to the driveway, a recognition of both her strength and her fierce independence. On our right sat the reconfigured parts of what was originally to be a stand, upon which a soft tennis sized ball was to rest, waiting to be struck with some force by a relatively soft bat. Now it had morphed into her vision, the bat stuck inside the hole where the ball was supposed to be situated, the tiny picnic table moved into place near its target. In this version, called puff ball, I was to hold the ball perfectly still at the top of the bat, while she jumped off the picnic table and in mid flight swatted the ball out of my hand. At least, I reasoned, there were the implements of baseball involved. And maybe one day soon... And when she did occasionally swing the bat, it was actually a very reasonable facsimile of what was envisioned by Abner Doubleday.

She fastened her helmet, whose intended function was to insure safe passage during this scooter journey to Who Knows Where. My task was to give running commentary as she traveled from place to place. I reasoned that it was an important part of the equation I lagged far behind, as she had now begun to master the art of gliding at significant speed between pushes.

"We are Somewhere, heading to Nowhere" I announced. 

"No, no", she replied. "We are already Nowhere."

She headed down the driveway, leaving the back of the house and accelerating towards the front. There was some pitch as we neared the street, so I was hoping she had mastered the art of braking. While she knew the trick of placing one foot on the small lever at the back of the scooter, which would act to slow her momentum, her preferred method was to drag her free foot, the friction against the ground serving to reduce the rate of travel. It might not prove sufficient at warp speed.

She decided the front walkway was the destination of choice. Informing me, as she wandered to and fro in this small area, that she was now riding to Nowhere. Clearly, Nowhere was just about Everywhere today.

This dance continued for several minutes. To the front steps and then reversing course until she touched the driveway. Up and back, and then once more. Truly going Nowhere quickly.

And then, she decided our journey was over. She scooted back to the place of beginning. Carried the scooter up the back stairs and into the house. Game over. Except...

"Let's go back out and play Puff Ball."

And so, I headed to another adventure. Somewhere, Anywhere. As long as it is with her, it will never be to Nowhere.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Today Is a Good Day for Donald Trump

 Today is a good day for Donald Trump. 

Today, J.P. Mandel, I mean J. D. Vance, Mr. Trump's anointed choice, won a surprisingly convincing victory in the Republican primary in Ohio.

Today, Mr. Trump's political dream of packing the Supreme Court with a conservative majority, leading to the ultimate overturning of Roe v Wade, appears to be a certain imminent reality.

Today, Mr. Trump's future seems more secure then ever. Even as his bromance with Mr. Putin may now smell of blood and bombs, and even as the threat of legal repercussions still lingers over many of Mr. Trump's most questionable actions, today Donald Trump must be smiling his cat that ate the canary smile.  

Today is a good day for Donald Trump. And a bad one for the future of our democracy.

Monday, May 2, 2022


 ("The Don Jr. Road Show in Ohio Was No Fake")

It was the parentheses that got my attention. That comment not intended to be the main thrust of the piece. Now, it warned, we should worry about a dynasty. I am.

We have seen the Kennedy clan, from the power of the father to the elevation of one son and the possibilities of two more. We have witnessed Bush senior and junior, separated by an extra initial and a Clinton in their ride to the top. And speaking of Clinton, they stood but a most unimaginable Trump roadblock from a husband wife dynamic duo.

But the ladies "going gaga" over Don Jr? The mere thought of another member of that family treating our democracy and our foundational principles as a chew toy is enough to make the mind beg for mercy.

This country has somehow become enamored with the American concept of royalty. But crowning the Trump's, from the hair to the heir apparent, as the best we have to offer, as the next "it" in the line of Succession, is a rabbit hole too far.

Did someone say Ivanka?