Friday, December 2, 2016


Donald Trump wants to criminalize one of America's greatest freedoms: flag burning. What other country in the world has such respect for freedom of speech that they would allow a protest to include setting fire to the nation's ensign as unpopular as that may be? How narrow is Trump's knowledge of democracy he can only see flag burning as a criminal act to be punished by time in prison. This is yet another example of the kind of learned leadership we will not be getting from Trump. I suspect that he doesn't give a damn about the flag issue, but feels that he can inflame his pseudo-patriotic mobs with this latest whine. I also suspect that Trump does not know that when an American flag becomes worn, soiled, or faded, it should be replaced with a new flag. The traditional way to achieve this is by burning the tattered flag in a special ceremony.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Hunters like Rebecca Francis are so evil, so amoral, so low on the human scale, that I cannot conceive that they have friends and family. This satanic bitch has dozens of photos of herself, smiling besides the many animals she has killed. Never was vanity been so repulsive and vile. How sickening to see a deranged killer take such joy in murdering a creature that had as much right to life as any human. Ricky Gervais has recently blasted hunters male and female for their cold-hearted hunting of animals, just for sport. But even if Francis was asked to kill an aging giraffe supposedly to feed villagers, as she claims, what kind of inhuman person can not only slaughter an innocent harmless animal, but then lie beside its carcass for a photo op. It has never bothered me to learn that some bullfighter was gored to death by a poor condemned animal. One less cruel killer among us. In the future I shall feel the same sense of relief any time that I hear a game hunter has been clawed by a lion, crushed by an elephant, or speared by some native sick of having these wealthy sadists invade his homeland and murder those who live there. What joy it would be so see a handsome living animal beside the rotting carcass of Rebecca Francis.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


One of the many great series on PBS in past seasons was The Great British Bake Off. In this surprisingly entertaining competition, chefs from all over the British Isles were challenged to bake a variety of delicious pastries for the title of top chef.  The show was fantastic and the icing on the cake was that there were no commercials. Now it seems that ABC has copied this highly successful show including its celebrity moderator/chef Mary Berry in the new The Great American Baking Show.  Those of us who were fans of the show on PBS have no reason to rejoice. ABC, like all three major networks seems to insist on cramming at least 12-15 commercials into every program break. How pleasant will it be to ooh and aah at gloriously conceived, mouth-watering pastries followed by sudden and endless interruptions for laxatives, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent, quit-smoking aids, and other boring and oft-repeated pitches? My guess? Not at all. For some reason or other Americans are willing to be subjected to millions of superfluous commercials every year so that networks CEOs can accumulate extra millions of dollars. I'll never understand why. In the meantime I'll happily watch the superior, commercial-free programs, on PBS, Netflix, and Acorn—though I must admit any pastries I enjoy during these show will probably be store bought.


One of the best books I ever read was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This novel about Francie Nolan's childhood in Brooklyn reminded me so much of my own adventures growing up in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and probably has the same effect on all its readers. Since reading it I have always felt that every library in America should take a quote from this great novel and have it displayed in large letters on the wall of its children's reading room. I think the quote is one of the most significant comments about the discoveries of youth. But sadly, though I have been in dozens of libraries, I have never seen this wonderful line printed anywhere.

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I can see why a man might compromise his principles if he needed a job that allowed him to feed and care for his family. Naturally Bob Cratchit had to scrape and bow to Scrooge if he wanted his family to have a warm home and food on the table. And while I can't condone it, I can see why men with no principles at all ally themselves to powerful autocrats in order to enjoy some of their reflected glory. Obviously an obsequious cipher like Rudy Giuliani can't survive outside of at least a glimmer of limelight. And who can blame Kellyann Conley for being a sycophant to Donald Trump? I'm sure it pays well and her hillbilly harridan appearance won't put any sexual pressures on her. What I can't understand is why a multi-millionaire like Mitt Romney, who was so critical of Trump during the election, is now willing to eat humble pie, kowtow, and—yes—kiss Trump's ass in order to become Secretary of State. He doesn't need the money. He claims to love the woman which this position will certain prevent him for seeing as often.  If his character is that weak, and his integrity so easily sold we should be as grateful that he never won the presidency as we are terrified that Trump did.


Tonight a very good friend sent me a CNN article titled, "Trump is incredibly jealous of one person." While the author Rachel Sklar outlined all the cares of state that Donald will be faced with, and probably unable to face, she wisely suggested the person he is most envious of is Hillary Clinton. After all Clinton has the admiration and votes of the majority of Americans. And while she doesn't have the Oval Office she also doesn't have all the responsibilities and sleepless nights that go with it. But what I found most disturbing about the article was not Trump's stupidity and arrogance which we know all too well, it was this photo. True, there are many photos of Trump, that show him as puffy and wrinkled and dour. But this seem even more frightening, more Dorian Gray, more tight-lipped, cold-eyed, wispy-haired, determined and dictatorial. And, surprisingly, more absolutely adrift and alone.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Apparently the new Applebee's commercial isn't on YouTube yet. That's a shame because it has one of the stupidest lines I've ever heard. It says, "They say that the best gifts come from the heart. But that isn't true. They come from the stomach." How did a copywriter get away with such a repulsive, illogical and idiotic line? What gift comes from the stomach? One hates to speculate. I suspect we won't see this Applebee's commercial on the air for very long.