Sunday, September 27, 2015


In recent months, I have noticed an interest in the meaning of the Arabic word "islam".  Most of the conjecture is that the word means "peace" in English.  As a one time student of the language, I can assure that,  although its root word is "salaam", which does mean "peace", "islam" is not a substitute for "salaam".  Many Arabic-English dictionaries translate the word as "submission".  I, with my overabundance of temerity for venturing far afield, however, disagree with this and think that the better word would be "acceptance".

Friday, September 25, 2015


In my opinion, reports that John Boehner has resigned his seat, in Congress, to become a monk, as an act of penitence, ordained by Pope Francis, to atone for the Speaker's role in contributing to global warning and oppressing the poor, are not credible

More likely, it was just listening to the Pope's speech, before Congress, that caused Boehner's tearful reaction that lead to the resignation.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Senator Ted Cruz has a birth certificate which shows that he was born in Canada, of an American mother, an a Cuban father, but has never been challenged, by Donald Trump, as to his qualifications to run for the Presidency of the United States of America.

President Obama, has an Hawaiian birth certificate which shows that he was born in one of the States of the Union, of an American mother.  Even if he had been born in Kenya, he like Cruz, and John McCain, who was born in Panama, Obama would still have been an American citizen.  

Donald Trump, Birther-in-Chief, by implying that Obama is not a legitimate U. S. citizen, is not impugning Obama but rather his mother, a daughter of a World War II  U.S. Army veteran.  At the same time, Trump's own mother was born in Scotland and, to my knowledge, he has never produced her naturalization papers to indicate that she was a U.S. citizen at the time of Donald's birth. Perhaps Donald, too, is an anchor baby.


Well, credit is certainly due Trump for being consistent.  He is, in effect, saying that he has no moral obligation to correct a lie being told about Obama.  From there, it follows that lies he tells about Obama, likewise, are not subject to to any moral test, so at the same time he can, with facility, say that Obama has been a terrible President despite an overabundance of statistics to the contrary.

Furthermore, Trump has precedent to back him up when he blithely promises many things that he will accomplish, as President, without offering a single plan, for how it will be done, for evaluation by the electorate.  Remember, for example, how Nixon offered us a secret plan to end the war in Viet Nam.  The war dragged on throughout his entire term in in office and and only came to an end, under President Ford,  a year after Nixon resigned the Presidency.  For his pains in hoodwinking the American public, Nixon was reelected to a second term in 1972.  For Trump, all his promises, even if not based on any reasonable expectation, can only assure him of being a two term President, considering the nature of the American electorate. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I am reminded that authenticity is an important factor in any candidate's run for elected office.  If he or she can fake that, it can be a tremendous advantage.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


For a six year period in my life, from 1955 to 1961, business took me, frequently, to Cuba.  Indeed, Cuba was my introduction to Latin America, where I, later, spent much of my adult years.  I saw Cuba before the arrival of Castro; I was there when Fidel came down from the Sierra Maestra;  I was frequently there when he was forming his first Government.

I have always been sympathetic to Fidel even as I severely criticized his intellectual laziness in not finding an indigenous solution to Cuba's many problems.  Despite any claims to the contrary, Cuba was not a tropical paradise, at least not for 90% of its population.  In 1957, the per capita income of Cuba was $361.00 (at the time the per capita income in the U.S. was more than 10 times as great), yet 10% of the population had a life style equal to that, or better, than the middle class in the U.S.  Their standard of living was subsidized by a population that was forced to live on pennies a day.  Cuba was  in need of reform.

When Fidel arrived, triumphant, in Havana, he had a united populace behind him.  He could have brought about  reforms any way he chose.  By choosing another dogma, Marxism Leninism, instead of  developing a Cuban solution, he failed to reach most of his stated goals.  He would have been better off taking Singapore, another island nation, under an authoritarian regime, as his model than that of the Soviet Union.



Both the Mayor of New York City and its Police Commissioner have apologized to James Blake, the tennis player, who was body slammed to the ground while peacefully standing outside his hotel. It is reported that the police union is extremely upset as apologies could set an unnecessary precedent.  It was merely a  case of mistaken identity as the police officer thought Blake was a man wanted for credit card fraud.  The use of physical force was deemed necessary and justified,  by the arresting officer, because he was in fear of danger to his credit rating.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Having had the misfortune of living in proximity of family members, with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), in my early years, I have never associated egotism, alone, as a determinant of the disorder. Accordingly, I think that a diagnosis, based on this trait, alone, would be unfair to Donald Trump, even if he seems to have an abnormal amount of same.  However, there are two other traits that I do associate with Narcissists,the first of which is the fact that Narcissists rarely argue the issues during a discussion; they are prone to offering ad hominem arguments; Trump rarely offers arguments against someone's positions, choosing, instead, to offer insults, diatribe and invective against the person.

The second trait that I had learned to associate with people with NPD, was their inability to forget even the smallest slight, they perceived as having been done to them, even after the passage of time.  Even after "burying the hatchet" with Roger Ailes, of  Fox News, after his run in with Megyn Kelley, Trump could not resist offering a gratuitous insult to her, thinking about what had transpired several days earlier.

I do enjoy Trump hoisting Republicans on their own petard of demonization, innuendo and character assassination,  but I would never want to see a Narcissist in the White House, for bleak indeed have been the reigns of Narcissists,

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Forever etched in my mind are photographs of two separate unarmed black children shot to death, within seconds of the arrival on the scene of uniformed police officers, as if the children were mere cockroaches to be stepped on as vermin.

As I see it, forming a "Black Lives Matter" movement is a a cry of anguish from the black community.  I can fully understand that when whites say that all lives matter, blacks feel as if their pain, inflicted by servants of an almost all white society, is being trivialized.  The pain is further exacerbated by somehow justifying, or otherwise mitigating offenses, by uniformed agents of our society, by black on black murder.  


In my opinion, the most dangerous people, in the world, are those with a smidgen of military training who have never experienced combat, but think the can extrapolate from their limited experience.  Dick Cheney, whose closest experience with combat involved 5 draft deferments, thought those years behind a desk at the Defense Department qualified him to make judgments about getting into war.  Now we have a Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who believes that being sent to a private military school for unruly rich kids qualifies him as a military expert.  What could go wrong? 

Monday, September 7, 2015


For me, the most compelling reason that the Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis, should go back to jail, if she interferes with a court order, comes from the majority opinion, of one of the Supreme Court's arch conservatives, Justice Scalia, where it is quoted:

 "Just as a society that believes in the negative protection accorded to the press by the First Amendment is likely to enact laws that affirmatively foster the dissemination of the printed word, so also a society that believes in the negative protection afforded to religious belief can be expected to be solicitous of that value in its legislation as well. To be sure, requiring claims for religious exemptions to be vetted through the legislative process might put less popular religions at a disadvantage. But the Court held that this situation was preferable to the relative anarchy that would result from 'a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself.'"

Judging from the urgency that Ms. Davis lawyers expressed in wanting their client released, I do believe she has changed her mind about there being any romance attached to being incarcerated, and will allow her deputies to continue to provide marriage licenses to same sex couples.


Sarah Palin may have a valid point in asking that we all speak American.  Of course, since English is not indigenous to America, most of us would have to learn another language to comply.  I wonder which of the many native languages we would have to learn.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The latest outrageous act, of President Obama, for the, so-called, Conservatives, is that of removing the name of President McKinley, a fine American name, from a mountain in Alaska, and replacing it with a foreign name.  


The ambush shooting of a Texas deputy sheriff by a mentally deficient black man has important lessons for us all:

  • A good man with a gun cannot always protect us from a bad man with a gun, the N.R.A. notwithstanding.
  • Loopholes continue to allow mentally unbalanced persons to have easy access to guns. 
  • Tax cuts for the wealthy have not resolved the problem of providing care for the mentally ill.
  • The murder of the deputy does not provide post facto justification for the shooting of unarmed black youth.


In a television interview, earlier this year, Donald Trump made the statement, "Sadly, because President Obama has done such a poor job as President, you will not see another black President for many generations"

It appears, however, that Republicans, instead, are interested in having their own Republican Barack Obama.  Ben Carson, the only black candidate for the nomination, is second in the polls and tied with the Donald in Iowa, at this writing.  Perhaps it is a rich white kid, who inherited wealth, who we will not see as a President for many generations, judging by past performance.