A Complaint Department visit

Let’s get the Trump stuff out of the way first. The trip to Paris was less than a roaring success. His apparent lack of enthusiasm for attending the 100th commemoration of the ending of World War One was evident. He remained stony faced as French President Macron spoke of patriotism being the opposite of nationalism. ”One is about loving your own country, the other about hating other people and their countries”. Trump had previously announced he’s a nationalist. He later failed to visit the graves of more than 1000 U.S. Marines killed in World War I, blaming rain and the traffic his limo would cause. His condemnation of the tragic California fires exclaiming they’re due to “poor forest management”.  Untrue, plus there are no forests around Malibu!  He’s just announced he’s cutting off hurricane aid to Puerto Rico claiming their government is mishandling funds.  He’s been a busy one, hasn’t he?

Word has it that North Korea is carrying on with its ballistic missile program.. New satellite info indicated activity at some 16 different sites. Seems to negate the Oval Office resident’s claim that he had persuaded Kim Jong-un to cease nuclear production.

 Among the many well deserved and heart felt accolades expressed during Veterans Day, was that of “View” co-host Meghan McCain who said “Today on Veterans Day we remember and honor those who have selflessly served and sacrificed. Those who have and continue to fight to protect our freedoms, I am forever grateful,” and in tribute to her late father, Senator John McCain, she said, “I miss you so much Dad, thank you for showing me what fighting for something greater than yourself is.”


By contrast, a picture of Wisconsin school students appearing to give the Nazi salute, has prompted school and local police to investigate. The photo shows Baraboo High School students giving the Sieg Heil gesture, used as a Nazi greeting during W.W. II., the battle in which so many of our honored vets fought. Baraboo District Administrator Lori Mueller condemned the picture saying” it’s not reflective of the values and beliefs of the school district”, adding” we will pursue any and all available and appropriate actions including legal, to address”.  May those guilty high schoolers be made to understand the gravity of that heinous salute and receive appropriate consequences.


Former ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson back in the news after being asked by CNN to submit an affidavit relative to the network’s possible lawsuit against the administration regarding Jim Acosta’s barring by the administration. The CNN reporter’s banishment followed a heated exchange with Donald Trump during a press conference. I must assume that Norman Rockwell’s four freedoms are being threatened with reduction if this administration gets its way. Freedom From Fear, Freedom To Worship and Freedom From Want” will be forced to march on without their “Freedom Of Speech” partner. 

Ian David Long, the eventual killer of 12 at a California club, was coached by Evie Cluke from Newbury High School’s track team in 2007 and 2008.  She described him as “a ticking time bomb”. Constantly losing his temper, threw tantrums and would scream at coaches. Once she saw him assault one of her fellow coaches, Dominique Colell.  Cluke said she also even witnessed Long pretending to shoot Colell.  Cluke related “Just sadistic. ... He was out of control. He would scream, and his face would turn bright red. People would actually back away from him”. The question is how those such as Long can be prevented from reaching the point where they take part in mass shootings .Difficult, yes, perhaps as difficult as limiting the availability of.guns. Long had legally purchased the weapon he used to kill a dozen innocent people.

I recently was scanning the FM dial for something listenable. I came across a Boston sports talk station which should have been a warning right there. Why I lingered remains a mystery except for the fact this “dynamic duo” was apparently reveling in the Patriots recent loss to Tennessee. Admittedly it was not a good game for the home team, but to delight in downing Belichick and Brady seemed bush league..  As did their language which often consisted of body parts slang.The not brief enough visit with this smart mouthed, locker room language, putrid pair redoubled my resolve to leave sports talk once and for all.  



Age of Rage

Seems like rage is all around us…..on the roads, shopping centers, certainly the headlines detailing yet another mass killing…12 in California by an ex-marine, The Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre, A mother shooting her child while the child slept. A month and a half after giving testimony to the Senate regarding Brett Kavanugh, Christine Blasey Ford is still receiving threats.

By contrast, this week marked the anniversary of the election of John F. Kennedy as President. Hard to imagine it was 58 years ago but easy for those of us old enough to remember how more different those times were….how more positive …how much more pride was in evidence. Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin” which he recorded on October 24, 1963. How right he was as less than a month later on November 22nd President Kennedy was assassinated. Since then there has been a steady decline in optimism, attitude, decency and respect, all taking the most generous slides in this 21st century…the age of rage.

Another contributor to the furor is one perpetuated by News Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She posted a speeded up, doctored video showing CNN reporter Jim Acosta, now banished from the White House press corps, as  being more aggressive than he actually was in attempting to retain the microphone being pulled from him by an administration female employee. Supportive comment was also heard from the never shy Kellyanne Conway. Both Sanders and Conway continue to get magna cum laude degrees in their efforts to perpetuate this unfortunate and destructive age. 

Following Donald Trump’s ordering Jeff Sessions to resign as Attorney General and replacing him with Trump cheerleader Mathew Whitaker, Carl Bernstein who helped expose the Watergate scandal and cause the eventual resignation of Richard Nixon, said “Donald Trump has initiated what amounts to a ‘coup’ against the rule of law and the administration of justice” He added “The purpose of the Whitaker appointment is to undermine the investigation of Robert Muellar, to bury it, to manipulate it”. Bernstein further stated “What we need to be concerned about is a rage a-holic president that we saw out of control, who has no understanding of the importance and primacy of the rule of law in our system”. History repeating itself? During 1963 President Nixon ordered his Attorney General, Elliott Richardson, to fire the independent prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. Richardson refused and then resigned. 

Megyn Kelly’s high powered attorney may now find it more difficult to negotiate a healthy settlement on her three year $69 million dollar contract following her being axed. Seems Neilson ratings for the third hour of the Today Show jumped 5% the week after Kelly was removed from the long running NBC vehicle.

Between occasional dubious quotes from former NY Mayor and current Trump mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani seems he’s been busy spending $286,000+ on his mistress during the past six months according to Rudy’s divorcing third wife. She also points out the $12,000+ he spends on cigars and the $7000+ he doles out for pens.

Can the Oval Office occupant ever get through a 24 hour period without criticizing or insulting something or someone?  Apparently negativity fosters negativity as 10 feature Trump articles in a New York daily paper this week were all negative.


Questions and Thoughts


What’s with the American males’ fascination with beards and tattoos?  Hairless faces seem to have become the minority particularly with major league baseball players this season.  Perhaps more clubs should adopt the Yankee policy of no facial fuzziness. Meantime, the tats are reaching epidemic proportions and putting bare skin in the minority as far as some of the players are concerned.  Oh, by the way, I once briefly went the hairy face route. I have that lurid reminder of my poor decision on tape with which I can be tortured forever! 

The congregation was inside a Brooklyn synagouge praying when a large metal pole came crashing through one the windows. Seems this was the deplorable act of four teens whom we can only hope will be arrested soon and given the maximum charges, charges which will probably prove inadequate.. Shame on these thoughtless, brainless, disgusting youths who should be made to pay a heavy price for their revolting behavior. This was not just a teenage prank…this was an unconscionable crime.

NBC was criticized for airing a Trump campaign paid ad which sought to inflame voters’ fears of the Central American migrant caravan which included footage of Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican citizen who killed two police officers four years ago. In the ad his behavior is likened to some members of the caravan now heading for the U.S. border. CNN and usually Trump-friendly Fox News refused to air the ad labeling it as “racist”. After the negative reaction, the Peacock Network pulled it as well. Why carry in the first place. Maybe the web was trying to recover some of the settlement bucks it may have had to dole out to Megyn Kelly.

Quiz of the day:  What do Bobby Day, King Harvest, Looking Glass, The Archies, Naked Eyes  and Jack Wagner have in common?  Answer at the conclusion of this masterpiece. Any peaking is punishable by confinement in a tiny room while being forced to listen to 6 hours of constant political ads.

Once of the recent multi rallies, featured his faithful shouting “Four more years”….hate to burst your raucous bubble…it’s 2018 not 2020,. Trump cheerleader Sean Hannity took to the stage with his idol this week.  Yes, he wore the obligatory red tie and spouted “All the media news is fake”. Since his programs exist because of it, he must be “fake’ as well.   

Will this 2018 election make any progress toward reducing the ignorance, prejudice, and mean spiritedness that surrounds us? I’m hopeful but also doubtful.

What’s the difference between baseball and politics? In baseball, you’re out if you’re caught stealing.

Of course, we Red Sox fans have unending raves regarding the results of the 2018 World Series.  Subdued reviews can be directed at the Fox coverage, particularly in the direction of Joe Buck. The network might have saved color man John Smoltz’s fee and just allowed Buck to ramble on by himself. Not that John’s infrequent insights weren’t appreciated. It’s just that they were minimized by the incessant Buck chatter. Putting it in less than subtle terms, he obviously suffers from diarrehea of the mouth.   

I’ve always enjoyed the work of Michael Caine.  No matter the role, he always shines. During his 53 years of movie making he’s been seen in some 170 films. John Wayne had it right when he said, “Kid, you’re going be a star.”  He advised. “Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much”.  More than excellent advice for today’s politicians.

Now, the quiz answers for which you’ve been breathlessly awaiting:

They were all “one hit wonders” Their chart topping hits were never followed by another. Maybe you remember  Bobby Day’s “Rockin’ Robin, King Harvest scored with “Dancing In The Moonlight”, Looking Glass with “Brandy, You’re a fine Girl”, The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar”,  Naked Eyes sang “Always Something There To Remind Me” and Jack Wagner with “All I Need”. .Jack perhaps most noted for his role of Frisco Jones on “General Hospital”.  




Quotes and Whatever


 “I want to make it very clear to all the press, everybody. “I don’t want to run.”  That was Oprah, the person many wish to see in the White House come 2020. What she didn’t say was “I don’t EVER want to run”.  As time rolls forward she could be determined to be the best, most qualified person to return this country to the rightfully positive position and decency it formerly occupied in our eyes and in those of the world.

Exclusion of the latest Trump quotes is improbable...Limiting this space to but a single one is well-nigh unto impossible, but here goes: The Pennsylvania Avenue resident proclaimed this week, “I tell the truth when I can”.

Those, and there are many myself included, who feel our democracy is in trouble. When a person swears to uphold our constitution, then talks of “fake news” and the media being “an enemy of the people” that person is violating our second amendment. Apparently the accuser believes in free speech for himself, not others..Sad…frightening as well. 

The most important lesson would-be media weather people have to learn: How to make a mountain out of a mole hill. The second most… never admit you were wrong.

Jimmie Kimmel this week conducted nterviews with Arizona voters regarding their picks in the November election. They were given choices from which they selected: Blanche Devereaux, Rose Nylund, Elaine Benes and Cliff Clavin.  All but one of the ten nterviewed picked the suggested names. The first two are characters from the Golden Girls”, Elaine from “Seinfeld” and Cliff from “Cheers”. Talk about your “educated voters”. 

He's one of the record holders for making useless headlines.The tabloids  just revealed to the world that Justin Bieber has had a face tattoo.  Again, I repeat, WHO CARES !!!

Doubtless you’ve called a business and received the fabled and recorded “your call is very important to us”. Recently I heard that refrain and decided to keep tabs on the number of repetitions before I actually heard a live voice. After sixteen I gave up. Thinking my call wasn’t all that significant to them, I created a message of my own in reply: “Your business isn’t meaningful to me. Despite your dreary message, if my call truly was important to you, you’d hire more operators."   Over and out.. for good.


The Champs and Others

What more can be said about the World Series winning Boston Red Sox. I had been among the hoard of rooters for many years who vainly hoped the Sox would make an appearance in baseball’s season ending classic one day. Well, as we now celebrate the team’s fourth in this century, how sweet it is! Searching for any superlatives to add to the multitude of those already used seems superfluous. Just a couple of “I’m delighted that’ ….  Alex Cora and his first year as superlative leader of the Red Sox…certainly a shoo in as Manager of The Year”.  Steve Pearce, a Bay State native who played for several teams before donning that cap with the “B” on it and realizing his forever wish to be a member of “The Sox”. So happy for him and his well-deserved Most Valuable Player of the Series award.

 By the way, headed for the Hall Of Fame this week the following::MVP Steve Pearce’s bat,  the game 5 David Price jersey, reliever Joe Kelly’s glasses, the ball-strike indicator used by the home plate umpire during game 3 (The  longest in Series history), the cap and spikes worn by pitcher Nathan Eovaldi throughout and Manager Alex Cora’s hoodie.

Speaking of teams, how ‘bout Lou Dobbs and his team of misstatements. The latest claimed that those mailed explosive devices are “fake and fake news”. He further babbled, “Fake news,-fake bombs. Who could possibly benefit from so much fakery”, obviously referring to the Democrats.  Fox News, Dobbs network, later issued a statement supporting CNN. Hopefully, this space will devote little further reference to Dobbs and wacko remarks.

The red tie wearing, orange faced one has again blamed the media for being the “enemy of the people” and responsible for “stoking rage”. We remember this “age of rage” seemed to be born a couple of years ago during the presidential campaign with a torrent of insults from the former White House, now known as coo-coo land, including those directed at American war hero and U.S. Senator John McCain. By the way, he has never regretted his McCain negative references. Regrets seem to be foreign to his makeup. His sole publicly admitted one was when he said “I should have fired FBI Director James Comey sooner”. Harry Truman will always be remembered for his “The buck stops here”. Trump’s legacy more than likely will be something like “It’s the media’s fault”.