It is pretty easy to get a little blase about anything that you are too familiar with, that you see too frequent. I don’t have much stomach for the busy tourism influx when it does hit Niagara Falls. In the preseason like we are in now, when the chaos is a few weeks away, you can let the quiet allow you to be refreshed by the actual magic.


With the call, here’s RJ

There are certain folks who just have a way with words. You know what is happening and are forming a mental picture based on their description. By way of example, I have never seen a “coffee-colored cadillac.” I know what it looks like from the way Chuck Berry sings about it.

Certain broadcasters have that gift. Outgoing Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret has that gift. As he closes the book on an incredible run of 51 seasons, I am very appreciative he hung in there. The team is showing some signs of life, but the decade of meh hockey squandered time from one of the great enthusiastic voices. Both he and Ted Darling deserve eternal gratitude for their roles in building out Sabres hockey. Both fostered enthusiasm, belief, joy and fun.

Long before even he knew that mama hid the cookies on the top shelf, he spread the news.

When television was still a bid of an oddity and Sabres games were televised maybe a dozen times in the year, RJ painted an amazing picture and you saw it, you saw the expression on the face of the fictional kid from Peterborough who caught the puck as it went over the glass.

They used to have the regular sunday night starts and my clock radio brought many an epic battle onto my mental tv. You can take your pick.

I get that perhaps there might be some who might not be a fan, but the joy of the call of this one lives like it happened a few moments ago.

and got to have your cookies.

One of the best wastes of money I ever spent was dropping $10 for a copy of “Roll the Highlight Film” a cd filled with the best calls to that point by a seriously gifted broadcaster. I placed the contents on an ipod and now my phone as it is a treat to hear a song, then RJ describing a Gil Perreault led rush then back to the music.

His enthusiasm fed ours through great times, amazing times, even through the past decade where being a hockey fan wasn’t always very easy.

Thanks, RJ, it really has been fun.

Should We Talk About the Weather (hi, hi, hi)

This stuff isn’t good.

A path created by stomping feet, not shovels

We got over two feet of snow to start the week. It isn’t a hoot. I never considered that among the supply chain pandemic induced shortages would be snow removal. The sidewalks in my apartment complex and the above ankle snapping path pictured above have footprints, but no shovel prints three days after the storm passed.

This stuff is such sudden quantity isn’t a winter wonderland as some tired copywriters insist on hauling out. It’s not a ripoff if your area only got four or five inches. It’s a chore. Four days after the snow stopped, started to melt, and then quickly refroze is my microcosm of a complex taking on a chore of cleaning up. Given the volume of snow, they got a day ahead of them. The place is finally taking some initiative for being a better neighbor and less of a liability hot bed. When the next door nursing home has their sidewalk down to bare pavement and you are sporting the above, it’s not a good luck. But we weren’t alone. In a city where the parking rules have puzzling inconsistencies, the deck gets stacked among what plow drivers there are. The suddenness of it all took everybody off guard. Buffalo talks a good game, but we could stand to back it up. I chipped in and help push a couple cars out of unplowed snow divots. While there are some autos whose owners did indeed make some questionable choices, we don’t deserve a councilman says it is all the residents’ fault.

We do have some whackdoo parking timing around here and I bet that does cause some havoc in plotting plow routes, assuming they are indeed plotted. Given the volume of snow, a zone defense would surprise me.

I used to have a long commute to work that took me to the next county and when snow fell, simple travel took on whole new meaning. With one exhausting trip home, I was exiting a thruway onramp to a highway back into the city, when I saw a car zip zagging in and out of my rear view mirror. Not that I wanted anything bad to happen, but i was praying the driver would find a snow bank before anything serious happened. Thankfully they safely did. I cringe about hearing “we need to practice our winter driving skills” on local news. Living where we do, we should just have them.

The Buffalo streets commissioner looked so weary and I empathize but given that we are dealing with the second significant snow fall in as many weeks, we should be learning, walking the walk to back up our talking the talk. Maybe he should order up a few of these to ease movement.

The truck, not the mural or me

It’s great that we are watching out for each other and all, but overall planning shouldn’t be so ad-libbed. I dig the four seasons but this one shouldn’t be our boss.

Now I can settle back in to important tv watching without wondering if that plow is headed for me.

Chickens are good people

1 = 1 =5. Perfect math for these disconnected times. It comes from a meme that really rang true for me. If you want to believe 1+1 does equal 5, I’m not going to try to dissuade you as I’ve come to realize what folly that truly is. People are arguing on social media based on emotions and the confirmation of their preferred narrative not the facts.

Where do you start? So many things to be mad about but I fear for my overtaxed outrage, The Texas anti-woman crusade? Uncle George Carlin from almost twenty years ago put it right

Pretty much says it right,

We do seem to be a pattern of instead of addressing an issue proactively, we seem to fight about it. That law is about control, not about actual behavior, the healthcare, but control. The need of some backwards cromudgeonly cromagnon old white guys (who as George notes, nobody wants to mess with anyway) asserting control in an area where the governor wants ignore the pandemic. Apparently the virus has more rights in Texas than the female citizenry.

You wouldn’t think people would have the capacity to not see the wrongness here, but somewhere, somehow, there are jugheads arguing about it. Gp get ’em, Merrick Garland. This needs repair not pointless internet arguing.

We don’t look for facts, we look for preferences.

It’s not Facebook’s fault that people aren’t getting covid shots, but that does seem to be a battle front where the line between barstool philospher and infectious disease expert seems to be pretty hazy (maybe that is a side effect). A year and a half into the pandemic, nobody really has an absolute. We all just think we do. What I think, getting vaccinated doesn’t necessarily absolutely cure or keep Covid completely away, but it seems a good step to take to reduce the severity if it landed, a good step to take, but you do you, or don’t.

I can’t help but wonder if there has been a bit of ripple effect in the workforce from 700,000 people dying from Covid. People have fought about nobody wanting to work because of the supposed great living you made during the expanded unemployment benefits when those were around. Sure, there are folks gaming the system. I can think of 535 of them in the house and senate. Given the extraordinary nature of the pandemic where nobody could be certain of anything, maybe folks reprioritized, maybe some postings were exposed to not be that great, maybe some employers aren’t worth hiring, maybe years of being in hospitality didn’t prepare you for being a mask or vaccination police person (see that poor woman attacked by customers at her NYC restaurant for doing her job), maybe years as a flight attendant didn’t prepare you for self-righteous buffoons attacking each other and you in flight, and maybe some places are depending on the vicissitudes of hiring algorithms to fill postings. I’ll check my resume for keywords. Anyhoo, it’s a complex situation that doesn’t have easy answers that will never get properly addressed in any facebook status update arguments.

I’d rather my city have a mayor with a few parking tickets than one whose office gets raided by the FBI. And while I am at it, socialist programs do not mean Trotsky is a coming. Most of the new deal was socialist programming. Social security, farm price supports, unemployment, bank deposit insurance, streets getting repaved, hell, anytime government does something for anybody fits the definition. People are running from a word without bothering to look it up. Perhaps they can research it while they are looking up their vaccine research.

I can’t help but wonder if anybody is even doing that, researching their vaccine, and if they did, do they know what they are looking at? Unlikely, but give em a meme to post and they will admonish anybody who doubts.

Witness the all the partisians on facebook now that are choosing sides as Congress continues to screw around with bills that are designed to help people, keep social security payments, pay the military, trivial stuff like that, invest in roads and bridges and each party is so hell bent on screwing the other, it is going to be the citizenry who is going to lose, yet apparently the country came here for an argument once more.

We aren’t fixing anything. With so much broken you’d think that might be job one, but no, it’s easier to throw spitballs from the back of the internet, shouting your possibly baked notion louder than the next, not to any real end other than to be louder than what you don’t want to hear.

It reminds me of the belligerently written posts to raise awareness or post this on your wall or I know real friend will posts, I hate those things they do nothing than serve as vehicles for attention. Everybody likes to posit that social media is an evil, but never stopping to consider a paraphrase of Pogo: “We have seen the enemy and it is us.”

Let’s fix something. Get it fixed and at the bar when the job is done we can toast how it should have been.

Delta, Epsilon, Gamma

Don’t call it a comeback when we knew it was going to happen. We started on the right path with the covid battle but we never finished. The CDC is recommending masks for everybody indoors once more. I have been believing that people will settle for Facebook status updates and scuttlebutt ahead of actual sciences and I wish I was wrong about that. But here we are. I was sitting outside watching the world go by and a couple passed debating the subject of vaccines. He was complaining that he didn’t know enough data or what was in the vaccine, while finishing a hot dog. Relish that irony.if you will. Nobody asked for the ingredients on their flu shots, they got em. It has never been a question about your “free-dums,” it’s about the science of not dying. Science doesn’t bullshit, it’s one of those things that is or isn’t. How numb do you have to be to shrug off something that killed over 600, 000 people. Wash your hands, you filthy animals. Wearing a mask wasn’t that hard and spare me the I can’t breathe under this thing whining. You can, you just don’t want to. Neither do the folks hooking up your ventilator, but they do, without the petty childish complaints. Neither Dave Grohl or Bruce Springsteen was discriminating by having their audiences vaccinated, there Ricky Schroder. They took stands for the safety of the folks attending. Wanna go, get a shot. No shoes, no shirt, no shot, no service. Seems simple enough. Given the severity of both the ignorance that is still out there and the still evolving Delta variant, I will stay home a bit longer.

That’s a policy Rand Paul should look into as he looks like a buffoon arguing with Dr. Fauci on this. It’s theater but really stupid theater and Paul is not serving his constituents (not that he ever has) with his grandiose bemoaning. He is a gossipmonger of a Senator and his people deserve better but considering they keep electing him, maybe not so much. Among the others who (and there are many) can’t explain while they continue to hold office is Kevin McCarthy, who couldn’t be more transparent in his Trump Neophyteness if he tried. From not wanting the house committee to be easily found for ties to the former president. His statement that the speaker’s direction on the make up of the January 6th investigative committee. was a abuse of power so lame it might need its own walking stick.

That committee’s first day got off to a good start, “trump sent us.” Indeed.

I’m waiting for the democrats in Congress to realize that that bulk of the republicans are interested in power only so the Dems (including Joe Manchin) to quit perserving pointless trophies like the filibuster and get things done. They say a stateman is a politican who has been dead for twenty years. It would actually be great if they strived for statesmenhood now. But it seems like a good time for a little review for the Republikkklans out there.

It’s beyond infuriating to see comments from Metric System Bill O’Reilly Piers Morgan or yard sale Rush Limbaugh Tucker Carlson and other easily triggered dainty white guys regarding the mental health of Simone Biles. Without a shred of doubt if she said she broke her arm or had pneumonia no one would hesitate. The toughest thing either of those two fatheads have ever done was tie a bow tie (which is hard to do). Mental health is physical health. I still aspired to both. Once more for those in back. MENTAL HEALTH IS PHYSICAL HEALTH.

You couldn’t listen to the testimony of the capital police officers about what they experienced on January 6th and not be at least moved. To know Carlson saw fit to mock these guys for their experience is stomach turning and makes you wish that somebody would tear him down and put up a human being. The schmuck ridiculed US personnel for donning masks in the Phillipines, where they are required to do.

I don’t being informed is helping my depression. All the “Infectious Disease” experts on Facebook are both lamenting the freedom losses of having to wear a mask, like that is such a punishment or obstruction. I’m pretty sure that my son and I got our picture taken at a show for wearing masks. Whatever floats your boat. A mask in a crowd seems worth it to protect my son, my daughters, my granddaughters, my significant other (who holds a PhD in infectious disease study, so I got some science, along with a wonderful s.o.) and all those i care about in that tent.

That same foolish resentment wisdom wants to blame the trouble in Afghanistan at the plate of President Biden. Even he said that is fair since he is the President. It is also President Trump’s fault, President Obama’s fault and, most especially, President Bush’s fault. There. Blame has been assigned. Feel better?

I didn’t think so.

All I’m Thinking ‘Bout

Facebook reminded me that it was on this day (June 11) in 1970 that the Buffalo Sabres selected Gilbert Perreault. 35 years since his last game, he remains my favorite Sabre player. The way he played, it locked me into what remains my favorite sport to watch as so many games were just clinics in beauty of the game. All these years later, with the Sabres a decade away from the post season, I hear some folks squawk that we have squandered time with Jack Eichel. I am more concerned that we have squandered Rick Jeanneret. I grew up listening to the Sunday night games with Ted Darling calling the play. He was just as great. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that when Ted said a puck went over the glass to a “youngster from Sault St Marie,” that he was making that part up. He was so good, you didn’t mine the poetic license.

He was fun.

There was a lot written in recent days as it has been three years since the death of Anthony Bourdain. I’m not going to lie. That did hit hard. I liked the way he wrote, made television and the perspective he maintained in his enviable travels. Despite the omnipresent snark, he didn’t condescend or act like the conquering white man discovered something, he just afforded everyone from michelin started chefs to fishmongers to brewers to grandmas respect. He could wax poetic about a meal at La Bernadin as easy as he could Waffle House.

While he was an awesome wordsmith, the letting something unfold in front of him and letting that direct whatever tale being told really spoke to me. It was a nice reminder that you can indeed be heard without shouting.

In other news, no immigrant has taken your job. You were laid off by a capitalist who took advantage of that immigrant to increase their profits. Nothing makes the capitalist happier than you blaming the immigrant and not the capitalist.

Also, I’ve found that the level of people afraid of the word “Socialist” is very high and the number of people who can define it very low. Roosevelt would have a tough time dealing with that dichotomy. Pure isms or ists are tough but we all need to realize that no elected official should get everything they want. But all the socialismphobes need to realize social security, the police and fire departments, paved roads and pretty much every program of the New Deal (you know, that little program that yanked the country out of the Great Depression, All programs of socialism without the involvement of Trotsky.

Not coming for your guns either. Figured it couldn’t hurt to add that.

People picketed outside last night’s (June 27th) reopening of Springsteen on Broadway as well as the Foo Fighters’ Madison Square Garden show last week for both venues insisting on Covid vaccination as that rule goes against their choice not to be vaccinated. Apparently those anti-vaxxers aren’t getting that the venues have their freedoms as well. Having a rule was not intruding on your freedom. The venues were exercising theirs as they are allowed to do. Want to see the show, get a shot. Seems simple. Don’t know what is in the shot as your objection? Break down the ingredients on your flu shot for me.

Keeping a thought of thanks (back to the Sabres theme for a moment) for Rene Robert who passed away this week. As the right wing on the French Connection line in the 70s, he was a pretty thrilling player to watch. He was a favorite who never phoned it in.

Political Pandemic Blues.

I have had my fill. The pandemic has warped all our intellects. I’m weary, I mean like working at home. Between projects today, I got chores done. It would occasionally be good to go for a bike ride with somebody else. I miss concerts, hugs and overpriced beer with good friends. My granddaughter is 10 months old and I’m pretty sure thinks that there is a definite limit of people in her world, somewhere around 20 of us. There is a very fine line between solitude and isolation. With the numbers significantly worse than last spring when this started, I remain resolute. I thought I had a grasp on it all, but the days are getting weirder. Strange Days indeed as the Erie County Comptroller is taken to caring about what the County Executive is doing for a half hour on Sunday morning? I would have thought that would have been the weirdest thing I would I have heard in January, but instead it’s not even close. That’s a little bizarro, shouldn’t the comptroller be comptrolling something. I guess we deserve it. In the last election, the choice was an experienced financial professional and him. His nose seems to extend into the business of those of who don’t blanket agree with him. It’s been revealed the poor devil shows up for work in his office as much as 5 days a month. Must be exhausting.

In an ongoing attempt to fix anything by slapping a fee on it, the City of Buffalo installed cameras near five schools to monitor motorists’ speeds during school hours. We need a new mayor. Initially they were supposed to run all day, then during school arrival and dismissal hours. Apparently functioning at all is a tall order. The mayor insists this isn’t a cash grab. Respectfully, I disagree. We need a new leader at the top. I picked my candidate. I think it is an effort to shore up the books on the backs of city residents that may have been overextended. The books are definitely overextended thorough reserve use. The citizens definitely. We need to live within our means, so should our municipality. The most efficient thing to do at this point would seem to admit failure and perhaps throw in the towel, that along with quit trying to fix everything with a new fee.

Charge SENS. CRUZ, JOHNSON AND HAWLEY UNDER 18 US CODE 2385. We have laws against trying to overthrow the government by advocating things like the extra-constitutional “Emergency Audit” @TedCruz proposed. When it is close, you get your recount. When it isn’t close, you don’t. There are no mass accusations of fraud, there are no disputed states. There is a lopsided pile of lawsuits that died because of lack of evidence. Sedition from supposed public servants. 59 lawsuits filed with just one victory. These self-absorbed “Patriots” need to rethink this. This isn’t about serving the people or making sure 70 million people are heard (they were, Senator Hawley, they were). It is all about stealing the election and lighting a corner of the constitution ablaze to stay in power which wasn’t earned. As this movement has nothing, literally nothing, it would wonderous if they knew how much they should be paying attention to Georgia instead of nonsensical gestures like this one. The events of January 6th are at their feet. Now if we could just figure out why they keep getting elected when they deliver so little for the people they supposedly represent. People drank some Kool-Aid hard. I don’t know what it is about the hate-yam’s yammering other than it has been a project prior to his winning in 2016. These jamokes had me agreeing with Mitt Romney, that is weird. Makes me crazy that after the GOP riot/flawed coup, the Mittster was the voice of reason. Tell us the truth? Crazy talk. Crazier still when you consider how many would prefer not to hear it. I liked Angry Mitt.

Same thing with Hawley. If you voted to overturn the results of a certified election with zero evidence, stop whining about unity. You’re traitors.

I felt the need to include the above because somehow being removed from Twitter is being construed with freedom of speech. Anybody who signs up on a service (like this one) is subject of the rules of that service. If the President really wanted to talk, there is a whole press room within walking distance of his office that could have lapped up the day’s lies, fabrications and insults with great ease.

Something else that has been bothering me. When Mr. Trump was elected, those extremely on the left started up with “He’s not my president.” Bad news for you folks, he was. He was the president, got to run the show. The same thing goes with the new administration. Regardless of how you feel about him, he is running the show.

I still can’t help but wonder what people saw in him. I understand your party is your party, but what exactly was there. The very words from then Press Secretary Sean Spicer was a daring to pick a fight with the White House Press Corp about the size of the Trump inaugural crowds.

I’m sure President Biden will do something or somethings to displease me, but he does seem to get that the Presidency is a public service job, not for a personal profiteering notion. In addition to jumping on Mr. Biden for sporting a Rolodex watch and owning a Peloton, the New York Times did stop to discover that much of the funding for organizing of the January 6th riots came from the Trump campaign.

As perhaps my favorite voices and writers (Bruce Springsteen) noted on his radio show this week noted:

“Now, I’m curious: What kind of narcissist are you that thinks you have the right to trash our People’s House, stop the wheels of our democracy, while we are in the process of performing one of our most sacred duties, the peaceful transfer of power, in the most powerful nation on Earth, and to act based on a cheap, easily disproven lie of a stolen election, a lie that has been reviewed, disproven, debunked and rejected by every court in the land, including our own Trump-filled Supreme Court. I mean, who do you think you are to desecrate the halls of our democracy purely on the word of a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself. He is a dime store seditionist and a low-rent traitor to the Constitution, and to the United States of America.

“I ask my good American brothers and sisters to value yourselves and your allegiances more deeply. Donald J. Trump does not deserve your good soul and your honest and heartfelt commitment. Your country, your real country, awaits and needs you. So I say this with pain and love in my heart: Don’t waste your compassion on those who do not deserve it. You are better and worth much more than that. In this world, God’s world, no infallible truth resides in just one man. There is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is a truth of deep inquiry, humility in the face of facts, and it is grounded in the faith and love and respect you carry for your neighbors and your country. Let us all pray to God we have the strength to see clearly with our mind, heart and eyes, and that we may hold our faith high, humbly, and in service of our country and the truth.”

Well said, Boss. An extremist couple, of course, armed with recording cell phone accosted Mitt Romney in an airport wanting to know how he was going to vote in Electoral College certification (something they likely didn’t know about four years previous) and got abusive when the Senator didn’t give them the answer they wanted. 1999 Lindsey Graham said that if we support Trump we deserve our end. It’s too bad he didn’t give 2021 Lindsey the news. Cruz, Graham, Rubio, Hawley sold their souls for somebody who didn’t give a crap about theirs. They are all so hellbent to stay in power, not to represent, but to stay in power, witness how none of them have said boo about the covid situation getting worse. Hopefully the new senate will be forced into working together. There are no guarantees, no assured successes, but it feels a little more like, i don’t know, the folks at the top aren’t there to fill their larters.

Boss gets the last word

Mom’s Laugh

When you are a parent, your kids’ laughter is the best sound. It doesn’t matter how old said kids are, it is infectious and revives you. At least, my kids’ giggles have that effect on me. But an underrated source of energy is the laugh of the mother, at least my mom.

My Dad has always had a pretty healthy regard for the silly. Growing up the two of them put great value in exposing their unruly lot to arts, books, music, you name it. That’s a pretty tall order when two of the sons were special needs guys, but the folks were pretty successful. We all read a lot and my sisters and I managed to not be slouches at the wisecrack, my own kids picked up on that with their own great skill. Dad remains appreciative of anything humor laden, but you knew you made it when you got audible laughter out of Mom. She usually smiled and had a bit of a silent laugh.

I started to think of this the other day as the battle she was fighting against dementia and enough TIA ischemia based episodes to fill a tv season has taken the laugh among the other things those diseases have robbed. She lost that fight Monday morning

I harkened (I can hark? who knew) to a late Sunday morning a few years ago. I was out visiting the folks. They were still in the family house of what would eventually be 51 years. My mom was telling me about a party they had attended the previous night. Dad had volunteered in one of the labs at Roswell Park sharing his considerable computer programming acumen with the folks there.

My mom takes a sip of her coffee “Michael, you should have seen it, all these little nerds came up to me raving about your father…they kept telling me that your father was a fucking genius!”

I couldn’t help, I laughed. My mom does not haul out the f-bomb that often and hearing it suddenly with all the gusto got me right in the giggles, which got her audibly laughing. It was great and not the first time my dad was deservedly lauded, but I think mom deserves her share of accolades.

My daughters gave voice to the notion that somehow “the bagels just taste better at Grandma’s!” My daughters, as is their habit, are entirely correct.

Mom has been aiming for that “better bagel” for a long time. From running the family she was born into, to getting connected with the NAACP to make for a better world shortly after arriving in Buffalo, to setting up a camp so my older brother and kids with similar intellectual disabilities could have that summer camp experience, stepping to the forefront of numerous campaigns from disarmament to who could build what in the town they call home, all to chip away at making that better world, that better bagel. She spoke up for her kids and for those who couldn’t. During her time as the Deputy Town Supervisor, on numerous occasions, she made many a petitioner to the Town Board consider their words carefully.

The summer of 1986 I joined her cadre of workers in an up hill climb to get a democrat elected into what is now the New York #27 Congressional District (Then our home turf). We didn’t win, came with 10 points, so a morale victory for whatever those can be worth. I was a little bummed about that. Mom asked why and I told her my thoughts while we were driving home. She thought for a moment and then with a sly grin “Maybe so, but we sure scared the shit of em, huh?”

It’s not easy to be a force of nature when you are 5’4. My grandfather had a bit of local celebrity to him when he passed thanks to a long stint at the Editor in Chief’s desk at the Akron Beacon Journal. When Cleveland media sniffed around for a few quotes, my mom effortlessly worked them for good stories. It’s a good thing that my St.Bonaventure Media Studies professors didn’t see that solid public relations was just basically common sense who knew somebody.

She’s a rocker. The Eagles, Neil Young, Little Feat, Bruce Springsteen were always greeted with enthusiastic shouts of “Turn it up” from her at her sewing table in the next room from mine growing up. Any parent who equips you with the knowledge that having the Beatles Love Songs collection will be just as important if not more so than Rock and Roll Music? That’s parenting done right, that better bagel.

And in a story my kids have heard much too often, she was a little humored to be in her mid 40s to be thinking of queing up for concert tickets, but did just that in 1980 when my history teacher had the chutzpah to schedule a test. Mom took my best friend’s and mine princely sum of $22.00 and went to National Record Mart while we were acing our tests (at least I did) with front row seats.

Rest easy, Mom, I’ll see you in my dreams. We got it from here

We are lost

I have been thinking a lot about the 2020 Presidential election lately, especially since the 2024 campaign will be starting later this month. We are under a metamorphosis that isn’t good. The election of the President is a pretty amazing thing. It is one of the few things that every voter does get a say. So many folks have been concerned lately that they have been taken to posting “if I can drag myself/If you can be food/etc, you can come and vote in person.” Why does the method matter so much? Isn’t it the greater good that I show up in some fashion at all. With the pandemic, I opted (as a new grandfather, emergency contact for both my parents) to go the absentee route, since covid concerns were taken into account at least by the Board of Elections.

The job of President is a big deal. I think if we all knew all the details of all the decisions they have to make while in office might cause voters to rethink a lot. I like to think there is a need for gravitas, a willingness to see the big picture, to stand up, to glad and to take the heat that goes with the office, to deal with proven facts, to represent the best of all of us, even if we didn’t select him or her at election time.

Not everybody can do it. You got to be engaged and made for these times. Our criteria for what works has decidedly taken a turn for the weird. Are they going to represent me well seems to be a secondary issue to whether or not they were fun to get a beer with?

One of my favorite fictional characters once spoke of government as a “place where everyone can come together, and nobody gets left behind.” The writer of the words that came out of his mouth had penchant for Capra-esque cheer leading speechifying, but who came blame him and those words were written during the second Bush adminstration. We’ve sunken and it’s getting harder to get up.

Seeds of hatred have people public typing their applause when people with differing views get run over or cheering/degrading protests on public road and waterways. A president can be a uniter, bringing people together. The current one chose not to be that guy on day 1, choosing bluster over pretty much everything else including specifics on well, anything and is floating the idea of declaring himself the winner when he feels like during Election Night. If he was truly representing everybody, he would shut it until the votes are counted. The election hasn’t been certified the night of in some time. The guy who seeks his office has a tall list to overcome.

The President has been musing that he hasn’t gotten many mail-in ballots. This is after spending two months or more discrediting mail-in ballots, now he has shifting to villifying election workers who seem to just fine by plenty of republicans.

It’s not the best commentary on our country that snycophants like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell or Marco Rubio can spinelessly slink back into the jobs. I mean if there was going to be some cheating, don’t you think one of those suckers would have been targeted.

I think of all the reprobates and crooks and schnooks that will go with the President in defeat. The relief of educators losing the incompetent Betsy Devos is palpable.

Neither party possesses the answers and it seems like we have to vilify that which we aren’t embracing. I mean blind faith in anything is a seriously bad notion. I like that Joe Biden preached process and calm, that it isn’t about him and about us. I’m thrilled with Senator Harris already taking out multiple glass ceilings. The former Vice-President wasn’t my first choice either, but at the very least he seems to know that it is about all of us. That is a pretty good place to start.

Bruce Springsteen shared the following poem by Elayne Griffin Baker on his radio show.

There’s no art in this White House.

There’s no literature, no poetry, no music.

There are no pets in this White House, no loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat, no kids’ science fairs.

No time when the president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt and khaki pants uniform and hides from the American people to play golf.

There are no images of the First Family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation.

No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport.

No Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.

Where’d that country go?

Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go?

We used to be the country that did the Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for charity.

We used to have a President that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it, and a First Lady who planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

We are rudderless and joyless.

We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.

We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others.

The shared experience of humanity that makes it all worth it.

The challenges and the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.

The unique can-do spirit that America has always been known for.

We are lost.

We have lost so much in so short a time.

-Elaine Griffin Baker

Send the lawyers home, Donnie, you are out of your element