Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cheer Up!

Cheer up!  There are some bright spots – maybe hard to find when deluged with “it gets worse every day,” but take a look:

Football (the round kind) is up and running in Europe.
Medical breakthroughs, like gene editing, are transforming health.
In more and more places pot is legal.
The eclipse on Monday has everyone a twitter.
The salmon season looks promising.
No drought in California this year.
Business leaders are standing up to Trump.
The sun is shining in San Francisco today.
There are more and more good TV shows to watch.
Our blessings are everywhere – we just need to look for them.

Cheer Up!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Crazies on the Loose!

It’s possible to blow off the bluster, threats and incendiary rhetoric as schoolyard taunts – I dare you.  I double dare you.  I triple dare you.  But I’m taking these guys seriously.

Why?  This is not a rational argument.  We’re seeing two crazy people with egos bigger than common sense engage in a game of chicken with nothing less than the fate of the planet on the line.  And neither one can be counted on to blink first.  Or find a way around the impasse that avoids the use of military force.  So I’m taking these guys seriously.

As Stephen Colbert said: “These guys can get us all killed.”  No joke.  That our survival is in the hands of these crazies – Trump and Kim Jong-un – and what we can do is wring our hands in impotent frustration and hope for the best, is worse than a sad state of affairs.  It’s a recipe for disaster.  So I’m taking these guys seriously.

The crazies are on the loose.  They can’t be counted on to stop themselves.  But they have to be stopped.  So who will do it before it’s too late?  To be continued . . .

Have a nice day!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Breaking News!

About once an hour the cable news networks get all a twitter with some (often) inane piece of news they breathlessly call “Breaking News.”  Here are some Breaking News items you may have missed:

Residents who live on a private street in San Francisco have learned that the public spaces (like parking) on their private street are now owned by a couple from out of town.  Seems that the residents hadn’t paid fees to the city, so the public spaces were put up for auction.  Oh, Oh!  Someone wasn’t paying attention.  And now someone isn’t happy. 

The San Francisco Giants won two games in a row.  A miracle!

Europe is in the middle of a heat wave.  Some people in Spain say their air conditioning won’t work because the air is too hot to be conditioned.  If you understand what they’re talking about please enlighten me.

The last three presidents of Brazil have faced corruption charges.  Insightful observers note that a pattern seems to be emerging.

After 16 years our war in Afghanistan isn’t going well.  “Experts” are divided about what to do:  Send in more troops.  Pull out.  While they argue the Taliban gets stronger every day.  How about we let the Russians have another go at it?

While the White House is undergoing repairs, the West Wing staff has moved next door to the Executive Office Building.  Any bets on whether the change will improve their efficiency?

Nissan workers in Mississippi voted not unionize.  The UAW has seen better days.

Fountains in Rome are shutting down.  Not enough water and no end in sight for the drought.  Bummer!

Leeds kicked off the new season by beating Bolton 3-2.  About this result?  If you cared you already knew it.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Unfinished Stories!

What will happen in Pakistan now that Sharif has been ousted?  Will his brother end up on top?  Will Imran Khan mobilize a popular uprising?  What will the military do?

Who will be next to hear “You’re fired,” from the maniac in charge?

Will the woeful Giants manage to lose more than 100 games this season?

Will Neymar leave Barcelona?

Will the Democrats ever figure out how to articulate a compelling narrative that speaks to the average voter?

What will Special Counsel Mueller find and when will he find it?

When will Artificial Intelligence take over?

When will Apple admit that the Watch has been a failure?

When will electric cars take us as far as a tank of gas?

When will we clone a human being?

Does Assad have a future in Syria?

Is there a viable alternative to war with North Korea? If Chinese pressure is the answer, what will it take for them to do something?

The clock is ticking for Brexit.  What will it look like for Britain and Europe when time has run out?

Have a nice day!

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I was a loyal American as I charted my course in life.  Not a super-patriot, but proud of my country and what it stood for.  Indeed, in 1961 I heeded Kennedy’s call and joined the Foreign Service.  I was happy to represent the USA overseas.

The time we’re living through now is challenging my assumptions.  It’s not only Trump, although he embodies pretty much everything I hate.  It’s where we are as a people.  What I once took for granted – an America that led the way in freedom and respect for others – is hard to find.

Why do I have such an emotional response to what I see?  I feel betrayed.  It’s more than simply watching my youthful idealism go into the toilet.  My identity as an American, what I assumed my country (and by extension me) is all about, is being called into question.  And I feel helpless to stop the rot.

I haven’t given up all hope that our current path will be reversed.  But I am skeptical, even cynical, that my dream will be revived.  Like every empire in human history, we have a limited time to be #1.  It looks like our time has run out.  Betrayed!