Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thomas Friedman piece, N.Y. Times

A very good column by Mr. Friedman, titled "Trump’s Approach: A Fresh Start or Crazy Reckless?"

Thursday, December 8, 2016

John Glenn (1921-2016)

From February, 1962:

And then, in 1998, he returned to space--at age 77--as part of the crew of the space shuttle Discovery.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pearl Harbor

Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.

2335 American personnel died.  Of these, 2008 were from the Navy, 218 from the Army, and 109 were Marines.  68 civilians died as well. 

The day after the attack, President Roosevelt's delivered his "date which will live in infamy" speech to a Joint Session of Congress.  He said:  "I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

That day, Congress voted to declare war against Japan.

Here is a video of part of President Roosevelt's speech:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some vegetarian recipes, if you are so inclined, from The New York Times.  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The election

So, evidently (despite what President-elect Trump charged, during the campaign), the election wasn't rigged against him after all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ad for Sec. Clinton, redux

I felt like posting--again--this nice ad for Secretary Clinton, featuring the singing of Katy Perry.  It began airing this past Saturday.

A tweet, last night, from the reliably distasteful Ann Coulter

From The Washington Post

"On the eve of Election Day, conservative commentator Ann Coulter suggested that if only people with four U.S.-born grandparents voted, Donald Trump would win by 'a 50-state landslide.' "

The story notes that if Coulter's standard were applied, Donald Trump, whom she supports, would be unable to vote.

"Today, let’s hope Trump’s lies, xenophobia and misogyny seal his doom"

Opinion, and analysis, from The Washington Post's Greg Sargent:

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody."

An op-ed essay by Dana Milbank, of The Washington Post:

Trump invents a story

This story--which I had heard about, and then read about on such a great deal about Donald Trump.

President Obama, at a Friday campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, reprimanded members of the audience. They were booing a pro-Trump protester, an older man who was in the audience, and the President objected to the booing--repeatedly, and sharply.  He defended the protester. Mr. Obama said: "First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks like maybe he might've served in our military and we gotta respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we gotta respect our elders." 

Later, at a campaign rally, Trump claimed the President was "screaming at this protester," which the President of course had not done at all. Trump's complete distortion of what actually took place is deeply reprehensible, and troubling--though it is not particularly surprising.

Here is more about the story, from NBC News:

New York Times editorial: "Imagining America on Nov. 9"

 From The Times, online, November 5th:

"The United States has seen worse than Donald Trump. It has endured political crises and corruption, war abroad and bloodshed at home. But that doesn’t make it any easier to contemplate the catastrophe that looms if we wake up Wednesday morning to President-elect Trump.

"There’s no sense complaining anymore. The hurricane is three days from landfall. The urgent thing now is to avert the worst, minimize the damage, save the foundations, clear the mess.

"Averting the worst starts with electing Hillary Clinton."

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A quote

I have a book, The Wisdom of China and India, edited by Lin Yutang (Modern Library, 1942). There is a quote in the book that I like, from Confucius. It is this: "To know what you know and know what you don't know is the characteristic of one who knows."

I cannot resist applying these words to that which our country is focusing upon so deeply, at the moment. There is one candidate running for the presidency who appears, in a profound way, to not have an appreciation of--to not have an understanding of--that which he does not know.

The FBI, and its decision

"Emails Warrant No New Action Against Hillary Clinton, F.B.I. Director Says"

More from Bill Weld, about Secretary Clinton

Additional comments, in defense of Secretary Clinton, from Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld, in a Sunday morning interview on Jake Tapper's program "State of the Union":

From the CNN article, below:  "(Weld) called Trump 'totally unfit to be president' and said Clinton was 'a perfectly reputable, professional, responsible candidate for president of the United States and deserves to be treated as such.' "

(The interview was conducted prior to Sunday's notification to Congress, by FBI Director James Comey, which brought to a close the Clinton e-mail matter.)

Clinton television ad, now airing

A nice ad for Secretary Clinton, which is now airing in 11 states. It features the singing of Katy Perry.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Artist Barry Blitt, The New Yorker

I love this recent (Oct. 31st) cover illustration by Barry Blitt, titled "Significant Others."

(Click on the image, to enlarge.)

From The Washington Post: "Fox News apologizes for falsely reporting that Clinton faces indictment"

Here is another story about the Fox report, from CNN:

Retail politics

I was leaving the supermarket yesterday, and met one of the candidates for Sheriff, in my county; he gave me one of his brochures. I will more than likely be voting for his opponent--but I love the fact that the candidate was there, meeting people, seeking votes. (I think he was the first candidate I've met, this season.) Retail politics: it is, indeed, a resilient and great American tradition.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld: criticism for Trump, and praise for Clinton

Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts Governor, and the 2016 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate, made some striking remarks this week, on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program. He not only criticized Donald Trump, sharply--but offered praise for Hillary Clinton.

From the USA Today story, below: Weld "said he believes Trump is 'psychologically' unstable, a bully and incapable of 'competently managing the office of the presidency.'

"For Clinton, on the other hand," the story continued, "he had nothing but kind words. This was a clear break with his running mate, Gary Johnson, who has attacked both candidates."

The USA Today story noted: "Weld said he believes Johnson would make a good president and he supports the Libertarian platform, but 'having said that, I'm not taking back anything I said about the massive difference between the two establishment party candidates. One would be chaos for the country I think and the other would be a very business-like and capable and competent approach to our affairs.' "

Here is the transcript from Mr. Weld's interview with Rachel Maddow, via a piece in The Washington Post.  The headline in The Post reads:  "Libertarian Party VP nominee Bill Weld basically just endorsed Hillary Clinton."

New York Times editorial: "Donald Trump’s Impeachment Threat"

An important piece, from the editorial board of The Times, about Donald Trump, and other Republicans:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan, and the Nobel Prize in Literature

Congratulations to the remarkable and brilliant Bob Dylan, concerning his Nobel Prize. I will confess I've been hopeful, for some time, that novelist Philip Roth would receive the award--and one hopes this will still happen--but the news about Mr. Dylan is, nonetheless, very exciting.

Monday, October 10, 2016

From a Washington Post story, after the second debate

From October 10th, in The Post: "Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter, 'So if Trump wins, he will put his opponent in jail. If he loses the system is rigged. Either way, he is a threat to democracy.' ”

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Recommended Reading: "Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days"

In that Judaism's High Holy Days are taking place, at this writing, it is perhaps a bit late to recommend this book; a significant part of it concerns the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Yet I've read Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days, by Kerry M. Olitzky and Rachel T. Sabath, a couple of times, and enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Arizona Republic's endorsement

From an editorial, posted Tuesday night on the website of The Arizona Republic:

"Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.

"This year is different.

"The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.

"That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shimon Peres

I'm very saddened by the death of Shimon Peres, who had suffered a stroke two weeks ago; he was 93.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The documentary "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War," Tuesday night, on PBS

I'm looking forward to seeing the new documentary "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War," which airs Tuesday on PBS (September 20th) at 9 p.m. (Eastern time). The film's Executive Producer is the enormously talented Ken Burns. Mr. Burns is also the film's co-director (with Artemis Joukowsky).

Friday, August 12, 2016

More about Trump, and the claim of sarcasm

Andy Borowitz piece, about Trump

Funny piece by humorist Andy Borowitz, from The New Yorker, online: "Trump Blasts Media for Reporting Things He Says"

"Donald Trump tries to walk back claim Obama founded ISIS: 'Sarcasm' "

Once again--a pattern is developing--Trump claims, later on, that his inflammatory remarks were intended as "sarcasm."

And, a reminder about his similar claim, in July:

"Donald Trump’s incredible new defense of his Russia-spying-on-Hillary comments: Just kidding!"

Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, on Donald Trump's recent remarks about the "Second Amendment people"

On Tuesday, retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden, the former Director of the CIA (and former Director of the National Security Agency), said this, to CNN's Jake Tapper, about Donald Trump's recent Second Amendment comment:

"If someone else had said that outside the hall, he'd be in the back of a police wagon now with the Secret Service questioning him."

Hayden also said: "You're not just responsible for what you say. You are responsible for what people hear."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Republican Senator Susan Collins, of Maine: "I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president."

Here is the essay Senator Collins wrote for The Washington Post

"50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’ "

From the article, below:

"Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump 'lacks the character, values and experience' to be president and 'would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.'

"Mr. Trump, the officials warn, 'would be the most reckless president in American history.' ”

Friday, August 5, 2016

Trump: "I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged”

Timothy Egan, in an essay in today's The New York Times, writes this:

"...facing a likely trouncing in November, Trump has signaled that he will try to bring down our democracy with him. His overlooked comment — “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged” — is the opening move in a scheme to delegitimize the outcome.

"Because Trump is consistently barbaric and such a prolific liar, it’s hard to sustain outrage over any one of his serial scandals. But his pre-emptive attack on the electoral process is very troubling."

And Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote, on August 3rd:

"Of all the dangerous things Donald Trump has said, perhaps the most concerning is his assertion that the election might be rigged. This irresponsible, unsupported suggestion augurs poorly for Trump’s behavior in the increasingly likely event of his loss."

Sunday, July 31, 2016


 A GOP Congressman from New York, Richard Hanna, says he'll vote for Secretary Clinton, as does a former aide to Chris Christie, Maria Comella.

And an aide to Jeb Bush, Sally Bradshaw, says she has left the Republican Party, and has become an independent.  She says: "If the race in Florida is close, I will vote for Hillary Clinton."

Says Bradshaw: "That is a very difficult statement for me to make. I disagree with her on several important issues. I have worked to elect Republicans to national and statewide offices for the last 30 years. I have never voted for a Democrat for president, and I consider myself a conservative, a supporter of limited government, gun rights, free enterprise, equality of opportunity. I am pro-life. There are no other candidates who were serious contenders for the nomination that I would not have supported.

"But," she continued, "we are at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist -- a misogynist -- a bigot. This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president."

Trump, and the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan

Trump is vicious, unhinged, frightening. He has a remarkable ability to feel unlimited self-pity, and self-concern--and has such little regard for the lives, the histories, of others.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Trump now says...

Story in The Washington Post:  "Donald Trump’s incredible new defense of his Russia-spying-on-Hillary comments: Just kidding!"

Friday, July 29, 2016

Secretary Clinton's convention speech

There were many outstanding moments during Secretary Clinton's speech, last night, at the Democratic convention. This was one of them:

"Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, 'I know more about ISIS than the generals do….'

"No, Donald, you don't."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday night, at the Democratic convention

A remarkable speech at the convention, tonight, by President Obama; one of his best, I think.

And, great speeches by Joe Biden. and former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (although protesters, unfortunately--evidently Sanders supporters from the Washington state delegation, who were then joined by others--disrupted Panetta's speech, loudly. They chanted "No more wars," and "Lies"). A terrific speech--an effective attack on Trump--by Independent Michael Bloomberg, New York's former Mayor. And, very fine speeches by Tim Kaine, and retired Rear Admiral John Hutson. 

(Hutson delivered a powerful response to Trump's infamous attack on John McCain, and McCain's time as a POW. Said Hutson: "I served in the same Navy as John McCain. I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. Donald, you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots.")

There was also a wonderful introduction to President Obama's speech, by Sharon Belkofer, a Gold Star mother from Ohio. Her son, Lt. Col. Thomas Belkofer, 44, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, when the NATO convoy he was a part of was attacked in a suicide bombing.

The murder of Father Jacques Hamel, 85, in France

The utter barbarity of ISIS, its followers--and other like-minded jihadists.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Baton Rouge

It is just so awful, what has taken place in Baton Rouge.

The story, below, is about the three officers who were killed.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The attack in Nice

The terror attack in Nice is staggering, and hideous. From the CNN report, below: French President Hollande, "addressing his country following its third major terrorist attack in 18 months, described the assault as an 'unspeakable act' and vowed that France would 'be able to overcome all trials.' "

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A terrible week

This past week was a terrible and tragic one, in America. First, there were the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. And then, the ambush murders of the officers in Dallas.

Here is a New York Times editorial; it is titled "The Horror in Dallas, a Country Drowning in Grief.".

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia earlier this week

ISIS hasn't, as of this writing, claimed responsibility for three attacks in Saudi Arabia earlier this week. The story below notes, however, that "Islamic State extremists have attacked the kingdom repeatedly in recent years, mostly targeting the Shiite minority and state security personnel."

From the story:  "The Medina attack struck the security office of the mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is said to be buried, an important stop for millions of pilgrims who visit the holy cities each year. Four security officers died in the attack, [television news channel] Al Arabiya said, in addition to a suicide bomber."

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016


And now, tragedy in Bangladesh. ISIS has taken credit for the murders. The sickness, the cancer, that is jihadist terrorism continues.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Helen Mirren, and the State of Israel

Have for years been a great fan/admirer of Helen Mirren--and my admiration for her has only grown, after reading, this week, of her spirited support of/defense of the state of Israel, and its citizens.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Terrorism in Orlando

The massacre in Orlando: it is heartbreaking, and sickening.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Secretary Clinton

Am very glad that Secretary Clinton has prevailed, in her effort to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

While she is not a flawless candidate--and, indeed, has not always been an effective campaigner--I believe that she will be a fine, forceful, and level-headed President.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Muhammad Ali

From a June 4th Washington Post article (link below) about the great Muhammad Ali:

"In his 2004 memoir, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey – a collaboration with his daughter Hana Yasmeen Ali, he addressed the question of how he would like to be remembered, writing:

" 'I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight championship three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and champion for his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.' ”

Friday, May 27, 2016

Vince Foster's death, and Donald Trump

See, below, an important essay, by Sheila Foster Anthony, sister of the late Vince Foster, published on Thursday in The Washington Post. The essay is titled, "Vince Foster was my brother. Donald Trump should be ashamed."

After making disgraceful and inflammatory remarks about the 1993 death of Mr. Foster, earlier in the week, Donald Trump was asked on Thursday about the issue, after the appearance of Ms. Anthony's essay.

He said, of the issue--disingenuously--that "I don't think it's something that should really be part of the campaign."

He also said: "I really know nothing about the Vince Foster situation, haven’t known anything about it, and somebody asked me the question the other day and I said that a lot of people are very skeptical as to what happened and how he died. I know nothing about it."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Essay about animal welfare by Nicholas Kristof; new book by Wayne Pacelle, of The HSUS

Here's a link to a good recent essay by Nicholas Kristof, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. The piece concerns animal welfare, and cites, in part, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.

In April, Mr. Pacelle brought out a new book (one I hope to read soon):  The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals (William Morrow).  

Here's the link for the book:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2016

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here is a link, from the website of Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust. In Israel, Remembrance Day observances began yesterday evening.

Here, too, is a link about Yad Vashem, and its commitment to "four pillars of remembrance"--commemoration, documentation, research, and education.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Secretary Clinton, and tonight's debate in Brooklyn

Concerning tonight's CNN Democratic debate, from Brooklyn: Was extremely impressed--as in the past--by Secretary Clinton's vigorous defense of the state of Israel, and by her firm and acute recognition of the terrorism Israel has so often faced.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A very disturbing story

The Trump campaign continues--on its dark, disturbing path. 

From Yahoo Politics: "Donald Trump refuses to disavow support from former KKK grand wizard David Duke, then does."

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Essay about Donald Trump, in The New York Times

The Times essay, by conservative columnist Peter Wehner, is titled  "Why I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump."

As he writes, below: "Mr. Trump’s virulent combination of ignorance, emotional instability, demagogy, solipsism and vindictiveness would do more than result in a failed presidency; it could very well lead to national catastrophe. The prospect of Donald Trump as commander in chief should send a chill down the spine of every American."