My 2018

For my memory only: As we leave 2018 behind, I’d like to recollect some of the highlights. In most respects it rates as a terrible year: Donald Trump’s stupidity, egocentricity and meanspiritedness was a daily downer, and there were frequent reminders that our planet is heading toward an ecological upheaval that will make almost everyone’s […]

The Awfulness of Donald Trump

It is impossible to overstate how horrible Donald Trump is as a man or as a president. I can’t think of a single thing he has said or done that I agree with, which is a pretty amazing record. The only silver lining is that he will be out of office eventually, although not for […]

History in the Making

For years, as we moved relatively steadily through “the American Century,” I thought of history as something we studied in school. Now I am older, with a longer perspective, and the American Century is itself history. There are individual events I lived through that will merit mention in future history books: the Cold War, the […]

Endangered Species

Of all the horrible things the Trump Administration is contemplating or doing, weakening the Endangered Species Act is the one that, surprisingly, bothers me the least. I say “surprisingly,” because I consider myself an ardent environmentalist/conservationist/naturalist. The philosophy behind the ESA is that man is the steward of this planet and responsible for the health […]

Mideast “Policy”

Letter to Representative Salud Carbajal: July 2, 2917 Dear Representative Carbajal, Congress should retake its Constitutional power to declare war and remove the blanket authorization that allows the President to send troops and drop bombs wherever he wants. Trump’s “foreign policy” is a potential disaster. 1. Syria. The US has no business fighting in Syria […]

The Russia Investigation

With Washington seemingly consumed by the Russia investigation, when they aren’t being shot at playing baseball, I thought I’d hazard a comment in media res. In short, I suspect there is more smoke here than fire, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the smoke became a turning point in Trump’s presidency or even, although unlikely, […]

Thoughts on Democracy

Two weeks of travel through United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar provided us with quite a different perspective on the world. For one, the United States seemed a long way away and less relevant than we normally assume. Dubai is an entrepot for trade and commerce between and among Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the […]

Dear Speaker Ryan:

846 Lilac Drive Montecito, CA 93108 February 22, 2017 The Hon. Paul Ryan Speaker of the House H-232 The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Speaker Ryan: Please stop Donald Trump! President Trump apparently believes he can do whatever he wants, say whatever he wants, with no need to think, consult or ask what the majority […]

The Trump Era

I enter upon the Trump Era with nothing but fear and loathing. Literally, I do not know of an American public figure I would less like to have as my President. He is a bully, a narcissist, a brazen liar, rude, selfish, uninterested in facts. Anyone who gives his first speech to the CIA and […]

The Hillary Problem

The complement to the votes for Trump were the votes against Hillary, and certainly among people we know the latter far outnumbered the former. It’s hard to understand the vitriol she inspired, but it was clearly fomented by Fox News and other right-wing commentators and legislators. The three strikes against her were 1) her use […]