Wednesday, June 30, 2021



This self-portrait by Norman Rockwell shows that even the most prolific of artists will hit a wall once in a while.  It depicts him approaching a deadline with no idea in mind ... so he used that as his theme and it became the October 1938 cover of the "Saturday Evening Post". 

I'm taking my cue from Mr. Rockwell and using the "writer's block" that is plaguing me lately as my topic for this post.  As most of you know my blog is actually made up of little vignettes of a lifetime of memories and of current things that I want to share with you.  That's my format and it works well except for times like this when my mind goes blank. 

I'm pretty sure that some of you have experienced the same thing and I'd be interested to hear how you've handled it.  I want to keep my blog going and I really like the format but I also don't want to fill my pages with mindless blue sky ... or a constant obsession with the McConnell Republicans ... so I guess I'll give it a few days and see what pops up.  

At the very least it's a great mental exercise and I, at the grand old age of 88, can certainly use that !


Friday, June 25, 2021

Afraid to DEBATE ???

I ended my last blog entry bemoaning the fact that the current Republican Senators are refusing to follow our country's democratic system of debating an issue, coming to a compromise and acting on it. Now, as incredulous as it is, they have gone one step further. They actually forced a vote, not on an issue, but as to whether they would simply allow a DEBATE on an issue!

The issue they are so afraid of even debating in front of the American people refers to voter suppression and the 18 states with Republican Governors and other officials who have enacted more than 30 laws that will make voting more difficult.

As Schumer asked … “Are we going to let reactionary state legislatures drag us back into the muck of voter suppression ? Are we going to let the most dishonest president in history continue to poison our democracy from the inside? ...or will we defend what generations of Americans have fought and died for … the sacred right to vote?”

Well, the Senate has spoken … all 50 Republicans voted NOT TO ALLOW A DEBATE on this critical issue. Once again they have shown their true colors ! Does it not occur to any of them that these strategic moves to make it harder for a large part of the public to vote (basically those that come out in large part for Democrats) are more proof that they know they won't win re-election on merit.



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Statesmanship …

Does anyone remember when John McCain, a Republican, voted thumbs down to his parties big try at repealing the ACA (Affordable Care Act)? He was acting as a true statesman … putting the good of the nation and their health needs ahead of the wishes of Trump, a corrupt president who was trying every trick in the book to undo anything that came from Obama's 8 years in office. (I think that having the ACA nicknamed “Obama Care” was the real reason Trump fought it so hard.)

Now Senator McCain has passed on and the Republican toadies are right back under the leadership of McConnell, the Minority Whip, and following his every wish. He has made it very clear that he is only interested in the 2022 mid-term elections and has sworn, in the meantime, to turn down any cooperation with the Biden agenda. In other words nothing will be done on a bipartisan basis (no matter who is affected by this) and his weak-spined Republican sycophants are going right along with him.

I am old enough to remember the days when we had Democrats, Republicans and Independents who all worked together … no matter how difficult that was they would follow the plan and, after much debating, a compromise would be reached. 4 years of Trump and that is a thing of the past. He has appealed to the white supremacy and racism that lies just under the surface here in our beloved country and it is so sad to see that. With few exceptions the current Republicans (House and Senate) are examples of just how low our country has sunk. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Who is brave enough to “BELL the CAT”?

To “Bell the Cat” … meaning to perform a dangerous or difficult task. It is taken metaphorically from the Aesop fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat so that they could hear the cat creeping up on them. A wise idea but who would be brave enough to actually put the bell on the cat to begin with.

I heard that phrase on NPR a few days ago in reference to politics. The discussion was about the difficulty of getting anything done in the Senate on a bi-partisan basis since the Republicans have openly expressed that their only desire is to block any and all of the Democrats proposed legislation.

The speaker used the phrase and added “if we were brave enough as a nation we could insist that our elected servants all wear a metaphorical bell that would check their motives and honesty”. If we heard the tinkle of the bell we would be forewarned and could call them on it.

All well and good but it takes courage. Let's all of us “Bell the cats”, those House and Senate members who represent our 50 States. Let's listen for the tinkle of the bell when the politicians speak and make them pay for it when we hear it. It's about time that they stand up for the values on which they were elected. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

The “Dark Core” of the U.S.

As many of you know I try very hard to stay away from politics, but there comes a time when I just can't be quiet anymore … and today is one of those times.

Dark core” conjures up an image for me of ugliness … a place where there is no sunlight … and where the only things you can rely on are hatred, lies and destruction.

In other words it is exactly how a huge portion of our country is behaving as I write this.

They are the underbelly of America, a core that Trump has masterfully played to and who now follow him blindly. They are the “pure” whites who are scared to death of the “browning of America” and will do anything to stave it off. The ones who declare that this is their country and they are not about to share it with anyone who has even a tinge of color, and the main things fueling them are RACISM and BIGOTRY.

If we want to save our Democracy we need to fight this on every front and, unbelievably it includes, with few exceptions, the present House and Senate Republicans who don't care about anything but covering their own sorry butts ! We deserve much better and it's time we start fighting for it. 

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Tor House and Hawk Tower (2004)

 I was visiting my friend Ted in San Carlos, Ca. and he had made reservations for us to see Tor House and Hawk Tower on California's Monterey Peninsula. It was the refuge of poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) and his wife and twin boys and was where he wrote his most memorable poetry.

It was a great treat to see the property because it was not open to the public then and Ted had used some connections to make it possible. Jeffers had the aid of a builder for “Tor House”. It was modeled after a Tudor barn in England and he used sea-worn granite boulders that he pushed up from the beach. He also placed pieces of rock and stonework, collected by friends from around the world, into the foundation.

The house was lovely, but the 40-foot tower was his alone. It was a hide-away and a gift for his wife Una. He had a study on the ground floor where he did most of his writing and a room above where he and Una could enjoy the view of the ocean. A very narrow “secret” staircase connects the two rooms from the inside or you can choose to use the staircase that curves around the outer walls.

Robinson Jeffers is quoted as saying”

I built it with my hands. I hung stones in the sky.”