Archive for June, 2016

Letter From New York, still via the Vineyard 06 28 2016 Nowhere without pain…

June 29, 2016

The sun has set here on Martha’s Vineyard.  Today has been a day that has reminded me I am no longer as young as once I was. 

Yesterday someone did not show up for their shift at Edgartown Books and I basically worked from 8:15 in the morning to 10:30 in the evening.  I was also joltingly awake as I had an iced latte with an extra shot at 6:00.

All day I have been sadly tired and after lunch came home and rested.  Tomorrow is another day.

Another day will not be coming for at least 36 people, plus three suicide bombers, who died at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.  IS seems to have claimed responsibility, not that there weren’t immediately suspected as soon as the bombers blew themselves up.

The Benghazi Panel has at last, I think, [though I thought they had wrapped up once before] and found no smoking guns against Hillary Clinton, though putting blame on the Administration.

Reading a report on the findings, I discovered why I thought it had ended once before.  This was the eighth Congressional Panel on Benghazi, cumulatively it seems they all have cost more than our investigation of 9/11.  This one cost was 7million dollars.

No one comes off well here.  No one…

The Republicans have revealed the stage design upon which Trump will give his acceptance speech.  And probably several more.  It appears The Donald will be speaking all four nights of the Republican Convention.  No one else has been racing to share the stage.

The Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s decision to not restrict abortion rights though abortion law is still not crystal clear.   The Supreme Court also vacated the conviction of Bob McDonnell, former Governor of Virginia, who had been convicted of taking money for influence.

The chaos in the markets over Brexit has subsided as people’s nerves are calming as the world hasn’t ended but the rocky ride is far from over.  The EU wants to separate quickly and cleanly while the Brits are going “we don’t want to leave quite yet.”   Brexit regret is surging in the streets as has an uptick in violence against immigrants, the perpetrators feeling emboldened by the move.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering what they can do to stay in.  Scotland is even throwing out the notion it can veto Brexit.  The Northern Irish have accelerated their efforts to get Irish passports.

The EU, which has been making English the default second language is thinking of changing that though I suspect they will not actually make that move.

Nigel Lafarge, who orchestrated the Brexit is a member of the EU Parliament and was booed and had backs turned on him when he walked onto the EU Parliament’s floor today.  “Why are you here?”

Mr. Lafarge is the politician who revealed that the claim by Brexit supporters that money that went to the EU from Britain would be turned over to Britain’s National Health Service, will not be happening.  It was one of the major reasons older voters voted Brexit.

Through it all, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has remained mum.

I, too, will now turn mum as I head to bed.  I will hold the bombing victims from the Istanbul Airport in my heart as well as everyone else that is hurting tonight, in Syria, Nigeria, Turkey, Iraq; there isn’t a country where there is no pain, including right here.

Letter From New York, via the Vineyard June 25, 2016 Happy despite it all…

June 25, 2016

It is a relentlessly beautiful day on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Yesterday, I awoke and, in a habit I am attempting to break, reached for my phone and realized a new text message had come in while I was sleeping.  It was from my friend Nick [though calling him “friend” underserves our relationship].  He is in the UK awaiting the birth of his first granddaughter.  His text was the way I heard the news of Britain’s decision to exit the EU. 

I literally shuddered.

The unthinkable has happened and, as predicted, world markets tumbled, crumbled, tanked, take any word with a downside meaning and apply it to the markets and that’s what happened on Friday though the US was down only about half of what other markets were.

The Republican presumptive nominee for President, The Donald, was in Scotland when the Brexit results were announced.  He trumpeted it as a harbinger for his own campaign in the States.  He was making these statements from his golf course in Aberdeen.  Scotland did not vote to Brexit and is thinking of a new referendum on independence from England so it can get back in the EU.

As is Northern Ireland, which also voted to stay and is now thinking of slipping away from Britain and maybe reuniting with Ireland.  Some in Northern Ireland are scrambling to see how to get Irish passports as Ireland is an EU country.

The British young are crying out to the older voters who went for Brexit:  you stole our future.

David Cameron will step down by October as Prime Minister.  Boris Johnson, who campaigned for Brexit, is being chatted up to be the new Prime Minister.  Formerly Mayor of London, he is both flamboyant and eccentric, a bit like our Donald.

Jeremy Corbyn, who leads the opposition Labour Party, is facing a coup attempt based on what is perceived as his failure to do enough to stop Brexit.

Brexit is a crisis that will unfold in the weeks to come, will have ramifications of huge magnitude here in the states and which changes history.

The Donald gave a press conference while in Scotland.  Read a transcript of it at this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/24/donald-trumps-brexit-press-conference-was-beyond-bizarre/

It lends credibility to Arianna Huffington’s belief that The Donald is acting like a sleep deprived human being.  He’s proud that he only sleeps four hours a night and at his press conference, he did sound like a person who lacked the ability to connect the dots in his remarks.

Interestingly, many Evangelical leaders who did not support Trump are now climbing aboard Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board.  Of course, they are not endorsing him but only “advising” him,  hedging their bets against whichever way the wind blows.

Back here, at least 26 are dead in West Virginia’s devastating floods.  One of them was four year old Edward McMillon, swept away even as his grandfather chased him, almost caught him and lost him.  The town searched and found him in a creek that is normally only a few inches deep but had gone to six feet in the storms.

A house in flames floated down a swollen creek in what has been the worst flooding in the state in a hundred years.

Two are dead and several wounded in a shooting at a hip hop dance studio in Fort Worth.  It was an apparently a party the owner hadn’t authorized; the studio is a non-profit to help kids stay out of trouble.

In Kern County, CA 46 square miles are burning, only 5% contained and two are dead, 100 homes lost and another 1500 threatened.

So goes our world, this early afternoon on the 25th of June.

Right now I am looking out across the carefully curated flowers at my friends’ home and am about to go down to the bookstore to see if they need help.  Both the cafe and the bookstore were jamming today.

Brexit and The Donald and politics and evangelicals all seem very faraway and I am going to allow myself to feel faraway from them today and savor the moment.  I said to Jeffrey, “I woke up happy.”  And that’s what I am going to choose today.

Letter From New York, via the Vineyard 06 22 2016 Far from the madding crowd but all too aware of it…

June 23, 2016

It is peaceful here in Edgartown, sitting watch a sailboat motor past my window.  The harbor has been filling up with more boats each week that I have been here.  The moorings are filling up with boats of all kinds, small and large.  Far away, just outside the harbor sits a huge motor yacht.  I think it’s been here every year I have. 

Tomorrow, by this time, we should know if Britain has decided to “Brexit” or not and on Friday we will see how the markets respond.  It will be, I am told in newspaper reports, a slow unwinding that will take at least two years.  On the way home from the bookstore, I heard a report that those in Britain who would support Trump are those who support “Brexit.”  They are older, rural, and less educated.   The young in Britain support remaining but have a shabby record of voting. 

It is too close to call.

Jo Cox, the British MP, murdered by a man shouting “Britain first!” as he killed her while she was campaigning against “Brexit” would have turned 42 today.

Right now, led by Representative John Lewis, Democrats are staging a Congressional “sit in” to push Republicans to do something about gun control after four separate bills on the subject failed to pass, blocked by Republicans.  John Lewis is an older African American who cut his chops in the civil rights era and is taking what he learned there to literally the floor of Congress.  Representative Joe Kennedy, a scion of that famous clan, is also on the floor with him.  As is the New York Congressman just to the south of me, Sean Maloney, an openly gay man who lives with his husband and children in Rhinebeck.

Trump is stumping.  He speechified and NPR annotated.  Here is the link: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/23/us/politics/donald-trump-speech-highlights.html?_r=0

Worth reading…

Mr. Trump owns a golf course in Scotland.  Locals have raised a Mexican flag in view of the course to articulate their displeasure with the man.  He promised 6,000 jobs.  He created 150.

Since last writing, Trump has said, “You’re fired!” to Corey Lewandowski who had been his campaign manager.  Apparently, Trump’s family pressured him into it.

In Pakistan, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Amjad Sabri, a Sufi Muslim singer, shot while heading to a performance, shortly after leaving home.  The Pakistanis are outraged.  The Taliban claimed his form of singing mystical Islamic poetry was “blasphemous.”  Most thought it beautiful.

There are at least hundreds of thousands in the Federal Prison System. Inmate No. 47991-424 is Dennis Hastert, once Speaker of the House, now imprisoned because he lied about bank transfers that were being paid to cover up he had sexually abused a boy when he was a wrestling coach.

In disturbing news, it appears the Pentagon is not letting people know if Americans are being wounded or killed in Iraq and Syria as it would “not be helpful.”  By the time the Mideast fiasco is finished we will have wasted five trillion dollars.  Five trillion dollars…

There is a lavender light over the harbor, the water is peaceful.  I am writing while watching the news with my friend Jeffrey as I slip into another almost bucolic evening in the Vineyard.  Here it is peaceful, far from the madding world.

Letter From New York 06 18 2016 via The Vineyard

June 18, 2016

It has been five days since I’ve written a “Letter.”  I’ve done some other writing but nothing that faced the world in which we live.  The death of Jo Cox, a Member of Britain’s Parliament, murdered in her district affected me deeply, a tearing of the barely forming Orlando scar off my physic skin.

Her name was vaguely familiar.  The man who has been arrested for her murder apparently shouted “Britain first!” repeatedly as he shot and stabbed her.  She was campaigning against “Brexit,” the vote for which will happen next week.

When arraigned, John Mair, the alleged killer, gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” 

A man described as gentle by his neighbors, he suffered mental health issues, assuaging them with volunteer work.  He also was in some way affiliated with a neo-Nazi group out of America.

Jo Cox’s death affected me because… 

Because it was one more example of the politics of hate in which we are all mired, because it happened in Britain where political verbal vitriol has been honed to a fine edge but where rarely are political differences manifested in physical actions.  Perhaps over football but not politics. 

And that is probably an Anglophile’s rose colored glasses view of British politics but it does seem rarer there that they have such events as Orlando, much rarer.

In the days following Orlando, a California pastor preached that all LGBTQ folks should meet the same end as the Orlando victims.  We should all be killed off.  It is not the first time in my life I have heard people call for the slaughter of the LGBTQ community but it seemed more painful this time.  We have come so far from when I was a boy.

On Thursday, in a conversation with my friends, Medora and Meryl, I told them that it was on how far we have come that I had to choose to focus or my sadness would be unbearable.  It had seemed an impossibility that in my lifetime gay individuals could exercise the right to wed.  And now we can.

I did not think in my lifetime I could speak openly of my feelings to friends who were not of my own community.

Yet these things have happened.  In my little world of Columbia County, New York I have seen the changes over the fifteen years I have been there, the opening of the community and the general acceptance by “locals” to outsiders and to outsiders were “different.”

We think the world is changing and changing for the better and then there is an Orlando, ripping at the sense of safety creeping into the world.  And then come the stories of people who remain fearful, even in New York, because a show of same sex affection could mean violence.

Only since Orlando have I come to know that the LGBTQ community is, far and away, the group that is most likely to experience hate crimes.

There seems to be some movement about more control over assault rifles. One small step, one hopes.  I had thought there would have been movement on that after the slaughter of the innocents in Newtown.  There wasn’t but now there might be.

Young Christina Grimmie, a “The Voice” alum who was shot to death last Friday by a deranged fan who then killed himself, was buried yesterday.  She, too, was killed in Orlando.

Disney there has been putting out signs to warn tourists about crocodiles and snakes after a two year old was hauled off and killed by a crocodile last week, an adorable young boy.

In Nigeria, eighteen have been killed by Boko Haram.

Belgians have arrested twelve in “terror raids” and Iraqi forces say they have retaken most of Fallujah.

Where have all the flowers gone?

To graveyards, every one…

I am sad but am choosing, must choose, not to feel hopeless and powerless.  It is beautiful outside, another in a day of beautiful days on Martha’s Vineyard.  The world is better than it has been, in many ways.  And I must remind myself of that.Vineyard View 2

Letter From New York via Martha’s Vineyard 06 13 2016 Numb but furious. Where have all the flowers gone?

June 14, 2016

Yesterday, as I suspect most people did, I woke to the horror of the Orlando massacre.  Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I kept wondering if I was actually reading what I was reading.

Of course I was. 

Not long ago I emailed a friend, now living in Florida, that I felt furious and, at the same time, numbed.  I am angry and do not know a single thing I can do that will actually help affect any kind of real change.  A New Yorker, both my Senators support more stringent laws regarding guns.  It will do no good to write them.  Obama sits on my side of the issue. 

And any letter I write to a Republican, I fear, will lend no weight.  I have tried.  Somehow I end up on their mailing lists, thanking me for being a supporter.  When Bush was President, I wrote a letter demanding he not invade Iraq.  For years, I received Christmas cards and photos of W. and Laura, thanking me for my loyalty to them.

Same with my local Congressman…

They are not listening.

It is twilight here on Martha’s Vineyard.  A few boats skiff across the harbor.  From where I sit, I can see the Edgartown lighthouse.  I am sipping a glass of wine, lost in the quiet and the beauty, furious and numb.

As I was not needed at Edgartown Books, I headed out in my car today, turning left at the end of the driveway and letting fate take me where it will.  For awhile, as I drove, I listened to NPR programs doing an exegesis of yesterday’s tragedy, the worst mass shooting in the country.

As he holed up with terrified people, Omar Mateen, the shooter, called 911 to let them know he was doing this because he was pledging allegiance to IS, calling the Boston bombers from its Marathon his “brothers.” 

As I listened, the portrait of Omar Mateen was beginning to reveal itself to those who were attempting to figure out what had happened.  He was American born, apparently radicalized via the Internet, probably bi-polar, an abusive husband, worked for a security firm, had been interviewed at least twice by the FBI because of statements he made or actions performed.

He bought his guns legally.  He bought his guns legally, after all that.  He killed 49 people and died himself.  53 others are wounded.

He was offended by seeing two men kiss.  But his parents didn’t think he was unhinged.

Trump tweeted in peacock pride about being right about Muslims except Omar Mateen was born in America of Afghan parents.  He was a US citizen by birth, no act would keep him out.  He didn’t come here perverted.  He was born here and was perverted by God knows exactly what…

He attacked a gay nightclub, Pulse.  It is Gay Pride Month.  It is also Immigration Month.  It was Latin night at Pulse. Kill two birds with one stone?  Hate amplified?

As I drove the island today, I felt lonely, in the way I felt lonely when I was young and watched as Viet Nam unfolded before me and about which I felt powerless until I played hooky from school and joined a march against the war.

We have no marches these days.  We don’t gather together to scream against the violence.  Perhaps that is why I felt lonely today; I have comrades but we do not come together, we do not march together, we do not sing songs of protest together against the outrageousness of the time in which we live.

Sitting here, watching the pink tinged sky while a small boat motors across the harbor, I am still numb and I am still furious.  What do I do with this?

And in the back of my head, all day has been the thought:  where have all the flowers gone?

Election Day is Only 154 Days Away

June 7, 2016

a brilliant take on our election by Bruce Thiesen with film from Monty Python…

Letter From New York 06 06 2016 On feeling as if I lived in Cloudcuckooland…

June 7, 2016

I am sitting in a bar where I stopped to wait to hear from brother and his wife, about their progress into Manhattan via Uber.  It is slow going out there.  I just arrived in Manhattan from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, having flown in on a private jet from Martha’s Vineyard.

It is not a normal occurrence in my life but I do have a friend who belongs to the private jet club and he was coming into New York and offered me a ride with him so that I could be in New York tonight when my brother arrived as opposed to tomorrow morning.

At Teterboro, there were, it seemed, hundreds upon hundreds of private jets lined up waiting for their owners to go somewhere.  It was an amazing sight.

We then looked at a plane my friend is thinking of adding to his fleet, a plane capable of making it from New York to Beijing, non-stop.  It is another world in which I occasionally waddle but do not live.

Long ago, when I was young, I was in a production of Aristophanes’ “The Birds.”  Two con men find their way to Cloudcukooland, where birds talk and rule.  It is a political satire first performed in the Fifth Century BCE.

And I thought about it tonight when I was looking at headlines about the current political scene.  In one of my letters recently I said that I was appalled that Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.  His position as such is causing me to come out of the closet as a liberal, which I am not exactly… 

A reader of my “Letter From New York” wrote back with a five page email about why, in the end, he is voting for Trump.  I haven’t answered yet.  I can’t quite figure out what to say.  His position is all based on the fact Trump is an “outsider” and it is time that an “outsider” was elected to shake up the system.

Well, I think it well might be time for an “outsider” to win the election but not this “outsider.”  He’s a wacko, a bigot, a looney tunes billionaire who has hijacked the Republican Party and no one in the Republican Party is actually calling him to account for that. 

The press is treating him like he is a serious person when in reality he is a serious charlatan.  He is a billionaire and has declared bankruptcy more times than Carter has little liver pills, as my best friend from high school, Tom Fudali, used to say.

I am so outraged right now that this poseur, who is stirring up the worst elements of American culture, is riding them to a nomination for President.  I am aghast.

Not that I am not aghast at the Democrats, too.  Who, riven with discord, are tearing at each other every step of the way to the nomination.  In the end, it will probably be Hillary Clinton, a flawed but qualified candidate, who will, until election day, have to deal with the bitter divide stirred by Bernie Sanders, some of whose supporters say they will vote for Trump if they can’t have Bernie. 

What?

You would give the country to a flawed AND unqualified candidate out of spite?

No wonder I was thinking today that I am living in Cloudcuckooland.

Republicans, look at your candidate.  You are about to officially nominate a racist bigot to head the ticket of the Republican Party, Lincoln’s party, the man who freed slaves.

He is criticizing an American born judge who is presiding over a case against him because he is of Hispanic heritage and encouraging his supporters to denounce the man. 

The man, albeit a billionaire [we think], is pandering to the worst instincts in our culture and is absolutely not calling us to be better, to be greater, to actually deal with the very serious issues facing America today.  He is calling us back to a past we had thought we had escaped…

But before I go today it is the anniversary of D-Day.  Salutations to those men who served our country, waded into death and took back Europe from the Nazis.  All honor to them.  Thank you.

Letter From New York 06 04 2016 Thoughts on Main Street in Edgartown…

June 4, 2016

The sun is laughing down Main Street in Edgartown, with cars slowly moving down the street, toward the water but without the congestion that is coming toward the end of the month when “the season” really gets going.  Across the street, Sundog, selling clothes, is as empty as we are. 

A few people have wandered into the store and have wandered out, rarely with a book in hand.  A lovely mother and daughter came in, the mother buying her daughter a copy of “A Man Named Ove,” by Fredrik Backman, a book she insisted her daughter read before they left the island next week.

It’s been interesting, watching people come and go, looking at books, some are wildly enthusiastic, some are just looking as they look languidly at titles, hoping something will spark their interest.

As I said to someone yesterday, I have a whole new respect for those who work in retail.

The morning was foggy, the afternoon sun blessed.  Music from the 1960’s plays gently in the background, the soundtrack of my youth.  It is easy here to put away the woes of the world and believe in the loveliness of life. 

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different in the off island world.

Muhammed Ali is being mourned everywhere.  A figure in my youth, I watched with fascination, not quite understanding his moves but also not being bothered by them.  If he no longer wanted to Cassius Clay, then why not?  There were days then I didn’t want to be Mathew Tombers. 

Many of his moves outraged the world and shook people up.  All for the ultimate good…  Rest in peace, Muhammed Ali, rest in peace and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Bernie Sanders has announced he will contest the Democratic Convention, fighting down to the last moment.

In France, floods are beginning to recede but not until after claiming three more lives.  My friends, Chuck and Lois, who have an apartment in Paris, are somewhere else with friends, waiting to get back to their place when the waters do recede.  Guards are standing watch at Louvre and artwork has been moved to higher ground as a precaution.  It has been nearly 34 years since this kind of flooding has been seen in the City of Lights.

It has been determined that Prince died from an accidental, self-administered dose of fentanyl, a pain killer 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. One doctor described self-administration of fentanyl as playing with death; it is not to be used outside of hospitals.

The opiate crisis is enormous.  Even here on bucolic Martha’s Vineyard, meetings are being held to combat the island’s heroin problem.  Everywhere you turn right now, opiates are a critical problem.  It may be that Prince’s death will be a catalyst for change.

It is the 27th Anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square and tens of thousands have gathered in Hong Kong to commemorate the event, shunning the official memorial because it has become too “Chinese” oriented.

In the Mediterranean, with the beginning of warm weather, more migrants/refugees are risking the sea to reach Europe and what they hope will be a better life.  It is believed a thousand have drowned in the past week alone.  It will only grow worse.

Many are fleeing IS, which now finds itself fighting on four fronts in Syria and Iraq.  The unofficial capital of IS is Raqqa and Syrian forces, under the cover of Russian airstrikes and with help from Hezbollah have reached the border of Raqqa province.

Attempting to follow who is fighting whom in that part of the world is not easy.  IS is struggling for control of a town called Marea, which is controlled by the anti-Assad Nursa Front, which is associated with Al Qaeda.  There is also heavy fighting around Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city and commercial center.

The sun is beginning to set in Edgartown.  The streets are still quiet.  Anita, who works in the shop, has gone home as we are completely quiet.  Last night, after everyone had left and I was closing down, I had the most remarkable moment of peace, surrounded by books with the walls resonating with the laughter and voices of the people who had passed through yesterday, just looking for a good read.

Letter From New York 06 01 2016 Random Thoughts from the Vineyard…

June 2, 2016

It is Wednesday evening, the 1st of June and it has been a lovely day on the Vineyard.  I woke to a brilliant sun, skiffing off the water in the harbor, glinting up into my room.   

It was a quiet day at Edgartown Books.  I came home relatively early and am sitting down to write a letter while the sun slips away, beneath clouds that are rolling in from the ocean, promising a cooler and less brilliant day tomorrow.

Before his death, my father was the Minneapolis Manager for Taystee Bread and all of his children were taught to straighten up the loaves of our bread in any market we went into.  I am feeling that way about the books in the shop.  If I see something out of alignment, I get itchy to go fix it, make it neat.

Before leaving the house today, I checked the news online.

Documents from Trump University and statements from its former employees  made the “university” sound more a scam than an educational opportunity.  One manager called it a “fraudulent scheme.”  Ouch.  The principle seemed to be sell, not educate.

But, it must be noted, the program did have its supporters.

If elected, Trump could become the first President elect to have to testify in a fraud trial against himself.

Hillary Clinton seized the day and the news, using the Trump University documents as a reason to call Trump a fraud.  I am sure he will call her a loser; he thinks everyone but him is a loser.

Later in the day, my phoned pinged with a news update:  there was an apparent murder/suicide on the campus of UCLA.  The reasons are yet unknown; it appears a student shot a professor and then himself.

A French ship has detected another sort of ping, from one of the Black Box recorders from the Egypt Air Airbus which crashed into the sea.

Saudi Arabia, which is attempting to diversify its oil economy, has invested $3.25 billion in Uber, which also looks at the Mideast as a great place to grow its business.  And since Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive, having the service may give its women more freedom.

In Mogadishu, capital of tattered Somalia, a car bomb went off and killed at least 15.

While watching the news with Jeffrey, I discovered that today would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birthday, had she not died in 1962.  From the time of her discovery until her death, she lived 17 tumultuous, star crossed years and remains one of Hollywood’s most potent icons.

Once upon a time, in my early days in Hollywood, I did research for some Hollywood writers, among them Richard Lamparski who wrote all the “Whatever Became Of…?” books.  He called her death “a good career move.”

Tragically, he was right.  In death she has earned far more than in life.  While Elizabeth Taylor was earning a million a film, she was being paid a hundred thousand.  Monroe’s estate has carefully managed her assets and through licensing has made millions every year.

I remember as a little boy bringing in the morning paper with huge headlines:  MARILYN MONROE DEAD.  I couldn’t believe it.  But it was true.  And she is wound together in the Kennedy mythology because she reportedly slept both with John F. and Robert Kennedy.

It is even said she called Jackie to tell her that she was having an affair with Jack Kennedy.  Reportedly, Jackie responded: go ahead, marry him.  Then you have all the problems.

My god, but what figures played on the world stage then.  The Kennedys, all of them… Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, great figures who dwarf what we offer today. 

Obama and Hillary Clinton will go down in history.  He the first black President, she, win or lose, the first woman to credibly march toward the Presidency. 

But my childhood was filled with giants and there are few of them left.  Jack Kennedy may have been one of the most flawed men to sit in the Oval Office yet we cannot not seem to love him and his era.   

That Trump is a serious contender for the Presidency points to the paucity of spirit in this time.  Really, Trump?  A bombastic, narcissistic loon who seems more related to Mussolini than to Lincoln is going to be the Republican nominee for President?

As someone who is, I think, a thinking American, I am APPALLED.

However, as a commentator said the other day: hey, it’s 2016, anything can happen.

The light has faded over Edgartown harbor and as my battery grows low on my laptop, I must cease. 

Really, Trump? This is the best the Republicans can do?  Where is Everett Dirksen when we need him?