Friday, March 3, 2017

Donald Trump -Master Manipulator

Trump complains about "fake News" yet most of what he says is "fake" as he misleads about crowds that aren't there, winning elections by landslides that aren't land-slides, promising to reveal his taxes but never does, says he doesn't know anything  about Russia or have ties there while we all know about his "Mrs. Universe" and his son saying a few years ago that more than half of their income or wealth is attributed to Russian investments.

His term is barely started and already we have one trusted advisor who was forced to resign because he lied to  the Vice President about his dealings with Russia. The Attorney General, Trump's appointee is under question about his meetings with a Russian Ambassador and had to recuse himself from investigations that may take place involving the Trump campaign that Russia tried to influence and may have, because there are smells that something may be wrong with the whole situation. Consider the fact that Paul Manafort, and others close to the campaign had to resign because of their interests in Russia's business. Yes that's correct the same Russia that was trying to influence our national election by favoring Trump while discrediting Clinton. Our intelligence community, 17 organizations reported this stopping short of suggesting that any influence exerted could be measured or that their was any collusion on the part of Trump and his cohorts. But their conclusion certainly raised questions.

On top of all this Trump and Putin seem to be having a "bromance" where Trump even likened the USA, that's right our country, to Putin's Russia indicating that we were "killers" like them.

Yet the Republican Party leaders and their fellows continue to back Trump 100%. Trump's backers don't care what he does as long as he keeps America "Great" or is that "White" again.

I hope we can resolve all the questions surrounding Trump and his cohorts soon so that our country can be "Great" again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

True Love Lasts A Lifetime!

Lyrics- It's Over
Your baby doesn't love you any more
Golden days before they end
Whisper secrets to the wind
Your baby won't be near you any more
Tender nights before they fly
Send falling stars that seem to cry
Your baby doesn't want you any more
It's over
It breaks your heart in two, to know she's been untrue
But oh what will you do?
When she says to you
There's someone new we're through, we're through
It's over, it's over, it's over
All the rainbows in the sky start to even say goodbye
You won't be seeing rainbows any more
Setting suns before they fall, echo to you that's all that's all
But you'll see lonely sunset after all
It's over, it's over, it's over, it's over
It's over
Written by Bill Dees, Roy Orbison • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Barbara Orbison Music Company, Orbi-Lee Music, R-Key Darkus, Universal Music Publishing Group

He lay naked on the bed dragging on a Marlboro staring out his window, looking along the Avenida Copacabana towards Corcovado with the Cristo Redentor  statue all lit up looking down on Rio with His arms outstretched looking to embrace all who lived there in His loving arms. He wondered how Cristo could love the city he always was looking at when the city seemingly was always rejecting him. He drew in a deep gulp of smoke before he snuffed out the cigarette in the ash tray that was on the bedside end table. He sat on the side of the bed and still in the dark he lifted the small bottle of Scotch that he took from the refrigerator and let the distinctive scotch taste with the alcoholic sting swivel in his mouth before he swallowed it. He lay back and lit another Marlboro dragging in the warm smoke as he let his gaze drift towards The Hunchback mountain looking directly at Cristo Redentor.

They had just made love for the last time. She was warm, soft and wonderful to the touch. The evening started out so great, they professed their undying love and couldn't contain themselves until they got to his room. Their love was unbridled, furious and passionate. Afterwards they lay exhausted in each other's arms happily content in their love for one another. They began to speak of their lives which was certainly going to change for the better he thought. He was still married but was in the middle of a messy divorce agreement. He assured her that he was committed only to her and as soon as the divorce was final they could get married. Once he mentioned that he noticed a distinct change in her whole composure, she froze.

She tried to explain that before they could even think of something as permanent as marriage they had to get to know each other better. He tried to get her to open up and let him in to her life, what had made her the person she was but she resisted. She finally said she could never commit solely to him because she had loves in her life that would always claim a part of her. She would be happy to be with him but he had to know that she could never be his a hundred percent but when she would be with him then their world would only be theirs. When she left him to go wherever she had to go then he would be excluded until they could meet again. She was asking him to accept her without question or restriction and she placed no restrictions on him.

He explained that it was bad enough to be going through a divorce which was like a death, but to have to choose between letting her go or accepting what seemed like an untenable relationship only added to the agony. Finally they embraced and wept because they knew that this affair had come to an end and there is nothing sadder than a love affair that dies. He watched her as she dressed. She reached the door turned and said, "I'll always love you.", to which he replied "And I, you!". As the door shut leaving him alone in the room he wondered how anyone could still love when the rejection was full and complete.

He was laying on the bed looking out his window at Corcovado, Cristo Redentor contemplating this very thought and then he realized that the rejection Cristo must have felt did not stop him from loving the very ones, the very place rejecting him but only made Him love them more, as it must be in this case where his one true love rejected him forever yet he couldn't stop loving her for the rest of his life.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Take a Break From Trump Politics & Enjoy A Brief Love Story

They met and it was magic from the start. Their hands touched and sparks flew. Before they knew it they were out drinking wine, making out in their cars like a bunch of teenagers although they were more middle aged. She was all over him and he her. The kisses were warm and sweet and the sky was always blue. Plans were talked about that they both knew couldn't be fulfilled but what the hell they were in love and felt young, excited and into each other in every way possible. Their song was "Day By Day", sung by Sinatra with all the meaning and love he could only deliver.

"Day by day, I'm falling more in love with you
And day by day, my love seems to grow
There isn't any end to my devotion
It's deeper, dear, by far than any ocean
I find that
Day by day you're making all my dreams come true
So, come what may, I want you to know
I'm yours alone, and I'm in love to stay
As we go through the years day by day
I'm yours alone, and I'm in love to stay
As we go through the years day by day"

Then suddenly or at least it seemed so but they should have noticed things were not quite the same. As quick as they came together by the touch of their hands suddenly they weren't holding hands. They walked together but were apart he with his hands in his pocket she never looking to slip her arm in his. The wine they were drinking was too hot or too cold. They came to the realization that their love affair was coming to an end but they just couldn't pull the trigger to end it all. Then one day they finally agreed that it was time to go their separate ways. They kissed as they parted but the kiss was more like shaking hands. The radio was playing Sinatra singing "It Was Just One Of Those Things". 

"It was just one of those things
Just one of those crazy flings
One of those bells that now and then rings
Just one of those things

It was just one of those nights
Just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things

If we'd thought a bit, of the end of it
When we started painting the town
We'd have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot, not to cool down

So goodbye, dear, and Amen
Here's hoping we meet now and then
It was great fun
But it was just one of those things"

How apropos he thought as he drove off.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Well I got by another year assuming I get through today and tomorrow. It has struck me that many of us keep living the same life we lived before over and over again. It wasn't always like that for me. I used to get out in the middle of the river and splash around until something happened. If this something wasn't good I'd do my best to right the situation and with prayer the situation was righted. There were many times that my splashing brought up good things, fresh fish to eat and enjoy.

As I reflect on my life I can see many decisions that brought love and joy and success of some kind. I saw my wife. She was beautiful, gorgeous. Set my sights on her despite the nagging feeling that she would never see anything good in me. But after pursuing her for four or five years she finally caught me. Together we had a great life. We never stopped loving although she had early onset Alzheimer's which threw a wrench into our enjoying. Yet it was her journey she had to take and I was privileged to take it with her. It was tough but I wouldn't change it at all since it was a journey she had to take. We loved on a level we never would have reached if we didn't have this battle to fight. We had, I still have a wonderful family that has grown exponentially counting grandkids etc.,  I have to admit that it wasn't always exciting. Like the movies, we remember the scenes but have to edit out the boring moments when we were caught in ruts and were bored as hell!

I pretty much did it all, and I mean my "all", Music, writing songs, playing gigs hitting double "C,s" on my Trumpet, Acting for 15 years after I hit middle age but before that was an executive with a motion picture company (a young man on the rise), then slowed down as I reached middle management with a financial institution. The point is I didn't sit on my butt, I got out into the fray and tried to make things happen and things did happen some good some bad but for the most part life was lived.

But as I reflect on the outgoing year I let my age slow me down. Didn't make waves. Accepted life as it was thrown at me. I let the river currents move me around instead of swimming against the current to get where I should be in life. I always felt if the glass was empty it could be filled again and the wine should be savored until the glass is drained ready to be filled again.

My resolution for the New Year is to get out in that river and splash around until things happen. Bad things might happen but for every bad thing there is a good thing waiting around the corner. So there may be endings but for every ending there is a new beginning. Just because I am elderly doesn't mean I can't drink the wine of life and enjoy it to the fullest. The New Year seems very exciting to me now that I have made the resolution to face it with gusto. My motto, "Live, Love and be Happy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Donald J. Trump President Elect

Let me start this blog with the fact I voted for Hillary Clinton not because I was particularly in love with her candidacy but because I was disillusioned with Mr. Trump's. I would have considered Gov. John Kasich but Trump ran all over his fellow primates (a play on words for those purists) during the Republican campaign.

The fact is Mr. Trump won the election and there is no other choice but him for the next four years unless he does something leading to impeachment which I do not see happening, therefore I must wish him well and success because failure means bad times for all of us in these United States.

My problem is I do not trust a man who spends two years or more saying things I totally disagree with which border on racism, misogyny, dishonesty, while he insulted anyone and everyone who opposed him while he proposed policies that bordered on fascism. After he won he starts to turn completely around using different tones of his voice, facial expressions of humility and reversals of some policies while appointing to his cabinet a man who has been associated with a white nationalist Internet paper called Breitbart News. Just Google Trump, Bannon and the CBS program "60 Minutes" for reference to the details of what I am saying and you will see that this guy, our President Elect, Donald J. Trump sounds very much like he's conning us and we have no idea what his Presidency will be like until it goes into motion after his inauguration.

Meanwhile we have a guy who has business connections that are intertwined with our political system and conflict of interest abounds in the background because the President of these United States does not have to place anything in blind trusts, in fact he plans to have his children run the business which smells even greater of conflict of interest. All this while it appears that he is in bed with Russia's President Vladimir Putin who happens to be an excellent KGB officer who runs Russia like he wants to piece together the USSR once more.

I hope and pray Donald Trump is the patriot he says he is and not the con man he appears to be for your sake and mine. Let us pray!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Aging Or Just Growing Old

When I was younger I wondered what it would be like to be older. Different thoughts at different ages of youth. Some of the earliest remembrances of this go back to when I was eight or nine and I wondered if I would ever get to high school. Imagine! A teenager! A chance to break away from home, the tyranny of Mom and Pop. A chance to smoke or drink some cheap wine or guzzle a beer. The world was all ahead of me.

I finally got to high school. I still think that was the best or one of the best four years of my life. As a pre-teenager I was Mr. Five by Five, five feet tall and five feet wide. I got pushed around and I wondered what it would be like to push back. In high school I grew and helped by weight lifting got to be stronger than most so I pushed back and lived a pretty free life. There were those like "Crazy George" and his ilk I avoided because my pre-teen experience taught me how to survive.

All of male high schoolers had to contemplate what getting a little older might bring, a job yes but more important service in one of our country's armed forces. Never thought about college that was for the bookworms not for me. I got a job, got acquainted with the gal who would be the love of my life forever, and finally got conscripted into the US Army.

Life was good, full of love passion and accepting responsibilities while keeping a passion for living life to the fullest. I had enough going on right "now".  Still I wondered what it would be like when I got older. People would say age is just a number and I would laughing agree. We were wrong! Age is more than a number it is a body getting older and not being able to function the way it used to function. Age is accepting limitations but learning to do things within the limitations each of us old timers might have. More than anything getting older is realizing you have limited time to enjoy the good things life has to offer. Again each one of old timers is limited to doing what the physical and mental health of each one of is.

The fact is each of old timers are restricted by what the younger among us expect of us, demand of us because of our age. Of course the youngest do not pay attention to us since they are building their own life with the building blocks of personal experience. The old ones, say 55, 60 and up have their ideas about what we should and should not do.  So they put limits on things like driving, going out on dates, actions that they consider belonging to the younger groups.

If one should get into a relationship with a younger person then that person has all the time in their mind to figure out where the relationship is going if in fact it is going anywhere. So the older one is not supposed to want or need passion, or look to spending time on long vacations or just doing what people do in relationships. The younger person can figure all that out when they retire but then the older one might have run out of time and will be dealing with the problems that come up with severe aging like a broken body and mind.

So as we get into growing old the biggest problem is the limited time we have left to enjoy life before we either get ill and/or die. We old timers have to figure out how to handle the good times we have left before that time runs out. Living in the "now" is the best way to do this but we are sharing the "now" with everybody whose "now" isn't the same as ours. The answer isn't to live then with only people of the same age because that means shutting off change, shutting off all the colors of the rainbow. For me the answer is to look for new opportunities to enjoy life, maybe new projects maybe new loves, all are limited but that's the fun, accept the limitations and live joyfully within them.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Queen Of Katwe" A Must See Movie

This movie is a must see because it is about the human condition of poverty, the depressed condition of women worldwide, the depravity of those in power, the need of education, use of talent and good people providing mentoring to help those at the lowest level rise to the highest level within their community. And it does this without the use of blatant, sex, violence and sensationalism which is the centerpiece of many of our current movies.

The summary of the motion picture as found on their page promoting the film follows:

"Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player under Katende's guidance. Her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a bright future and a golden chance to escape from a life of poverty."

What the words do not reveal are what the pictures do. First of all poverty has no face or color, neither does abuse, but goodness shines through in such simple and pure ways it reflects the goodness that lies at the center of spirituality without ever becoming preachy.

The slums have only dirt streets, broken houses without running water or any of the niceties we take for granted. Many women have no way to earn a living and therefore are at the mercy of overbearing men who seem to have lost their compassion in this dog eat dog world. The slum dwellers have no education many can't even read the simplest things. They make money by growing vegetables and hustling them on the streets if they lose their money they are summarily dispossessed to live out on the streets.. In this true story that was first published in an ESPN article and later in a book an Engineer who is married to a teacher lives here because he can't get a job as an Engineer. He takes a low paying job while he hunts for the job befitting his education. He comes in contact with the children who have no hope and gets them interested in Of all things, Chess. Chess captures their imagination and the girl, Phiona, after many years becomes a Master champion and is able to lift her family out of  the slums.

For this to have had to happen this Engineer, Robert Katende had to finally turn down a good paying job to stay with the children and keep helping them. With his wife teaching they were schooled and learned to read. Phiona became a national hero and light broke through the darkness.

Poverty has no face or color. Goodness has no face or color. People of color, white people, everybody can be hit by the hardship of being economically disadvantaged. But we all have talents that can be developed through education and used to rise above these disadvantages especially if we have mentors who are people of goodness.

See this picture and enjoy the possibilities if people would only care for each other working to lift rather than to tear down. The movie is well written and terrifically acted. And it has a message without being overly bearing in delivering it.