Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Times They Are A (Not) Changin'

It's going to take a Vietnam era level of disruption, confrontation, coalitions and citizen action to turn around the culture of gun violence in the U.S.  It's going to take another "counter culture" of students, performers, clergy, minorities, and those beleagured "liberals."  The government will not be moved until it is upended.

I believe the cold war idology that produced the Vietnam War  was even more entrenched than the "second amendment" ideology is today.  Washington supported the war even when they knew, as historians now tell us, that it was futile.  Washington sucumbs to the lobbying power of the NRA even as we know they will eventually regret their cowardice.

I don't know when the tipping point will come.  I don't know who the leaders will be.  I know the effort will have to be "revolutionary."  I say bring it on.

Friday, May 23, 2014


My friend Camille sent me this photo from Barcelona.  Isn't it fun?  I wish I did have a house there.  I was in Barcelona many, many years ago with Len.  We were strolling through a fancy section of the city when I admired a ring in a shop window.  Len said: "Too bad our plane leaves before the shop opens."

When we got to the airport we found out that our plane was delayed by several hours so we went back into town.  Yes, I got the ring.  But, a few years later, in one of the mysteries of my lifetime, the ring disappeared, never to be found.

So, I guess I wasn't meant to have it after all.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Time for Marianne?

Marianne Williamson is running as an independent for the Congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Pundits are having fun calling this the "Hollywood" seat,  With "Arnold" and "Ronnie" still in our memories, I guess we can allow the pundits some snickers.  But, make no mistake, there was nothing trivial about the great career of Henry Waxman.

I knew Marianne when I was connected to the "Human Potential Movement."  It was the time of est, Esalon, "I'm OK You're OK", and in Chicago, Oasis, where I worked.  Back then, Williamson was teaching the book "A Course in Miracles."  Believe me, people were into it. As an aside,
Bill's college roommate and friend Tammy Cohen was attached to the book because her mother published it.

Some call Marianne a minister, others a guru, and still others a spiritual leader.  I'm going to borrow from Howard Dean and call her the leader of the "Imagine" wing of politics.  One of her 10 books (four of which were No. 1 best sellers) is "Imagine What America Could Be . . ."

Did you know that she has spearheaded the effort to establish a Department of Peace?  Did you know that checking the box "spiritual but not religious" is an extremely popular thing to do?

I'm rooting for Marianne Williamson for Congress.

 Imagine it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Let's Get Real

Michael Sam, the gay football player,  is going to be the star of a reality show produced by Oprah for her OWN TV network.  The show will follow Sam's experiences as a late round draft pick for the St. Louis Rams NFL team.  NFL/Oprah.  Now there's a combo I never expected to see in the same sentence.

So far, the official word from Sam has been that he just wants to keep his head down, work hard and concentrate on making the team.  He is not guaranteed a spot.  I don't know how much access Oprah's people will have to the practices, but, in my opinion, none of this amounts to concentrating on football.

And choosing Oprah?  Not ESPN?  Maybe I'm missing something here.

Bill Russell, the iconic basketball star, who is now 80, likens Sam's situation to what black athletes faced in the '60's during the civil rights battles.  Integration didn't come easy.  My all time sports movie "Remember the Titans" is testimony to that.

I think Russell and the others who integrated major sports had it a lot harder than Sam.  I don't remember huge outpourings of support for Russell and his contemporaries.  Not until many years later when their courage was acknowledged and applauded.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


During his ceremony for being named this year's MBA MVP, Kevin Durant made an extraordinary tribute to his mother.  Replay went way beyond the sports world and seems to be anchoring media coverage of Mothers' Day.  Keeping up with the theme, the NFL players chosen in the draft were asked to comment on their mothers.  The result is an outpouring of love, thanks, and excitement about being able to give back.  So, take that you mean spirited people who castigate poor, single mothers as "takers."  I'm going to think of these mothers as "givers" because we get so much pleasure watching the talented players they have raised.

And, speaking of appreciation, I just received an extraordinary invitation.  It is for a Patient Appreciation party that my dentist, Dr. Beaty, is hosting.   During the many years I've been in her care, I knew she was one of a kind and I know I am so lucky to have her.  Now I can add giving a party for her patients to her unique stature.  Wow!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Rob Ford, the crack cocaine smoking Mayor of Toronto is missing.  He said he was coming to the U.S. for rehab, but he did not enter the country and hasn't been seen since.  The maylasian airline is still missing.  As far as I know, (and I stopped following the story), despite all of the resources devoted to finding it, there has not been a trace of evidence from the downed plane.

There's another "missing" story out there that needs our immediate attention. This is about the Nigerian girls who have been kidnapped and are being, as we speak, "sold into slavery."  These girls are who we really need to find!  C'mon people. If we can spend millions on looking for the plane, and thousands of hours of air time talking about the plane, we can gear up for finding these girls!

As for Ford, I'm convinced he'll show up on his own.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


A friend asked me who I was rooting for in game 7: Thunder or Mavs.  I said: "I can't say I really care because Oklahoma and Texas are at the bottom of my favorite states list."  My mind just works that way.  But then I thought: "I really cheer for the players."  So, it was Thunder because I love Kevin Durant.  Did you know he contributed one million dollars to Oklahoma tornado victims?  Pretty special for a black man in that racist state.

Besides basketball, Oklahoma is in the news this week because of the state's botched effort to inflict the death penalty.  Man commits gruesome crime and gets gruesome execution.  A local poll says the people there like it that way.  He got what he deserved.

Yesterday, I heard the most clear argument agains the death penalty: If you knew when you say "Yes" to a certain person getting death, you were also saying "Yes" to an innocent person being executed, could you still say "Yes"?

I'm glad the Clippers won and are on to the next round.  If they end up playing OKC, I'll take California.

Friday, May 2, 2014


My financial advisor divorced me a few weeks ago because I no longer have the minimum amout of money to warrant her services.  It was a blow.  This was after I've learned to live with the repeated "discontinued" label being slapped on so many of my favorite products.  The latest is the Marimekko store at Crate and Barrel.  I've loved the Marimekko look since it first came here in the 1950's.  The last outlet in Chicago closes at the end of May.  But, it's one thing for your possessions to be discontinued, it's another when it's you.

So, I really would understand how crushing it would be for Hillary to look inward and decide not to run for President in 2016.  Today I read an interesting take on this from Tina Brown at
the  Tina says Hillary should skip being President and go right to a more satisfying role: ex-President.  Look what it's done for Bill, and Jimmy Carter, and even W. who is painting away.  I think she could pull it off because we've been examining her for years as if she held highest office.

Hillary could be a strong and effective voice for the issues she cares about and we would pay attention instead of sniping about her pants suits and hairdos.

One totally satisfying way I've found to not feel "discontinued" is being a grandmother.  Those kids still attach some importance to me and I love it.

Hillary might enjoy that too.