Monday, December 31, 2012

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

Friends, Romans, Countrymen!  I have come to praise Willard, not to bury him.

Well, not really.  I wish him no ill.  I hope he goes off into his gilded retirement and we never, EVER, have to hear his name again.  I will confess that I still wake up and remind myself that he lost and smile and thank the good Lord above.  He would have been an atrocious president and we had the good, collective, sense to see that and to reject him and his little friend Paulie Ryan.  Well done America!  Well done.

But that's not why I'm here today.  I'm here, at long last, and for the absence I do apologize, to talk about two things.

Number One:  I spent 8 days in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, recently and I came away with one overriding feeling.  We will never escape tragedies such as that which happened at the elementary school there until we fix the way in which we resolve our conflicts.

It's less about the guns then it is about the national tone.  We resolve our disagreements with various degrees of violence.  When a football or baseball team meets before a game they say, about their opponents, "Let's kill 'em!"

When one stock broker makes a great deal he "wasted" the competition. When a movie is a success it is a "smash hit."

Our language is full of words that we use to invoke victory.  And so when one guy swipes a parking spot from another guy an argument can turn violent and, if a gun is present, fatal.

We yell and scream and we don't listen to each other in an attempt to find common ground. We resort to violence to solve our familial, local, regional, national and international problems.

This dovetails into Number Two.

What the EFF is going on in Washington?  We have two parties who are at odds about what to do with the country and neither is really listening to the other.  The members of congress claim to have the best interests of the country in mind but they act in an opposite manner.

We all understand that we live in a representative democracy.  Stipulated.  What is good for Rhode Island may not be good for Oregon.  Got it. 

But the ultimate truth is that what is good for the country, as a whole, is good for Rhode Island and Oregon...and Wyoming and California and New Jersey and so on.

Our congressional representatives, both in The House and in the Senate, are so busy trying to get reelected and/or satisfying the needs of either their benefactors or their constituents, or both, that they have completely lost sight of the welfare of country at large.

Not every bill nor piece of legislation will positively effect the citizenry.  Some will win and some will lose.  But if our "leaders" were to think of the good of the entire United States instead of their narrow, selfish desires, then maybe we would enjoy the growth and prosperity that they, and we, so desperately need.

But Number One and Number Two are pies in the sky.

I was a member of the oft-maligned media that was in Sandy Hook.  I said then, and it is true now, that once we turned our cameras off the story would be over.  We have returned to business as usual.  We are now fixated on the "Fiscal Cliff" and the playoffs and are just waiting for the next great tragedy.

For the people of Sandy Hook the story will never be over but for the rest of the country, we have all moved on.

Nothing will ever change.  And once Congress has gone over the cliff and then passed legislation to fix the problems that they have created, they will be on to the next great debate and the next edition of brinksmanship that they know so well.

We have to change the tone.  We have to learn to compromise.  We have to learn to think of what's good for all of us in the long run in the big picture.

Otherwise we are doomed.  Otherwise we are Rome.  And we know what happened to them.

Happy New Year...

Thursday, November 8, 2012


"My name is Ichabod Scmaltz and I am the president of Citizens Responsible for Appropriate Punditry.
May I ask you a few questions about your loss in the presidential race?"
"Sir, why do you think you were so unpopular with most everybody who is walking upright in this country depsite the faux displays of excitement and adoration manufactured by the Republican Party and, in some cases, your very own family?"
"I think it is because I appeared to stand for nothing in particular with any real conviction,
seemed to say anything to anyone in order to get their support and didn't convey any sense of empathy for any of the voters with the exception of the members of my country clubs, worldwide."
"Fair enough.  And why do you think the voters were unimpressed with your background given your success as an alleged bully in private school, having been born into a wealthy family, giving the impression that you dodged the War in Vietnam by taking a missionary position in France, creating a great fortune by buying companies, laying off thousands and shipping their jobs overseas and having several houses around the country including one with a car elevator?"
"It is probably because most folks don't understand the efficiency of having several houses.  Whenever Ann and I travel we save hundreds of dollars on hotels by being able to stay at home.  And the elevator saves wear and tear on my cars as well as creates fuel economy given that I don't have to drive as far.  I just pull into the elevator and Presto!  I'm home!"
" I see.  And sir, you have been an advocate of a strong military.  Several years ago you said, in response to a question about your five son's military service at the height of the Iraq War, that they were serving the country by helping to try to get you elected president.  Was that a mistake?"
"No, not at all.  I was fortunate to have a rich, connected father during the Vietnam era.  That gave me options.  My sons have the same advantage as do their children.  I feel that it is the reponsibility of all parents to provide their kids with every advantage.  If a parent is on welfare, for example, then they are on a first name basis with their case worker and can introduce their child to that worker so that the child gets every advantage that the welfare program can offer.  That is all I was saying about my wonderful boys.  They were simply using the options I was able to give them as a loving father."
"Hmmm, I think I understand.  One last thing Governor.  Now that you have been resoundingly rejected by a  majority of the American people and by many in the hierarchy of your own party, will you retiure from politics or will you follow the example of another revered Republican, Richard Nixon, and come around again in four years and mount another campaign?"
"I believe in 'never say never.' I will take some time off now after this exciting, yet grueling, campaign, spend time with my family either in New Hampshire, California or Massachusetts, take the dog for a car ride and then evaluate my choices going forward.  I may decide to get back into the business buying business because their are so many opportunities, right here in the good ol' US of A, especially in Detroit, which, at one time I called home.  I hear that they are selling everything there.  I might even bid on the city itself and then I could send it to China.  Imagine.  The Shanghai Pistons or the Beijing Red Wings or the Hong Kong Tigers.  The Tigers might go all the way again next year and that would finally create a true World Series which then, in turn, I could run if I were to be appointed baseball commissioner which I would love.  I love baseball.  I love the uniforms and the Cracker Jacks and the seventh inning stretch.Going to games makes me feel like a real American. Just like George W. Bush.  He loves baseball too, you know.  He wanted to be the commissioner as well, back in the day."
"Thank you Governor.  Good luck and give my best to Mrs. Romney."
"I will and thank you Mr. Scmaltz for a wonderful interview and fair questions.  But may I ask you one question?"
"Did you vote for me?"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blogger's Block

It's been a quiet summer and I have been experiencing Blogger's Block.

I'll be back when I have something interesting to say.

Until then...


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Business as Usual

And now come revelations that Willard may have lied.

NO!  Say it ain't so!  NOT WILLARD!

Not the squeaky clean, Ken Doll, Mr. Perfect.

What part of "He's not a good choice for the presidency" don't you understand?

Willard Romney is the son of a rich man who lives, and has lived, a life of luxury and irresponsiblity (for his actions...) for his entire experience.

He went to private schools, avoided the draft and has made his money the old fashioned way...on the backs of the average Working Joe.  And I don't mean that abomination, "Joe The Plumber", trotted out by Grandpa and Ditzy in the last campaign.

I mean the real McCoy, the genuine article.  Men and women who get up each morning, kiss their spouse and kids goodbye and march off to build roads and houses and teach our children and fight our fires and police our communities.

Willard made his money by buying and selling companies and throwing people out of work.  Never mind the idea that the companies he pillaged were failing and that he, allegedly, created jobs in the process. 

Those companies were just pieces on a game board to be moved around in order to make a buck.  They didn't represent real people with real hopes and dreams.

His decisions ruined real lives and created havoc in the families of the real people who lost their ability to earn a living, provide for their loved ones, find purpose and contribute, meaningfully, to society.

And it is those real people Willard seems so hopelessly out of sync with. He wants to lead a country of real people while he, possibly, avoids taxes by taking advantage of loopholes and off shore accounts and lives a life incomprehensible to 98% of the American people.

Most people don't have millions of dollars.  Most people don't have several homes.  Most people don't quit a good job to work for "no compensation." Most people don't bully weaker kids at prep school. Most people's children serve this country by joing the military and PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE, not by joining a political campaign designed to get their father elected president! Most people are not as privileged as Willard.

Most people work hard and understand the consequences of their choices.

Willard doesn't seem to.  He seems to be used to getting what he wants, when he wants it and in the manner in which he has always been accustomed.

"A tarnished sliver spoon leaves a very bad taste in the mouth."  Wise words from a wise man from a time of honor and integrity long ago forgotten.

Willard is unfit for the presidency.  He would be better off working for the Olympic Committee again.

Maybe this time he could help with wardrobe.  Working for the Chinese...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Question Mark and the Mitterians

What in God's name is wrong with Willard? 

Can anyone explain to me how a man who is running for the presidency can act the way he does?

We can stipulate that Mittie is a rich man having been born into wealth but having earned his own by being a successful businessman.

But why flaunt it? 

We are experiencing a horrible recession with some economists suggesting that we may be about to go into a second phase, a so-called, "Double-Dip."

Millions are out of work and the unemployment rate has stagnated at 8.2 percent.  People are losing their homes and state and local governements are struggling to provide services.  Congress is flirting with legislation that will further cut the programs that many Americans depend upon for their daily well being.

And The Mittigator seems to be, as they say, "tone deaf", to the plight of the ordinary citizens he wants to lead.

Now, to be "fair and balanced", Romney may have some good ideas lurking in the recesses of his mind but how can we trust he will implement sound policies that will help ALL of us if we can't feel that he understands, and can relate to, us.

I am not a rich man, by any measure, so I can't relate to thoroughbred horses or summer homes or million dollar paydays.  I am grateful to have a job and to be able to make my expenses (barely...) and spend time with my wonderful family.

If I can't relate to Willard, then how can he relate to me?  He has NEVER suffered.  He doesn't suffer now.

He hob nobs with his peers all of whom are as rich, if not richer than he is.  You don't see him standing in line at Walmart to buy toilet paper at a discount.  Not in a million years.

If he would only demonstrate an understanding of the situation we ordinary Americans find ourselves in, then maybe I would be able to listen to his words.

But all I hear is the jibberish of the master condescending to the servants in his employ.

Off shore accounts and outsourcing of jobs.  Takeover artist throwing thousands out of work on behalf of profits for the already wealthy.

And the Republicans accuse Obama of fostering class warfare?  They sure have balls, I'll give 'em that.

You bet it's class warfare.  But it's not Obama who is waging it.  Irony of ironies, it's perpetuated by the ruling 1% in order to preserve the status quo.

And Mitt Romney is their poster boy. 

If you can't see that then you deserve what you will get in November if he's elected.

"Let them eat cake..."

Sound familiar...?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Sex is a word. This post, which is not about sex, is an experiment.  This post has nothing to do with sex.  It is only an effort for me to see how many pageviews I'll get by having the word "sex" in the title.

Sex is fun.  I like sex.  A lot of my friends like sex.  Sex is a gender and I have one.  I am of the male sex.  That is my sex.  The male sex.

That's all I want to say about sex at this moment.

Except to reiterate the title of this post, which is "SEX!"

Once Again, With Feeling!

Ok, friends, I know we've been here before but I just have to give another stab at the topic...

...of Mitt Romney's lack of qualifications to be president.

This time I'd like to harp on the current thinking...that he's a bully.

I don't think we needed the latest revelation, that he assaulted a classmate in prep school, to convince us of his selfishness.

Willard is the son of a rich man who was given everything, educated in private schools, avoided the draft by assuming a missionary position in France, married a blond "trophy", had five sons who avoided the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by helping their father "get elected" (don't get me started here...!), and made millions by buying companies and throwing thousands of people out in the street.

I went to prep school at the same time that Willard did.  I was even in France at the same time he was and I didn't go to Viet Nam because I was lucky enough to have a deferment, not because my father was rich, which he decidedly wasn't, but because I was legitimately in school.

I knew kids like Mitt Romney.  Spoiled, wealthy and, above all, arrogant.  They had everything so what did they care.  It didn't matter to them if they got caught doing something wrong.  One call to Daddy and the incident went away.  Money always talks and privileged children always walk.  Always.

They were the kids with the latest of everything and the fanciest clothes.  They had the summer homes and the ski chalets and the sports cars for graduation.

They went to Yale or Harvard as legacies, never because they had the slightest amount of intelligence or ability to equal that of their fathers or grandfathers.  It was only because of their ancestors that they gained admittance.  They partied their way through prep school and then perfected the art of fooling around when they got to college.

And then they went into Daddy's business and, when they got tired of doing nothing for big money at a big desk in a big office with a big salary and a secretary with big breasts, they decided to get into politics...often the other "family business."

Still no qualifications.  Just a bigger job with bigger power.

Mitt Romney is just another in a long line of little boys who "want to be president."

He bullied his way through school and business and now is bullying his way through politics possibly all the way to The White House...ironically referred to as "The Bully Pulpit."

Romney is hateful man.  Not so much because he is a spolied brat but because he stands with nothing and for nothing.  He is an empty vessel sailing along on the hopes of the Republicans who have nominated many just like him for years and years. 

They just hope we will forget the facts of the recent past and overlook the disastrous potential of the future that they propose.  They just want to preserve their status as the 1% at The Club.

Obama may be a disappointment but he is one thing that Romney will never be.

He is a man of substance and consequence.  But you can't accuse Willard of being a phony.

He's the genuine article.  He's a 100%, dyed-in-the-wool, thoroughly complete, total, aristocratic blue-blood.

And to think that Willard spent time in France.  We all know what happened to their aristocrats throughout history. 

Cake anyone...? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I was driving the other day and saw a CH sticker on a car in front of me.  My passenger wondered what it meant and I said, "Switzerland."


"Yes.  Confoederatio Helvetica."

Full disclosure:  I had to look up exactly what the CH stood for but I knew it was Switzerland. I didn't really say "Confoederatio Helvetica."  That would have been pompous...

But I think it's cool anyway.

A Latin name for a wonderful country.  Like the way diplomas (diplomae...?) are written.  "Ensis..."


We should resurrect Latin.

Where's Dan Quayle when we need him...?

Or, as they say, "Latine loqui coactus sum..."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Watch This Hand...

Sorry...but I have to weigh in here.

Obama has declared his position on Gay Marriage.

He's for it.

Fine. Glad he is.  Me too.  "Ain't nobody bidniss but ma own..."

But he has handed the, otherwise weakend, GOP their issue for '12.

Just like Bush One's flag issue, and so many other election year distractions, now the Republicans have Gay Marriage as a weapon against Obama.

Don't get me wrong here. Gay Marriage is an important social issue.  Just like Abortion and Health Care, it's a critical part of the conversation and one that should be talked about.  A resolution is possible despite all of the frothing going on in some far right circles.

But maybe it's not as important, right this very moment, as, say, jobs and war and energy and global warming. And let's not forget the European Debt Crisis.

But Gay Marriage it is.  From now to November we're going to be talking, fighting and maybe even dying about it rather than engaging in a real dialogue about the other pressing issues of our time.
And all the while being distracted from remembering who is ultimately responsible for the mess we're in (The Republicans...lest you forgot)

Thanks Barry.  One more reason to be disillusioned.  One more chance for Mitt to get the keys to the House.

(Cue Mendelssohn...)

Silence is Golden

Dear Readers...

I'm sorry for my recent silence. 

I'm just so depressed at the state of affairs that I can't summon up the energy to complain/opine.

The thought that Mitt Romney could, realistically, be the next president keeps me up at night.  At last checking, Obama and Romney were tied in the polls.  Unbelievable.  If he wins we will deserve what we get for being so alseep and amnesiac...

On a bright has been raining incessantly.  Good for the garden but after a while and the pleasure of the coziness wears just contributes to the pervasive sadness. Ugh!!

But Sarko is history and we enter The Hollande Days...

One can only hope...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Comment

I reprint the following without comment. Draw your own conclusions as you prepare to move to Canada...

"It would have been tragic enough if the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Florida were the first to show the lethal folly of so-called Stand Your Ground laws. But, in fact, these outrageously dangerous laws have been adopted in many states, making it easy for shooters who kill to claim self-defense.

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old student, was shot last month as he walked home one night with a snack in hand. His killing has stirred national outrage and protests because there is evidence he called out in alarm over his cellphone as the armed stranger closely pursued him. At the same time, George Zimmerman, the shooter, was on the phone with a police dispatcher, who told him, “We don’t need you to do that.”

Mr. Zimmerman, who got out of his car to pursue Mr. Martin, claimed a confrontation occurred that caused him to defend himself because he “reasonably believed” he would be harmed.

The local police in Sanford, Fla., ruled the shooting justifiable under a law that was created to give the benefit of the doubt to people who shoot their guns in public areas and then claim self-defense. This statute goes well beyond the traditional principles of self-defense in homes. In 2005, Florida became the first in the nation to adopt this type of measure, with overwhelming bipartisan approval and the signature of Gov. Jeb Bush.

The Department of Justice and state investigators have opened inquiries into the shooting, along with a county grand jury.

But citizens should not expect much help from lawmakers. A score of other states followed Florida’s lead as politicians eagerly sought the gun lobby’s favor. They threaten public safety by eliminating the longstanding legal requirement that someone sensing a threat has a reasonable “duty to retreat” from perceived danger before resorting to deadly force.

Since the enactment of the law, claims of justifiable homicide tripled in Florida, according to state data. “It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with,” Willie Meggs, the state attorney in Tallahassee, declared this week. Self-defense is being invoked in everything from gang shootings to backyard disputes between neighbors, with prosecutors left to disprove the shooters’ claims.

Stand Your Ground laws are abominations that should be repealed. One obvious flaw among many is that slain victims can never tell their side of the story — an undisputed fact in the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin."

New York Times Editorial "Shot to Death in Florida" Published: March 21, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Say Good Night Newtie

You know the guy.

He's the pudgy one in the plaid shirt and striped pants with the bad haircut that no one really likes. He's the unfortunate soul who, no matter how hard he tries, is just not cool enough, and never will be, to be popular with the rest of the kids at school.

Somehow he ends up at parties or at the beach or in the bleachers at the game. There he is sitting there, maybe next to someone who is actually cool, trying desperately to grab some relfected light from the B.M.O.C., the Big Man On Campus.

It works a little bit. A few girls talk to him for a minute. Actually they listen because the guy can't stop talking. He's searching for the right combination of revelatory wisdom and cool so as to maybe, just maybe, wrangle a date with one of these babes.

But after a while the girls get tired of his incessant chatter and turn their attention to someone else, anyone else, so as to not have to listen to Mr. Nobody anymore.

But here he is at the party and no one knows who invited him. Probably nobody did. He heard about it in the boy's room at school and just decided to peddle his Schwinn across town and grab some free Cheetos.

And what makes matters worse for this guy is that he has a really weird name.

But then this guy grows up and becomes a congressman. He's wildly successful and becomes the Speaker of The House. After all he is very smart and a very good orator.

Then he has an extra-marital affair while preaching family values.

Then he is forced to resign.

Then he decides to run for president.

Then no one wants him in that job any more than they wanted him at the party when he was an annoying windbag of a kid.

But he won't get out of the race any more than he would leave the party. He just won't take the hint.

When he looks in the mirror he sees Humphrey Bogart. What everyone else sees is Peter Lorre.

Where is Captain Renault when we need him the most...?

Rush To Judgement

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

I can't stand Rush Limbaugh. He is a gasbag and hateful man. In an earlier post, entitled "Questioning Authority", I wondered why we take the advice of celebrities in making consumer and political decisions. I wonder, again, why we listen to a man like Limbaugh. Why do we take his word to mean so much, to be the gospel?

There are many reasons for the phenomenon that has kept him on the air and so popular for so many years. He has a relatively large and rabidly devoted fan base of "Dittoheads."

Fine. Those people have chosen to tune him in.

I choose not to.

My perogative. My choice. My freedom of expression.

So the best way to avoid listening to Rush Limbaugh is to decide not to listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Sandra Fluke is not a prostitute nor a slut simply because Rush Limbaugh says so. That's an early childhood lesson. "Sticks and Stones", etc.

Just turn him off...or don't turn him on in the first place.

Free speech is one of our most cherished rights.

We shouldn't allow one loudmouth to bring down the Constitution.

It's worth repeating:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Call Me Rick

I'm changing my name to Rick.

If I didn't have a lifelong relationship with my last name and so much respect for my father I'd change that too. To Santorum.

I've fallen head over heels, madly, passionately in love with Rick Santorum.

He da MAN!

He whacked Willard and Newtie in 'Bama and Ole Miss. Yippee...!!

It's a two man race now and Rick could go all the way!

Right into the history books as the man who handed Obama the greatest landslide in American political history. Just ahead of Richard Nixon's creaming of George McGovern in '72.

That fact makes me wonder who Willard voted for in that election.
Was he in Massachusetts then? Did he help make that state the only one that voted for McGovern? I doubt it. "Don't blame me. I'm from Massachusetts". Remember those bumper stickers?

But Rick...may I call you Rick?...he, if he gets the nomination, will almost, single-handedly, ensure Obama's return to The White House for four more years.

All of the current buzz about Hillary changing jobs with Biden to help the ticket will be just an undercurrent of white noise if Rick gets the nod. Which will, actually, be better for her because then she'll sail into the Oval Office in '16 giving us, potentially, 16 uninterrupted years of a Democratic president.

Obama will be able to phone it in.

He will be able to devote time to his family and his three point shot. He'll cruise to victory.

Rick Santorum may appeal to the Far Right Hyper Conservative Evangelical voters of the Deep South and elsewhere but when it comes to the general election his views are so far out of the mainstream that he'll be lucky to get his own family to vote for him.

And if he thinks that his sweater vest is going to get the job done he obviously doesn't know very many women...or men for that matter.

I don't know a single female who finds that look sexy or appealing and I, representing the majority of men, as I do, wouldn't be caught dead in one, except on a winter's evening, at a holiday party, sipping egg nog and talking about the outrageous cost of Christmas Trees.

So...keep going Rick, my boy. Move Newtie aside. Knock Willard out. Go to Tampa and kick ass!

Be the standard bearer for the Republican Party in '12.

Be a guest at Obama's Second Inauguration.

But don't forget your sweater. It can get cold on the Capitol steps in January...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Apprentice

Here's a question for ya...

Imagine you are about to have heart surgery. Who would you rather have perform the delicate procedure...a first year medical student or a cardiovascular surgeon with 40 years of hands-on experience in the O.R.?

I'm guessin'...and this is just a guess, mind you...that you said, "THE SURGEON!"

Me too. I want the guy with the most experience opening my chest. I don't think that's unreasonable. I think it's just plain smart.

So when I hear people who are running for national office throw off on career politicians and label them "Washington Insiders", I get a little squirrely, if you know what I mean.

That is exactly who should be running the country. People who have been there and know the system. That's what politicians are good at. Politics.

The idea that someone who has been successful at one thing, or another, say business or sports or acting, would make a good politician is just stupid.

I am fairly good at what I do but I would be a lousy pilot. I actually flew a plane once. A Cessna 150. Over Tulsa back in the 70s. It was a lot of fun (almost collided with a 747 but that's another story...) but that experience in no way qualifies me for elected office.

I may think I know what the problems are and I may think I have the answers but if I can't play the game I'll get crushed.

That is, essentially, what has happened to Obama, by the way. He had practically no experience coming into the Oval Office. And he got whallopped by the "Loyal Opposition." (emphasis on opposition...) Guys like Boehner and McConnell and Cantor know how the game is played and they are very good at playing it.

Obama was a babe in the woods. And please don't bore me with the crap about community organizer and state senator and one term US Senator. That was little league or at best the minors.

Washington, to continue the baseball metaphor, is "The Show." You either can bring heat or you can't and if you ain't got the stuff you'll get sent down to Pawtucket until you prove you can play with the big boys.

So when Willard claims that his experience as a businessman qualifies him for the presidency be careful. I know he was the Governor of Massachusetts. But that was Massachusetts and not Washington. That was the Pawsox and not the Red Sox. And he wasn't a very good governor at that. It was a calculated stepping stone to, what he hoped would be, the White House.

I hope not. We may need the scalpel but after the surgery we want the patient to be better.

Not dead.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hold Your Horses

Ok...wait just a gol durned minute. Slow it down Pard.

Hold yer damned horses...!

Let's just take a New York Minute to rethink this whole election thing.

Suppose, for just one moment, we contemplate electing any one of the four remaining
men currently running for the presidency as Republicans.

Put aside the idea that four more years of Obama could, all things being equal, actually be good for the country.

An easing of gas prices and unemployment, a draw down of troops in Afghanistan and a resurgent economy.

That is possible given current trends.

But if we elect Willard, or The Saint or His Pompousness or The Other Guy we will get, potentially, 8 years of their lunacy instead.

And maybe some good stuff, you never know.

And that would put off the inevitable until 2020.

The inevitable you ask, dear reader? And what might that be you wonder?

Why Jeb Bush, of course.

The sole and only bona fide reason that Jeb ain't runnin' and the GOP is straddled with this field of not-quite-so-exciting candidates is that the powers that be have decided that it would be too soon to run another Bush for president.

It is not that long ago that we were graced with George and Dick and Don and Alberto.

We may have the attention spans of house plants but I really don't think we've quite yet forgotten the Adventures of W, or Shrub as the late, great Molly Ivins called him.

So to put Jeb up for the nomination would have certainly energized the Democrats and even some disaffected Republicans and insured Obama's re-election.

So, why take the chance? They've decided to cut their losses and throw this one to Barry. That way, in 2016 Jeb can run. It will have been 8 years since the Era of Mission Accomplished/WMD/Prosecutorgate/Abu Ghraib/Katrina/TARP/Scooter.

We will have forgotten all of that by then. We will be so sick and tired of Obama that we will do, in '16, exactly what we did in '08...only in reverse.

In 2008 we would have elected Mickey Mouse had he been running. We were fed up with 8 years of Bush/Cheney and we yearned for "Change" we could "Believe in."

We got that change. But it seems as though all that really changed was not the color of the house but the color of its' occupant.

Other than that we continue to have questionable policies and questionable politics.

So...Romney/Santorum/Gingrich/Paul for President. It doesn't really matter. Any one of them will lose to Obama ensuring Jeb in '16...who will win.

The Bushes always win. Maybe not every election.

But make no mistake about it.

Just ask Saddam Hussein. Or Manuel Noriega. Or Al Gore. Or Dan Rather.

They always win.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mr. Personality

Here's an irony for ya...

Typically a presidential candidate is elected, in large part, by virtue of his personality. Is he handsome? Is he funny? Is he charming?

Those are the factors upon which we base our decision to vote for, or against, a given candidate.

We give much less attention to whether or not they have the actual ability to lead us as a nation. And we don't seem to give a damn about their intellectual prowess. They are not judged on their capacity to form a cogent argument or put two big words together in a sentence.

No, we are more concerned with social things like hair cuts, blond trophy wives and plastic, cut-out, smiling, idiot children.

So it will be a supremely ironic twist if this year's Republican nominee, and possibly the "Next President of The United States", is a man with no discernible personality.

Actually, that is not completely true. Willard does have a personality. It's a bit stiff and totally disconnected from the rest of us, but it's still there.

He is, seemingly, a bright man and his ideas are not all stupid but he is so mechanical and ill at ease that the idea of having to listen to him for four years is enough to make me want to go to Canada...on the roof of my own car!

So...Rick Santorum with is firebrand, Neo-Reformation Crusades mentality and snake-oil salesman delivery, Newt Gingrich with his Pontiff-like ARROGANCE and dismissive style and Ron Paul playing the part of Captain Kangaroo on crack...

They won't get the nod. Mr. Polymer will.

Which is really too bad. Medical research has shown that some plastics are carcinogenic.

That's all this country needs. MORE Cancer.

We already feel like throwing up. What's a little more chemo to brighten our future?

Wheatgrass anyone...?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 + 2 = 5

Logic is a thing of the past. It's gone, like "dust in the wind."

Try as I might, I just don't understand the Republican mind set. Their ideas don't seem to make any sense.

Almost all of the, so-called, social issues of our time seem to be disconnected from reality.

Intellect, reason and common sense seem to have evaporated from the general discourse.

Take global warming for instance. Scientists...oh, you remember those people don't you, the ones who have spent their lives studying the intracacies and nuances of life on Earth...well, scientists, who have been looking at the issue (problem) of global warming have concluded that it is a real threat to mankind.

Now logic would tell us that when the ice caps are melting...there's a problem.

But, NOOOO. The naysayers maintain that there is no such thing as global warming. It's a concoction of the Elite Left Wing Liberal Intellectual Establishment designed to take our jobs and thrust us into unending poverty and servitude.

Actually it is an attempt by the ELWLIE to...SAVE THE PLANET!!

But never mind the logic there. Any moron will tell you that if your car is leaking oil, eventually, the engine will seize up and the car will stop dead.

That's an example of the disconnect between rational, measured thought and the rampant idiocy fomented and supported by the Right Wing.

Another example is the idea of Trickle Down Economics, or "Voodoo" Economics, as George H.W. Bush rightly called it.

There is no logic in the notion that, if you give someone the opportunity to make millions of dollars, they will, voluntarily, share the wealth.

"What's mine is mine" is the more likely refrain. Corporations, and the billionaires who own and run them, are in business to make money and as much as they possibly can.

They are not in the charity business. They pay their workers as little as they are allowed (and sometimes less...) so as to maximize their profits.

And the management will take as much as it can in compensation. And they will keep as much as they can and give away very little.

It's human nature. My cave, my woman, my goat, my fire...mine. Screw you!


But the Republicans continue to suggest that if we deregulate business that, somehow, by magic, the profits will make their way into the economy and filter down to the middle and lower classes.

Not gonna happen guys.

And the one idea that has traction across all political spectra is the one that taxes should be as low as possible, if not non-existent.

What is wrong with you? Are you out of your friggin' mind? Who do you think is going to pay for the myriad services and programs that we, as a society, have determined we want on a daily basis?

Public education, public health care, the military, highways, consumer safety. The list goes on. Where is the money going to come from to fund all of what we want, need and have become dependent upon if not from taxes?

From the wealthy among us? Not on your life. Not logical.

And don't get me started on the idea that President Obama is a Socialist. We are all socialists. The next time you need an EMT and call 911 stop and think about, A) who's paying for the service (all of us) and, B) where the money is coming from (taxes)


Some, on the right, criticize the intellectals and call them elitists. They prefer the medieval nonsense that their leaders on the Right continue to use to justify their greed and craving of power.

But, in the end, the "Trickle Down Theory" may be proven right.

Unfortunately it will be society and the planet "Trickling Down" the drain and no one will have a clue as to where the stopper is.

Except the millionaires, the scientists and the educated who will have designed, paid for and built colonies in space. They'll continue to live happy and healthy lives while the rest of us die penniless, starving and sick in the cold and the dark.

It's only logical.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hold That Thought

I've been trying to hold my tongue, to wait and see, to, for once, not opine.

But I just can't take it anymore.

The current discussion centering on Rick Santorum's thoughts about education have been reduced to a theatrical exercise. And a comic one at that...

Apparently the former Senator has home-schooled his children. I suppose that's ok if you have an MBA and a law degree, as he has. In that case, I would imagine, his kids will get a pretty good, if not philosophically narrow, education.

But what if your mother never finished high school and your father dropped out after repeating the eighth grade for the third time...?

What if they never read Shakespeare or did a geometry proof or studied the Second World War or took French I?

In short, what if they were uneducated? Generous, hard working, sweet and devoted but completely and totally uninformed as to the subtleties and nuances of the history of civilized society.

Newton, Proust, Chopin, Schweitzer, Earhart, Arendt. Names that evoke excellence and innovation and organized thought.

We have progressed so far as a civilization, in large part, because of the pioneers of education and intellect.

Certainly the workers and farmers helped to forge our cultural bonds and grow our country with their innovations and blood, sweat and tears dedication.

But the teachers and instructors and professors that guide us and teach us, not only dates and times but the process of learning, have been critical to our successful development as a society.

To suggest, for even an instant, that someone who has never read the Canon or peered into a microscope is, somehow, qualified to teach their children is like saying that someone who witnessed an appendectomy is qualified to perform one. I can hear the lawyers right now..."MALPRACTICE!!! Sue the bastard!"

But we can't sue our parents when they mess up our lives. There are no "do-overs" in parenting. Kids retain even the smallest piece of information and if it's wrong or misguided or hurtful the child spends the rest of his lifetime trying to get over it.

Public, even private schools, certainly have their shortcomings but they are a hell of a lot better than removing our future to a dimly lit dining room table with a copy of "On Four Feet" and an abacus.

Senator Santorum, MBA, JD. You should be ashamed of yourself.

On the Willard Watch...

Why, in God's name, would anyone vote for such a hereditary loser?
His father tried and failed. His mother tried and failed. Willard tried and failed. As go the parents so goes the son. It's in his genes. Yo...Mitt! Give it a rest buddy. Enough already!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ah...Those Were The Days

I had an argument at the bank today.


Seems like, often, when I need something out of the ordinary from my bank I am stifled.

I remember, when I was a kid, the way it was in the "old days."

The hell with the toaster. I'm not talking about toasters here.

I'm talking about relationships.

In the past you developed a relationship with your banker. You knew him by name and he knew you. And your parents and your kids. And your dog.

We were a community. An extended family of people drawn together by common needs, desires and purpose.

If you went into the bank and asked to cash a third party check, which is what I did today, as long as it was endorsed, you were good to go.

But...NO...not today. Not at MY bank. NOOOOO!

And to make me even more insane, the fact that the third party in question was MY WIFE had no bearing.

The check was from a company we do business with. It was made out to my lovely wife. She had endorsed it and written above her signature, "Make Payable to my Wonderful Husband." Obviously I substitute that for my real name which I don't want you to know because of reasons of identity theft and concerns about privacy. real name is the title of this blog? I forgot that in the midst of my recalling today's exasperating events. Never mind...

Anyway, the bank...couldn't cash the check for me. They couldn't verify my wife's signature. Never friggin' mind that the bank manager KNOWS MY WIFE! She knows who she is. She even knows who our dog is.

But because my wife wasn't there to say that she had endorsed the check over to me, I couldn't cash the God damned thing. And the fact that the banker knows me...well forget about that logic. There was, apparently, aside from all of my various ID cards, no way for my banker to verify that I was me and not some poseur with hair and makeup and a costume and a dialect coach trying to gain access to my account in which, on a good day, you will find $10.43! COME ON!!!!!!!!! (Just kidding...she knew it was me all along. She is such a prankster..!)

My word should have been enough. That should have been all that counted. That should have been the beginning and the end of it!

In the GOOD OLD DAYS...when you were friends with your banker, your word was all that mattered. If my father told his banker something then his banker could take that information to the, the bank, if you will...which was where the conversation would have, hypothetically, taken place...back the "Good Old Days."

Digressing...but not really. The point here is that society has completely broken down. Your word means nothing. Relationships mean nothing. And toasters mean...well, toasters mean tax problems. Did you read where people are being assessed a tax on the gifts they have been given by banks to lure them into opening accounts?

You can't invent this stuff. It's unbelievable.

Time to invest in a new mattress with a secret compartment for cash. At least then I'll feel like I have some control.

Oh, and by the way, the bank finally cashed the check, but only after we belatedly discovered that my wife is a cosigner on my account. Well, we didn't actually discover it. I had forgotten. Had I remembered that little fact, this whole ordeal wouldn't have taken place. But that would have missed the larger point.

And then I wouldn't have had the ammunition for this post. Aren't you glad I forgot...?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh Yeah...? Sez Who...?

At what point in the history of mankind did what I do or believe become your business?

Not you, actually, dear reader but the Royal "You" in the rest of society.

We are inundated, these days, with stories about this or that faction of this or that group espousing what's "right" trying to foist it's beliefs on the rest of us.

Helmet laws and smoking ordinances and Blue laws and sex laws. All someone else's opinion made into law.

It seems to me that what I choose to do in the privacy of my own life should be of no consequence to anyone else.

If I am fool enough to strap myself to a Crotch Rocket and hurtle down the freeway at 100 miles per hour without a protective helmet I should be allowed to do so. It's my's my life. No?

Ok, some would argue that it may be my head but it's our collective tax dollars that will scoop it up off of the pavement or try to put it back together in the emergency room should I lose control of my bike.

But we could circumvent that by carrying a piece of paper or opting for words on the back of our licenses that says that, in the event of an accident, we are responsible for the damage. We'll clean up the mess or we'll pay for the hospital. Or our "heirs and assigns" as they say in legalese.

Take it out of society's hands. Put it on the individual, where it belongs.

We claim to value the rights of the individual to determine his or her own path and to make his or her own choices about life.

But then, at almost every turn, we deprive the individual of making those choices and turn them over to the government.

And the religious zealots among us are the worst. What is it about some people that they feel the need to be missionaries? Why do they feel compelled to bring "the word" to the masses of "non-believers?"

Why can't they just keep their thoughts and beliefs to themselves? If I am happy as a non-believer than just leave me alone.

You don't see roving pairs of Atheists going house to house in suburban neighborhoods knocking on doors spreading the word according to Madalyn Murray O'Hair.
(See also...

Those folks are content to live their lives in quiet relection. They don't proselytize nor yell and scream. They don't pamphlet and they don't interrupt your dinner with robo-calls about the coming of "The Rapture" and the need to be saved...!

I recently saw the documentary, "What's The Matter with Kansas", in which several of the main characters were activists on the abortion issue. It was a maddening expose of the Religious Right and their way of life. A must see...

I, for one, have no idea when life begins. I don't know, and I don't care if it is at conception or viability or birth.

What I do know, however, is that it shouldn't be anyone's business what I believe, or don't believe.

It is up to me how I choose to live my life and what belief system I choose.

I am neither "Pro-Life" nor "Pro-Choice."

I am "Pro-Get-the-Hell-Out-of-My-Face-and-Leave-Me-the-Frig-Alone-You-Narrow-Minded -Medieval-Horse's-Patoot!"

That's what I am.

Deal with it and...

God Bless You.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Morality Play

"...a late touchdown scored by Vinny Testaverde of the New York Jets against the Seattle Seahawks on December 6, 1998 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Testaverde attempted a quarterback sneak on 4th down in the final minute of the game and although television replays clearly showed the football did not cross the goal line, head linesman Earnie Frantz ruled that Testaverde had scored (in fact, the only part of Testaverde that did cross the line was his helmet)."

The above paragraph is from Wikipedia.

That event is something that has bothered me for years. I thought about it again today after reading David Brooks' excellent piece in the New York Times about the Knicks' Jeremy Lin.

Brooks was talking about the tension between morality as it pertains to religion and a devotion to God above all else, and the ethos of pro sports which celebrates the individual and is all about competition and winning.

I've always wondered what was going on in Testaverde's head after that play was over.
He must have known that the football didn't cross the goal line. He was carrying it. It was a quarterback sneak.

I was a quarterback at one point in my youth and I tried a few sneaks. I always knew where I was and, more importantly, where the ball was...and wasn't.

The question is this; what allowed Testaverde to accept the touchdown that was awarded even after the score was challenged?

Why didn't he step forward and say that he hadn't scored? What prevented him from taking the honorable path and simply telling the truth about where the ball ended up?

We all, ultimately, know the reasons. It was about money and prestige and the possibility of advancing toward the Super Bowl. It was about endorsements and The Hall of Fame.

It was not about morality. It was not about true sportsmanship or the idea of gentlemanly behavior.

"Everybody does it." "This time we got the break." "Ya win some, ya lose some."

Not, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

In 1950, UCLA head football coach Henry Russell "Red" Sanders told his players, "Men, I'll be honest. Winning isn't's the only thing!"

Coach, I'm sorry, but,'s not.

It is how you play the game.

That's what gets you into Heaven...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Ok...I'm an idiot. Call me square and out of it and "unhip", if you like, but I just don't "get it..."

What the holy hell is the story with fashion these days?

I would love to do a social experiment sometime. I would love to take a camera and interview random people on the street, or at the mall, and ask them one simple question;

"Please explain your look."

I recently saw a middle-aged white man walking down the street with a Mohawk haircut. The reason I knew he was middle-aged was because his hair was...gray!

He also had an earring. A Mohawk and an earring.

Who was he trying to be? Theyendanegea?

A middle aged, middle class, middle of the road American man sporting a "do" that would make him the envy of every brave in the Iroquois tribe.

In Connecticut.

Walking down the street.

No settlers here my friend. No villages to attack. No cabins to plunder nor "wimmenfolk" to ravage.

Just folks in SUVs and mini-vans toodling around running errands. Nothing more adventurous than a trip to Walmart or the soccer field.

A gray Mohawk and an earring...and, actually, now that I re-emphasize it, a somewhat menacing look. Or maybe that was my impression.

I was so taken aback by his look that I guess I read menace into his demeanor.

Was he concealing a tomahawk? Was he intent on scalping me? Would he take my hair, which is also gray, and make it into a two piece wig to cover the shaven part of his bald head when he went on a job interview or a first date?

Was I going to be sacrficed on behalf of this fool's need to fit in with the rest of modern Northeastern society?

Was I going down because he had a median strip running down the middle of his middle-aged head?

I gathered my strength and did the only thing I could. I walked right by him, gave him a sidelong glance and, after we had passed one another, laughed the way Eddie Murphy did in Beverly Hills Cop when he walked passed the two guys in astronaut-like clothes.

I just laughed.

This guy looked ridiculous.

Maybe not to a squaw in Upstate New York.

But to me, a regular guy in Connecticut, he just looked plain silly.

But he may have thought the same of me. What with my designer jeans up to my nipples, my open patterned polyester shirt, my gold chain, my itty bitty pony tail and my Beatle boots with the zipper on the side.

Who knows...maybe I, too, had a menacing look. Maybe he was afraid that I'd attack him and steal his teeth.

I'm going to have to "chew" on that one for a while.

Pun intended...

Author's Note:

This is not meant to be racist in any way. I apologize, in advance, to any one I may have, inadvertently, offended.

I am not suggesting that the "look" described, is not a good one. It's fine for a Native American, who invented it.

Nor am I suggesting that Native Americans, are, or were, violent, as a group. History tells us that there were tragic interactions between the original residents of this land and the European immigrants. But that was usually in understandable response, by the normally peaceful natives, to the naked agression, prosletizing and land grabbing of the insatiable intruders.

I'm only saying that a non-Native American could look stupid posing as one...especially if his ancestors may have been responsible for the inhumane and immoral treatment of this country's indigenous population so many years ago that continues to this day on many of the reservations around the U.S.

I have used stereotype with poetic license only for it's intended effect. Native Americans are, and always have been, far more complicated and contributive to culture than mere stereotype could ever convey.

Good for the Casino tribes. The Native American's revenge on the stupid white men and their Mohawk haircuts!

Got an aspirin?

I'm going over the edge. I'm almost out of my mind.

I find myself, this morning, actually feeling sorry for...Willard!

Everyone is making fun of him and accusing him of not being enough of a conservative to be the Republican nominee for president.

Bear in mind that I loathe the man. Well, loathe is a bit strong. I don't particularly like him is more the truth of it. And while I could, as many others have, imagine having a beer and a burger with "W" and enjoying myself, I can't imagine breaking baguette with Mitt Romney.

He is everything I dislike in a man. First, he's supposed to be handsome. Maybe so to some women who like the white, European, blow-dried, stick-up-your-ass kind of guy. Not to me (does that make me gay...?)

Second he is truly out of touch with the reality of the people he wishes, so fervently, to lead. Too many houses for starters...

Third he reeks of entitlement as though the presidency should be his. (He may be following in his father's footsteps as a failed presidential candidate. Just because his grandfather was poorish doesn't make Mitt, the son of a governor for Christ's sake and a preppie who studied abroad...that doesn't give Willard the ability to relate to the "common man..." Quite the contrary, my good man...quite!)

And his raw desperation would be humorous if not so tragic.

And that's where the emotion comes in. His performance of late, with the incessant pandering, is making me feel sorry for him.

I always root for the underdog. In sports, in war, in politics. I don't like a guy when he's winning but I, sort of, root for him, under my breath, when he's losing.

And so it is with Willard. He may not be the last person I would want as president but he's close. I would much rather see him than Santorum or Gingrich...or Palin or Jeb Bush. At least I can somewhat relate to Romney. He is not so far afield from what I believe that I can't see him in the job.

Don't misunderstand...I don't want him or any other Republican. They've done enough damage in my lifetime, thank you.

But I feel sorry for the guy. He wants the gig so much. He's so needy about it.

But I have to get a grip. Romney is a jerk and doesn't deserve to be president. Anyone who would say that his sons are serving the country by helping to try to get him elected (see below) rather than on the front lines in Iraq...


So there...! I feel much better now.


From The New York Times, August 8, 2007

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — It is a question that Mitt Romney has gotten before on the campaign trail. Sometimes it is asked innocently; sometimes with a clear edge.

A woman at an Ask Mitt Anything forum earlier today in Iowa raised the question again, asking whether any of Mr. Romney’s five sons are serving in the military, adding pointedly, “If none of them are, how do they plan to support this war on terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military?”

Although his campaign said his remarks were taken out of context, Mr. Romney’s response is drawing criticism, because he said, in part, “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prose and Cons

I fear that we have lost our collective minds. Some of us are contemplating electing a Republican as president. We are fixated on whether Rick "His Holiness" Santorum is better qualified than Willard. Newt seems to have flamed out and all but Dr. Paul's ardent supporters seem to think he hasn't a prayer of getting the nomination.

And all of this is to unseat Barry. All of this is to gain control and to "fix" the country.

You have got to be kidding me!'re not...

Let me begin.

Over the past 50 years we have seen our country slide down the Mountain of Prosperity and land almost at the bottom of the Valley of Despair.

We have gone from the country who won the Second World War to one that has gotten into five conflicts for, at best, dubious reasons and has popularized the term "quagmire" to describe our military adventures.

We kicked ass in Germany and Japan but have had trouble in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Gulf War was the only one in which we had the good sense to get in and get out in short order.

We argue about who is better, the Republicans or the Democrats. To be sure, neither party has a lock on morality and/or good sense but the Democrats seem to care.

Roosevelt...The New Deal
Kennedy...The New Frontier
Johnson...The Great Society
Carter...Camp David
Clinton...a budget surplus

Now, to be fair, John Kennedy started the Vietnam escapade and Lyndon Johnson certainly ramped it up exploiting the questionable events in The Gulf of Tonkin.

But Richard Nixon took the war to an even higher level of engagement with the bombings in Laos and Cambodia. And don't forget Kent State.

While Bill Clinton may have dissapointed us by having an extra-marital affair, President Nixon almost caused a Constitutional meltdown with his near hijacking of the government during Watergate and the firing of Archibald Cox.

Jimmy Carter tried and failed to rescue our hostages in Iran but Ronald Reagan almost caused another Constitutional crisis by subverting the Boland Amendment with his "Arms for Hostages" charade during the Iran-Contra affair.

Barack Obama may not be Jesus Christ, as many presumed, and his healthcare initiative and failure to jumpstart the economy leave something to be desired but let's pause for a moment to reflect on the inspired presidency of George Walker Bush.

War in Afghanistan (we're still there after 10 years...)
War in Iraq...and the WMD are where, exactly...?
Abu Ghraib...
Hurricane Katrina...
Scooter Libby...
Wall Street, TARP and The Great Recession...

All of the above happened during a Republican administration.

I know that the Democrats have had their share of scandal and corruption. They are almost as bad as the GOP.

But almost ain't all the way.

The Democrats have given us the WPA, Social Security, Medicare and, again, with all of it's flaws, Obamacare.

The Republicans have given us needless wars, recession, the disappearance of the Middle Class and Constitutional scandals to rival anything happening in governments we love to villify abroad.

Again, I say that neither party is any good.

It just seems as though the Democrats are less bad than the Republicans.

I guess that's all we can hope for. Almost everything else in our society is mediocre these days.

Why should our government leaders be any different?

Have a wonderful day...

And one more thing...

Please don't forget how we got into our current mess. Granted, Obama hasn't solved our problems a fast as we had hoped but our problems...his problems...were inherited from the Republicans. It was eight years of irresponsible, reckless and possibly criminal behavior that brought us to where we are today.

So when you contemplate electing a Republican as president...again...remember who created the problems in the first place.

The idea that allowing the fox back into the hen house will get us more eggs is just plain nuts.

Again...I bid you a wonderful day...!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A few words about my mother...

I thought I would devote this space to a few words about my mother.

Janice Manley Weyl died, February 9, 2012, at the age of 95. She had been declining over the past several years and finally passed away in a peaceful sleep.

Louise Janice Mandelberg was born, July 30, 1916, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the youngest daughter of Sidney A. and Evelyn Franck Mandelberg. They changed their name to Manley because having a German sounding name, in the early part of the Twentieth Century, was not such a good thing, especially if you were Jewish.

Janice had an older sister named Jean. Because Jean came first, when Janice was born, Jean referred to the new baby as "Sister" which was the name Janice was always known by in the family.

Since Evelyn had named the first baby, Sidney got to name the second and gave the baby one of his favorite names, Louise. It turned out that he was the only one who liked it so when the baby wasn't called "Sister", she was called Janice.

When Janice was born, Evelyn asked her mother, Pauline Flexner Franck, to send her maid, Mary Miller, from New York City, to help with the new baby.

Mary was from Munich and spoke English with a heavy German accent. She was almost 5 feel tall and waddled when she walked. She was a devout Catholic.

Mary never went back to New York but, instead, stayed with the family and helped raise Janice and Jean. Janice always said that Mary was more of a mother to her then Evelyn. Janice and Mary were devoted to one another as were Jean and Janice.

After a short time in St. Louis, Janice spent the first few years of her life growing up in Omaha, Nebraska. Then, when she was about 12, the family moved to New York City. They lived at 183 West 86th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus.

Janice graduated from Julia Richmond High School and took some secretarial courses.

Her cousin, Richard Weil, introduced her to his old camp pal, Max Weyl of Washington, D.C. The couple were married on May 28th, 1936 in a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria apartment of her aunt and uncle, Herbert and Nellie (Franck) Salomon. They honeymooned in, the then toney, Atlantic City.

The newlyweds settled in an apartment at 504 West 104th Street in Manhattan and Janice took a job at B. Altman.

They then moved to a few different locations, including Rego Park, and finally to Woodmere, in "The Five Towns", on Long Island.

Janice gave birth, in 1942, to a daughter, Karen, who, tragically, died of kidney disease in 1949.

Kevin was born in 1951. He was named for Kevin DeLacey Burke, the Christian Science Practitioner who had been so helpful to Janice and Max during Karen's illness and subsequent death.

In 1957, Max was transferred to Connecticut and the family moved to Hamden, a suburb of New Haven. Janice spent the next year looking for a house to buy and finally, after looking at many properties, bought a ranch house in Madison in August of 1958.

Janice decided to go to college in 1967 motivated, in part, by her desire to learn French so she could converse with Kevin when he returned from a year abroad.

She went on, one course a semester, to earn a Bachelor's, and then a Master's degree, in English. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Connecticut State University.

During her student period, Janice studied French at Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Cote d'Azur and at La Sorbonne where she spent several months absorbing the French language and culture. She was always very proud of her French ancestry. Her maternal great-grandparents had been Parisian.

She was also very proud of her relation to Adolph Ochs, the founder of The New York Times, who was a distant cousin on her mother's side.

She spent a year in Dublin studying Joyce's Ulysses at Trinity College and, in her eighties, travelled to the Magdalen Islands, in the North Atlantic, where she helicoptered to an ice floe and crawled out on the snow to witness the birth of baby seals.

Janice was a published poet and author with her writings appearing in The Belletrist Review among other publications.

She was an avid reader (Proust was one of her favorites) and valued her many books more than almost any other possession.

And Janice was a lover of all animals. She would leave food outside for the raccoons and squirrels and loved her Dachsunds and cats. She would contribute what little she could to the various animal protective organizations that sent her appeals.

Janice had a wonderful sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. When she thought something was very funny she would inhale, open her mouth wide and, after a palpable pause of many seconds, let go with howls of laughter. She told many very funny stories and enjoyed the tales of her friends and family in return.

And Janice was possessive of a powerful sense of determination. If she set her mind to something she would not rest until it was accomplished and only then when it was perfect and exactly what she had wanted.

Janice was a complete and total lady. She knew what fork went where and what hat to wear under what circumstance. And she was a true believer in "Thank You" notes.

But she was not pretentious. Her elegance and style were natural. She could also enjoy the commonplace though and, for example, although not a drinker, would have a shot of a shot glass...from time to time instead of a fancy cocktail. And, even though she spoke in a genteel and ladylike manner she could swear like a longshoreman if she wanted to.

She was always well, and appropriately, dressed and her makeup was always flattering, even though it would take hours in the bathroom to apply. And she was usually late to leave for an appointment. "Those God damned 10 minutes" as Max would say.

But more than anything Janice was a chocoholic. If it had chocolate in it she would eat it. But she only loved pure, unadulterated, chocolate. No nuts or jellies. Just thick, sweet, milk chocolate. And especially Chocolate Icebox Cake made from Mary Miller's recipe. Chocolate was her one true vice. And she loved caviar too even though she could never really afford to buy it.

Janice Manley Weyl lived a long life. She always regretted not having been a professional dancer or actress and always carried a girlhood crush on a young boy named Ricky Weil.

But she knew great joy such as her Master's degree, her son's occasional successes and his marriage to Mia and the birth of her grandaughter, Maraina.

She had a special place in her big heart for her nieces Laurie and Margie and her nephew Billy and their mother, her older sister, Jean. And for her best friends Alberta and Addie. Aside from her husband, children and grandaughter, they were the most important people in Janice's life.

She also knew crushing sorrow as in her successful battle with breast cancer, Max's death and the death of her six year old daughter.

But, in the end, Janice Weyl lived a full life. She had few good friends but that was because she preferred it that way. She liked to be alone.

But the friends she did have loved her as much as she was devoted to them. She hated, almost more than anything, when people would drop in, unannounced, but when they came at her invitation they were treated like royalty and were the center of her attention.

It would take a very long time to recount all of the experiences and impressions of Janice's life. These are but a few.

Louise Janice Mandelberg. Janice. "Sister." Mrs. Max Weyl. Janice M. Weyl. Mom. Grandma. Aunt Janice.

She was an inspiration and by any name, left her mark and will not soon be forgotten.

Author's Note:

If you have any stories about Janice I would love to hear them, good or bad.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Janice Manley Weyl

Janice Manley Weyl

Born Louise Janice Mandelberg in Chicago, Illinois, July 30, 1916 to Sidney Adolph Mandelberg and Evelyn Franck Mandleberg

Grandaughter to the late Ben C. Franck, for many years,
Secretary of The New York Times Company

Married Max Weyl May 28, 1936

Mother to the late Karen and to Kevin Weyl

Grandmother to Maraina Leigh Weyl

Aunt to Laurie Joseph, Margie McCabe and the late Billy Joseph

Sister to the late Jean Manley Joseph

Loved by the late Mary Miller

Graduate (Magna Cum Laude) of Southern Connecticut State University with a Masters in English

Published author.

Lover of chocolate, all animals and Marcel Proust.

Possessive of a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious laugh.

A beautiful woman...who knew the value of "thank-you notes."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Man's Junk...

I was recently forced to go through some boxes of stuff in the basement looking, successfully, for my birth certificate. I could see it in my mind's eye. I just couldn't see it's location.

But, finally, there, under a load of junk, in the last possible box, was the manila envelope with my paperwork inside.

Phew! Crisis averted.

But, through the ordeal, I reconnected with some of the most important things of my past long ago forgotten.

That exercise made me take a long look at all of the accumulated crap of my life.

To say that I am a collector dignifies my stuff. I am a collector only in the classical sense of that word. It is very true that I collect things but not in the modern sense, as in Beanie Babies or NFL glasses from the gas station (remember those...?)

I have a diversity of junk that, to the naked eye and to almost no one else, is incredibly important to me...and to me alone.

The "Do Not Disturb" sign from my stateroom when I first went to Europe on the S.S. United States in 1967.

An old copy of Tom Sawyer that my mother would read to me when I was too young to read to myself.

My father's old, one-speed, black bicycle with the rusted chain and flat tires that he would ride to the station on his commute to Manhattan when I was a little boy.

And countless other mementos and artifacts that, if found by a great grandchild 100 years from now, would mean nothing at all.

Pieces of rocks from places I've visited. Menus from once favorite restaurants. Old boarding passes. All sorts of stuff.

One of my favorite possessions is my father's old pocket knife. He used it every weekend when he would putter around the house.

The same house in which I now live. The same house I putter around in now.

The funny little things of my life. All glued together they probably wouldn't be worth $10 but to me they are priceless. They represent my history and remind me of the things I did and the people with whom I did them.

Those various pieces of paper or metal or plastic tell my story with more elegance than I could ever do with words. They describe what is important to me and what never was.

One such item is on my dresser. It is a small wooden sailboat carved and beautifully detailed.

I bought it in the old part of Montreal in 1967. I had driven myself to see a girlfriend, Francoise.

It was my first solo trip. I took my mother's 1964, Dodge Dart. It was tan and only had an AM radio but I was the coolest person on the highway.

I remember spending the night in Plattsburgh, New York on my long journey north.

I was alone in a hotel room so far from everything and everyone. My father had made the reservation and had paid in advance. It was awesome!

I stayed with Franny and her family in the exclusive Westmount area and we toured the city, hung out with her friends and had a great time.

When we were shopping in "La Vielle Ville" I saw the boat. I fell in love with it immediately. It wasn't too expensive so I bought it.

I've had it for almost 50 years now. It's been everywhere with me and now it's perched, safely on my bureau where I look at it almost every day.

It always reminds me of that trip so very long ago. It reminds me of Francoise and the fantastic time I had with her back then. I often wonder whatever happended to her. Good things I hope. She was a nice girl.

But the boat and the piece of the Berlin Wall I got, in Berlin, shortly after The Wall fell and my little boy, Hop-Along Cassidy wrist watch. I have all of that stuff. I've had it for so long now that I can't imagine my life without it.

It's my life story. It's who I am.

It's my junk and I will treasure it forever.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Give Up!!

That's it! I give up...UNCLE!!

Newt Gingrich is proposing that we spend money on lunar exploration.

Is he out of his cotton pickin' mind!!?? (he is from Georgia, after all, so maybe that phrase is more apt than I knew...)

Now, don't get me wrong. I think that exploration in the Final Frontier would be a great thing.

It would boost the economies of the communities that either built the equipment or put it into space.

It would rejuvenate our sense of national pride as the Space Race did in the 60s.

It would cause more kids to see science as a wonderful thing and propel our moribund school boards into spending money on a meaningful curriculum rather than football.

But come on Man! There are SO many things that could be done for this country that would be more immediate and yield the same result. And in places with much prettier landscapes.

If we decided, as a people, to value excellence rather than mediocrity than maybe we would be able to compete in the global arena.

We think that we can dumb ourselves down, year after year, and still retain the edge in international business.

It's just not possible when the Chinese and the Indians and the Brazilians are spending such a comparatively large portion of their GDP on not only education but health care and infrastructure.

We are getting smoked by these people yet we continue to believe, in our inimitably delusional way, that we can keep fooling around and that somehow, by magic, we will stay on top.

It just ain't gonna happen.

The average American high school cares more about the success of its' football or basketball program than it does about the percentage of its' graduates who go on to, not only, top tier schools, but become doctors and engineers and scientists.

We see the athletes on the playing field signing multi-million dollar contracts and we think that our kid will become one of them.

We forget the fact that an infintessimal percentage of high school sports stars ever even get to try out for the NBA or the NFL let alone get a contract to play.

It's like we are playing the lottery with everything we do.

We think it will just fall out of the sky.

Well, if we elect Fig Newton and he funds a Moon Program and it is designed and built by the kids that we have, so far, failed to properly educate then maybe it just will.

Fall out of the sky that is...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Where's Mario?

I've never had a friend named Mario. I've known a couple and I met Mario Cuomo once.
But as an actual friend, I've never had one.

"Where's Mario?" just seemed liked a good title for this post.

I recently learned of the death of two friends. One was the bass player in the first band in which I ever played. His name was Cris Connery. It was in 1966 and the band was called "The Good Fairies" but our headmaster made us change the name for obvious reasons. We became "Saint James Infirmary" and we were very good for a bunch of kids. I was the drummer.

The other was a friend from my neighborhood growing up. He was a year older and had a Volkswagen and we would tool around looking for fun. He was one of the smartest guys I've ever known. And very sweet. His name was Greg Wuertz.

They were both good guys and I remember them as teenagers not as adults.

But they both were adults at the time of their passing.

They had lives with other people, jobs, knew joy and sorrow and lived somewhere.

And that's the funny thing, the "Where's Mario?" part.

I have lived in about a dozen places during the course of my lifetime so far. In each place I was an active member of the community. I was a student or a musician or a producer or a neighbor. I guess I've known, without exaggeration, about 1,000 people all told, give or take.

I've had some very good friends, some wonderful lovers, some talented colleagues and some mere acquanitances.

What ever happened to them? What did they do with their lives? Where are they now?

I have no idea.

There are only two ultimate outcomes though. They are either dead or they are somewhere on the planet. They could be in the next town or behind me on the Interstate. Or they could be in the jungles of Brazil, withdrawn completely from society, living in solitude among the indigenous residents of wherever they are.

Or they could be dead. They could have died last week or twenty years ago. I would have no way of knowing because we lost track.

We had been so close, so intimate, so important to one another. But now we are gone. We are no longer a part of each other's lives. It's as if we never knew each other.

But that could never be, regardless. The experiences we shared are forever. Those experiences have left an indelible mark on both of us.

Over the years we have thought of one another. Sometimes those thoughts were fond and full of joy. Sometimes they brought back the bad feelings that were a part of our mutual experience as it unfolded so long ago.

But it doesn't matter. All of those people had an effect on me as I did on them. We came together for some reason.

Some of those reasons have long since been revealed and some are still waiting for the light of day.

But, if they are still alive, those people are somewhere, doing something with a group of people I don't even know.

They are married or not. They have kids or never did. They are healthy and happy or they are sick and miserable.

Or they are dead...

I may never know.

But I have not forgotten them. I still see them in my mind's eye as they were back then. They are just as beautiful or funny or cool or interesting. I am still drawn to their energy and their charisma.

I hope they're happy and, if they have died, I hope they lived a fulfilled life.

I am and I have so far.

If you see them tell them that. They'd probably want to know.

Or not...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pass The Salt...

What is it about the human race that makes us so competitive?

It's probably the old biological thing about survival. If I kill the tiger, A) it doesn't kill me and, B) I'm eating and, well, you're not.

Plain and simple I suppose.

The modern equivalent, at least in politics, seems to be the way in which one party vilifies the other.

To listen to the GOP you would think that Barack Obama was a murderer. And the Democrats paint the Republicans as heartless inheritors of the Gestapo mentality.

Neither is true, really. It is just that one party wants control on behalf of its' constituency and the other wants the same.

If we make our opponent out to be the devil and gin everyone up into frothing hatred then it's much easier to prevail at the polls. We don't have to articulate a vision or stand for anything. We can just amble along spewing venom and whipping people up into a frenzy. If we can get people to vote from their hearts rather than their heads then we are good to go.

Them against us. Rich against poor. Smart against stupid. It's all just man vs. tiger, twenty-first century version.

Obama isn't a bad guy. Neither is Romney nor Gingrich. They are just flawed humans seeking acknowledgement and love. They all had childhoods from which they are recovering and experiences that formed their points of view.

They all have good ideas and all probably have some sense of honor and duty, even if it seems to be hidden behind a wall of ideological rhetoric.

We are all in the same boat. We all have fears and idiosyncracies and desires. We all aspire to something, whether to win the lottery or to grow tomatoes or to become the president. We are all looking for fulfillment and for the people around us to tell us that we are safe and ok.

I would like to think that my vote is based on my political philosophy. I would like to think that I vote for someone because he has good ideas that align with mine. I would like to think that I don't vote for someone because I like his personality or the color of his wife's hair. I would like to think that I am better than that.

But what I'd like and what is true are, unfortunately, two different things.

I don't like Mitt Romney and I like Newt Gingrich even less. And I'm not that crazy about Barack Obama either. It's hard for me to hear their arguments because I get lost in my emotions. I don't feel that any of them has "my back" nor do I feel that any one of them has the faintest idea how to fix the problems that beset this country at this moment. I feel that they are all out for themselves and that what matters to me doesn't matter to them at all.

But their consultants are hoping that I will like their guy better than the other guy. They are hoping that their guy will convince me that he and I are "alike" and that he understands my "situation."

That's their hope. So far they haven't convinced me.

So far I don't like any of them.

And the tiger is getting closer and closer to the mouth of my cave and, frankly, that scares the hell out of me.

That bothers me much more than Mitt Romney's money or Newt Gingrich's sex life or Barack Obama's birthplace.

I just hope I don't taste very good. After all, I'm old and fatty and getting close to my expiration date.

One can only hope...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Tragedy in 5 Acts


$21,700,000.00 (The gross amount Willard and Anne Romney earned in 2010)

Now deduct the $3,000,000.00 paid in taxes

That leaves $18,700,000.00

Divided by 2 equals

$9,350,000.00 (The net amount Willard earned)

Divided by 240* equals

$38,958 (The net amount Willard earned every working day)

Divided by 8 equals

$4,869 (The net amount Willard earned per hour)


The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour

Times 8 is $58.00 a day

Times 240* $13,920 a year


$4,869 per hour

$7.25 per hour


If you can tell me how Governor Romney can relate to the guy earning $7.25 per hour then I'll vote for Governor Romney.


Good luck...!

*...the approximate number of working days in a calendar year.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Friend This!

I just came to a startling, although, belated realization.

This "Friend" thing on Facebook is baloney.

I recently "Friended" a bunch of people and then tried to communicate with them. You friends do.

No such luck.

Not a word...or "notification", as it is so endearingly called.

My "Friends" ended up not being so...

Which got me to thinking about the whole nattering concept of friendship.

What is a friend, really? I've had plenty throughout my life but what I really think I had were aquaintances or maybe just "people of interest."

A friend is someone who cares about you, regardless. Regardless of your haircut, choice of shirt, body odor, political/religious/sports affiliation or girlfriend/wife. You can do and say really stupid things and they love you anyway. You can lie, cheat, steal and betray in myriad ways and they always forgive you.

But it has to go both ways. They have to be able to disappoint you in all of the abovementioned ways and you are obliged, by the friendship code, to forgive them back.

It doesn't matter. Anything goes. All is forgiven. "Come home."

Can you, even for an instant, imagine that happening on Facebook? No, you can't because it doesn't.

All you have to do is misspell a word or root for the wrong team and you are set ablaze by all of your "Friends."

And it isn't enough to change your name or profile picture. They'll find you in email and send you nasty messages and post your transgressions all over the World Wide God Damned Web!

And friendship is forever.

It is not simply so until you are "UnFriended" at the stroke of the delete key. Friendship is for more than a nanosecond. True friendship is for life. And I don't mean battery life either...

And while I'm at it, the "Like" button is useless. When someone posts that their cat had a heart attack, I for one, feel very uncomfortable "Liking" that news. I didn't even know that they had a cat let alone that it was sick. I really don't "Like" the fact that their cat died. I may not like cats (I do, by the way...more than some people I know, actually...) but I would never tell my "Friend" that I liked the fact that Fluffy passed away. Can you imagine...?

So let's lobby to change the word "Friend" to "Acquaintance" and "Like" to "Appreciate."

Less disingenuity. More truth telling.

There could be some problems with that though, come to think of it...

"You've Got an Acquaintance" by Carole King. My apologies, also, to James Taylor (who is not yet a "Friend" on Facebook, even though I'm trying...)

"I Appreciate Ike"..(I liked Ike. I was a little boy and didn't know him from Adam. My father, who was really my friend, was a Republican and loved Eisenhower. Especially his jacket. I liked Ike because my Dad did.)

Oh, and did I mention that true friends will share their good fortune with you? They catch a fish, they share. They get free tickets, they share. They have a cute cousin/sister...they share, with restrictions, of course...

Mr. Zuckerberg...Mr. Gabillionaire Entrepreneur Startup Social Network Lifestyle Altering Poobah...

Are you listening?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

On The Other Hand

I was going to write about the possibility of a Gingrich/Palin ticket in 2012.

That impulse has been overridden by the news of Newt Gingrich's opening remarks at last night's GOP debate in South Carolina.

CNN's John King asked about reports of Gingrich's former wife's contention that Gingrich wanted to have an open marriage. Apparently Newt had been having an affair and an open marriage seemed, to him, to be a viable solution. Gingrich claims that the story is false. Stay tuned...

On the one hand what people do in private should be their business, not ours. But...on the seems to be appropriate for the "People" to know about what a candidate for the presidency is made of.

When someone declares for that high office their private lives become very public and very fast. It is our business (or should be...) to know what they think about almost everything and whether their private decisions are consistent with their public ones.

One could argue that what someone does in private has no bearing on how they would govern. That, in essence, is Mitt Romney's argument about his health care decisions in Massachusetts. He's saying that what was good for The Bay State may not be good for the country, as a whole.

Same goes for his wealth and the manner in which he amassed it. What he did as a private businessman is not necessarily what he would do as the chief executive of these United States.

Newt Gingrich wants us to believe that, in a moment of personal pain, he made immoral decisions. He wants us to believe that he would make moral ones as president.

Further, he blames the media for raking him over the coals. He contends that it is "appalling" that a presidential debate should contain questions about his marriage and infidelities.

Well, Congressman...too damned bad!

You did what you did and now you must answer the questions about it. You're right when you invoke all of humanity in your defense. Yes, sir, we have all had moments in which we have made the wrong choices.

But the difference, sir, is that most of us are NOT running for president.

Newt Gingrich wants us to believe that his immoral and unethical behavior, however human and understandable, is not a part of who he would be as president.

It is a totally appropriate question as to how his morals affect his decisions. It goes to the heart of the matter. Can he be trusted?

Never mind his politics. We can agree or disagree about that all day long.

Never mind the bellicosity of his personality. That may, or may not, be important in the long run.

But is he a man of "high ideals", as Mr. Potter referred to George Bailey's father.

Newt Gingrich is fond of telling us what to do and how to do it. He thinks he has all of the answers.

"Do what I say, not as I do..."

I don't think so Congressman.

I just don't think so...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Me Too...

Friends...I've come to a difficult decision.

After much personal reflection, and long discussions with my wife and children, I've decided to end my run for the presidency.

I have decided to leave the race to spend more time with my family. It is not important that they have been travelling with me throughout the campaign. That was not a factor.

It is also not important that I haven't gotten many votes in the primaries.

I am withdrawing for personal reasons.

Oh, didn't know I was a candidate? You weren't told? My name never came up except at a few parties and in the bathroom?

Uhhh...well...let me explain.

I am really a nobody. I am rich, that's true, but aside from that I really haven't accomplished much of note. My resume is paper thin.

My father is VERY rich however and he is a great man. He is handsome and funny and charming and, did I say, very rich.

He is a man of true accomplishment. I know my father and I am no "My Father."

I am merely his son, a poor second at best. A Canal Street knockoff.

But I decided to run for president anyway. I thought it would be fun.

It wasn't.

I thought I'd make some new friends.

I didn't.

I, at least, thought I'd see some new places and eat some new foods.

I didn't do those things either. As a matter of fact, I went to places I'd already been and had, long ago, decided never to return to.

And the food I ate, or was forced to eat I should say, wasn't that great. Except, maybe for that one lobster roll I had at that clam shack on the New Hampshire coast somewhere.

But that really wasn't so great, in retrospect.

I am SO tired of lobster. I've had way too much of it during my lifetime. It's only marginally better with Dom Perignon, '62 (not '61 as everyone thinks...'62 was a much better year as far as I'm concerned. Just ask James Bond if you don't want to take my word for it.) and caviar only confuses the taste. Caviar is too salty anyway. Especially that Beluga stuff. Not good...

And, really, lobster doesn't have much of a taste of it's own. It's the butter that makes it. Drawn butter on cheese, especially brie, would be just as good and much less of a bother. Those stupid bibs and the claw-crackers.

And for what? You only get a couple of good bites from the tail and then you spend way too much time trying to get the little pieces out of the claws.

Not worth it. And whoever decided that the green stuff tastes good?

It doesn' least not from where I'm sitting, thank you. I think it's called "Tomalley." And I don't think it's a delicacy. Truffles are a delicacy too and I don't like them any better.

So, all in all, the campaign was a downer. I didn't get enough sleep, I had to talk, endlessly, to people who didn't understand what I was saying and, worst of all, I was forced to introduce myself over and over. No one seemed to know (or care...) who I was. And that hurt, believe you me.

So I'm out. I'm done. I'm calling it a day and I'm throwing my support behind Willard Romney.

If I'm not your man then he should be. We look alike, both of our wives are blond, we're both very rich and we are both very religious. And he speaks French for crying out loud!

Vote for him...not for me.

I'll be the one spending time with my loved ones. Whether they like it or not.

It'll be fun after they learn who I am and what I stand for and what I'll do for them as head of a great American family.

And I'll finally be able to have a good, home cooked meal. think of it.

Pate, a baguette and a glass of Chateau Latour, '82

Now that's good eatin'...!