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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Adios, Fidel Castro.

The word "adios" in Spanish literally translated, means "go to God." Unlike "hasta luego," or "see you soon," adios is said only at the time of final partings to the land of no return.

Formally, today I should be saying "adios" to Fidel Castro, the long-lived Cuban dictator who died last night at the age of 90. But I can't bring myself to do that today, perhaps never.

My family was born in Cuba, and Castro is the main reason why most of us are thankful that we now live in the United States. My parents and relatives heard the rhetoric posed by Castro right after he took over the island, and did not like what they heard. They did not like what they saw; Castro's armed troops storming streets in olive drab, sporting beards in a land where clean shaven men with neatly trimmed mustaches were the norm.

Castro spouted anti-communist slogans, swore there would be religious tolerance and promised democratic freedoms. No sooner than he grabbed power from the corrupt Fulgencio Batista dictatorship than the tide turned and hell broke loose. "I am Fidel Castro," he said, "and we have come to liberate Cuba." 

Not quite.

Fidel sporting a Rolex watch.
So much for anti-capitalism. 

Castro took over all private industries (including properties belonging to United States companies) and forced homeowners to "share" their houses with total strangers. All dissenters got hauled to the "Paredon" (the wall) and shot.  

Children were taken from their families and placed in state schools so they could be indoctrinated by the new regime. Desperate parents who were able sent their children to live out of the country. This was the case with some of my cousins and family friends.

Many of Castro's revolutionary cronies (including the infamous Che Guevara) ended up dead. From a public relations standpoint, a dead former revolutionary did much more good to Castro's cause. And it worked. 

Cuba became a land of repression, with laws quashing freedom of assembly, movement, expression and the press. The educational system was equally limiting. "The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs," he said. Clearly, speaking one's mind was a privilege available to very few. 

During a four-hour speech after his takeover of Cuba, Castro said, "History will absolve me." That is yet to be ascertained, as the days, months and years go by and historians write the books. Fidel's actions caused my family and a host of other Cubans untold grief and separation from their loved ones, and their nation. I speak for most of them candidly that we will likely not absolve him of anything, ever.

But most importantly, Castro died an atheist, an unbeliever in any God of any kind. Can I, can any member of my family, can any number of Cubans say "Adios, Fidel" and send him to God? 

Nor can I say "Hasta luego," a flip see you later. Go rot in hell is what I have left.

Amen, that will have to do.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rolling Stones Give Satisfaction in Cuba

A few days ago I was grousing on this very blog that President Obama's visit to Cuba was an epic joke and I still think so.
The Rolling Stones trip, however, is another story.
I'm thrilled that they made the journey, and musical history.
The concert was free to anyone who could get there -- and believe me I wish I could have made it. The Stones -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood -- played at the 450,000 capacity Ciudad Deportiva outdoor stadium.
I've heard Mick and the Boys in concert -- loud, brash, energy filled sessions in which Mick proves how to stay thin by running from one end of a stage to another for seemingly endless songs.
It's the first time the Stones played Havana, because they were very young lads when "the revolution" happened and the chance of playing the city were nil.
But while Obama's trip was a load of political posing and photo opportunities, the Stones, well, they were something else.
It was a chance for people who have been strapped by a terrible burden, a mean economy and a life deprived of much to get some satisfaction. And the pro bono work by Mick and the Boys did give the band some incredible publicity. At this stage of their lives, they can afford to give back -- such a venue elsewhere would have made millions in ticket sales. Whatever they got out of it financially may not be clear but the memories they have, and made, are clear indeed.
I know, it's only rock and roll, but I like it, I like it, yes I do.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Obama's Cuba Visit Is An Epic Joke

This photo is of my family in Havana. It was taken before "the revolution," the term favored by Fidel Castro with respect to his takeover of Cuba.
What you see in this photo is a group of people who grew up together in small towns, married and had children. One of them -- the little girl pointing her nose in the air on the last row -- is me.
The Cabreras were comfortable after years of working hard, but it was not always so. The adults you see in the picture grew up relatively poor, giving each other a leg up along the way, until life finally fell into place and they were happy.
We spent as much time together as we could. We took vacations together (sometimes all the kids would sleep in one room laughing into the night), celebrated life's events and welcomed babies into the fold. (There are a few more of us in the clan that were just gleams when this shot was taken.)
But along came "the revolution" and life as we knew it ended.

A few short years after this photograph, that close knit family was living scattered around the United States because none agreed with "the revolution." We remained emotionally close but physically separated, saddened because by nature we Cabreras are family oriented and really, really liked being together.
But jump forward to this week -- in which President Obama stepped off Air Force One with his entire family onto the land where we Cabreras were born, a land none of us has been to since we left. Some of my cousins have been talking with each other about the pain that the photo has engendered.
Obama is making the rounds, including the mandatory laying of a wreath on a monument to Jose Marti, one of the founders of Cuba and a poet in his own right.
The comments we read on social media are appalling to us. We read ignorant statements from people who want to smoke Cuban cigars and drink at Hemingway's favorite bar in Havana. We are asked to sum up an incredibly complex, emotionally gut-wrenching issue into a stupidly simple statement for their ignorant minds to absorb in a nanosecond.
Well, here it is, in part. Our families were destroyed, life as we knew it vanished. We don't belong there anymore, but in a sense, we don't really belong where we are, either, in some fashion.
And now the so-called Leader of the Free World is shaking hands with one of the people responsible for exploding an entire country, splintering families and creating a "socialist democracy" which by all accounts is an abysmal failure. Obama's communications people, meanwhile, are putting lipstick on this pig of a trip -- which began by Raul Castro failing to meet Air Force one at the airport, an insulting slap to Obama's face which he has chosen to ignore.
This "historic visit" is nothing but an orchestrated, self-aggrandizing move by a lame duck man in a lame duck position. Nothing will change as a result, since the Cuban Embargo must first be lifted before US/Cuba relations can be more normalized. Good luck getting that by a predominantly Republican Congress, Mr. President.
As to the rest of you who voice opinions on Cuba and the Cuban people based on a tiny amount of knowledge -- get an education. There's more to my homeland than cigars.

Jose Marti wrote, "Better a minute on your feet than a lifetime on your knees." How could Obama lay a wreath in memory of this Cuban icon and not know he was dead wrong in carrying out this travesty of a visit?
Read about Marti, and then we can talk.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I'm Done With No Fun And Anne DIMaio

The last few months of my life have not been the greatest. No, there are no health issues, thank the Fates, and for that I am grateful. 

I won't bore you with the details -- the days have been tedious and mind numbing to say the least and I am not giving them any more energy.  So there.

That said, I will mention (in a wry, dry and not very kind tone) something I learned to do very easily in this aforementioned period, which I will henceforth call the Era of Don't Bore Me With Downton Abbey I'm Sick of British Dramas. The number of people with whom I formerly surrounded myself has shrunk tremendously. It wasn't something I set out to do, but something which just happened as a result of the Era of Don't Bore Me With Downton Abbey I'm Sick of British Dramas.

I no longer deal with Passive Aggressive. I don't get it, I don't want to get it, I don't want to be around it. Frankly their behavior is truly dichotomous, way too much trouble to comprehend and ultimately making the whacked-out dual nature of Geminis seem much more appealing. 

I'm done with folks who crab about "negativity" in their lives. They activate my gag reflexes. You cannot have all "positivity" because that's not the way the world is made. Something inside you should run when you come across one of those "Happy! Happy! Happy!" birds who are all sunshine and light and chirping and flitting about the place. I tell you the Positivity People are hiding something sinister that will eventually explode out of them. So I say negative to positivity. I plan on introducing them to The Stinky Sewer People who routinely tear up the roads near my house.

I'm finished with people who make plans with you and then at the last possible minute bail out, usually with some illness like ebola or they found kudzu in their front yard or the New Year's Ball slid off its pole, rolled over three states and finally landed on top of their Buick. You get my drift the excuses are palpably false.

And I suppose I must write off those who don't like that I write about my life and probably include them in my scribblings. Here I say to them the holiest of all truths: if you don't want to be written about don't hang around with writers. We can't help ourselves. We are born to tell stories and if we get some wine into us we will probably share one or two of those stories. We might spin a yarn about how we think your brother is an insecure goon who secretly hates women and probably mistreated you when you were a kid. C'mon, you know it too -- but you won't say it. Apparently you can't let us do that for you, so you are next off the list. 

My Feet at Gulf Coast Hospital
Yeah, I was bored.

And finally, one more -- one which I will use the name of the actual person. Last year I got violently ill after eating oysters at a Bristol bistro before leaving on a Florida job hunting expedition. No sooner I reached Florida when I ended up in the hospital for three days -- turns out I had C-Difficile.  (It's nasty, you don't want to get it.) 

Meanwhile I had been staying with a friend of mine -- Anne DiMaio -- who wigged out completely as I lay on the gurney stabbed with an IV and trying to figure out why my insides were roiling and coiling with such venom. She really lost it -- went back to her house, got my suitcase and dumped it in the hospital lobby, telling me that I was on my own and then barrelled out the doorway of the hospital making enough of a scene that I had to explain it to the medics in charge.

Needless to say I didn't talk to her after that, and have not done so since -- and now put her in a blog where she will permanently reside as part of the era of Don't Bore Me With Downton Abbey I'm Sick of British Dramas and weird antics by former Marines.

I'm done with Anne DiMaio, I'm done with the others, and most of all, I'M DONE WITH NO FUN. Yes, I yelled it out. I haven't had a lot of fun lately and I'm going to make up for long time. If I see you out and about and invite you to join in, then you haven't been picked off like unwelcome lice from a kid's head.  So join me for some much needed R and R. 

All the rest of you I'll discreetly walk away from if I catch you staring at me at the grocery store, the gas station or any of those other places were are likely to run into each other. I'll nod my head, but that's about it.

Amen, and pass the butter because some of you are toast. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Whole Foods Sells Oranges Without Appeal


Whole Foods. The supermarket chain is a tony enclave in which the well-heeled are able to shop for edibles of the highest quality. In theory, the produce is supposed to be top of the line, organic, and Whole Foods is allegedly America's healthiest grocery store.

But the chain harvested some seriously bad PR this week because some marketing fruitcake got whacked on the head with an organic coconut. In a maneuver so stupid it's pathetic, the stores stocked its shelves with pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers.

One must presume that the idea was for convenience and saving the few precious seconds it would take a chimpanzee to peel the fruit. I can't imagine that Whole Foods' customers have become that lazy. Needless to say, social media went bananas about the unappealing oranges and blasted away their sour grapes.

Mother Nature has done a terrific job of packaging these edibles. The peels can be made into marmalade, dried into potpourri or added to a compost heap. But no. In order to sell this now incomplete food Whole Foods had to buy plastic packaging.

We all know what happens to those. But who the hell knows what happened to all those peels? Further, a boatload of humans spent time and energy peeling the damn things at who knows how many bucks an hour. That alone undoubtedly drove up the produce price.

According to Twitter users Whole Foods pulled the naked fruit from its shelves. Were these perfectly good items thrown on top of a trash heap to boot? Or did Incomplete Foods at least donate the oranges to some shelter?

Amen, and pass the juicer, please.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Political Pablum -- Do Not Eat

In 1931, the Mead Johnson Company marketed Pablum -- a product which represented a new era in nutrition for babies. It provided children with dietary Vitamin D, an important element which helped to prevent rickets, a disease which weakens bone.

Pablum (made of wheat, corn meal, bone meal and brewer's yeast among other ingredients) was easy to digest and didn't trouble the baby's tummy. It was an important development at a time when infant malnutrition was a major issue in industrialized nations.

In 2016, it might be prudent to educate the public about a new type of rickets that is now rampant in the United States. This one is not causing skeletal weakness but instead a mental one. Simply put, the shortened attention span of the American public is a true crisis in an election cycle which requires that people really give their all to the current process.

These days, grown adults are consuming what I'm going to christen "Political Pablum" at an alarming rate via assorted media entities. I'm not blaming the internet -- I'm a firm believer that it is an incredible tool. I am however blaming the people who consume the Political Pablum without realizing that it is being fed to them the same way Pablum cereal is put in the mouths of babies.

Political Pablum is a simple carbohydrate of sorts, easily digestible information that does not require much analysis to consume. Worse, people are eating it in droves and feeding it to each other because it's easy to pass along. Some of the websites where this Political Pablum is being generated have absolutely no connection to news, no overseers, no editors to make sure there is some semblance of truth to a statement.

I'm generating Political Pablum right here. That said, I'm an intelligent person with a journalism and communications background and know full well that this is a blog in which I express my opinion for no other reason than my own enjoyment. Hey, it's what we writers do.

But I'm going to beg and plead that when you consume any type of Political Pablum, including what I write here, that you take a little time to chew things over before you swallow any of it. Nutrition is an important thing, most notably the nutrition of your brain and thoughts.

Amen, and pass me another spoonful?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Bernie Sanders Wants to Take Care of Us -- NOT

I was at the supermarket late this afternoon and got stuck standing behind a woman talking on her cell while her kid, about ten or twelve years old, was running amok. I'll call him Jamie.

Jamie's mother -- late twenties, with chipped nail polish and a PINK sweatshirt -- was blathering about how she was very excited to be participating in the political process this year. Turns out, Jamie's mother had not voted in quite some time but this time was going to vote for Bernie Sanders. Full disclosure here: very recently I wrote my personal belief that Bernie Sanders is A Lunatic right on this blog.

Jamie's mom blathered to her friend that she was voting so that Bernie Sanders could get Jamie (by now tearing into another bag of Reese's cups) a free college education. Jamie's mother had it all sewn up, apparently, speaking about Bernie using very familiar tones.

"Bernie wants to take care of us," she said, beaming. "He's going to make the government pay my kid's college bills. We will be getting free health care too." She patted her stomach, which was a tad on the wide side. "Maybe after he gets elected I'll be able to get that lap band surgery and lose weight."

Lap band surgery? Where did that come from? Oh, wait, maybe we can blame social media.

The amount of political foolishness which is bandied about on social media is incredible. Bombardment is a good word to describe it: ridiculous cartoon memes, insulting commentary and pseudo-information from assorted websites written by buffoons but passed off as truth.

Jamie's mother and thousands of her ilk are swallowing this whole, blissfully oblivious to the notion that someone is going to have to pay for all of these faux promises. Who will pay? They don't know and don't care, as long as they don't have to pony up.

Meanwhile Jamie had run to the other side of the store and his mother had to hang up the phone. She left her cart in the line and scampered over to find her kid and bring him to heel. I've no idea what happened because Jamie, high on Reeses, proved harder to track down than his mother had anticipated.

But then again, Jamie's mother isn't anticipating much of anything, as are all of the others who fervently believe that the Presidency of the United States should be held by a man who goes by a nickname. Not Bernard, mind you, Bernie. Yep, Bernie the guy who wants to take care of us.

Amen, and pass the Reeses, please.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hey, Hey Guantánamo Bay Has Gotta Stay

Built in 1898, Naval Station Guantánamo Bay -- a 45 square mile military facility on Cuba's eastern shore -- is the oldest US Navy base in existence.   Military folks call it Gitmo, which is the pronunciation of GTMO, the designation code for the airfield there. 

But what truly makes Gitmo unique is that it is the only US Navy base on communist soil, some 522 miles south of Miami, Florida. Yes, it's very close. In the spirit of full disclosure, I visited Gitmo in 1994 as a journalist, covering a crisis that had brought thousands of Cuban rafters seeking refuge. Gitmo is sprawling, dusty, and hot. There is even a McDonald's there.  
McDonald's at Gitmo

The Navy leases the land from Cuba via an agreement which can only be broken if both sides decide to do so. Even through the early Castro years, when "la revolucion" had not yet identified its socialist leanings to the world, Gitmo was a toehold in a politically molten region. The Cold War, the Bay of Pigs, the onslaught of Cubans arriving in Miami, the embargo -- all through these Gitmo bore mute witness and stayed put. The reasons for its ongoing existence were complex and emotionally charged. Democratic socialism in Havana broke down and now the cruel reality of a miserably failed social experiment is naked to the world.

Cuba, once lush and thriving, is poor.  Havana, its sexy and sensuous capital city is now a sylph. There is just enough of her beauty left to remind those who knew her at the height of her powers about the cruel joke that had been played on her, on all those who called her home.

And now the sitting President of the United States is planning a journey to the island. I can't bear to write his name I'm so angry at his insensitivity, and I'm not the only Cuban who feels this way. POTUS would be the first in 50 years to visit the island, something I'm sure he's seeking in an effort to aggrandize what is a tepid administration.

POTUS is going to shake Raul Castro's hand while standing on Cuban soil, in apparent denial of all the human rights violations the Castros have inflicted on the Cuban people (both in Cuba and abroad) in all that time.
Naval Station Guantánamo Bay

Is he that desperate for a legacy? Perhaps the first black man to be elected President (for that is what history will baptize him a century from now) wants to be known for something else. I don’t blame him for that. I do blame him for choosing to visit Cuba as a pat answer to the legacy matter. It's not a pat answer, it's a pathetic one in my view.

Further, POTUS has said he wants to give Gitmo back to the Castros. Whose lame idea was that? Gitmo is a fully operational US Navy base smack dab in one of the most accessible and desirable locations in the region.

Does POTUS believe that the two old and addled Castros are not capable of doing more than just merely keeping it? Does it not occur to any of his "brain trust" that they could easily turn around and lease the land to the Koreans, Russia, China or some Middle Eastern sect?

What is he smoking, and if you believe any of this, what are you smoking? There is more to Cuba than cigars, and your desire to smoke them comes at a huge price. Don’t pay it.

Marco Rubio said it best -- "We are not giving an important naval base to an anti-American, communist dictatorship." 

Amen, Marco.  That "democratically socialist" dictatorship is 500 miles from US shores. Be afraid, be very afraid. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My First Valentine

The box itself is tiny, no more than an inch and a half square made of brass. A heart decorates the center and there is a tiny floral motif. Hundreds of scratches have been etched onto it over the course of years. The original golden color has been worn down to the base metal in some areas.

Still, the box holds something very precious -- the memory of a little girl's first Valentine's Day, given to her by the most important man in her life at the time.

Whenever he gave a gift to his wife on such a holiday, the little girl was also the recipient of a smaller version. This was a small compact designed to hold powder and a little puff, with a mirror on the inside cover. Those items are all gone now, lost in years and distance and a series of events which turned the family upside down. The family lived in Havana, Cuba and on a fateful day they chose to leave their home for the United States, not ever to return.

The parents told the little girl that she could take a few things with her to the airport. The child chose the box to join her in the new life she knew nothing about. Somehow it survived the passage of decades and was not lost along with other juvenile things.

A lesson is to be learned here, one that fathers with daughters may already know. That small thing you give your daughter, or tell her, might be something she hangs onto for dear life, especially after you are gone. If you do things right, you, her first Valentine, will pass along a legacy that she is worth a great deal, that she is loved, and that she should be loved by another Valentine with whom she opts to live her life.

For all fathers reading this, I wish for your Valentine's Day that your daughter recalls you with as much love as I still have for mine even though he has been gone for years. The small heart on the box was his and I will carry it with me forever.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yo, Cat, Gimme The Yogurt

It happened in a series of slow motion moves in the course of a split second. I was preparing a bedtime snack of yogurt and somehow didn't quite grab the container.

Out of the corner of my left eye I saw it leave my hand, hover at eye level then drop from line of sight. The cover fell off and yogurt splatted.

Yes, splatted.

Whoosh -- from the right, a black blob -- in seconds my cat Morgan stuck his head in and began munching away.

The rest were quick moves -- grab the camera snap a few then find an old towel. I threw it over Morgan (still happily munching) and brought him to the bathroom, where I closed the door on him. I was hoping to contain the mess to a room which needed a thorough going over anyway.

Not much later the sound I waited for -- Morgan was batting the empty plastic container around.

Cautiously I opened the door -- that's when I should have had the camera.

He was a vision -- yogurt everywhere on his head, a pleased expression in his eyes.

Again from the right -- a black blob, this time my other cat Luna. She took one look at the yogurt on Morgan's head and went to town trying to lap it off his ears.

I knew when to leave things alone, and shut the bathroom door again. No sense risking that he beat feet somewhere else, like under the bed.

I went to the kitchen and finished cleaning the first disaster area, waiting again until it became apparent that the two were busily playing with the empty container.

Armed with another towel and assorted cleaning agents, I let myself in and gave the room a thorough going over.

Ah, cats.

Amen, and pass the catnip.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Women Who Fear A Woman President -- Yes, You Are Out There

Yesterday I posted something on Facebook about why a country as old and civilized as the United States has yet to elect a woman President. England, Pakistan, India, Israel and other nations -- allegedly more "backward" than the U.S. did so eons ago. Why not the US?

Imagine my surprise at the relative lack of enthusiasm for my FB statement, especially from women I consider friends. Frankly, their arguments were based a great deal around Hillary Clinton, a strong and controversial woman with admirers and detractors alike. Not a soul mentioned Carly Fiorina, but that's another story.

The biggest surprise, however, were the arguments put forth against Ms. Clinton. One of them was that she was after power -- as if any male who runs for that office isn't after the same thing? But there's the rub -- women are not supposed to want power, are we?

Supposedly a desire to be at the top of the political or business heap is unfeminine. Power is a man thing, I suppose, not something we silly women need concern our pretty little heads about. It's okay to work, okay to shine, as long as we don't go too crazy. We are supposed to be the cheerleaders, not the players.
Yes, ladies, let us subscribe to the standard feminine "wiles." Let us knock down any woman who is trying to knock down walls because new ways are frightening and safe is better than sorry.

Let us be passive aggressive and not tell anyone what we are really thinking or want, but instead give a person the cold shoulder until hell freezes over. Let us never initiate a confrontation because it's not feminine to be argumentative, to go after what we want, to point blank refuse to take crap from anyone.

Let us be doormats, pretty doormats with cute designs on them. Let us continue to bash any woman who dares to be presumably equal to a man. Let us do that because when someone finally does become President of the United States, and that someone is a woman, the yardstick will have grown immensely. And the rest of us are going to have to do more and be more to measure up.

Centuries ago, Abigail Adams wrote the following to her husband John, who was busy scribbling a document called the Declaration of Independence. "I long to hear that you have declared an independency," she wrote. "And by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

Something tells me that if Abigail was around, she'd have a thing or two to say about this. Amen, and pass the sewing basket, please.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders is a Lunatic

Okay, now that I have your attention.

There seems to be a madness afoot amongst Democrats this year. A bunch of them are under the spell of a 74-year old codger who is going around promising all sorts of things for free -- college tuitions, health care, and a yearly trip to the island of your choice in order to de-stress.

I made that last one up but I would not be surprised that it has popped in his head.

Bernie Sanders seems like a nice enough fellow, the sort of guy you would expect to be wearing Hush Puppies and those jackets with the suede elbow pads. He calls himself a Democratic Socialist, oxymoronic sentence if there ever was one, but I digress. Bernie tells people that we should all have the same shot at the good things in life, in particular feeding into the "entitlement" crowd. This bunch fervently believes that money should be evenly distributed so that life is fair for everyone. Bernie and his folks want to work on "income inequality," in which those who earn more pay out more in taxes so that the "entitlement crowd" pays nothing for things like college, health care and a yearly trip to Barbados to de-stress.

Bernie won the New Hampshire primary because apparently a boatload of people there buy into his shtick. Hell, if I lived in the frozen tundras of northern New Hampshire I'd want a yearly trip to Turks and Caicos in order to de-stress from all that shoveling.

But here's the rub. There's another guy who just won the primary -- one with equally bad hair and just as big a lunatic as Bernie Sanders. One big difference, however, between Sanders and Donald Trump is that Trump has a boatload of money and could pay for thousands of people to go to the Bahamas to destress without a cent of taxpayer money. 

Bernie is hoping that over-eager college coeds with Daddy complexes will vote him into office along with their entitlement-seeking parents. Trump isn't hanging his hat on hope. He's going to buy the office if that's what it takes. And he can. And he will if allowed to do so.

So all of you out there doing a jig because the socialist nutter who is promising you the moon just won a primary -- stop dancing.  It's look at the big picture time.

Bernie Sanders will not win against Donald Trump. The Donald has his sights on something that he wants -- the Oval Office -- and he will stop at nothing to get it. Further Bernie Sanders hasn't got the slightest idea of what to do with the office because he has never run anything like it. The Donald has run corporations and at least he knows how to make a pile of money.  He's using that pile of money to buy the office once held by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy and that other guy whose wife is also going for the post this year.

All I can say is this -- I'm with Marco Rubio for the moment but if that falls apart, and it comes down to brass tacks -- I'm with the woman I voted for eight years ago, because if Sanders or Trump gets to the top of the heap, we are screwed.  At least with her we have some notion of what's coming.

This is where I say I told you so in advance.

Amen, and pass the ballot please.

Monday, January 11, 2016

My 5 Minutes of Fame with David Bowie

"Do you want to interview David Bowie?"
That was my producer at WJAR TV asking the question I could not refuse. 
It was 1991. Bowie's new venture -- Tin Machine, a back to basics no frills effort -- was playing the Campus Club in Providence, Rhode Island. Bowie was granting interviews to mere mortals.
And I was one of them.
The PR guy was hardcore. You get five questions. Five. Don't mention Ziggy. Stick to Tin Machine. And for crying out loud, don't even THINK of asking about Iman.
I sat for hours waiting for my five minutes.
Finally, I was ushered to a round table.
Bowie sipped out of a mug, all smiles. His bulldog PR guy held out five digits.
Looking back on it, I don't remember much of what Bowie said to me.
I was lost. The bone structure, the cat eyes, the aura. 
Four fingers.
He was talking and acting like a regular guy. 
Three fingers.
Right, Ana, a regular guy who creates incredible music and is married to IMAN. 
Two fingers. 
You blast this guy's music in your car and dance to it at home.
One finger. 
I had stashed a white sweatshirt and a black marker.
"Will you sign this?" My last question.
Bowie grinned, signed and grabbed the paw.
"Let her have a few more," he said. 
I wore the sweatshirt today.