Archive for May, 2016

“Hating Hillary 101”

May 27, 2016


I never thought I’d see this day.

Here we have Donald Trump polling evenly with or ahead of Hillary Clinton in current national voter preference, even as Democratic contender and renegade long shot Bernie Sanders handily trounces Trump by as many as fifteen points across the nation in that same research.

Yet Bernie and Hillary are in general agreement on almost every policy issue — timing and intensity being their only real variance. Trump believes in Trump, all else being irrelevant. If it’s good for Donald — it’s good for America. “Making America Great Again” means transitioning our country into a flattering reflection of Trump, himself, from flaccid orange top to big fat bottom.

Never mind “issues.” Donald will decide them for us. Remember, his biggest weapon against all evil forces seeking our destruction is the shock and awe of absolute unpredictability. That’s why it’s critical our future President remain unencumbered by prior comments or commitments. Such things are meant to be permanently temporary. It will keep us safe. Unless he changes his mind.

It seems alarmingly clear that Donald Trump’s stunning performance in recent one on one match ups with Hillary Clinton are much more due to a widespread, long lived, virulent hatred of Hillary than any true affection for Trump. Given a choice between the “two evils”, a large segment of voters, particularly independents, would opt to vote against Mrs. Clinton, insisting in the process they don’t support Mr. Trump. But the effect remains the same.

Intellectually, I find Hillary to be astounding well qualified for the Presidency. She is vastly experienced, thoroughly accomplished and scary smart. Yet on an emotional level, she seems haughty, arrogant and annoying. While some orators might evocatively raise their voices in thundering passion while concluding a speech, Hillary’s attempts to do so make my ears bleed. That old “chalk on a blackboard” metaphor fails miserably by comparison. As an old friend used to say of Yoko Ono’s attempts at song: “She sounds like a beagle pup having his (deleted) nailed to the floor.”

I can’t imagine why professional advisers haven’t coached Hillary out of this obvious, potentially fatal flaw.

Forget “Benghazi” or “private servers” or any other dredged up nonsense from troublesome Trumpublicans. In the minds of many, Hillary Clinton sounds like every man’s first wife, her attorney and Nurse Ratched from “One Flew Over The Coo Coo’s Nest” on serious speed.

But I firmly believe that Hillary would make a good American President. And Donald — a fine asylum resident.

Let’s get the vote out next Tuesday. I’m very much in favor of “Proposal C” for all the reasons given by its backers and I’m personally feeling the Bern, especially after visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland last week.I finally got to see their new “Rock Radio” exhibit.  A peek is yours at

As one spirals up a winding staircase from level to level in with what can only be described as the Smithsonian Museum of Rock & Roll, concluding Levels 5 and 6 now present” Louder Than Words” — “Rock, Power and Politics.” This special exhibit created in partnership with the Newseum in Washington, D.C. explores rock music’s power to change attitudes about peace, equality, patriotism and hope.

With this in mind, I hope you might join us on Saturday at Denny’s for the June meeting of our Oakhurst Democratic Club. When Troy Pope, Editor-In-Chief of the Collegian, Fresno State’s student run newspaper, gained national attention back in February with a front page editorial comparing Donald Trump’s unanticipated ascent to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, I knew we had to have him stop by Oakhurst for a talk.

Troy will provide “A Millennial’s Perspective on Election 2006” with breakfast at 8:30 and Troy’s presentation at 9:30. The general public is always invited to attend, especially our young Sanders supporters.

We aging children welcome the future.

“Citizen Trump”

May 10, 2016


What can be more tedious and unwelcomed than an unavoidable social necessity to openly and publicly endorse absolute absurdity?

The Republican Party must now slather layers of lipstick on their pig named Donald.

Barring the unforeseen, Hillary Rodham Clinton will probably be sworn in as our 45th President on Friday, January 20, 2017, having run on a progressive platform heavily influenced by an historic challenge for the Democratic nomination waged by a socialist Senator from Vermont named Bernie.

It’s a wrap.

Although Hillary was not my first, or second, or even third choice to become our next Commander-in-Chief, she is far superior to the presumptive GOP standard bearer by any measurement, in each instance, on every level.

Any negatives brought into the mix by Hillary the person are completely outweighed by Hillary the politician. That’s right. Politician.

Those who seek to abandon “politicians” in this election cycle seem to forget that they who voted were the electors, not the elected. Even more responsible are those who stayed at home, abrogating the most basic responsibility of good citizenship, leaving to chance choices unmade.

Seeking to appear conversationally adroit by scorning “politicians” is as thoughtful as suggesting brain surgery be performed only by practitioners who’ve never attended medical school. Come on.

Fair comparison makes a morally binding obligation obvious.

First Lady of Arkansas for nine years, First Lady of the United States for eight, another eight years as U.S. Senator from New York and four years as our nation’s 67th Secretary of State vs. 69 years of privileged, pampered, pestilent pomposity. Are you kidding?

Anyone concerned about “Benghazi” didn’t watch Hillary’s appearance under oath on global television for eleven and a half hours last October before a Republican dominated House Subcommittee dedicated to her destruction. They never laid a glove on her.

Folks panting for her indictment on federal charges for periodically using a private server while Secretary of State, an openly admitted error in judgment shared by several Republican predecessors, will shortly learn this particular molehill was never remotely a mountain. How ironic it now appears the Chinese government has successfully cyber-hacked official State Department files, but not Hillary’s.

Being proudly on the left side of any political dial, I should take proportionate pleasure in the pending election of yet another Democratic President and all that goes with it, especially a properly realigned Supreme Court. But I find myself sickened that Donald Trump has made it as far as he has in what originally appeared to be a non-threatening, highly entertaining, curiously quixotic quest to become leader of the Free World. What a joke. But suddenly the joke’s on us. All of us.

Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, wants Trump to tame things down. Trump knows his die-hard supporters would hate such a thing. What’s the fun in that?

Our Fourth District Congressman, Tom McClintock, is quoted in the Fresno Bee as saying that “despite some lingering questions”, he has decided to support Trump, having determined that the candidate is a “runaway favorite” among Republicans in our area. Such a decision witnesses the elevation of instinctive insouciance over intellectual integrity. And I’m not at all sure to whom Tom is listening. My Republican friends locally were favoring Cruz, Rubio and Kasich in that order till Donald’s divisive darkness finally descended.

We have watched a sociopath succeed on an unparalleled scale – pathologically lying, threatening and bullying his way to political preeminence.

Come November, Donald J. Trump deserves not only defeat and dismissal, but designation to lasting disgrace.

Our reputation in the world and the future of our nation demands nothing less.



May 1, 2016


How sad.

Father Daniel Berrigan passed away Saturday at the age of 94.

Berrigan died at Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit health care community in New York City after a long illness. He would have been 95 next week on May 9th.

Father Berrigan was very influential on my old Flint friend, film director Michael Moore, and it’s not that much of a stretch to suggest that Berrigan’s influence on me strongly impacted my decision to unleash Mike before an unsuspecting public with “Radio Free Flint” on WTAC & WWCK-FM in the early ’80’s.

I was blessed having this brilliant Jesuit rebel as instructor in Philosophy and Theology during my years at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, an institution to which I have referred several times in recent years – usually in positive commentary on Francis, our current Jesuit Pope.

Berrigan gave me the only “F” I ever received at Le Moyne for submitting a five page report on a book I’d never read, even though Father Carmody rewarded that same report with an A+ the prior year in Freshman theology. “This makes me pot boiling mad!,” Father Berrigan wrote with giant red marker flourishes. “See me after class!

I was wise enough to immediately confess my foolish transgression and was assigned a penance requiring me to submit a 1,000-word book report every week until the end of the semester a month away.

After that bumpy start, Father Berrigan and I got along fine. In my senior year, I would give him rides to the Jesuit rectory after Theology instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I last saw him in 1998 while I was running a radio group in Youngstown. He had come to the area on a speaking engagement, remembered who I was and asked if I’d “actually read any books lately.”

 Father Berrigan was quite enamored with French Jesuit philosopher, mystic and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and regularly corresponded with Thomas Merton, Trappist priest and author of “Seven Storey Mountain”. Merton is generally regarded at the most important American Catholic author of the 20th Century.

Berrigan made headlines when he went to North Vietnam in 1968 to bring home the first three U.S. prisoners of war. Historians would note that the Vietnam War didn’t officially end until April 30, 1975.

Later in ’68, Berrigan and his brother Philip, who was also a priest and decorated World War Two hero, attracted national attention as “The Berrigan Brothers.” They and seven other Catholic protesters, known as the Catonsville Nine, used homemade napalm to burn draft records they had taken from a Maryland selective service office.

Sentenced to several years in prison. Daniel Berrigan spent four months living underground before the FBI finally captured him.

Until he was well into his 80s, Berrigan was arrested time after time in challenging the status quo, particularly in seeking social justice and repeatedly engaging in dramatic action against the terrifying prospect of nuclear war. In 1980 he was arrested for taking part in raiding a General Electric missile plant in Pennsylvania, where he and brother Philip rained hammer blows on atomic warheads and in 2006 for blocking the entrance to the Intrepid Naval Museum in Manhattan.

On the day of his 80th birthday in 2001, when asked how long he would continue his bold rejection of mindless militarism with acts of civil disobedience, he told reporters, “The day after I’m embalmed. That’s when I’ll give it up.”

In his final years, Berrigan’s primary efforts were directed at helping AIDS patients in the New York area. In 2012, he appeared in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to support the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

He was a most uncommon man – engagingly social, intellectually dazzling and profoundly spiritual.

Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. was the toughest – and finest teacher I ever had.

I deserved that “F”.