Friday, August 19, 2016

The Naked Truth
About Donald Trump

It was just reported that a life-size statue of a completely naked Donald J. Trump was found in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Cleveland and San Francisco. In the latter city, it was standing at the corner of Castro and Market Streets, in the heart of the GLTBQU section of town. Only God knows why, but in many instances, people were taking selfies standing next to the Donald.

The statues were placed there by an American activist collective called IN DECLINE, who issued the following statement, “It is through these sculptures that we leave behind the physical and metaphysical embodiment of the ghastly soul of one of America’s most infamous and reviled politicians.”

Hillary Is Panting
It is fervently hoped and prayed that there will be no such statues made exposing Hillary in anything other than in her collection of awful pant suits of faded colors. However, the media is encouraged to continue to expose her peccadillos. For the uninformed, those are not body parts.

A Total Loss for Words
Trump’s campaign declined to comment on the statutes in general, nor on the accuracy of the specific size of any of the body parts.

Don’t Rush In To
Find the Right Words
Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, resigned today amid a political remake, and new reports that described his pro-Russian work for a political party in Ukraine. Trump spun a positive statement on his departure, saying, 

“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today.”

“Where we are today” is behind in all of the polls except for those who only interview Donald Trump’s family, and the doormen at Trump Towers.

You’re Fired
In June, Trump fired then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, whose relationship with the RNC had become increasingly strained. It is also alleged that during one of Trump’s raucous rallies, Corey grabbed a female reporter as she approached Donald.

You’re Hired
Trump recently promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager and far right wing provocateur Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon to campaign CEO. This should temporarily sate the appetite of Trump’s America-First followers.

Campaign Is Mired
“Mire” is defined as a bog, thick mud, or a difficult situation. Trump has the ability to be a double-jointed individual with his non-scripted talks, as he continually takes his foot, no make that his feet, and lodge them into his mouth.

Among other less-than-astute actions, Trump has had a public feud with a Gold Star Family, has made fun of a disabled reporter, has offered Hillary up for target practice to his Second Amendment followers, has derided a Mexican-American judge who was born in Wisconsin, and has advanced a conspiracy theory that Ted Cruz’s father was part of a plot to assassinate President Kennedy.

What About Hillary?
Over the next four years, which of the two major candidates for President do you want to see nightly on the Evening News, find in your local paper every day, be on the cover of your favorite magazine, or in your favorite comic strip?

Unfortunately, “neither,” is not an option.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


In one large, faded green metal cabinet in my garage, one-hundred-and fifty-nine copies of my book The Oy Way fill up nearly two shelves. That number is the result of two major errors by Amazon’s publishing arm, Create Space.

When The Oy Way began selling well at bookstores, museums and other outlets around the country, I thought about submitting another printing order. I had also sold copies to many individuals on my own mailing lists, and after making presentations at bookstores, libraries, cultural events, health retreats, and at religious and secular gatherings.

I finally ordered more copies from Create Space, to match the ones I had already received and sold. Unfortunately, they first produced a batch of books that left off the last page. I contacted them, and they said “no problem,” and promised to send me a duplicate order immediately. When I asked who would be paying for the shipment back to the plant, I was told to just keep the books and do whatever I wanted to with them.

When the replacement shipment arrived, it too had a minor printing discrepancy, and I called Create Space once more. They apologized, promised to send a correct printing, and advised me that the incorrect books were mine to do with what I wanted to do.

What remains from those two shipments, are the copies that sit in the cabinet. They are in fine shape, and I primarily give them away as gifts, or sell them to individuals who request them directly from me.

One table tennis player, who bought a copy two years ago, loudly exclaims whenever he sees me, “How’s the Oy Way Man?” When he did so a few months ago at a Southern California table tennis tournament, a woman standing by misheard what he said, and started dancing about in a circle, semi-shouting, “Oy Vey! Oy Vey! Oy Vey!”

My wife and I just purchased two cemetery plots in Santa Cruz, and I have requested that neither the book’s title nor the dancing woman’s words, be inscribed on my gravestone.

I have put the majority of materials connected with The Oy Way, into file folders that now reside in a large plastic container in the garage. I have kept the main selling information in a nearby filing cabinet in my writing room. I would like to either sell the book outright to another publisher, or let them promote and sell it to the public, and I would garner a royalty on each sale.

However, recently there seems to be renewed interest in The Oy Way, and in several diverse ways. Earlier this year, I received a voice mail message from Debbie at J. Levine Co., a prominent New York City Jewish bookstore. It was in response to an email I had sent to its owner last August, regarding a five-book consignment delivered to them in February 2012. Debbie said that they had sold two copies of the book, and the Los Gatos Alef Bet Jewish bookstore, regularly sells a copy or two.  I just spoke with Hiroko Nogami-Rosen, who owns the Dayenu Bookstore in San Francisco’s Jewish Community Center, and she said that she sold out the four books I personally delivered to her, and wants four more.  It’s a 150 mile round trip from my home, and I promised I’d deliver the books the next time I’m in the city, and would autograph them in Yiddish, as I have done in the past with all local bookstores.

A week ago, I received a notice from Amazon, that they had deposited monies in my Cogitator Publications business account, for books that they had sold.

Today I received a phone call from the office of an Ophthalmologist surgeon in town, saying that they had cash for me from the sale of The Oy Way, which they had displayed on their counter.

The renewed interest in The Oy Way will not push me into early retirement, for that was accomplished quite a while ago.

Although these sales may give the false impression that I am being inundated with moneys, the truth is that I receive a sort-of-monthly $10.47 check from the Alef Bet Bookstore. Sadly, today is the last day before they go out of business, forced out by the Internet. Ironically Amazon, “the forcer,” is starting to build brick bookstores.

The two books sold by Amazon added a combined total of $13.42 to my business checking account, and when I called Debbie at Levine’s, she said she’d let the bookkeeper know that I was interested in finding out when, and if, I would be receiving any payment for the sale of two books.

The copy sold at the Ophthalmologist’s will provide me with $14.95 in cold hard cash, and I will probably buy lunch with it for my Ophthalmologist cousin.

I will make a decent effort and try to sell the book to a publishing house, but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to finish my second book, My Incredible Odyssey. It’s based on my travels around the world after my parents died six weeks apart, and that was just thirty-five years ago this summer.

Lest I forget, I have four copies of The Oy Way in my writing room, two in each of our cars, and they are all autographed in Yiddish.

Zayt Mir Gezunt

Use Yiddish while doing mind and body calming exercises found in The Oy Way — Following the Path of Most Resistance, by going here. They are especially helpful at deadline times.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Who Owes What to Whom?

In the middle of the National Basketball Association’s finals, with the Golden State Warriors leading the Cleveland Cavaliers three games to one, the Warriors star forward Draymond Green was suspended for one game. If Golden State won game five, played on their home court, they would have clinched their second straight NBA Championship. They racked up an impressive regular season at home, where they won thirty-nine regular season games, and lost only two.

But now they would have to win without “the heart of their team,” so labeled so by their coach, and anointed so by some of the fawning local media writers. At 6’7”, 230-lbs., Green was a tenacious, driven, man-child of a competitor, and a favorite of most of the sports writers at the San Jose Mercury News because of his loquacious manner and the bombastic quotes he would give them.

No Rhyme…
Unfortunately, Green also had a tendency to get flagrant fouls, primarily for kicking or grabbing the groin of opposing players. This might have been part of a street game played by youth in Saginaw. Without this twenty-six-year-old demon in the lineup, the Warriors were badly outplayed in Game 5, and lost 112-97, Green was banished from being in the arena during the loss, unless he was willing to pay a $140,000 fine, but instead was discovered exiting a restroom in the nearby Oakland Coliseum. He could have afforded the fine since his elevated status had “earned” him a massive new five-year, $82 million contract.

…Nor Reason
Warriors’ management had tried to find a reason to let him play, and indignant fans were visibly upset, especially those who had paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for overpriced tickets to see Green help the Warriors win the championship at home. The city of Oakland had already prepared for a victory gathering at Lake Merritt.

The Write Way?
Several sports writers at the Mercury News tried to explain the situation and attach blame on someone, other than themselves. They had always sought Green out for a notable quote, and the kid from Saginaw always supplied them with interesting fodder for their columns.

The front page of the sports section after the demoralizing defeat read “NO DRAY, NO WAY,” as if without him, a mini-miracle couldn’t have taken place.

In a backhanded way, Carl Steward professed Green’s value under the headline, “Green’s missing defense dooms Warriors in Game 5.” Other columnists praised Green, but were upset that he wasn’t there when the team really needed him. Tim Kawakami added pressure on Green when he returns to the starting line-up in Game 6, as the headline of his story challenged the youngster with “Green owes Warriors one after this.”

Is It Their Fault, Too?
The sports columnists had elevated Green to a God-like status, crowding around his locker, probing him for unique quotes, many of which were oblique words from a young, sometimes immature, man. But as long as he was the center of their undivided and loyal attention, they may have convinced Green to believe he was immune from any negative action against him.

The NBA thought differently, and with their imposed one-game penalty, perhaps other players will refrain from similar underhanded attacks on their opponents.

I was born in Michigan, and until 1986, I had lived there off and on for nearly forty years; my daughter Amy Gotliffe graduated from Michigan State University, Draymond Green’s school; I have family living in the Saginaw area where Green was born; I was a fan of the Detroit Pistons from 1957 when they first came to Detroit, and watched them play at Olympia Stadium, at Caliban Hall at the University of Detroit, at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, at the Silverdome in Pontiac, and at the Palace of Auburn Hills. In 1986 I moved to California, stayed both a Piston fan during their 1989 and 1990 NBA Championship seasons; and once again became a fan of the Warriors, whom I supported in the early 1960s as the San Francisco Warriors, and whom I have supported since I returned to Northern California in 1986.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

As of the last census, California had an estimated 2015 population of 38.8 million, and if it were a country, it would rank 35th in the world, with a larger population than Poland, Canada, Australia, Cuba and 160 other countries. California’s population is more than twice that of 139 other countries.

California has two female U.S. Senators (Boxer and Feinstein), both of whom are Jewish, and 53 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, of which 39 are Democrats and 14 are Republicans.

The important June 7th Republican Party Primary will result in having 172 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 18-21, including three per Congressional District, 10 at large delegates, and three others: the State Chair, a National Committeewoman, and a National Committeeman. There will also be 169 alternates. Including 159, three per Congressional District, as well as 10 delegates at large.

California is expected to have 548 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25-28, and of this total, 475 will be “pledged delegates,” who are allocated in proportion to the primary votes he or she receives. The remaining 73 delegates are “unpledged,” and not selected by the results of the primary, but by their status within the state party.

The mail just brought me “Nuestra Boleta e Guia de Informacion para el Volante” regarding ‘eleccion primaria presidential, Martes, 7 de junio de 2016,” and that “Las mesas electorates abren de 7am a 8pm.”

I am then told that “Lugar de vootacion en la contraportada,” and then there’s not only a phone number for further information in English, as well as “informacion en Español,” also available “impormasyon sa Tagalog,” and Chinese, or is it Vietnamese?

The above is found on the cover of the thick “Sample Ballot and Voter Information Guide.”

English and Spanish information was found throughout the Guide, in many cases side-by-side, starting on the inside front cover where half a page was devoted to me as “Estimado Votante,” — Dear Voter. More than half of the next page was in Spanish, as were all of pages 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and fifteen. For clarification, those were pages nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce and quince. The next two pages were half in English and half in Español, as were the descriptions and qualifications of four candidates.

Ballot measures for both the Cabrillo Community College bond issue, for the parcel tax for my school district, and for the library bond, were also described in the two languages.

The booklet concluded with a Boleta de practica, which listed the candidates for president for three parties I was able to vote for as a registered Democrat — Democrata, Independiente Americano, and Liberario.

I was disappointed not to find the name of Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Part (PRI) and others, who may be running for Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

There are thirty-four candidates on the ballot to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. Each candidate is trying to become one of the two who garner the largest number of votes, for they will run against each other in November, regardless of their party affiliation.

There are 12 GOP candidates on the ballot, seven Democrats, two Libertarian Party members, one each from the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party. Ten said they weren’t representing any party.

Each candidate listed her or his qualifications in a thirty-two page booklet entitled, “California Presidential Primary ***** OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE,” It included a short paragraph by Democratic candidate Akinyemi Olabode Agbede, who used up his allotted number of exclamation points as he started his pitch with, “Rescue America! Rescue America!! Rescue America!!!” Republican Jerry Laws simply wrote “Constitutionalist. Americanism.”

Ling Ling Shi, with No Party Preference, wrote that she would, “Run for God’s Heart and America’s Freedom,” while Democratic Massie Munroe is “practicing Christ consciousness,” and Tim Gildersleeve, with No Party Preference, starts with “I am a follower of Jesus Christ.”  Jason Hanania, with No Party Preference, lists his one qualification as “01100101.” It’s an admirable number. Republican Greg Conlon notes that he was both a pilot in the US Air Force, as well as being an Eagle Scout.

The first name listed on the official ballot is a Democratic candidate by the name of President Cristina Grappo, who if elected, would become Senator President Grappo. Sounds a bit confusing, but so is this election thus far.

Although the entire guide was in English, on the final page there were phone listings for additional copies in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. This is what is sure to hacer una américa grande, otra vez.

Thousands of California residents elected to stay independent, but when they registered as such, they inadvertently became members of the American Independent Party (AIP). The platform on the AIP website begins with, “The American Independent Party gratefully acknowledges God as the Creator of all and appeals to Him for help in protecting all He has graciously given us. With all these gifts comes the right to use them justly. Hence all such rights are the gifts of God as affirmed in our Declaration of Independence. These include the right to life and liberty.” 

A poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times indicated that 73 percent of those who registered as an independent, did not know that they had registered for a political party. Once they realized this, 31,772 AIP voters left the party in the two weeks prior to May 1.