Friday, January 29, 2021

BAUMblog: Unity Schmoonity #2

January 29, 2021

Unity Schmoonity #2

When last heard from, unity inspired a decent inaugural address and an otherwise dynamite poem. But it doesn't seem to do much for Republicans in Congress. I think Biden made a serious tactical error in puffing up that very vague concept, "unity." Because now the right-wing pundits can whine that he talked the unity talk but is not walking the unity walk --- THANK GOODNESS!

After all, there is nothing unifying about cancelling the Keystone Pipeline. Some folks thought the pipeline was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and other folks thought it meant setting fire to the planet and trashing ancestral Indian lands. Fortunately, Biden's granddaughters have no interest in unity, at least on matters of global warming, and he's got to stay in THEIR good graces!

Yes, I'm counting on Biden's granddaughters to pull Pops along. I know, I know, some were counting on Ivanka to temper Trump, and look how THAT worked out! But I think Joe's grandkids have a hell of a lot more integrity than Trump's daughter. Plus they're YOUNG. They're in the Screwed Generation. Those kids owe it to their contemporaries to use their power.

But I digress.

Unity. Sometimes known as bipartisanship when it has to do with Congress. And it IS a fine thing when both sides can support a bill. And I'm sure if Biden decided to give a great big tax cut to billionaires, he'd find PLENTY of unity with the Republicans.

I'm sorry, but this "unity" business is a pile of crap and it's what the Democrats have ALWAYS done -- that is, stake out a position a quarter of an inch to the left of the Republicans in order to find "unity," and then claim they were the party of We the People. But it simply won't do now because:
  1. Our problems are too urgent. Real solutions to the climate crisis, racial injustice, economic inequality, and rampant right-wing insanity (among other things) can be put off no longer.
  2. We the People busted our collective asses to get Biden elected, and we want payback.
  3. Biden's granddaughters.

I am not alone in finding Biden's vaunted "unity" a recipe for total failure.

Paul Krugman, in his "Four Rules That Should Guide Bidenomics in the NY Times, says"Don't count on Republicans to help govern." He points out that Obama was hamstrung by his desperate search for bipartisan support, when he could have passed a much bigger stimulus bill without it.

Krugman has a lot of credibility because he's the ONLY economist who predicted the 2008 crash. He got a Nobel Prize in Economics for actually looking at what was going on and where it was headed. Now he sees us headed into a real bad depression if the government doesn't supply major relief fast:
  • So the new administration will have to be aggressive, using whatever legislative strategies it must to get big things done. By all means, let Biden try to unify the nation; but first he has to save it.

When Biden called for "healing" and "unity" after the Capitol riots, Susan Bro felt compelled to speak up. Her daughter, Heather Heyer, was murdered in 2017 during the demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville. From the NY Times:
  • Healing requires holding perpetrators accountable, Ms. Bro said. Unity follows justice. "Look at the lessons learned from Charlottesville," she said. "The rush to hug each other and sign 'Kumbaya' is not an effective strategy."
Words of truth from the mouth of a mother.

Does anyone really think the man pictured in the photo on the right above, is willing to sing 'Kumbaya' with the man on the left? I get that the man on the left is just dying to do it. But it ain't gonna happen!

Jim Hightower, a wise and delightful progressive spirit, says in his newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown,
"Push hard and fast. Don't settle. Demand big change."
He's talking to Biden, to the Democratic Party, and to ALL OF US!

About old-line Democratic Party power brokers, Hightower has this to say:
  • Preferring to cling to power as a club of comfortable insiders, they're furious that we upstarts are making gains and pushing Democrats to be...well, DEMOCRATS!...
  • This is not '92 or '08, when incoming Democratic presidents simply said "thank you and goodby" to grassroots backers, then handed the government's economic keys to Wall Street banks and corporate lobbyists. This time progressive forces are neither weak nor meek, and we're not about to be shushed or shooed by Joe or a go-slow establishment.
I subscribe to the Hightower Lowdown, a four-page monthly newsletter. I highly recommend it. He's always inspiring, informative AND fun to read. He's got a weekly email and a podcast too. Connect with Jim Hightower, a progressive Democrat who was once elected the Secretary of Agriculture of TEXAS!

His slogan:
"Everybody Does Better When Everybody Does Better."
Were wiser words ever said? I don't think so.

Here is a very empowering short video from MSNBC with Anand Giridharadas who says, "We are living through a revolt against the future, and we have to be willing to fight tooth and nail, and we have to fight to win." I was directed to this by Common Dreams, "Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community," which I subscribe to. I strongly suggest you check out Common Dreams. It's very helpful to me.

What is to be done?

If you remember, I was inspired to do something to get all the seditious Congress people expelled from their jobs. I asked for help, and Carolyn and Laurie Graham immediately volunteered, I wrote a petition on and....dropped the ball. Totally. Just didn't do anything. I was overwhelmed by all of's suggestions of what I must do, I had trouble navigating their site... whatever. I never even published the petition. Or maybe I did. I'm not sure.

I do that sometimes. Just drop the ball. Not always. I do accomplish a fair amount, but sometimes I drop the ball. I apologize, especially to Laurie, who has now sent me a link to someone else's petition to get all the Congresspeople involved in any way with the insurrection booted out. So please sign this:

Bloggelinis, there's so much to do and it's hard to know what to do first. It was certainly much clearer when we could focus on getting Biden elected. That was a simple and invigorating goal. I think we all have to choose at least one thing. I'm not clear at the moment what my thing is, other than BAUMblog. Suggestions? Terry


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

BAUMblog: Navalny's Challenge to Us All


I am blown away by Alexei Navalny's courage.

Frequently people become so disgusted with the United States that they contemplate moving to another country. I always say, "No, you cannot do that. You have to stay here and help change this place. We're obligated to do this work." I have felt that, if you're not being threatened with a long jail sentence or something worse, you're obligated to stay.

ON THE OTHER HAND, your obligation ends if you are threatened by a long stay in jail or worse. In my eyes, you are COMPLETELY ENTITLED to flee the country and continue your work from exile or become an honored university professor in some nice quiet country or whatever.

And, if your government goes to all the trouble to POISON you and then you escape and recover -- well, you're NUTS to go to the trouble of GOING BACK.

Navalny is risking his life by his return to Russia. Putin has acted totally predictably by arresting him. How could he not? And now Navalny is dependent on the government that poisoned him for all his food and drink.

I think that Navalny did NOT go back to Russia to challenge PUTIN. He is putting his life on the line to challenge HIS FELLOW CITIZENS. He is saying to THEM, "I am willing to give up my life in the battle against this corrupt tyrant. What are YOU willing to do?"

He could not have known how the Russians would respond to his challenge. People might have said, "My roof is leaking and my kid is sick. I've got a lot on my plate. There's nothing we can do about Putin anyhow. Navalny, you're a fool. You should have stayed where you were safe."

Really, one could say that would have been a rational response. But that is not what happened. The Russian people have risen to Navalny's challenge.

The NY Times had a column by Alexey Kovalev, who is editor of Meduza, an independent Russian news outlet. The headline is:
"Not Just Another Day of Dissatisfaction in Russia."
Crackdown and coercion are no longer enough to discourage Russians from protesting: According to sociologists who studied Saturday's demonstrations, at least 42 percent of all participants were first-time protesters. Mr. Navalny has clearly struck a chord well outside his regular circle of supporters. The Kremlin, its room for compromise limited, is likely to respond with further escalation.

What that might lead to, no one can say. But one thing's certain: It doesn't bode well for anyone.
Sounds kinda scary, doesn't it -- for Navalny, for the demonstrators, for the country.

I cannot comprehend being as brave as Navalny. I don't think I'm capable of risking my life for my ideals. But I don't want to ever forget the example of his courage, which he is acting out before the world at this moment.

Bloggelinis, all for now.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021: I WEPT TEARS OF JOY

January 23, 2021

I Wept Tears of Joy



Friday, January 22, 2021

January 21, 2021: GOOD STUFF


Above is my happy crony Carolyn, in a photo taken by her husband Matthew right after Biden took the oath of office, swearing on that enormous bible. She's wearing pink and green in honor of Vice-President Harris's sorority, whose colors they are. If you remember, Harris's mask was pink-and-green, with the sorority's initials embroidered. Oh, and the pearls are in honor of Harris herself, who always wears pearls.

My friend Betsy, who creates videos for South Carolina Educational TV, told me that Black women were organizing groups to support each other even under slavery. So the history of black sororities is long and proud.

Vice-President Harris. I savor those words.

I love this photo. The light, the colors, Carolyn's joy, the fuzzy pink V, the fabulous Mexican apron...

It turns out that the heads of some on the extreme right are exploding. They truly believed -- not only that Trump DID win the election -- but that Trump would lead them in an armed revolt in order to prevent Biden from being inaugurated! I mean, that's what they really thought! This lazy, incompetent man whose cowardice is bonespur-deep.

The Proud Boys are VERY VERY UPSET. Now Trump is a "shill" and "weak."
According to the NY Times:
On social media, Proud Boys participants have complained about his willingness to leave office and said his disavowal of the Capitol rampage was an act of betrayal... The Proud Boys' anger toward Mr. Trump has heightened after he did nothing to help those in the group who face legal action for the Capitol violence.

"When Trump told them that if he left office, America would fall into an abyss, they believed him," said Arieh Kovler, who studies the far right. "Now that he has left office, they believe he has both surrendered and failed to do his patriotic duty." In the last two weeks of December, they pushed Mr. Trump in their protests and on social media to "Cross the Rubicon."

On Wednesday, the Proud Boys Telegram group welcomed President Biden to office. "At least the incoming administration is honest about their intentions, the group wrote.
So all along, the Proud Boys were just looking for an honest man. And they found him -- in President Biden!

And the QAnon folks are in pain too:
LARP is a role-playing game.

Click here for the CNN interview & article: IS QANON dead? The interviewer speaks with a man who -- UNTIL THE MOMENT THAT BIDEN TOOK HIS HAND OFF THAT GIGANTIC BIBLE -- expected revolutionary violence to break out that would install Trump as President.

So Trump lived in the delusion that
Losing is the only sin
and Trump is a good boy who never sins.
That is why his followers believed he won the election -- because he HAD to win or the universe falls apart. It was easier for them to believe absurd conspiracy theories involving dead Venezuelan presidents than to get their brains around Trump losing.

So their universe started falling apart at the VERY SAME MOMENT that Matthew took Carolyn's picture! So many people's universe changed -- AT THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT!

It took courage for Garth Brooks to sing at Biden's Inauguration. Did you know that? I didn't. You see, he's a country music star. Actually he's THE country music star. Many of his fans felt betrayed and let the world know on social media immediately. Click the photo below to see MSNBC's take on Garth's bravery.
So thank you, Garth! And thank you for your performance at the Grand Old Opry in 2009. My sister Nancy and I were thrilled to hear you live -- AND that newcomer -- what was her name? Oh yeah -- Taylor Swift!

We conclude our "Good Stuff" with...
... And a Happy Fauci to YOU!

Well, Bloggelinis, it's a new day, ain't it! And we've even had a bit of RAIN here, which always washes away our anxiety -- temporarily. I suggest, if you're ever planning a visit to Nashville, you MUST get tickets to the Grand Old Opry in advance. It's quite an experience. You might even catch a future superstar, as Nancy and I did! Terry

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Later on Inauguration Day, 2021: WE MADE IT!


Did you hear Amanda Gorman, the first Youth Poet Laureate? She gave me chills. Click here for the video.

Lady Gaga conquering our impossible-to-sing national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner -- and J-Lo singing This Land is Your Land/America the Beautiful weren't too shabby, either. I heard that Trump was particularly pissed at Lady Gaga appearing.....
... as well he should be. Turns out she's been a BIG supporter of Biden's.

The classy inauguration, combined with Biden's promise to stop that fucking XL pipeline -- it all bodes well for the future.

Now about this Unity business -- by the end of his speech, I admit I was a bit swayed by the hazy dream.

But what the hell does "unity" mean?

For the Democrats, it has meant moving to the right, moving to the right, moving to the right in a desperate attempt to grab the coattails of the GOP and beg them to accept a deal.

Thus I fear that what unity actually means to Biden is trying to meet the GOP in the middle. And as Obama saw when he moved to the "middle," that middle just kept scuttling to the right.

That is NOT what FDR did. He was willing to fight HARD for bold change. The truth is that legislative progress toward freedom and equity is always very hard won. I mean, it was a lot of WORK to pass Social Security and Unemployment Benefits and the Civil Rights Act and the Emancipation Proclamation and the Affordable Care Act (half-assed though it may be). To bring any of these manifestations of social justice to fruition took intense and skillful WORK.

And it wasn't about unity. It was about finding your allies, organizing your allies, persuading those who might become allies, pressuring, even twisting metaphorical arms.

What about getting the vote for women? I mean, that took a RIDICULOUSLY long time. Seventy-one years from the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 to the first time women could vote in 1919. Were the suffragists interested in "unity" with the misogynists? What, pray tell, would have been the point of that?

And Biden didn't seek "unity" with the pipeline people. He just stopped the pipeline.

Now, maybe all this unity talk is a TACTIC to get the Right to open up a bit. Did Biden crack open many Trumpers, a few, or even one with his inaugural address? Maybe he did. If so, then Okay. It was good that he blathered about unity.

Let the President and the Democratic Congress find UNITY in executing a legislative program that truly changes people's lives in the next two years!

Now, THAT'S the kind of unity I can get behind!

Two blogs in one day, Bloggelinis! Well, I would say this is a two-blog day if there ever was one. It is hard for me to comprehend that the nightmare --- which was so much worse than we ever imagined it could be and CONTINUED to get worse until the very last moment -- is over. A bleak gray cloud has hovered over my head for four years. It's gone. Terry



On this joy-and-dread fraught Inauguration Day, I summon the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In his first Inaugural Address, FDR invoked a vision of healing through economic transformation. Biden has taken a bold step by appointing Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury. She has spoken out for strong action to lift those who are suffering. And Bernie Sanders will become Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. After a truly degrading four years, this is not a time for placating the enemies of change.
Joe, take the leap into history! GO JOE!

Today, it behooves us to recall President Roosevelt's powerful words.

FDR's Inaugural Address
Saturday, March 3, 1933
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.
Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.
The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States--a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor--the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others-- the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.
If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.
With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.
Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.
It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.
I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.
But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis--broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.
We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stem performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.
We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.
In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.

Okay, okay, Bloggelinis --- I admit that 1933 is not an exact parallel to us. We DO have things to fear besides fear itself -- the Coronavirus and a surging white supremacy movement. Still, these things make it even MORE important that we act fearlessly! Terry

Monday, January 18, 2021



When last heard from, I was just the tiniest bit concerned about the Orange One, Der Toddler, Trumpty-Dumpty -- has any human being had so many nicknames? -- anyhow, I was worried about our POTUS leaving office while giving us the parting gift of a nuclear holocaust. I just couldn't figure out how he would find a place where he would feel a sense of belonging, of HOME, ya know? And that might lead him to destroy EVERYONE's home.

That was before I read an article in the Washington Post about Trump's forthcoming immediate transition to his beloved private club, Mar-A-Lago. Here's a quote from it:
  • Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican strategist in Florida who is a senior adviser to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, explained the state’s appeal to Trump — including that Florida’s Republican base is especially “Trumpy.”

  • “It fits in with Florida’s overall character of being the magnet for all insanity in the universe,” Wilson said. “We are what we are in the great state of Florida, and that is a state of lives restarting and second-chances and reboots and low property taxes and liberal bankruptcy laws and a fairly casual approach to public ethics. Florida, in some freakish, horrible way, is the Trumpiest of states. This is the logical place for them to come.”

Now I no longer have a care in the world
about a nuclear holocaust before Wednesday!

Everyone who's anyone in the Trump Family is already there or moving soon! Don Jr. and Kimberley already have a house. Ivanka and Jared are buying a homey mansion 15 miles away. I'm certain that Giuliani will find a room in some seedy hotel somewhere. Florida will welcome him rather than disbarring him, like grouchy old New York State!

I myself can attest to Florida being the most freakish state I've ever visited. I went there for the first time long ago when I was obsessed with Aileen Wuornos, the lesbian who made a living as a prostitute on the highway and was in prison in Florida for murdering several of her customers. I was at the time a member of the one and only Aileen Wuornos Support Group.

See? Soliciting on the Interstate highway? Does this happen in any other state?

Anyhow, I hoped to actually talk to Wuornos, which never happened. I spent my days in the Orlando Public Library, poring over microfilm from the local paper, the Orlando Sentinel, reading all the articles about her, as the discovery of the crime, the search for the suspect and the trial unfolded. (No more about Wuornos now. That's another blog.)

In the process, I read many other articles and got a feeling for life in Orlando and Florida in general. And I was puzzled. As you know, I am a devotee of the daily newspaper. I was familiar with the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. And I felt there was something DIFFERENT about the news that the Sentinel was reporting. It just seemed that there were a lot more just plain WEIRD things happening under the gimlet eye of the Sentinel than under the purview of the other three papers.

I consulted with my friend, Rosemary, who I was staying with. And she confirmed what I perceived: "Look at the map, Terry! The answer to the question is Geography. Just think about it. People who are weirdos and pariahs have to move away from the center, farther from whatever civilization they find themselves in. They keep moving and moving and finally they find themselves on this gigantic peninsula that projects far out into the ocean. And they cannot go any further because they're surrounded by water! This is it! This is where all the strange ones end up -- Florida!"

If I still had any doubts about this (which I didn't), they would have been cleared up by Rosemary taking me to visit the little town of Cassadaga

Cassadaga is a small unincorporated community just north of Deltona, Florida. It is especially known for having many psychics and mediums, and has consequently been named the "Psychic Capital of the World". Almost everyone living there makes a living as a psychic, and when a Floridian needs or just wants to consult a psychic, that person drives to Cassadaga and does so. At that moment, Rosemary was drawn to Cassadaga and was happy to take me.

I don't know what it's like now. I think I visited in the late 1980s. Then, it felt like the 1930s in a small town caught in amber. Small streets with little wood-frame houses. Many homes had big front porches with a man or woman sitting in a rocking chair, peacefully rocking. Rosemary told me you just strolled around until you found some particular rocker or house compelling. I did so. There was no one on the porch, so I knocked. I went in and got a reading from a woman. I have absolutely no memory of the encounter, but I do remember she charged $35, which was a lot of money at the time.

Anyhow, it was a fun day trip to another world. That is where Trump is going, and I am certain he's looking forward to it and will not blow up the world.

Bloggelinis, all for now. I actually have a THEATRE project happening. Carolyn and Paula Barish, who is the voice of Eleanor Roosevelt on tape in my play HICK, and I are working on a live-streamed version of about a half hour of HICK. This is a project with Exit Theatre. I'm very excited about this, because I'm really looking forward to being in real time with Paula, rather than hearing her voice over a sound system. Admittedly, we won't be in the same PLACE, that not being possible at the moment. But it'll still be a thrill! It's happening Feb. 25, I think. I've got to start on Draft 5 of this very short script RIGHT NOW because we're meeting in a few hours. But I just wanted to tell you not to worry about Armageddon. Terry