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I surely wasn’t going to dignify the apalling Fresh Prince with a blog on this topic and am not doing so here.  However, when an obvious copycat threatened comedian David Chappelle this week, my need to (for what is it worth) educate kicked in.

Call the “ Audience Behavior Police”! These nuts are slapping and stabbing at the wrong people!  “Shooting the messenger”!  Its prime-time for lunatics who need to be in mental institutions! A gun with a knife sticking out of it? What is this, an Austin Powers movie??

A society who increasingly cannot laugh at its imperfections is a society in trouble, which needs a moderation ointment to promote healing.

Its a moral decay in one sense, since the role of comedy historically goes back to Shakespearean time – or further… Back then they might throw a tomato or an egg to express displeasure with an act – or one could always just “boo” or hiss – but  never  charger the stage!

That… is patently uncivilized behavior!  There is such a thing as Theater Etiquette. *

We must appreciate satire, understand and study it from sexual jokes to parody and creative critiques of the issues of the day!  I wonder, did this guy who rushed Mr. Chappelle in the midst of his show have “appreciation classes” in grade school?  I for one, remember music appreciation, sex education and driver’s education – or have these non-adacemic classes been labeled “too expensive during the past thirty years or so?  “Hygiene class” is another example which comes to mind.

Would you run up to the movie screen and slap at or slash it when displeased with the actors or a scene?  Next thing you know someone will want to hold the projectionist responsible for the content of a movie (do they still use human projectionists, or is it computerized now?).

Exacerbated by information overkill and the greed-driven catalyzing of extremist hate broadcasting, on and off-line, it feels like a minority of prejudiced, partial-misanthropes are trying to drag us backwards in time, taking away what previous generations (like mine) achieved in the 1960s and 1970s, to better life, such as voting rights, abortion rights and women’s equality while ignoring today’s plagues of gun violence, lenient bail rules, and unjust war in Ukraine and the dumbing-down of citizenry.

I’ve noticed that one of the first signs of a society’s house of cards collapsing is the encroachment of extreme intolerance and anarchy. You can see the backsliding today with the pro-life zealots and increasing, daily gun crime in our largest urban city and people carrying guns in their vehicles; you can notice it on the roads while driving with more speeders and less/misplaced courtesy outside of the traditionally accepted “rules of the road”.  We cannot go back to puritanical times, no mater how some pruds might pine for it.

Maybe Chappelle and other comics should take up Marshall Arts; it would be truly hilarious to see one of these stage intruders decked by a defensive “karate kick”, Bruce Lee-style, and fall away from his intended victim, the entertainer!  Having tried stand-up comedy for a while during my career, I can tell you that it is an art and its not as easy or cavalier as it looks. Those who do it well and effectively are truly talented.

Due to the signs of the aforementioned upheavals and other’s I’ve probably left out, the biblical saying from Matthew 12:22 comes to mind, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”  There are plenty of examples throughout history of this coming to pass.

In order to save society, not become known as the “DSA” (Divided States of America) and maintain a majority of more moderate thinking, a  famous quote by our President John F. Kennedy is worth restating, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!”

I am encouraged for our reunification because I notice that, as when George Floyd was murdered on-camera for all to see, today’s youth are keenly watching the pending injustices unfold – and seem to be boiling again, raising their voices to oust the zealots who would take us back in time, at the “mid-term” voting polls.

*Suggested reference material:  “The Reasonable Audience; Theater Etiquette Behavior Policing and the Live Performance Experience” by Dr. Kirsty Sedgman

With a name like his, that’s spelled like his is, you’ve got to have a sense of humor – which he definitely does – given the way kids parody phonetically when you are growing up!

His first chapter was the most difficult for me to read because he came-off like a tattle-tale snitch against his colleagues’ perks! He betrayed himself and his Congressional members by outing their rather innocuous inside restaurant, Congressional bank and other fringe benefits, which I think he could have handled better; more friendlier to the legacy of “smoke-filled rooms” and all of that mysterious symbolism.  That was Boehner’s power trip boner; taking down legends like Charles Rangel and Dan Rostenkowski was shameful, IMO.

After that, the book became much more palatable, entertaining and almost autobiographic to read – with many photos! 

Regardless of his political party, this is one self-deprecatingly, often funny and pretty down-to-earth type guy (who tears-up a lot, adding to his credibility with this writer)!

There are many frank and amusing passages which produce laugh out loud moments during the fast paced read, which takes you inside of how our legislative branch works these days, and his road to becoming one of it’s recent leaders.  You’ll  learn Mr. Boehner’s four passions: The USA, golf and two others you’ll have to learn by reading the book!

Sadly, apparently, the only black American he ever interacted much with was President Barack Obama, because there isn’t mention of any others, except a brief sentence describing Vernon Jordan’s relationship to President Bush.  Boehner wrote  some things about Obama that I was surprised to learn!  I would have thought that President Obama would have been a bit more humble about his winning the majority vote twice, in an effort to better deal with and reach across the party lines according to the Boehner’s accounts.  He doesn’t even, at least, give him more credit for his unifying oratory skills!

His impressions of the 45th President’s propensity to talk before thinking are spot-on.

The best chapter is the next to last, when he astutely talks about the relations between the press, government and citizens who consume it via a cautionary analysis regarding information overload and the potential for “weaponizing” of the news.  Instead of like when I was a music radio disc jockey, we’d play the save five songs (or so), sixteen times a day for “x” amount of hours and days to sell advertising via the spots contained therein.  These days, the songs are replaced with exaggerated and often unproven statements designed to “gin you up” – as Mr. Boehner writes – to get angry about something and keep you coming back for more of that poison.    Its a must-read chapter in this very readable book.

Its the fine print overlooked when government deregulated and allowed inside, the devil of corporate-controlled broadcasting, and specifically with regard to market ownership limits and radio stations specifically.

He ironically even touches upon the current unprovoked Russian attack on the peaceful country of Ukraine, almost as if he were predicting it! Wow.

4.5 golf balls 

It seems to me, that ever since I learned about the news and politics, that the Russian government has been this paranoid, threatening, pain in our collective asses.

Do you remember when Nikita Khrushchev took his shoe off in the United Nations meeting and pounded it on the desk?   Do you recall when he uttered, “We will bury you!” at ambassadors from other countries? Or his actions in positioning nuclear missiles in Cuba, ninety miles from Florida, aimed at the USA in response to our adept President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis? https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/nikita-sergeyevich-khrushchev  That is, by the way, why I am in-favor of requiring all of those who run for President of the United States to have some military experience.  I digress.

What is it with the Russian people, who cannot seem to get out of their own way when it comes to electing moderate leaders of their great land, who will play nicely with their neighbor countries here in the “future”?  I don’t recall that Yeltsin or Gorbachev made any threats against the world and it was under their watch that the U.S.S.R let those countries who wanted to be independent be free! Gorbachev must have said or done something to get the attention of President Reagan which led to the famous, “tear down that wall…” speech.

It was Mr. Yeltsin who made the now infamously asinine choice of Prime Minister in 1999.

Because of that mistake, we have this latest reincarnation of Stalin’s Holodomor https://www.britannica.com/event/Holodomor in the crooked, wicked and slimy flesh of Putin, our latest Russian despot having a Hitler-Hissy-fit at a time when the world is just recovering from the two-year Covid-19 plague. A being incapable of remorse, empathy, contrition, compromise or any kind of human feeling; a demonic beast of which my generation has not seen! I have watched him, lo since he forcefully re-inserted himself into their Presidency and forced the more moderate guy to step aside in 2008.  I never trusted this “former KGB spy” guy; Russian people, rise UP!  You must do better in choosing your leaders!  Or…are you guys still closet Commies or something like that?

Here is when I wish my World War II-experienced farther would have been more forthcoming with the kind of stories and experiences which might assuage the heartbreak feel for my kindred spirits; the friends I met over the past ten (10) years in the beautiful, independent country of Ukraine. I wish my Korean War-experienced uncle’s voice was still alive to tell me again, “Putin’s time shall come…”  OK, how about the” time” is NOW.

How did they live through the threat of Hitler’s mass-murders of the Jewish people thousands of miles away?  How do we continue when we see Putin’s ordered indiscriminate slaughter of the people, culture and heritage of Ukraine now?  Who is HE to say they cannot determine their own destiny?!

All of which is to introduce this video sent to me by a friend in Ukraine, who I met online at LinkedIN prior to me traveling to Kyiv nine years ago, where we hung out in-person.  At 00:21 you’ll briefly see a mirror-glass skyscraper on a main Boulevard (I think its called) Kikvdze, which I think I walked by a couple of times during my stay – now recently scarred by Russia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign.

My eyes well with tears because this is all sooo needless, my friends are under siege and hurting; it is heartbreaking for all of us and ultra-threatening to our general peace on Earth since World War II. Please help any way you can. Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s video was spot on, Great! Need more similar. This is when Muhammad Ali, Dennis Rodman or someone from the entertainment world, who the despot admired, would make a trip behind the iron curtain to gain an audience with him and maybe talk some sense into the senseless or gain insights. Surely there is some such person these days? I’ve read where actor Steven Segal is admired by Mr. Egomaniac; so when is the high-profile athlete/thespian/sports celebrity like может быть. Maria Sharopova, going to step forward and use their voice and influence and make this needed sojourn?

Please remember to check out our music-only satellite blog, https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/

Shortly after being elected President of the United States, the word came out that ahead of a summit with Russia’s mercurial bete noire Vladimir Putin, he thought he was “a killer”.

Well, that analysis proved correct a few days ago, when the little bastard attacked the peaceful land of Ukraine for no reason other than his Napoleon-complex-sized ego and demented attempt to re-write world history.  If you retrace what paranoid Putin has uttered during the years since he forcibly took over Crimea, a Ukraine territory granted back to Ukraine by Russian President and Communist Party leader Nikita Krushchev in 1954, you can hear that he is a pathological liar, much in the ilk of his buddy, the former occupant of the United States White House, #BenedictDonald.

As I watch the videos of this unnecessary carnage and damage to the infrastructure of my beloved Ukraine, my heart bleeds for my friends of the past dozen years, and in-particular, I think of all of the lovely ladies I have communicated with, including “my” Inna, who disappeared six years ago, supposedly to Sochi, Russian with her mental “doctor”.  I digress, and yet feel so helpless and wish I could strike paranoid Putin, the new modern Hitler, down myself!

Putinitler


I pray my friends in Ukraine stay strong, have assets and resources to thwart and defeat him. I also fear that should an accident of war happen and one of his stupid missiles go awry and hit a NATO state, then this will become the full-on battle for the earth and, in other words, “World War III – The Nuclear version”.    Therefore, with one selfish act, this thug threatens to undo all peace on Earth of the past seventy-five years.  And for what? His freakin’ EGO, that’s what. This unprovoked madness #paranoidPutin has wrought upon these peaceful people is truly unbelievable. If you do not believe me, then please go to the library and take out some books to read about World History since 1900, at least!

Putin must be sought out as they sought Saddam Hussein (who was not even as internationally menacing, btw) and Osama bin Laden, and similarly dealt with.   

Hell has a hot, erternally burning cubbyhole waiting for Putinitler.

As an adult and responsible member of American society and citizen, who, upon the shoulders of my now departed elders, thought all would be positive smooth sailing towards harmony, especially after Barack Obama was elected our President in 2008, I never thought I’d now see the days when so many people who look grown-up in body, act like spoiled brat children!  What planet did these alien imposters come from?!

For example, a man stubbornly arguing with a cashier, who is barely making it via hourly wages, because he cannot find his favorite oversized bottle of scotch on the liquor store shelf. When she offers that he can obtain it at another store only 4 miles away, he digs-in and shouts, “But I don’t wanna drive across the river!” like a five year-old (its not like he had to pay a toll or anything). Or someone lashing-out in public after asked to wear a mask like everybody else is, in the middle of a public health plague. Since circa 2016/2017, more who should know better, seem in the business of denying issues already socially and legally settled in the past or are trying to change/re-write factual history with a kind of “witchful thinking” spin.

I can add any number of more silly things since 2016 that I’ve heard outbursts of angst about, if they can’t have their immediate way.  

What’s going on?  What happened that big people in size whine when unable to sway?  Is it that too many dropped out of school?  Or too many of generations younger than mine did not complete their educations without any penalty (getting left-back) or incentive from parents or legislative society? And I’m just addressing high school diplomas, never mind college or the university, since it was the norm for my age-group 40 and 50 years ago, which is important equally! Or is it, as Sly of The Family Stone sang, the result of “Babies Makin’ Babies”? (Yes)  Is it the result of the mental laziness perpetuated by this internet “super highway”? (yes and probably all of the above)

I mean…this is really sad and must change for the better if we are to survive, defend our country from those who want to take over the land (from within and across the seas)!  Where are the adults?  At least we have a grown-up President now instead of the childish, name-calling, immature previous occupant of our White House. Geez, people!

I know we still have grown-ups among us and they are beginning to become engaged again.   I admit that back during the late 1960s- early 1970s days, I “tuned-in, turned-on and dropped out” for the cause we all embodied; from the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, et al, to anti-Vietnam war protests, however with time comes awakening and engagement on a higher plane of realities and that is where we Baby Boomers are now, whether you have offspring or not!  My parents wouldn’t have stood for this kind of this boorish behavior. I can hear them admonish sternly, “Control Yourself!” if we acted-out in public. In my opinion, and that of many, this is where the lack of corporal punishment has also taken its toll.

And I must also vent that when it comes to sex these days, the scammy behavior to meet someone new, runs rampant due to the clandestine nature of internet dating! It is difficult enough to meet a potential lover in-person due to the Covid-19 plague and so you want to go outside the box? Well, one cannot even post an advert online for a specific type of “soul mate”, without receiving replies from people who don’t even closely fit the description, sending off-the-mark photos, and who invariably must have a scam Pimp behind the scenes, as they lay the foundation for a near-future money ask. Never give!

 It is time to make sure American society leads the world again in intelligent behavior!

I’ve been reading “Cheyenne Summer, The Battle of Beecher Island A History” (Pegasus $27.95 9781643137100) these past few weeks.  I almost put it down and returned it to the public library, but “pressed on”, in the lingo of those U.S. Army Calvary Generals Sheridan, Fetterman, Major Forsythe, Custer (yes that “Custer of “the last stand”) and Beecher who Terry  quotes often. The complete and teasing Introduction sets the table and is why I kept reading through the 270 enlightening hardcover pages!

Depending upon how you feel about the conquest or resettlement of native Americans (“Indians” when I was growing up), or as is fashionable to say nowadays, “indigenous peoples” (not bad, I kinda like it), this book is either historically neutral and exciting, uncomfortable, sad, disturbing or adventurous.

Civil War, U.S. post civil war Calvary buffs and early American expansionist railroad enthusiasts will love the accurate descriptions of weapons, injuries, attire and the politics of those days.  The read reminded me of, and brought to mind the many “Cowboy and Indian” movies I watched as a young man growing up in the 1960s through the 1980s, and in-particular, 1964’s “Cheyenne Autumn”, starring Richard Widmark, James Stewart, Sal Mineo Ricardo Montaban and Carroll Baker, which is why it caught my eye on the library’s “new” shelf; but I digress… This book is a precise read and even gives credit to the freed slave men or “Buffalo” soldiers (so named by the Indians because they wore coats made of Buffalo hide during the harsh plains winters). Mr. Mort spends most of the pages setting-up the events on the continental plains east of Missouri that lead to a questionably “decisive” battle between the Calvary “Scouts” and the Cheyenne Indian nation with other tribes supporting them.  The battle is rather anti-climatic, except for the demise of one of the apparently greatest and fearless Cheyenne warriors, Roman Nose, who Mort gives graphic descriptions of throughout the book!

You’ll be able to put together the various historical aspects of how our country applied “manifest destiny” – a term I’d not read since high school – to justifying the rapacious [one of several new words I learned from the book] advance from the east coast to the west, including frequent mentions of how the “gold rush” and those 49ers played a huge part in perpetuating it.   

I would have enjoyed more photos of the battle scene in the picture pages, but forgive on that due to available photography in the late 1800s.  With the recently apparent denial of true history by too many people, this is an even more necessarily compelling read and could even be a supporting class assignment on the high school or college level! I learned much by suffering through it.  Therefore, I scalp it with 4.5 tomahawks!!

Remember, history is our reflection and available so that succeeding generations do not repeat past mistakes!

**Pick Hit…”I love ‘Cheyenne Summer’ as a first and middle name for a girl!

Alas, I didn’t keep in touch

A streaking comet of care was our love affair.

Ten years later finding letters of devotion from thee;

Sorry Bro

Too late again;

Now you will read the cache you found

Of her love letters last decade

So profound and caring,

In that print she printed.

Now you will cry like when your mama died,

Once more.

Having missed a chance for the companionship

Of forever love.

Weep, “Music Man”, weep

One of her nicknames for me.

Cry in your sleep!

Dreams are so deep;

Just last night you dreamt you would call her

Say, “Hey, how have you been?”

Just last week you heard her voice,

On answering machine cassette out of storage

Her love for you was historic warm winter porridge.

Now you will save that tape till you die;

No lie.

Feel your forehead at the chances blown

For forever romantic bodily warmth

Which leave you today lonely

Uttering the shameful, “If only” – again.

Just a shadow in your rear view mirror

With soft Brie cheese colored skin,

Missed highway exits become clearer

Only one of many gourmets we shared

And untasted by each of us.

“Hey, Jimi! It’s Me…I’m just trying to keep in-touch…”

Would say the voice-mail.

You are so sorry a man

That you didn’t talk to her much more

She told that she had Parkinson’s disease

You just found the paper she sent you.

Another ailment for her dosette box.

Oh, Mattie!!

Who protected me from your confederate mother

With the shotgun at her door

You said she didn’t approve

As if I was one of those other mutherfuckers.

Dropping you off with dignity after the ballgame,

When you had to move back in with family

Our love she refused to see

So we nicknamed her “Georgia Meany”.

Your dad flew contrails of migrating geese

After vehicles stopping to let them slowly pass,

In funeral processional.

Hearing your tender southern voice

On a past answering machine cassette,

So caring, vulnerable yet determined

You put up the brave front,

While breathing sometimes labored

That everything was alright,

Never wanting to be any trouble or burden to me.

Which didn’t cross my mind,

Just without the skills to cure Mattie,

Only morally support.

My playful Smokey Mountains-bred Rasta

Lemon-drop lover,

Her line has gone death;

Called her number just in case.

Never too much the worse for wear

With copious old believe it or not stories,

Like the last time you won a horse!

She has no more discomfort at last;

I guess you finally caught your breath.

Life is a bit lonelier now,

Even amid the glory.

Now, my take on the last book from my summertime night table reading stack (see my post of July 11, 2021).  Daniel James Brown’s Facing The Mountain, A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II” (Viking $30.00 9780525557401) recounts the reaction of our country at-large against Japanese Americans, in the wake of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 – 80 years ago, next month, as I write this review. As I read the chapters, I couldn’t help but notice, and am awestruck by how much our Black- American and Japanese-American soldier’s World War II experiences have in-common.  You see, I am the son of a career U.S. Army man who fought within the 369th Field Artillery unit out of Harlem, U.S.A.  I remember him alluding to much similar discrimination by segregation within the U.S. Armed forces, even though the enemy’s bullets did not differentiate race when they found their mark. It would be like if Africa was one country and it attacked us, all suspected African Americans would be round-up and sent off to concentration camps.  The misplaced resentment against Japanese Americans also ran so deep, that even after the young Japanese American G.I. proved their patriotism in battle, they were not easily welcomed back home, to the point that one barber shop owner justified it by saying, “They all look alike to me.”  Hell, that’s what I heard said about black Americans back in the 1960s!
Brown’s spotless set-up straps you into your seat-belt for a six-part saga of a people mistrusted, who then excelled against all odds. Reading a chapter or so per night, I only closed the book to sleep and with anticipation of what the next Part would describe and I’m challenged here, to validly convey the accuracy and compassion of his reporting the events which led to the battlefield confrontations with Hitler’s forces in WWII.  What the doughty Nisei soldiers overcame should be read by every American, no matter your ethnic background – especially in these trying times.  One can truly see that, as the saying goes, “It could be a lot worse!” after reading this volume of valiance.
Chapter 19 is a standout exhale and great change of pace.  Brown even fills-in the blanks about what happened to the deep-voiced, late, great U.S. Senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye, who I noticed once on TV, had only one arm.  He is but one of many real characters we meet by name and family history in this true story. A personal glow came over me when I read page 382, about how one of the 442nd battalion’s assignments took them to Menton,  near the French Riviera, where they saw white zinnias among other beautiful flowers.  I sold zinnia flower seeds door-to-door in my neighborhood as a boy, to earn prizes depicted on the backs of the comic books I read and had forgotten all about that! “Mountain” contains many reminders of why history is as important to study now, more than ever, as he recounts how the inhumanity nationalistic madmen, bent upon world dominance, can inflict needless suffering upon other men, women and children – and which we, collectively, must never let happen again on our planet. Often chilling and painful to reflect upon, but always riveting, educational reading.  5 out-of-five WWII field artillery canons.

In a prior post, I promised to review at least one of the books on my summer 2021 bedside reading stack. There may be another one, but this tome clearly engaged more of my curiosity and summer reading time than the others. One of my favorite aisles at my local public library is the “New Best Sellers”.  So, when “A Boob’s Life – How America’s Obsession Shaped me…And You” (Pegasus $27.95 9781643136226) caught my eyes, I knew it was not another mid-summer night’s walking in my sleep dream, put on the brakes and stepped-back to examine it; soon adding it to my borrows that day.

Upon the early pages, I thought, “Geez, another angry b**** book,  I’m not gonna read much of this for long – take it back to the library…”  I never did so, even though she vituperates several natural and innocent bastions of male comeuppance, like Playboy magazine.  Moving through the chapters, it is so detailed, that she must have been constantly taking notes, or has an incredibly accurate memory of events!

Ms. Lehr writes from a – z about her family life; giving the reader a whole tour, from the time her Princeton grad father baptized her over a swimming pool diving board to be able to do “whatever [she] put her mind to”, to secret family photos , the infatuation with Marilyn Monroe and her dysfunctionally abusive, former U.S. Marine Corps first husband (no surprise there).  That she pulls back the curtain on the fallacies of major beauty pageants, the misogyny of a certain “President” who many recently suffered under and coins phresh phrases like “comparative empathy” and “breasts have the power to feed or kill us…” (Whoa!), kept me turning the pages. I could understand it when she wrote how, “Breast cancer ruined an entire color for me.”

Although I believe that she aimed this autoboobography primarily at the female feminist demographic, I, as a man, learned much about the female experience, including several new words and phrases for my vocabulary; the favorite of which is “de`colletage”! I also learned, “oeuvre”, “hand bra” and about “messy leaking”.  Wow.  I love any work that sends me to my huge, big dictionary!

img_15661-1

Honestly, this read gave me a new respect level for women, who are truly a whole different species (as I’ve always maintained), with very special “plumbing” needs. I’ve adjusted, am “scared straight” and will revisit case-by-case, while remaining a suave bachelor “breast man” (lol) in those flirty situations “in the hunt”, for that extra special one, whose I can tenderly examine and care for:-j

IMG_1567[1]

In a personal ironic twist, a chapter in this book about boobs reminded me of when I sold Christmas cards door-to-door in my boyhood neighborhood for a microscope and other prizes!  OMG  It is during this point in the book where she sounds miffed, as we follow her booby journey from pre-puberty through a tragic adult happenstance.

“A Boob’s Life” is clever, amusing and modestly entertaining initially, uncomfortable for the medically squeamish (like me) in the middle – with a nice photo album section mid-stream – and inclusively optimistic by her last word – “life”.  No matter what shape your gender is in, I recommend it with five (5) out-of-a-possible-five lipsticks –

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(I couldn’t locate any pix of ‘five boobs’ to use).

Breast-Cancer-stamp

The #MeeToo concubine convened their virtual covenants for many weeks and years, and now the feminists saw their chance to seize an American state house without an election.  They would attack the very manly and effective bachelor, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the great and historic state of New York, where a female Lieutenant Governor, which he hand-picked (so they say), was in the wings to take over once they successfully railroaded him.

He must not have noticed, during his three elected terms and while being just a man, that minority group members of his legislature (Assembly and Senate), who were soft and too politically correct had entered.  If he did notice, he knew that, from his father Mario Cuomo’s legacy, that they would surely know that the Cuomo brand always took care of them and thus they’d be fiercely loyal to him!

Unfortunately, this breed hadn’t done their homework nor attended those same classes; apparently, much of the climate of the workplace shifted – and not for the benefit of the traditional American male.  This sad time for manhood in the U.S.A. began with the removal of the stigma of illegitimacy of out-of-wedlock births, IMO.

I’m told that he made “enemies” within his own political party along the way,while in the Statehouse and ask, what powerful leader doesn’t make enemies while trying to govern? This crop are betrayers, pure and simpletons.  Did they ever have a ‘pow-wow ‘ with him, or was it all kinds of ego-trips, nannying, Shakespearean backstabbing (see Julius Caesar) and conspiracy in-silence against him?

Surely “President” Trump has more enemies that Cuomo due to his blatant and childish name-calling and boorish behavior.  So how come nobody pushed him  to resign the race after we all heard him brag about how he’d “grab some pussy” (literally with his hand) off of women he met?   This is troubling for Americans of all stripes.

You can’t be a great leader by always being “Mr. Nice Guy”; as the saying goes, “you can’t please everybody”.

His main coquette and accuser of inappropriate behavior, “Executive Assistant #1”, as described by the traitorous Attorney General’s investigation report – which Governor Cuomo asked for in a move sure to be second-guessed – was at his mansion on NYE, 2019, when he supposedly touched her breasts while taking a “selfie” photo.

Hmmm…why would she go to his mansion on one of the most festive nights of the year, without knowing that a party-for-two might ensue?  In that selfie, its apparent to me, that Andrew had a few – his face was kinda flushed (reddened)! lol

In another photo, supposedly the same strumpet was “working” with the Governor poolside.  He was in shorts on a lounge chair and she. in what looked like swimwear, not far from him and a notch below, as-if sitting on the pool deck facing him, with her laptop.  Did they go for a swim at some point?  As the next saying goes, “It takes two to Tango”.

The gold-diggers even used the Governor’s Italian heritage and habits against him.  Even before I watched the movie, “The Godfather”, growing up in New York City, I always noticed Italian guys’ friendly habits of kissing on the cheeks; they were the first group I noticed where the men would hug one another.  I never gave it a second thought and eventually, this way of men expressing closeness filtered through all the  other ethnic groups!  Amusingly, I remember the first time I tried to embrace my own Pops at the door, upon coming home after a long-time-no-see period; the ole WWII veteran stiffened-up like a board, right in front of my mother – who admonished him to hug me in-return!

This latest Bill Cosby/Al Franken/Weinstein/Trump/et al moment for America was definitely an unnecessary mutiny, the spoils of and repercussions thereof yet to be felt and seen by that state and our society.  It seems that, with the aid of any motivated adventuress, all men of standing are now vulnerable to be sullied and soiled, possibly losing their careers and whatever wealth. Yes, each of the aforementioned men had their own nuanced peculiarities, but they and their accusers are all culled from the same kernel.

Andrew Cuomo as Governor, was never a Captain Blythe, in my book.  On the occasions that I wrote him a letter on behalf of my elderly mother or myself, I always received a personal phone call reply from one of his underlings and not some form letter.  My concerns and issues were successfully addressed in each instance! Speaking of “mothers”, he probably resigned after talking with his 89 year-old mother, Matilda; they can make you take the high road, ya know. These modern-day women’s libbers, never seem to remember that the man, upon whose head they they place a price…has a female mother who they are also disparaging.

His rap game with chicks may have been ill-timed, weak or crude, but those in power are used to getting what they desire and at the end of the day, he was a great Governor from my home state (and I’ve seen many in my times) who didn’t deserve to be seized, shamed and set adrift. I pray he takes a nice long vacation to a place where the women lavish themselves upon him, and who knows, maybe he goes forth with a fine, non-judgemental and loyal female companion.

As for the NYS Attorney General James, I thought she was busy with the former President and his tax evasion! She may be the “Mister Christian” in this sad saga and definitely had a gender-based bias.  Although going against his conflicted fight it or serve the public nature, maybe Cuomo would have been exonerated by the “court-martial” (impeachment) like that twice- impeached President!

 From “America’s Covid19 leader Governor” to  “I Stand Accused” (a classic Issac Hayes song) in only a year.  Wow. By the way, can you imagine this scenario happening to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, for example?  Nyet, me neither. And there is something positively manly to be said about that.

If you are an Achilliad frequent-flyer, you know I was an English/Communications (double) Major at the university and that I review or report on books I read, from time-to-time. Its much more pleasurable to read for fun and information than for a grade, by the way! So this season, I have a new reason to try a different angle: letting you VIPs see what is on my bedside bookshelf reading list this summer!

I don’t promise to review or report on all of these, but in any event, they caught my eyes at the library long enough to bring home for a closer look!

Of particular note is “A Boob’s Life”, by Leslie Lehr, which hooked me – maybe because I’m a “breast man” – long enough to tap into my curiosity about how women really feel (no pun intended) about their titties. I am into it already and the author seems kind of angry with historic purpose.

The other hottie at my bedside is Daniel James Brown’s “Facing The Mountain”, which is about the mistreatment of Japanese Americans in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack on us during World War II. Fascinatingly relevant on so many levels to our American circumstances even here in the summer of 2021.

“Little Fires Everywhere”, by Celeste Ng, is a novel that just cannot seem to snag my attention long enough to finish – it drags a bit, despite excellent reviews when it came out. I want to see it through, but may have to purchase it if I run out of library renews.

On the historical tip is Ronald C. White’s “Lincoln In Private”, which are the written etchings of the man who many hold up as our greatest American President, Abraham Lincoln. It is a kind of “behind-the-scenes” look at the notes he wrote in-between crafting and delivering his lectures and speeches about the issues during his times; some of it resonates to our collective current calamities.

So that’s IT! As the public service announcement used to say, “Reading Is FUNdamental!”Have a good reading summer, wherever your travels take you, and maybe we can compare notes and opinions in the Autumn.

During an interview published in  the January 2020 issue of AARP Magazine, Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis was asked if she talks to her 10-year-old daughter about the differences between their childhoods. She ended her thoughtful answer with, “And I’m not trying to say that I’m making her grow up passive or milquetoast. But empathy is in short supply today.”  Empathy; one of the many important bases that veteran CBS news reporter and anchorman, Dan Rather, along with Emmy Award winning filmmaker and journalist, Elliot Kirshner touch in their very timely book,  What Unites Us: Reflections On Patriotism (Algonquin $22.95 9781616207823).  This book came out in 2017, but it could have been written in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 insurrection riot on our Capitol, encouraged by “you-know-who”.

Shining a mirror upon us and our democracy’s nervous times, these reflections are like a Social Studies class refresher course (especially if you went to public school  in a major market, prior to the 1990s). It is where memoir meets history book.

Back in my television watching days, I always made time to tune into Mr. Rather anchoring the CBS Evening News broadcast when I could.  He was the logical successor to Walter Cronkite and ranks among my favorite anchors with Chet Hutley & David Brinkley, Douglas Edwards, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Max Robinson and Connie Chung.

The gentlemen take us on a cautionary journey, with his early 20th century rural Houston, Texas roots the backdrop against which he reminds and teaches how our country, The United States of America has been better; falters and then steps back up when non-partisanship prevails, cementing all of us together, against many odds. I loved when he challenged some who conveniently try to say they are more “patriotic” than others.

I found the chapter, “Steady”, most enlightening.  Especially page 259, where he writes about the Korean War and its effect upon our country, to be the most enlightening and insightful because that is the conflict which is rarely talked about and which was not addressed in-depth during my school days. Maybe because I was to young to have experienced it in real time, in college by the time it was written about in text books and because I had a real close uncle who served there.

At times it seems that he is speaking directly to the 45th “President” and his ilk without naming names, not harping upon them, but giving equal thought to both ends of the political and philosophical spectrum as only a well-traveled professional broadcaster and news reporter can.  His reporting, and that of his colleagues was never “fake”, as some of the privileged characters who he alludes to would have us believe.

If ever our country needed a dose of true history and togetherness encouragement from one of its citizens, it is now.  Rather’s book should be required educational reading across the land in public, voucher, charter and parochial schools (all of which he writes about); churches, cafeterias, coffee shops, colleges and private clubs (with discussions to follow)!  My rating is five-out-of-five American flags.  

I was confronted by a cop while riding my bicycle yesterday.  Alright,  that sounds worse than it was, but juxtaposed, in retrospect, with it being the day the guilty verdict was announced against the Minnesota officer  in the George Floyd murder case, I found myself pondering it further during my post-ride shower. At the time this happened, I didn’t not know the outcome of the case – I do not watch television – because I had not checked my Android headlines yet, that day.

I write this with a smile and not a frown.  The officer did not turn my world upside-down when he noticed my bike was inverted – he simply wanted to help – unlike much of the banter about policing is these days.  No. Today I come down on the side that most police people really want to help – not hurt good citizens.

Oh yes, by the way, I am a black American man and this officer is Caucasian; I only mention it to accurately paint the word-picture.  I was wearing my “California Republic” kit (very stylish), my helmet, gloves and white wristbands.

My bike is relatively new, having been gifted to me by a former boss, and recently had it “tuned-up” at a local bike shop; my second time riding it since, and this day it threw the chain twice in less than a mile, when I tried to shift gears and this was the second time I had to stop.

The first thing that briefly ran through my mind when I noticed his cruiser’s police striping from the corner of my left eye was that, “Oh, here we go, he’s gonna tell me I’m not allowed to be in the parking lot of a closed business, or something…” As ridiculous as it sounds, during my six decades on earth, I’ve been told many silly rules!    However, the officer quickly dispelled that thought with his genuine concern!  He offered to help and told me about some tool he had that might assist my situation.  When I described what I was going through, the interaction conversation continued friendly, with him telling me about a biking trail and me bemoaning the lack of bike lanes and safe cycling-friendly ways to get to it, which he related to.

We could have kept conversing that day, but I was anxious to get in whatever might be left of my riding exercise and so, I tactfully flipped my bike back upright and thanked him for checking on me, (making sure I used the word “officer” in the sentence) and it was smiles all around as we continued our separate ways, on a beautiful spring afternoon in my new neighborhood. I almost extended my fist, so we could do a sanitary and manly fist-bump, but thought better, not wanting to push it.

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