Post #64: Can it Happen Here?

News item: In an interview with Time magazine, Jared Kushner said that he couldn't commit to keeping the elections going in November.  He was an ambitious Senator named Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip. Promising every citizen $5,000 a year and a return to a strong economy and "traditional values" he ran for President and won. From there, everything changed. He drastically cut down the powers of Congress and set up kangaroo courts to enforce the laws he created. He built a paramilitary unit he called "The Minute Men" to stifle dissent. He eliminated minority rights and sent his political opponents and dissenters to concentration camps. He eliminated individual state governments, carving administrative "corpos" he could control more easily. It can't happen here. Right? Sinclair Lewis would disagree. That was the title of his 1936 book, which essentially predicted the rise of Donald Trump 90 years ago. Think about it. * Yesterday, with the

Post #63, a Northern Blues PSA from New York's own, Muddy Sewer

Here's a man so widely respected that with one riff he established his own genre, a riff that has since been imitated by virtually every blues artist around the world. Welcoming him back for one performance, the man about whom  BB King said backstage at the Regal, "I ain't following that motherfucker," the one, the only, the legendary Northern Bluesman, the pride of Astoria, Queens, Muddy Sewer doing his classic, "Still Got the Millennial Blues."

Post #62. Another musical PSA: "Fury and Rain"

From the man who brought you such hits as "Sour Baby James," "Don't Let Me Be Covid Tonight" and "You've Got A Temperature," let's have a big hand, ladies and gentlemen, for the third in our series of musical PSAs, "Fury and Rain," and as always, featuring the musical stylings of Mr. Sal Nunziato,

Post #61 - Into the World of COVID

I had been having chest pains and finding myself out of breath when walking up the slightest hill so the cardiologist suggested I come in to the hospital for a catheterization, a procedure where like a plumbing snake, they make a tiny cut inside your wrist and run a camera up your arm, through your shoulder and into your coronary arteries. It's terrifying — not the procedure, that's easy and I'm fine,  but just walking into a hospital. I'm 65, have had five stents, so I'm a high risk person, and you don't know what's floating around in the air over there or lurking around on the bannisters, but as the cardiologist said to me through my computer last week, "you have to weigh the risk against benefits," and based on my history he thought it was a risk, whatever it was, that was worth taking. So I drove the car for the first time in six weeks (it was just like riding a bike) with a worried wife next to me. Since it's an in-and-out procedure,

Post #60: Getting Sick With Something Other Than COVID During a Pandemic or A Stroke is a Stroke is a Stroke is a Stroke. Or is it?

A few years ago, Sue and I were watching "The Americans" (ever notice on that show that Felicity had a better record as a fighter than Muhammad Ali and more sex than Wilt Chamberlain?) when my right side went numb. I thought God was punishing me for rooting for the FBI, but doctors thought it was a TIA. I went to the hospital and recovered quickly with only some residual quiver in my hand, as if I needed another burden besides a lack of musical talent when trying to play the ukulele. Last year, I came closer than I wanted to to popping off when I found myself suffering from chest pains and shortness of breath while attempting to climb even the smallest of hills. The result was four coronary stents over two surgeries, adding to one that was put in some nine years ago. Tuesday, I go into the hospital again for another catheterization to see if my current symptoms are the result of more blockages. It's nerve wracking to be a high risk person and go to a place where the ICU

Post # 59 - Our second musical PSA. Please Welcome, Sal Nunziato and his Magical Ukulele

Post #58 - Trump's Lost Stimulus Video

News item: Trump signs his name on gushing stimulus check letter -- gushing about himself.

Along with a check, millions of Americans received this letter accompanying their government check: “My Fellow American,” begins the letter, on a copy of White House letterhead, arriving in an envelope from the Treasury Department and the IRS from Austin. “ Our top priority is your health and safety.” “As we wage total war on this invisible enemy,” Trump continues, “we are also working around the clock to protect hardworking Americans like you from the consequences of the economic shutdown.” “Just as we have before, America will triumph yet again — and rise to new heights of greatness.” Word is there is a video message he created but was scotched at the last minute. We got hold of it, however. This is what he said, in a speech behind his desk in the Oval Office. My Fellow Americans (except you minority people, immigrants, illegals — we know who you are. Stephen Miller is tracking each one of you

Post #57: Dispatch From Fairbanks

Rick Elson reports: I’m not sure if April truly is the cruelest month up here, but it’s certainly the ugliest: the pristine whiteness of a snow-covered winter deteriorates into mud and muck and cracked roads. The trees haven’t greened up yet, though the geese, sandhill cranes, swans, and ducks have returned. T-shirts and hoodies are already available that read ‘Alaska: Social Distancing since 1959’. And as remote as we are physically from the rest of the US (the lower 48, as it’s referred to here), we’re remote as well from the full intensity of the impact of the virus, though certainly not exempt from it. Here are a few statistics, just to put it in perspective: — the first covid-19 case was confirmed here on March 11; — schools closed here on March 16; non-essential services were closed and a stay-at-home order was issued on March 28; — since then, there have been 341 cases in the state (population around 750,00) with 217 of them now considered

Post #56 Dispatch From Saugerties — Parenting Your Parents

Sue Sanders Reports: I talked to my parents a few days ago. My dad said he’d just gotten a haircut. For a split second, I thought he’d gone into town. But he assured me it was at the “Barb-er-shop”, that's my mom — Barbara. She had cut his hair at home. Thankfully, my dad is still doing two things quite well these days: bad puns and social distancing. It hasn’t always been the case with social distancing. Not too long ago, my sister and I had to have a coronavirus intervention with our eighty-year old parents. Our folks are in great shape and probably healthier than many Americans half their age. They do yoga, hike vast distances and walk daily. They’re involved in more clubs than a high school overachiever buffing up his resume for college. But we were worried as they weren’t taking the coronavirus threat as seriously as they should have been. They live in an active retirement community in Arizona, surrounded by other retirees, many of whom believe the coronavirus is ov

Post #55: Trump: "We don't need no stinkin' doctors."

This is what we've come down to as a country. The makers of Lysol have felt the need to issue a statement telling people to please don't drink their fine product on account of Trump suggesting at a news conference last night that taking or mainlining disinfectant might be a cure for the virus (of course, it would also be a cure for living, and that *would* kill the virus). Among other things, he also thinks that shining an ultra violet light on the body might work. He then suggested that shining an ultra-violet light inside the body might work, too. Will GE feel the need now to send out an announcement, warning people against attempting to swallow their lightbulbs whole? Then there are the lamp-makers: "It has come to our attention that some people have taken apart their fixtures and are attempting to injest the cords that are attached to the lightbulbs. Please insure that the cord is not plugged into the wall while attempting to do this." The scary thing is that

Post #54: A Musical Dispatch From Queens (With apologies to Doc Pomus)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the dulcet tones of Astoria, New York's own, Sal Nunziato ,and his ukulele with a public service message: