The Arizona Republican party censured Arizona Republicans Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake, and Cindy McCain for showing insufficient loyalty to Donald Trump. House Republicans want to strip power from the Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney because she has shown insufficient loyalty to Donald Trump. Tom Rice, a Republican Representative, was censured by his South Carolina Republican party for being insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump. Remind me again: What is cancel culture?

I am reading Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Nobel Prize winning Svetlana Alexievich. This book of oral history contains moving and frightening memories of what happened to Soviet communists who showed insufficient loyalty to Stalin and whatever he proclaimed as orthodoxy.

For years upon years, Republicans claiming a mantle of orthodoxy had tried to drum others out of the party with the epithet RINO (Republican in name only). Remind me again: What is cancel culture?

One of the counts in the Arizona Republicans’ censure of Cindy McCain said: “WHEREAS, Cindy McCain has condemned President Trump for his criticism of her husband. . . .” Remind me again: What are family values?

“You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.” John Morley.

I have been avoiding the news programs, but almost every time I do see one, Anthony Fauci is on. When does he do the job for which he is paid?

The sign commanded me to “Seek Unity.” “Really?” I thought. “What has most unified us over the last four years is an obsession with Donald Trump.”

I have seen it reported that neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden drink alcohol. What does that say about whether I, too, should abstain?

“What is said when drunk has been thought out beforehand.” Flemish proverb.

Conservatives proclaim a deep belief in capitalism and free enterprise and an opposition to the regulation of businesses. Yet they now have twisted knickers because of actions by social media companies even though those acts are products of the free enterprise system by capitalist companies. Extensive government regulation would seem to be necessary to prevent these companies from taking such actions in the future. Where are those fundamental conservative principles now?

Remember: Conservatives were the ones who got rid of the fairness doctrine.


I am not used to the new baseball season. I was startled seeing a line on a box score that said: “Attendance: 0.”

After Anthony Fauci’s first pitch fiasco at the opening baseball game, I watched a video of Trump playing catch on the White House Lawn with Mariano Rivera. It was not my most gracious moment.  I was hoping that the president would throw like an unathletic, eight-year-old girl. While his motion was not the best I had ever seen, it was not bad. And I found another way to be disappointed in life.

Our priorities are interesting. Baseball players and other athletes appear to get almost instantaneous results from Covid-19 tests. People I know have had to wait ten or twelve days to find out if they are infected.

“‘It’s not about being happy,’ he said, which was, and still is, the saddest remark I’ve ever heard.” Anna Burns, Milkman.

I read sad words recently. While foreign countries have long admired, feared, envied, imitated, and despised the United States, for the first time, foreign lands pity us.

Are there fights between Ivanka and Jared when they discuss which of them should be a presidential candidate? If not, what do they fight about?

“In my family, if we didn’t count our chickens before they hatched, I don’t think we’d have been able to do very much counting at all.” Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

How public figures are regarded often depends on the partisan leanings of the viewer. One group of people think Adam Schiff is an asshole. A different group think Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan are assholes. But don’t we all agree that Mitch McConnell is an asshole?

Have the proliferation of Zoom meetings lessened the rate of sexual harassment?

I have read that at the heart of the QAnon conspiracy is the belief that Trump will save the world from a vast pedophile ring. How is that reconciled with Trump’s words of good wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell?

The vehicle in front of me on the interstate had a sticker reading, “Keep America Great” as well as another Trump sign. This is not an unusual sight except that it was a commercial vehicle for a computer business. I wondered if it is a wise marketing move to put political slogans along side of the company’s phone number. Wouldn’t this drive away some customers? Or are more potential clients attracted than repelled by a partisan display? And if the political displays are some sort of marketing effort, are they tax deductible as a business expense?

“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” Santayana.


The news article was about Disneyland opening again. The actors’ union that represents the performers in the various productions around the theme park is concerned about the adequacy of the safety procedures. Not unusual news these days, but what caught my eye was the information that those who walk about the grounds in the regalia of Disney characters are not represented by the actors’ union. Instead, they are represented by the Teamsters. That made me pause. I wondered: Do Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or perhaps Goofy know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?

The headline on a right-wing website said: “At least 20 shot, 7 killed in 24 hours in Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago.” I wonder if that site every says, “45 people have been murdered every day in Trump’s America.”

The billboard urged me to worship at the nearby Most Holy Trinity Church. I wondered if there were a Lesser Holy Trinity Church or a Non-Holy Trinity Church.

“Given the world that he created, it would be an impiety against God to believe in him.” John Banville, The Sea.

While waiting to play tennis, Boris and I could hear his wife and her companions a few courts over. “Covid” was said more than once, which was not surprising since Roseanne is an M.D./Ph.D. who works for a drug company that makes vaccines. Boris said, “Poor Roseanne. She can’t get away from the pandemic talk. The women call her ‘the cute Dr. Fauci.’” After a beat, I asked, “Only the women?” Boris shot me a look but did not say a word. I felt, as an Australian friend would put it: “As welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.”

When you get to be of a certain age, you realize that there are only two times. If it is dark, it is time for bed. If the sun is up, it is time for a nap.

Trump retweets right-wing attacks on Tammy Duckworth. It is understandable that the president cannot identify with her. She does not have bone spurs on her feet.

Various crazies have maintained that the pandemic is a hoax. It is a conspiracy by the left to discredit Trump although how this conspiracy has foisted Covid-19 on the world is not clear. I am seeking to create another conspiracy. Places around the country that have quickly re-opened have seen a surge in infections. Communities of color have been hit harder with the coronavirus than white communities. People of color are expected to vote overwhelmingly against Trump in November. Suppressing the votes of minorities aids Trump. Trump is trying to get the country wide open as quickly as possible. Connect the dots. I think that this conspiracy is baseless, but it has more of a basis than that the pandemic is a hoax. 

“I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest.” Alexandre Dumas fils.