"I coulda been a contender." One of the most iconic lines in filmdom. And maybe he coulda been. Maybe he coulda had class. But he got sold out, taking dives for the short-end money.

And that's how I think of the Republican line-up right now. They're taking dives for the short-end money. Except they are selling themselves out. They haven't done the training. They don't have the skill-set. They are faux contenders. Read more about Contenders



I had a conversation with a friend yesterday in which she related a vision she had about the future. When I say vision - it was a term she used herself - she didn't mean to imply something mystical. We can conjure any number of futures in imagination, utopias and dystopias and anything else in between. But there is a difference between imagining possibilities - projections of hopes or fears - and suddenly seeing the thing itself. Read more about Vision


Silver Linings

It's Thursday. Politics Day in the Bookhouse. And I really don't have anything pithy on the plate. I did my homage to OWS last week. I can't watch the Republican debates. A few seconds of them and I am so out of there. I've heard more coherence from a table full of drunks in the Blue Moon Tavern. Except these guys sound like a bunch of drunken 3rd graders. Did so! Did not! Did so! And there's nothing good about that. I hear this morning that Quaddafi is dead. Read more about Silver Linings


Heady Times

It was 1968 and I was living on the South Side of Chicago with a black woman friend of mine who was also one of the up and coming movers and shakers in the local Civil Rights Movement. Those were heady times. Jesse Jackson's Operation Breadbasket met weekly someplace near Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. I remember that part, because the first time I went, I got lost and found the Robie House instead. Read more about Heady Times


Zen Lite

Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone on "my side of the aisle" in which he took issue with my inability to ascend to actual outrage at one of the many issues which, rightly, inspire outrage these days. "How do you see it, if you aren't outraged?" was the gist of his question.

Stuck for a true bon mot of an answer, I just said, "Interesting. I just find it interesting."

"How very zen of you," was his reply. Read more about Zen Lite


House Calls

Responding Before a Call Is Needed
Under a pilot program aimed at heading off 911 calls and
trips to the hospital, some paramedics visit chronically ill
patients at their homes to check their vital signs and

I was happily surprised to see this item in the NYT last week. It's a good start to what I think could be a very helpful and effective community health care program. Read more about House Calls


No News

So I tune into CNN last week to catch the general gist of Obama's jobs speech (admittedly I knew better) and got only another several seconds of personal impotent fury. Because Anderson Cooper begins with a question that makes the assumption that the first stimulus bill was an abject failure, which question was answered by Donna Brazile with numbers proving that it wasn't, whose response was then refuted by somebody from the other side of the aisle, after which I turned the whole mess off. Read more about No News


A More Perfect Union

Once upon a time, a UPS driver accidentally dropped that big black signing thingy they carry on my foot, causing it to swell up painfully and necessitating a trip to the emergency room to get pain meds. Because nobody is going to prescribe Vicodin because you call them up and say your big toe hurts. Read more about A More Perfect Union


Vintage Government

"Anonymous death came early and often. Each of the thousand trains that entered and left the city did so at grade level...Every day on average two people were destroyed at the city's rail crossings. Their injuries were grotesque. Pedestrians retrieved severed heads...Fires took a dozen lives a day. In describing the fire dead, the term the newspapers most liked to use was 'roasted.'"

It's obviously not Somalia - not with a thousand trains a day and newspapers. And China has lots of trains still, I believe, but no, not China. Read more about Vintage Government