Civics 101

Lesson One: Our children learn that in Washington there is a place where important men and women tell what they think. Some are Republicans and others are Democrats.
Lesson Two: Most of the time, the Republicans and the Democrats do not agree on anything.
Lesson Three: Even though they argue a lot, they always call each other a good friend.
Lesson Four:  They say they like each other, but they are not allowed to sit next to each other.
Lesson Five: Every day the Democrats say bad things about the President.
Lesson Six: The children learn that the Republicans love the President.
Lesson Seven: Sometimes the Democrats love the President, and the Republicans say bad things about the President.
Lesson Eight: The Supreme Court Judges don’t really love anyone, and some are going to die.

either – or

The newscaster declared, “whether you are a democrat or a republican, or right or left”. I said to my self – self you are neither. This way, or that way? Right or wrong? In or out? Lost or found? On or off?

Dichotomy is not life. I am not so simple. Every child instinctively knows that life is not simple. When asked a question, the child frequently responds: “I don’t know.” The answer is not born of ignorance, but an innocent response to the complexity of life.

Tom Golden, December, 2018

They Are Already Here

Dino said to me: The Wall, it is too late. They are already here!

Wow! I smiled at his comment and reveled in the reality of his observation.

Dino was correct. A nation boasts about its immigrant origins. A nation born of European settlers with no papers. They just came and stayed. The locales never asked for identification, skills, nor intentions.

Over the decades millions have come to America.

Poetess Emma Lazarus wrote: “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

So, what has changed? Still men, women and children. Still tired, poor, wretched, battered and homeless. What makes these pilgrims different? Look, and you shall see. COLOR! Brown or Black men, women and children is the problem for todays locos. Emma Lazarus never envisioned caravans of Brown and Black men, women and children yearning to be free in America. Unimaginable at the time were the yearnings of rapists, killers and drug dealers.  If only the Statue of Liberty floated on the Rio Grande River, in the southwest.

I Lost Suzanne

“I heard about Suzanne, Tom. I’m sorry about your loss.”

I have forgotten the year. I remember the day. I remember the day since it was a leap year. That meant it was the 29th of February. After some research the year was likely 1996.

It was a Thursday morning. Suzanne slept in a hospital bed that I had installed in our living room. I lay next to her on a lounge chair. I awoke and turned to her. She was asleep. I moved close to her. I heard a sound, a faint, soft sound of her breath. It was her last breath.

I did not lose Suzanne. Had I lost Suzanne, I would be searching to this very moment. I would never stop my search. No, I did not lose Suzanne. Suzanne died on Thursday morning, February 29, 1996.


Flake asks for a delay. A delay of the vote. A limited time delay. A very limited time delay. It is only fair to have a delay in the vote for Brett Kavanaugh. Not only should there be a delay, but the FBI, that is the Federal Bureau of Investigation should investigate the charges. Which charges? The charges that the President tells them to investigate. Who should be investigated about the charges? Ask the President. How long should be the delay? Ask the President or ask Senator McConnell. Senator McConnell knows how long the delay should be. Sen. Flake just wants a delay. A reasonable delay, with a reasonable FBI investigation. Everyone is very reasonable – almost congenial – or as the President would say, almost conjugal.

Conversation in the Senate building hallway. The woman, Harriet is from Ellenville, New York, and the man, Paul is from Lake Forest, Illinois.

Harriet: Say Paul, is there any official that has the strength of character – so they say no time constraints. Who can say all persons demanding a voice will be heard.
Paul: How many persons?
Harriet: Who knows?
Paul: But if the number is large, what do they do?
Harriet: They extend the ‘delay’.
Paul: But how long will the ‘delay’ be – how long?
Harriet: We shall see.
Paul: You say, “Who knows?” “We shall see”. Nothing is clear. No limit on time for the investigation, or the number of persons testifying, or the relevance of their testimony. We cannot run a government with such indecision. The nation needs a new Justice. They have a decision that must be made. It’s helpful to have time constraints, and witness limits.
Harriet: Okay, I grant you that there must be some order to the investigation. The President, Senator McConnell and Schumer should meet and agree about the focus of the investigation, the issue of time, and the number of witnesses.
Paul: They can’t do that.
Harriet: Why not?
Paul: It’s the Presidents job. The President is the commander of the Justice Department. The FBI is part of the Justice Department. The President has the constitutional authority to order an investigation by the FBI, and every part of the investigation.
Harriet: So?
Paul: Well, that means the President can decide exactly what the FBI staff can do, and not do.
Harriet: That’s not right. Are you certain about the President and the FBI?
Paul: Yes. Absolutely certain. What’s more, you and I cannot know what instructions the President has given the FBI.
Harriet: You’re kidding. You can’t be serious. This is America.
Paul: Harriet, I’m not kidding. Furthermore, when the report is written, only the Senators, and some aides can read the report.
Harriet: No way!
Paul: One thing more. Only one copy – do you hear me. Just one copy will be made available to the Senators and aides. The copy is read in a secured room. Each Senator will have a fixed time to read the copy of the report.
Harriet: Why one copy? I mean this is getting dumb. Why are the aides in the room? Who the hell are the aides? Do the Senators need aides to read a report? This is unbelievable. Really, I can’t believe what you are saying.
Paul: Well, get this. When the Senators have read the report, they and their aides cannot say anything about the content of the report.
Harriet: Nothing?
Paul: Absolutely nothing.
Harriet: Forever?
Paul: Who knows. Maybe after the nomination is over, or after the election in November.
Harriet: Leaks. What about leaks?
Paul: Let’s hope so.
Harriet: Is there anything a Senator can do?
Paul: Of course.
Harriet: What?
Paul: Senators can just say NO! No to every demand. No to the time delay. No to the limit on charges. No to the limit on witnesses. And if the no is ignored – don’t participate for one more moment. Don’t attend any sessions. Do not vote on any issue. Do not engage in what you know is a sham – a political maneuver to suggest legitimacy. Just say no, and act on that no. Do not even read the FBI report.
Harriet: Well decisions will be made without them.
Paul: That’s true.
Harriet: But what good is that?
Paul: You asked what good is it that they say no?
Harriet: Yes, I do not understand.
Paul: Harriet, sometimes you say no, and NO is as good as it gets!

The End
Tom Golden, 2018


Brett Kavanaugh cried during the Senate investigation. Brett Kavanaugh’s emotional breakdown had its roots in his overwhelming guilt for a criminal assault of a defenseless teenage woman. Brett Kavanaugh’s impassioned denial of any wrong doing reflected a distraught person who could not accept the truth of his painful history. Brett Kavanaugh has been characterized by many persons as a decent person. Yet a man whose life history has been scared by past years of delinquent behavior. The angst that he displayed at the Senate hearings was not a denial of the truth of Christine Ford’s account, but rather an anguished attempt to suppress his guilt. Mr. Kavanaugh can be damned for his lie, but Brett Kavanaugh deserves our sympathy and even our empathy. Empathy for a man who should have never allowed himself to be in contention for a Supreme Court appointment. Perhaps a feeling of entitlement, a need for recognition, or approval allowed him to accept the nomination. Whatever his motives or other influences, he ignored the possibility that his blemished history would become public.

Brett Kavanaugh was ill prepared to cope with the revelations of that abusive history. A man who under ordinary circumstances could cope with the normal stresses of life. The demands of the Senate investigation and the charges that he faced were not normal, and beyond his coping skills. Brett was incapable of controlling his despair, and terror. Brett could not suppress his anguish. Brett was hostile, oppositional, and outright rude. He had no choice but to lie. Brett Kavanaugh may become a Supreme Court justice, but he will never forgive himself. He will forever be tormented by his guilt.

Just Seven Days

Flake did his maneuver today. Saved his various reputations as anti-trump, decent conservative, and looking for work. Poor Flake gets cornered by several distraught women. They announce their torment, and painful assaulted history. Startled, good ole Flake says: “O.K. 7 days – not one minute more. Let the FBI go at it. Let’s get a complete investigation by the FBI. That is fair, and justice will be served – Amen!!!” Seven days – just seven days. Not bad. God did a lot in seven days.

All hands-on deck. FBI agents from all over the country will be called to the 7-day investigation. Clean the polygraph machines. Sharpen the pencils. Cancel all leaves. Retake any oaths that they have taken. We must be certain that there are no bad apples in the FBI as in the case McCabe.

One problem – more than one. Who are we to investigate? Can we subpoena any persons? Can we demand that they be investigated? There are no criminal charges. Must the persons speak to the FBI, or is it voluntary? And most important where are they right now?

A preliminary investigation just completed today, September 28, 2018 revealed the following about the potential witnesses.
Christine Blasey Ford – Someplace with her family. Address unknown. Perhaps FBI knows.
Russell Ford – Husband of Christine. Likely with her. Works every day, and not certain if he can miss much work time.
Keith Koegler – Children’s coach. Last known to be in France attending the Ryder Cup.
Rebecca White – Christine’ neighbor, when Christine lived nearby. Now not a neighbor.
Leland Keyser – Dear friend of Christine. Important witness. Recently had extensive oral surgery, and has difficulty speaking. May improve over the next week or so.
Brett Kavanaugh – Currently involved in daily, intensive psychotherapy. Senate sessions were traumatizing. Not certain if he can withstand more questioning. Spending a lot of time in prayer.
PJ Smyth: At function. Currently thought to be skiing in Utah. Last great summer skiing.
Adela Gildo-Mazzon: Friend to Christine. Will possible speak to FBI, but only if her Mother is present. Adela’s mother is currently in a senior citizens home with late state dementia.
Deborah Ramirez: Additional person charging Brett with sexual assault, drinking. Likely to testify, but only to female FBI agent. Preferably an agent who has suffered sexual assault.
Julie Swetnick: Claimed assault by Brett on Washington street. Currently on a cruise to Cancun. Has said that she will ask Captain to turn back and let her off at Guantanamo Base. Likely available and can’t wait to testify.

The FBI has got their work cut out for them. But as they say: “A stitch in time saves nine.” (Benjamin Franklin, 1789)

Tom Golden, 2018

Sherlock – We Need You

He said and she said. What actually occurred? We cannot stand the absence of THE TRUTH. The truth is the goal. We must know the truth of what has happened. We know that there is a truth to be found, and we must find it. And the search continued just after school on Thursday afternoon. Martha’s son stood still, and his eyes were full of tears. Remarkable how eye lids could hold back such a full tide. Michael had been standing there for several minutes. For Michael it was days.

“Now Michael, please tell me what you said to Susan. “
“ Nothing – I said nothing.”
“ Your teacher heard you say Susan was fat. Did you call Susan fat?”
“ No.”
“ Michael, do not lie to me. “
“ I am not lying. I didn’t call her fat.”
(Michael wiped the first tear from his cheek)
“ Michael, tell me the truth. Do not lie to me.”
“ I am not lying.”
“ Michael, is the teacher lying? Is she lying?’
“ I don’t know.”
“ What do you mean – you don’t know?’
“ I am not lying to you.”
(several more tears fall)
“ What did you say”?
“ Nothing. I never said anything- I swear!”
“ Well, Michael, we will wait until your Father comes home.”
Michaels’ Father is a Detective in the local police department.
Tom Golden, 2018

Mid-Year Resolutions 2018

I will not scream at the television any more. I will not bother my son with my rants. I do find some solace in writing, and in tending to my geraniums. At 16 he touched her vagina, and breasts. At 18, he displayed his penis, and wanted it to be kissed. What else is new? FBI investigators have some manners when questioning a young woman, or a Federal Judge. Once in a while, they might go over the edge.

FBI Investigator: “Your Honor, did you ever dry hump a 14 year old, and fondle her vagina, or touch her breasts. One more thing, your Honor, did you ever ask a Yale classmate to kiss your penis.”

Leave the poor guy alone. Brett is clearly over his head. But, to disdain a persons’ outcry about abuse, any abuse, and to then suggest the cry is born with political roots, or reflective of memory dysfunction is depraved. To offer such a position evidences a total lack of empathy, moral or ethical principles.

The Asterisk

While riding down the New Jersey Turnpike, I noticed on the right-hand side a huge billboard with a photo of the newly appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. The Justice had his right hand on a Bible. Just above his head was a large asterisk.
When we see an asterisk we usually scan the item to see what the asterisk refers to. Try and scan a billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike while driving at 65 miles per hour. I was able to pull on to the right shoulder. As with most writing following an asterisk, the print was quite small. I climbed over the guard rails to get a closer view.

* “Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh has allegedly fondled a 15 year old classmate when he was 17 years of age. Judge Kavanaugh has allegedly revealed his penis, and requested it be kissed by a college classmate while at Yale University. Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of participating in “gang rape” of high school girls. Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of excessive drinking that resulted in sexually assaultive behavior while in high school. In his mid-thirties, Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of attempted sexual assault of an adult female in the streets of Washington, D.C. It must be noted that none of the drinking or sexual allegations have been proven in a court of law.”
Tom Golden, PhD. Copyright, 2018

One Side of a Story

Does every story have more than one side? Can there be a story with only one side? Soon, you and I are likely to hear a story with only one side.
Dr. Ford will tell her story about the alleged assault when she was 15 years of age. Dr. Ford is asked that she tell her “side of the story.” We can assume that Dr. Ford will detail “her story.” After Dr. Ford tells her story, Brett Kavanaugh will tell his “side of the story.”

Therein lies the problem. There appears to be only one side of the story. Brett Kavanaugh has repeatedly stated that he has no side of a story. Brett Kavanaugh does not have any story to tell. Brett Kavanaugh says there is no story. Brett Kavanaugh denies that an event of any sort has ever occurred – never, not ever. On the day of testimony, we will hear one story, that told by Dr. Ford. Brett Kavanaugh will have nothing to say since the event never occurred. We will have to live with just one story – the Dr. Ford Story. We would not demand of Brett Kavanaugh that he invent a story. Perhaps he could develop a story of how come he has no story to tell. That would be an interesting exercise. Follow me….

Senate Judiciary Room, Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2018.
Sen. Hatch: Judge Kavanaugh could you please tell us how come you have no story to tell?
Judge Kavanaugh: What is it that you would like me to do? I am unclear about your request.
Sen. Hatch: Oh, I’m sorry, I was…. (interrupted by Sen. Grassley)
Sen. Grassley: Please allow me to clarify what Sen. Hatch is requesting.
Judge Kavanaugh: Fine, thank you.
Sen. Grassley: Judge, please tell the panel just exactly why you have no story to tell.

Judge Kavanaugh: Certainly, Senator. I was thinking that I should be able to explain why I have no story. Since Dr. Ford has told her story, I should be able to tell a side of a story.
Sen. Hatch: Great. Now we are getting somewhere.
Judge Kavanaugh: To the best of my recollection, I have absolutely no recollection of anything, or any person that Dr. Ford identifies. Particularly Dr. Ford. I do not know her at all.
Sen. Grassley: So, is that the reason why you have no story to tell?
Judge Kavanaugh: Exactly. I mean, I could make up a story of how come I have no story to tell, but that would be difficult – rather unique.
Sen. Hatch: No, I do not want you to make up any story, even if the story is about why you have no story to tell.

Sen. Leahy: Sen. Grassley, I must have a moment, please.
Sen. Grassley: Certainly, Sen. Leahy.
Sen. Leahy: I am listening very intently, and at this moment I am feeling sick to my stomach.
Sen. Booker: Me too!
Sen. Harris: Mr. Kavanaugh, could you please tell exactly what you know.
Sen. Grassley: Sen. Harris, you were not recognized.
Sen. Harris: Perhaps not by you, but by the millions watching on television.
Sen. Grassley: Senator, please respect the chair.
Sen. Durbin: She does respect the chair. It is the finest that Ethan Allan can manufacture.
Sen. Hatch: Not funny. Everyone, please calm down. Let us continue with Judge Kavanaugh.

Sen. Leahy: The Judge is done. He has nothing to say. He cannot speak to an event that never occurred. That is, it!!
Sen. Harris: All we have is the testimony of Dr. Ford. She swears that the events occurred. Brett Kavanaugh has nothing to offer.
With that Sen. Grassley bangs the gavel and calls a recess…… and at that moment, both Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh cry out, “tell us your decision. Tell us now!!!”
Sen. Hatch: Calls the Sergeant at Arms to clear the room.
Sen. Grassley: Hatch, I will call the Sergeant. I am chairman – not you.
Sen. Hatch: Whatever!!!

(Tom Golden, 2018)

How Come

Naomi Osaka won the 2018 US Open. The news repeats that she is the first Japanese person to win a tennis championship. That she is the first Japanese to win a tennis championship is a fact, but more important is how come she won the match against Serena. Naomi has mixed ethnic parenting. Naomi’s Mother is Japanese, and her Father is Haitian. The birthright is interesting, but why the emphasis on Japanese. The publicity given to champion athletes about their nationality is rather trivial, and yet seemingly people want, or need to know. The Olympics constantly reminds us of the nationality of the talented athletes. An innocent viewer of the Olympic games would think that Sri Lanka won the mile run, or that the nation of Finland broke the speed racing record.

It is important to know the how come of a persons’ actions, or events. There were dinosaurs, and no more dinosaurs. How come? Florida is drowning – how come? Sam was in the ICU, eating breakfast, and died. How come? And Ms. Osaka won the 2018 US Open – how come?

Let’s Make A Deal

April 23, 2016

The night of the Republican Nomination Celebration. About one hour prior to the announcement of the winning candidate, Donald Trump, his campaign advisor, Corey, and members of the Trump family gather in a backstage room. Two guards stand watch outside the door.

Son, Don Jr.: Dad is it true what Ivana told me?
Donald: Who? Who told you what?
Don Jr.: Ivana told me – no I mean Ivanka.
The Donald: Was it Ivanka or Ivana?
Wife, Melania: Donald, please do not get so upset. You know yourself that the names are very similar.
The Donald: Melania, will you stay out of it. Don, who told you, and more importantly what are you a talking about?
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Yes, Don, what were you told. Ivanka, Ivana who cares.
Tiffany, Donald’s daughter: Grandma, you know they are two very different persons, and you should respect that – I mean they are really different – it’s important.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Tiffany, you do understand that I was not talking to you. You have a bad habit of talking even if you are not asked.
Friedrich Grumpf, Donald’s Grandfather: MaryAnn, please be kind. Speaking of habits, you must remember how often you interrupt.
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mother: Well…..
The Donald: Please stop this talk. There is just one hour until the convention starts. Now Don, what did you hear, no matter who the hell said it.
Don, Jr: Well, now that I think about it, I am not sure who told me.
The Donald: I don’t give a shit who told you. What did you hear, damn it – what!!!
Don, Jr: I heard that you were going to make a very special announcement at the convention.
The Donald: What else did you hear?
Don, Jr.: That’s it Dad. Just that.
Maryann, Donald’s sister: Well that was a lot about nothing.
Eric, Donald’s son: That is just like Don Jr. Always making a big deal about nothing.

Barron, Donald’s son: Deal – Did someone say deal. Are we making another deal? Say dad, are you making another deal?
Ivanka, Donald’s daughter: Barron, go back to sleep. There is no deal. Will everyone just calm down. Dad needs his rest. Tonight is the most special night in all of our life.
Ivana: I thought Donald’s and my marriage was the most special night in your life.
Barron: And mine, and Don Jr. and Tiffany’s life.
Tiffany: My favorite night was when Dad married Marla. Second most favorite was when we had the reception for Melania.
Melania: That is not very nice of you, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Well, it’s true.
The Donald: Alright folks. I am glad that you came. Tonight is special – really special. You know that I am not like any other candidates. You know that I am my own man. God is great!
Barron, Tiffany and Don Jr.: Right on Dad. Right on. Sempre fi.
The Donald: Kids, that’s for Marines.
Barron: You did go to the New York Military Academy, didn’t you?
Don, Jr.: And you told people how much you know about military things and stuff.
The Donald: That’s true, but I was a student – not in the service. I tried, but no luck.
Corey, campaign manager: If I may ask, could everyone allow Donald and I to have several minutes alone to discuss tonight’s issues.
Melania: Certainly. Corey, can I stay?
Ivana: Why must I go? There is little that I do not know about Donald. Actually more than Melania.
Corey: I apologize. I do not mean to be rude, but it is very important that Donald and I speak alone.
Friedrich Drumpt: You heard the man. Everyone out!!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Friedrich, you have not lost your Germanic disposition. I will go when I am ready.
The Donald: Mom. You heard Grandpa. Get out!
Mary Anne, Donald’s Mom: Well, you have some….
Ivanka: Please Grandma, please let’s go.

All family leave the room.

Corey: Donald, what is this special announcement?
The Donald: Oh, nothing much.
Corey: Donald, you know how often you say and do things and I am the last person to know.
The Donald: So?
Corey: I am your campaign manager.
The Donald: So?
Corey: Well as a manager, I need to know what you are thinking. What you are planning.
The Donald: I agree, Corey
Corey: So what about the announcement. What are you planning to announce?
The Donald: Something extremely special, unique. Actually one of a kind.
Corey: What? Tell me what?
The Donald: Well, I know it will be special, and unique and never have happened before.
Corey: Donald – come on now. What the hell are you talking about? You have me worried.
The Donald: Frankly, I am not too sure exactly what I’ll announce. I know it will be outrageous.
Corey: Donald, I cannot let you go out there, and say something outrageous on the last night of the convention. Please Donald what have you on your mind?
The Donald: A lot! Corey, I have so many things on my mind that I cannot even think of any one thing.
Corey: I don’t understand, Donald. What are you saying?
The Donald: Well, I know what I know, but there are things that I do not know – like Rumsfeld has said, there are unknown, knowables. I’ve got both.
Corey: What the hell are you saying? Donald you are making me scared. You are the main man. You are number one. You will be President. What is happening to you?
The Donald: Corey, just relax. You know that I am not like anyone else.
Corey: Yes, I know. We love you for that quality. What about tonight?
The Donald: Well, Corey, I think I’m gonna rest for a few minutes.
Corey: Good idea. But Donald before I go, please tell me – please do not cut me out. Please.
The Donald: Corey. I love you, but please go. Please get out. I need to think.
Corey: Alright, I will go, but please don’t fuck this night up. Please, I beg of you.
The Donald: Thanks Corey. Thanks buddy. I love you. I love America. God bless America.

Two Hours later at the Convention Center.

Donald Trump has just been announced as the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States. The audience has been giving him a 20-minute standing ovation. The band is blasting a combination of God Bless America and Rock Island Line.
Donald is standing at the podium. Smiling, waving, smiling, waving and smiling and waving.
Donald raises both arms high. The band stops playing. The audience calms down. The silence is a stark contrast to the prior screaming, almost devotional outbursts.
Donald brushes his golden flocks. He grabs the podium with both hands. He leans forward toward the multiple microphones. And he talks.

The Donald: Ladies and germs, I mean gentlemen. I couldn’t help that one. Ladies and gentlemen. Honored guests, our Wounded Warriors, Police Heroes, and our cherished Priests, Pastors, Rabbis, and those other hooded guys. Only messin. Before I continue, I must thank- no I must honor my family, my wives, and most of all, although they are not here, my staff at Trump Towers, Trump Apartments, Trump Ventures, Trump Casino, Trump University, all my overseas Trump colleagues, and my Thai Trumpets. If I have left anyone out, well tough – Only joking. I must thank you present at this convention hall and the thousands, no I mean millions of workers, supporters who have worked so very hard for me, and for America. I mean, and you know it – I mean I love America. I love America, more than Ted loves Canada, or Marco loves Cuba. I know that Huckabee loves America, but I honestly think he loves God more. Only foolin. And as for Jeb, I know he and his entire Bush family love Texas, the Lone Ranger, and Tonto. Madam Forina, I must tell you that I have never known a woman as angry as you. If you had won the nomination, Hillary would be chopped liver for you – I mean you would have cut a her a new…. Enough. Once again, God Bless America. Did I say that already? Well anyway, here goes.

Never in my life did I believe that I could be running for the Presidency of the United States. Never did I even have any interest in such an exalted position in our government. I want to be famous, but more I wanted to be rich. So rich that I could do whatever I wanted. So rich that I did not have to depend upon anyone else. Hillary claims it takes a village. Hillary needs help, but as for me, I did it on my own. I made it happen. I did it The Donald way. You know folks, they say The Pope, The Queen, The Ayatollah, The Lord, and now they say The Donald – would you believe it, The Donald. Everyone knows what that means. It means a man of a single mind, a single direction, honesty, determination, clarity and most of all a sense of himself. Some say I am self-centered – big ego – arrogant – vain. Well, that’s true. So what’s so bad. It has gotten me to this podium. Right. Right in front of the nation, the world. It has gotten me every boy’s dream, and some girls too. I made it happen. Anyone can be President. Anyone! Anyone!

(Audience gives 10 minutes of screaming support – the band strikes up the Battle Hymn of the Republic.)
Donald stands erect, and salutes the flags behind him and waves at the crowd. As the audience calms downs, he takes one of the hand microphones, and walks to the edge of the stage.

(Secret Service guards, quickly front the stage to control any attempts to crowd Donald.)

The Donald: First I want to thank millions of our real citizens, I mean legal citizens, card carrying citizens for their confidence. I truly believe that you have made the right choice – the right man for the job. I have never doubted the end result. I have never doubted my rightful place as the Republican candidate for President. In addition, to be absolutely clear, truthful and with no reservations, I appreciate the nomination. but I decline to be the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. It’s not for me. Not my kind of job.

The moan from the crowd is deafening. People shouting. Some fainting: Pandemonium.

The Donald: Let me make it clear, as I always do. You know when I speak, I tell it like it is. I tell it from my heart, and not from my pocketbook, like some others. I am not like other guys. I am The Donald. (crowd cheers). Not for nothing, I will not run as the Republican candidate for the Presidency. As Sinatra has said, “one more time.” I decline the nomination of the Republican Party nomination for President of the USA. To be honest, which I am, I have never been really interested in being a President of the United States. I am president of lotsa companies. I showed everyone, that anyone can be President. Anyone can try, and become the President. Anyone with character, determination, and a ego can do what I did. It helps to be rich, very rich, and you all know that I am rich – very rich.

I do not want to be President, and to tell the truth, I am not so certain if I have the experience, and knowledge to handle the Presidency. Well, maybe I could, but I run businesses. I build things – lotsa things. Houses, skyscrapers, airports, stores and yes walls – really big walls and I love to make money. I make deals. Not a day goes by that I don’t make, or break a deal. I do what is best for The Donald. It so happens others benefit, but I am mostly interested in making deals and being rich. I mean you know I am rich.
Now, for the nomination, and what we are going to do. I am now ready to make a deal. Not any ordinary deal, but a unique deal, a first time deal. I will offer my support, and the support of the millions of citizens who have supported me, to some other candidate who is willing to make the best deal. This deal is no small potatoes. Remember, I am the master of the deal, so do not think that I come cheap. I am open to offers. I have no particular demand in mind, but believe me, I will only make the deal that is best for The Donald. I know that my announcement is unexpected, but you all know that’s The Donald. The Donald doesn’t do it like others. I cut out of the last debate. I stuck it to Fox. I am not for hire. I do the hiring – thousands of hiring’s, including Mexicans and even Moslems. I know you are worried, tense and bewitched, bothered and bewildered. The Donald says let’s make a deal. There is plenty of time before election day, but my advice to all of you is to read my book, “Art of the Deal”, before you make any offers, and enter in any negotiations with The Donald.

To those of you in this audience, and the millions of you at home, I only want to say, God Bless America, Canada and Cuba, and not least, the Iowa Evangelicals. Oh, I almost forgot. Sarah you can also make a deal. Thank you, and remember we must make America great again. Don’t forget, The Art of the Deal, at your favorite bookstore, or on Amazon.

The Donald quickly leaves the stage, leaving a bewitched, bothered, and bewildered audience stunned, silent, and teary eyed. The Donald returns to the backstage room now guarded by a dozen Secret Service men. In the room are the assembled family members, and his campaign manager, Corey.

Wife Melania: My Man – I love you so much. No matter what you said, I still love you!
MaryAnn, Donald’s Mom – Me too, Donald. You are still The Donald to me.
The Donald: Thank you Melania. I love you too, and thanks Mom.
All the sons, and daughter: Shout out. “Donald, Donald he’s our man, if Donald won’t do it no one can.”
All in attendance clap, and join in the chant.
Corey, Campaign Manager (teary eyed): Well, you did it. Donald you did it. I mean you did it. Once again the unpredictable. Why, oh why, Donald. Please, if there is a God in heaven, why, oh why??
The Donald: Okay, you want to know why, well I’ll tell you why. I said that I wasn’t too sure I was experienced enough to be President. I said that even though I have the best advisors at my side. I do, I really do. They are the best, smartest good guys.
Corey: But why, why, why?
The Donald: Easy Corey. Just calm down.
Grandpa Friedrich: So what’s wrong. Sounds good to me.

All the children start to cheer: Donald, Donald, he’s our man.
The Donald: Enough, cut it out.
Melania: But Donald we are so sad, we love you so.
Donald’s Mother: God bless you Donald.
The Donald: All of you remember when I was a Democrat. Do you remember when I supported Planned Parenthood, Gay rights, and stuff like that. I gave money to Hillary, and Bill. Actually I gave money to anyone who asked. Who cares what they stand for. I like to be asked for money. I’m rich, and people ask me for money. Do they owe me, maybe yes, maybe no. Mostly yes! You all know I have never been big on politics, except when my bank accounts were in trouble. Really, I wanted to make America better. Being famous, popular and a television star, I knew that I could win. People like a winner, and they love a star. They like to hear good news. They like to feel like things can get better, and I tell them I am better. Just look what I have done – I mean gonna do. I tell them I will build a wall at the border, and they know I build walls – many walls. I tell them I’ll get the Mexicans to pay for the wall, and they know I get people to pay for lots of things. Like the Chinese. I rent to the Chinese for millions, and they pay on time. I am not politically correct, and they like that. They like that I tell it like it is, or at least the way I think it is. I’m tough, rough and ready like Teddy at the hill in San Juan.

Corey: Donald. What the hell are you talking about? I can’t believe you. You had the Presidency in the palm of your hand. You had it!
Ivana: Corey is right. We were all ready to celebrate, party. Champaign, caviar and pigs in a blanket. Why did you have to decline? Couldn’t you just abdicate when you became President?
Grandfather Friedrich: Ivana, Kings abdicate not Presidents. Where is your head?
Ivana: Well, it is not up my ass, like the rest of you. This is horrendous. Pitiful.
Ivanka: Ivana that is just like you. Always ready to party, to be photographed. You never appreciated the spontaneity of Dad. You never even liked his hairdo. You…
The Donald: That’s enough. Both of you cut it out.
Daughter, Tiffany: True to form Ivana. Always worried about yourself. No wonder Marla won his heart.
The Donald: I said cut it out. What’s done is done. Besides, we are all gonna win – and win big.
Corey: What are you talking about? It’s over. You killed the Golden Goose. You did a Palin. You quit. You’re a quitter!
The Donald: Corey, you are treading, and you know the saying, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Corey: But you were the man. Millions of devoted voters were there for you. How do you think they feel?
The Donald: Feel. How do they feel? Well, I’ll tell you how they feel. They never enjoyed themselves as much as they have during the campaign. Ten’s of thousands at my rallies. Cheering, crying out their loyalty. And now, maybe a little disappointed. Maybe a lot disappointed, but they now are part of the deal.

Corey: What the hell are you talking about?
The Donald: If you would just relax, and stop whimpering. You are a manager, so act like one.
Don Jr: Millions part of the deal. What do you mean Dad?
The Donald: Here is how it’s gonna go. Some candidate is going offer a deal. Another candidate will counter offer, and maybe three or more offers. Remember, I decide on the deal. Don’t ever forget who is the deal maker. Before I decide on what is best for me, excuse me, I mean best for all the Trumps I will turn to the millions of followers to vote on the best deal.
Corey: You mean the best candidate, don’t you?
The Donald: No way. I couldn’t care less who is the best candidate. Don’t forget, I am the best candidate. Anyone forget that? The Donald was and is the best, and richest candidate. That’s how come I won. Well, maybe I wasn’t the best candidate, I sure am the richest (laughs).
Corey: How to the millions decide? The convention is over. No more caucuses. The election is coming.
The Donald: Who the hell says we can’t have another convention. Any city would love another convention.
Corey: And then what? What happens at the convention?
The Donald: That is easy. Let’s say there are three possible deals on the table. Each candidate announces their deal. The people at the convention vote on what they feel is the best deal for The Donald. When they decide who offers the best deal, and if I agree, that is the Republican candidate for Presidency.
Melania: What if you don’t agree, Donald?
MaryAnn, Mother: Yes, what if the deal is not best for you?
The Donald: Easy. The candidates have to come up with a better deal. That is the Art of the Deal.
Ivanka, daughter: When will you decide? How will you decide?

The Donald: Ivanka, I can see you never read, The Art of the Deal.
Ivanka: I’m sorry, Dad. I haven’t, please forgive me.
Barron, son: (shouts) Dad, I did.
Eric, son: Me too, Dad.
The Donald: Thanks boys.
Grandpa Friedrich: So how do you decide Donald?
The Donald: Good question, Papa. It’s just I know the best deal, when I know it. Remember what I said before the convention, there are known knowables, and also unknown knowables, and actually it isn’t easy to describe the process, whatever. Haven’t I done right all these years? Who tells it like it is? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is gonna take the country back? (all cheer, The Donald) Who is his own man? (All cheer, The Donald) Who gets things done? (All cheer, The Donald). We need victories (all cheer, The Donald), and when they all want money, who do they come to, all cheer “The Donald”.
Ivana: But what about the bankruptcies, and the casino loss? You are not always right.
Tiffany: There you go again. Ivana, you haven’t done so poorly as an ex-wife, have you?
Ivana: That was rude.
Tiffany: Rude, but true.
The Donald: Listen. All of you. We cannot lose. There are men out there who would kill their Mother to be President. Maybe not their Mother, some relative or someone. I have the upper hand. We will win, and win big. The other candidates are ripe for the pickin. Say let’s get to the Champaign, caviar, and pigs in a blanket, whatever that is.

Thomas Golden, Writer’s Cramp, 2016.

The Martians

The meeting was called for “time”. Unlike on Earth, time and date are not concepts that control Martian behavior. The Elders and the Youngers were gathered at the “place”. Similarly, to time and date, location is a notion that needs no specificity. All Elders and Youngers are aware of all that matters.
Elder 1: We are faced with a situation that no longer allows for delay. There is no room for unnecessary deliberation or frankly any discussion.
Younger 1: I understand completely.
Elder 1: You do?
Younger 2: Yes. The situation has been a long time in coming.
Elder 2: We are all in total agreement.
Elder 1: The specifics are not yet formulated.
Younger 3: What specifics?
Elder 1: We must determine the nature of our commitment.
Younger 3: Do we have any choice?
Elder 4: Yes, consideration of the potential harm, we must be absolutely clear as to what we are to do.
Elder 1: I for one request a unanimous agreement among all of you.
Younger 4: You certainly have my vote.
Elder 2: Me too.
Younger 3: I am also in total agreement, but I have one question.
Elder 1: Speak.
Younger 3: If we go ahead with the complete plan, do we have a fallback position.
Elder: 3: What are you talking about. What fallback position?
Younger 3: If we are not successful in the mission. What do we do?
Elder 1: There will only be success if we act now. Right now!
All the Elders and Youngers shout agreement.
Elder 1: Now we will have Elder 2 read out plan.
Elder 2: Yes sir! Proclamation of the Elders and Youngers: On this day and at this time and location, We The Elders and The Youngers have authorized the total invasion of the Planet Earth. The invasion will involve the complete array of our interplanetary forces. We are obliged to take this extraordinary action as we can no longer delay the total conquest of the Planet Earth. Our latest intelligence has confirmed that activity on the Planet Earth has reached such intolerable conditions, and the threat of such activity to our well-being is undeniable.

The Earthlings interplanetary capacity is advanced as evidenced by their popular, though somewhat unrealistic film, The Martian. For many years we have witnessed the total dissolution of peace and tranquility on Planet Earth. There is no area on that planet that is not in constant warfare, pestilence, poverty, and total disregard for life. They have destroyed their land, sea, and air. We are not absolutely certain of their plans for planetary exploration, but we will not allow our planet to be infested by their ethics, morals, scientific ignorance, economic systems, and most of all their dangerous religious proclivities. We have evolved to a level of sophistication that we will not allow to be jeopardized by a species that has not evolved in thousands of years. In fact, their planet has regressed to a point of no return. For many eons we have tried to communicate to the Planet Earth, but they have steadfastly refused to believe in life beyond their simplistic universe. All attempts at contact with Planet Earth are terminated. This proclamation is made in good fellowship and good will. We will prevail!

Wrong Side of the Bed

Many years ago, the wrong side of the bed was clearly marked by the presence of a “pot de chambre,” that is a chamber pot. Upon awakening during the night, a careless move to the floor on the “wrong side” of the bed resulted in disaster. With the passage of time and the introduction of in-house plumbing, the chamber pot has been transformed into a planter, or a flea market novelty.

The pot may be gone, but the expression “wrong side of the bed” has endured as an explanation for annoying personal behaviors. Getting up on the “wrong side of the bed” is now considered to be the cause of grouchiness, moodiness, depression, and lethargy and a host of other regrettable feelings and behaviors, not the least of which is “feeling lousy”.

Perhaps there is a “right side” of the bed, which if located and used will ensure vigor, good will, affection and sex. The physical structure of most beds offers few cues as to the right or wrong side, let alone the good or the bad side. Beds with a headboard, and/or a wall behind the bed offer just three possible “right” sides. One might eliminate the foot of the bed as an escape route, and thereby enhance your chances of choosing the “right side” by 33 percent.

The prospect of having just two choices to select the “right” side might be too risky. One might move the bed to the center of the room and then have four sides to choose from, or at least three sides with a rotating ‘foot’. For the avid gambler, a circular bed would offer a limitless search for the “right side”.

It’s possible that the number of bed sides and their locations will not solve the demand for a splendid morning personality. We must hit the floor on the “right side” and the design of the bed offers no help.

The presence of a bed mate insures a forced choice of the “right side.” In a bed with a head board, foot and partner, the “right side” is most likely your own side. Whether such a choice ensures a personality change is a much more complex issue, and never under your direct control. Furthermore, the sleeper is never concerned about the side of the bed to get up on. Sleepers just get up after a night’s sleep. They could, if asked, describe their mood. It is the observer, that is, spouse, friend, or ‘other body’ who feels compelled to identify a cause for the sleeper’s mood state.

“Boy, I see that you got up on the wrong side of the bed today.”

With that pronouncement, the sleeper quickly surveys the bedside looking for the infamous “pot de chambre”. Not finding any, the newly awakened must assume total responsibility for the mood in the bedroom or immediately leap into the other side of the bed with the hope that there lies the “right side”, and acceptance.