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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hurrah for Greg Popovich, Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy.

Thank you Pop, Steve and Stan for being stand-up guys at this terrible time in America's history, to voice your dismay, to be be real Americans. It helped my depression to read what you said. I only wish all the NBA coaches and the NBA League office would have come out as strongly as you guys.

I'm still reeling after the election. I woke up on the 9th depressed and angry.  How, I asked myself, could the American public vote for such a man as Donald Trump to be President of the United States of America? Let's forget politics or economic policy, the struggle between conservatives and liberals. I keep asking myself: Do Americans want a bully in the White House? Do Americans want a man who denigrates women in the White House? Do Americans want a man who calls Mexicans and other immigrants thieves, killers, and terrorists in the White House? Do Americans want a man who played a role in a Playboy soft porn movie in the White House? Do Americans want our First Lady to have taken part in a girl on girl porno photo shoot? Do Americans want a man who, in just three years, was a party to 2,000 lawsuits in the White House? Do Americans want a man who is party to 75 still active lawsuits that he will have to go to court for during his presidency in the White House? Do Americans want a man who ridiculed people with muscular dystrophy, mimicking them in front of an national/world-wide audience in the White House? How can our president-elect possibly  represent us: AMERICA--all of us in America--black, white, brown, Asian, female and LGBT?

The answer to the questions is he can't.  The majority of Americans voted for the other candidate.  Clinton won the popular vote, but not enough to swing the Electoral College. In stead, Americans voted to put a sleazeball into arguably the most powerful political position in the world.

After I retired from playing professional basketball, I taught high school for twenty-five years. If at any time during those years I encountered a student who spoke or acted the way Donald Trump did during the campaign, I would have had that kid in the Principal's office in a nano-second and would have been on the phone with that kid's parents.

In our high schools, we do not allow students to grope our female students; we do not allow our students to call people of color names; we do not allow our students to make fun of our students with disabilities. In all the high schools of this country of ours, we expel knucklehead bigots like Donald Trump. We enroll them in alternative schools isolated from the general population of students.
We do not want Donald Trump-like students to taint our good and hardworking young people..

It saddens me greatly that a huge number of citizens of the United States felt it was OK to have a slime-bucket for a president. I am an immigrant who came happily to the United States with my family after the Second World War. We were Russians fleeing the Communists. We suffered the indignities of the McCarthy period - the names calling, the Red baiting. When Americans rose up against the demagoguery of McCarthy, I raised my hand and took the oath of allegiance to the United States. I became a naturalized American citizen. I made a life for myself and my own family here. I played in the NBA. We are a league that does not discriminate.

The NBA is a model for the entire country. We do not allow bigots to own NBA franchises. I am a basketball player and a teacher of young people. I  am proud to be an American. But with the election of Donald Trump, I am in deep mourning for our country.

So intent on getting this blog out, I forgot a poem. Here's one about baseball that is sad, which fits my mood.

Nothing but Bad News  by Jennifer Richter

as the man next door on his porch
too small for bleachers or an ump
rolls up his shirtsleeves
grips the stick with both hands
raises it over his head to stretch
and the lovers downstairs
fire What What What
one-word argument that's lost the question
with the name the doctors gave yesterday
to what's been eating you,
curve ball that pushes me 
back from the plate
the man next door taking one hard swing after another
the dusk thickening
with fog, sweat, grill smoke
too much goddamn cheering
too many out there
laughing themselves sick




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