Starting from Here

SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 12:42AM

Playing Chicken to Win

 Some progressives (I’m thinking of you, Ezra Klein) have expressed the opinion that allowing the Republican rump to force a government shutdown could be the most desirable outcome of the latest entry in the fiscal showdown sweepstakes.  The idea seems to be that if you let the dead-e/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 8:34PM

An Open Letter to America

Picasso's Guernica

 It’s Sunday afternoon, Labor Day weekend.  When America goes back to work on Tuesday, my first order of business will be to call my two U.S. senators and my congressman to instruct them as my representatives in government to vote against authorizing the use of American milit/… Read full post »

JULY 21, 2011 4:31PM

Open Letter to Secretary Clinton

clinton-obama debate
Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times

Dear Hillary -

All is forgiven.  I'm sorry I doubted you.  It's not too late for a primary challenge.


Roy Read full post »

APRIL 4, 2011 6:08PM

Why I'm Not In



Barack --

Hope you don't mind the familiarity, but the chummy way you greeted me in your email this morning tells me we're on a first name basis now.

You tell me the politics you believe in start with me and the work of laying the foundation… Read full post »

MARCH 30, 2011 12:03AM

Refudiate the Squirmish!

'Twas brillig and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe

All mimsy were the borogoves

And the mome raths refudiate the squirmish


Pass it on Read full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2010 7:14PM

Dear Mr President (cc: H Reid, N Pelosi)

Dear Mr. President -

How'd that bipartisanship thing work out for you?  I think you know how it worked out for the American people, at least for the 98% of us who aren't among the HaveMores.

The Republicans pulled it off.  They weakened and obstructed every effort to repair and strengt… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2010 11:54AM

Speaker Nancy

speaker nancy

In the aftermath of last night's election, we can expect Nancy Pelosi to be handed the blame for losing the House.  She was the face of the Congressional Democrats and a favorite target of the hate ads.

But the reality is that Speaker Pelosi was the only national… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 18, 2010 11:07PM

Reason, Emotion and 51 Park Place

In the days after September 11, 2001, Zoe Haskell, a ten-year-old student at Woodland Star Charter School in my home town of Sonoma, had the idea to "adopt" a child who'd lost a parent in the attack on the World Trade Center.  She discussed it with her mother, then took it… Read full post »

This Fathers' Day post is the companion to one I wrote last month outlining my mother's life on Mom's Day.  If you missed it and are interested, click here


Herminia Tejeda was born before the turn of the twentieth century in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the illegitimate daughter of… Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2010 11:18PM

For Flag Day: Taking the Pledge

I pledge allegiance . . .

I learned the Pledge at the age of five from Mrs. Eleanor Hartson, when I started attending Town of Western School # 2, the one-room school half a mile up the rutted gravel track that branched off Sly Hill Road just past the Litwins' farm.  First… Read full post »

Washington DC, June 2, 2014 -- World capitals erupted today in outrage after Israel's Likud government admitted responsibility for yesterday's nuclear blast that wiped out an alleged terrorist-sympathizer event in Berkeley, California.

White House Press Secretary Greta Van Sustere… Read full post »

MAY 14, 2010 2:33PM

What's wrong with this picture?


1.  Transocean Ltd, owner-operator of the infamous Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, has filed suit in Houston to limit its liability in the Gulf spill to $27 million dollars

2.  Transocean Ltd, owner-operator of the infamous Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, has just announced a… Read full post »

Rachel Foster Avery, corresponding secretary of the National Women's Suffrage Association and a founder with Susan B Anthony of the International Council of Women, was a strong-willed and domineering presence in the life of her daughter Rose, and when her only grand-daughter was born, she insist… Read full post »

APRIL 29, 2010 1:34PM

same life, different sentences

I don't know what love is

You show me what love is

We love

APRIL 28, 2010 11:22PM

life in 3 sentences for cartouche

Spent roughly three decades as a kid and hobo adventurer

Spent roughly three decades as a paterfamilias and provider

What to do for the next three?

The teabaggers will be out in force today to show off their personal arsenals, object to the Obama tax cuts on the middle class, and protest unconstitutional government handouts to people who aren't them.  I'm sure there'll be plenty of coverage in all the media, including here on OS.

I just… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2010 12:56AM

A Modest Proposal: Fiscal Reform Edition

President Obama has signed an executive order creating the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and named his selections to co-chair the body, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.  The pair have already started making the rounds of the media, and I caught their interview with Judy… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2010 6:25PM

R.I.P. Licorice


Licorice, July 7, 1996 - February 9, 2010

She came to us an eight-week puppy.  The kids, especially Neil, had been wanting a dog for years, but Risa and I felt our house was too small for a big dog, and neither of us fancied little dogs.  When we moved… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 8, 2010 1:31AM

A Modest Proposal: TSA Edition

This morning I took my daughter to SFO for her flight back to the Big Apple.  The sight of that unusually long and slow-moving line to the security checkpoint led me to ponder the question uppermost in the American mind this holiday season, viz, "What we can do to ensure our… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 8, 2009 2:26PM

Unchain America

When I was a lad, the Christmas shopping season didn't get started until the beginning of December, or at least not sooner than the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Things have changed to the point that these days the extended holiday season gets started even before Halloween.  Now that th… Read full post »

OCTOBER 11, 2009 3:26AM

Flashes in the Brainpan

Flash back to October 1991.  It was my sister-in-law Kathleen on the phone.  By the time I've walked across the kitchen and turned at the dining room to where the kids are playing in the back of the house, I'm weeping, which surprises me, I hadn't expected that.  Bryn's surprised too,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2009 3:44AM

Being Is Believing

My last role in the university theatre at Cal was as Segismundo in my classmate Tony Taccone's thesis production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Life Is a Dream (La vida es sueño).  Calderón was the great Renaissance poet of the theatre in Spain as Shakespeare was in England… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2009 5:47PM

The Proof about Obama

A.  Hitler was a White Supremacist

B.  Obama = Hitler

C.  Oh my God, Obama is a fascist communist WHITE SUPREMACIST!!!! Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2009 9:53PM

Wheels within Wheels

It's a handy invention, the calendar. 

Next Wednesday, August 12, will be one of my favorite days of the year, the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.  On that night I love to lie flat on my back, counting the shooting stars as they streak across the night sky.  One memorable… Read full post »

Friday morning of the day that would wind up with the presentation of the Rome Free Academy Class of '63 Senior Play, I stole a bottle of Valpolicella from my father's cache in the basement, smuggled it on the bus in my bookbag and stashed it in my locker to be… Read full post »