Monthly Archives August 2023

Regarding Joe Biden’s Age

There’s almost no escaping it, so no reason to try. If you google “polls on Joe Biden’s age,” you get a grim story, with precarious portents for his re-election campaign.

Sample headlines:

Biden’s Age Is Wearing on Democrats (Newsweek, July 25)

Nearly Half of Independent Voters Say Biden’s Age ‘Severely’ Limits Ability to Be President (The Hill, June 7)

Broad Doubts About Biden’s Age and Acuity Spell Republican Opportunity in 2024: Poll
(ABC News, May 7)

Less Than 35% Think Biden Has “Mental Sharpness” for Second Term (Axios, May 7)

Many other such citations suggest the steep hill the now 80-year-old Biden must climb to overcome voters’ doubts that he will be up to the job and continue his record-breaking run as the oldest person ever to hold the American presidency. (Ronald Reagan was the previous geriatric champion when he finished his second term at age 77 in 1988.)

Those doubting voters include o...

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Dogma Be Gone! A Brief Rant

Look, it’s not about the dogma!  Uncertainty abides! There is no countering the dazzlingly complex nature of all existence, from the lowliest ant (have you ever read up on ants, OMG!), to the far reaches of creatureless space, where we have somehow managed to employ our brains to send rocket ships careening along, loaded up with computers and sensors gathering information that gets translated into digital data which is…what, exactly?

Do you know? I don’t, not really!

But here’s one thing I’m certain of and would bet my life on regarding the why’s and wherefores and whereto’s of this world: It’s not about the damn dogma!

It can’t possibly be about the damn dogma, areyoukiddin’me?

The world is too big, and it overflows with stories about how it got here, who made it, for what purpose...

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Break the Record, Die Trying? Free Diving With Laura McGann’s “The Deepest Breath”

In the long summer months—which in the generally sunny climes where I have lived I regard as May through at least September—I have long made a habit of swimming in as many backyard and club pools as their owners will abide. And since none of the pools are Olympic-sized, I’ve developed a ritual of dipping underwater upon entry, descending to just a few inches from the bottom, and breaststroking from one end to the other, holding my breath for the 15 to 30 seconds various pools might require.

It always feels invigorating to pop up to the surface with a nice exhalation at the end, ready to move some more water around in pursuit of just about the finest whole-body exercise humankind has ever devised.

Some of these pools can get to a depth of five to eight feet, which seems like small potatoes until, say, you dive down to snag fall leaves or a kid’s unfloatable toy off the bottom...

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Our Glass Half-Full (or Is It?) Democracy

Soooo…how are we to look at this time, this tumult, this dark collision of forces that seem on one hand to be head-shakingly outrageous and on the other to be the logical and inevitable denouement to Donald Trump’s brawl of a presidency? With the benefit of hindsight, it seems obvious: It was always going to come to this, wasn’t it?

In just four short years, the ex-president seemed to land himself and the entire country somewhere between reality television antics and the deadly goals of a Third World dictator employing every lever of illicit power in a desperate attempt to hoard it forevermore.

The questions haunt our days (and nights). Where are we, and where are we going?

Glass half-full or half-empty, the center holding or splintering, the rule of law abiding or anarchy and chaos ahead?

Whatever your metaphor, we seem poised on some awful precipice in our history, one without any true parallel, and anyo...

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