Saturday, September 28, 2013


Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson
       I have seen the movie “42" twice, and I must say that I enjoyed it even more the second time than I did the first,
       I had been looking forward to seeing the film, subtitled "The Jackie Robinson Story,” because from my baseball days I had known and admired the central figures in the story, Jackie Robinson and  Branch Rickey. I was eager to see how the two characters would be portrayed and if the portrayals conformed to my recollections of the two men and of the events of the times.

Branch Rickey and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey
        Chadwick Boseman’s nterpretation of Jackie Robinson was certainly acceptable, but Harrison Ford’s impersonation of Branch Rickey was simply amazing! His resemblance to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ General Manager was remarkable. Though his face was thinner, Ford looked and sounded like the Branch Rickey I knew, and except for a few times when the popular actor's well known smile was recognizable, I felt as if I were watching Mr. Rickey himself.  In my view, Harrison Ford should be nominated for an Oscar for his role in “42.” There is an excellent supporting cast as well, including especially Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson and Andre Holland as journalist Wendell Smith.
        The movie is commendably accurate. To be more true to life it would have to have been at least an R-rated film, because what the real Jackie Robinson had to endure was far worse than what was shown in the film. In August of 1946 following my discharge from the Navy I was invited to go on the road with the International League Orioles. I did not want to sign a contract at that time, as I was planning to return to Princeton for my senior year and wanted to be eligible to play on the baseball team. But I enjoyed pitching batting practice for the Orioles and working out with the team.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


        The Grand Old Party is anything but grand!  
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
        The only thing they agree on is their hatred of President Obama. But they don’t agree on how to get rid of Obamacare. The right wing fanatics are willing to shut down the government to accomplish that goal. And their Senate spokesperson, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has the gall to blame that eventuality on the President for his unwillingness to cave in to their efforts to abolish the health care legislation he fought so hard to enact!
        What do Senators Cruz, Rand Paul, and their ilk care if people who depend on Social Security to survive won’t receive their monthly payments? What do they care if thirty million Americans will not have affordable health insurance? What do they care if millions of  Americans are already enjoying the benefits of the new law? What do they care if the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have both estimated that the Affordable Health Care Act will eventually result in reducing the national deficit? What do they care that the nation resoundingly reelected the President who succeeded in enacting legislation that others had tried and failed to do? What do they care if the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the law, despite the Republicans’ concerted efforts to overturn it? What do they care if their misrepresentations of the Health Care law have been refuted point by point?
        Their more moderate colleagues are equally opposed to Obamacare, but they don’t want to plunge the nation into a disastrous financial crisis in order to repeal it. To be sure, their motives are not entirely altruistic, for they see the adverse political consequences of such a course of action. Despite all the misinformation put forth by the GOP, the public support for the new health program continues to mount, and the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want to see their government shut down. If it happens, they know whom to blame for it!
        As I write this, Senator Cruz is still speaking on the floor of the Senate in his effort to defeat Obamacare. They’re calling it a “faux” filibuster, because it is not technically a filibuster. But the Senator rants on and on, to the consternation even of some of his Republican colleagues. He’s a hero to his ultra-conservative right-wing ideologues, but to his moderate colleagues he’s a fly in the ointment, and to many if not most Americans, who now have seen the benefits of the Affordable Health Act, he is a deceitful demagog whose political motives are as obvious as his false statements.
        Our country needs a united not a divided GOP. But whatever became of the concept of the “loyal opposition”? The total lack of cooperation of the Republicans throughout President Obama’s entire tenure in office has been a huge impediment to legislative progress and is totally reprehensible and unconscionable.
        I hope they pay the price for their behavior in the forthcoming mid-term elections.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


When the sky is bright blue with clear sailing ahead.                      
when your worries are few and your troubles have fled,
you can bet that you'll find you're surrounded with friends,
as if on your favor their future depends.

When your pockets are full and the world's at your feet,
you will get invitations to join the elite,
for it's not too hard then for some folks to be nice.
They will wine you and dine you and seek your advice.

But the question to ask yourself once in a while,
when you're getting a slap on the back with a smile,
is, What will become of your fair weather friends,
when the going gets rough and your influence ends?

Can you count on them then, when you need their support,
when your luck has run out and your efforts fall short?
That's the test!  And the best are the foul weather friends
who are still by your side when the fair weather ends!

(from If I Do Say So Myself)