White Nationalist-in-Chief Visits El Paso

Fake News–“President” Trump’s encounter with an El Paso survivor

Yes, this is fiction. But it could go something like this. Assuming a gunshot victim in the hospital agrees to a visit with the “President.” (Italicized from now on, because he’s not legitimate).

“Hello, Mrs. Garcetti, how are you feeling?” says a smiling Trump.
“That’s Garcia. I’m doing OK, all things considered,” she looks out the window as a tear forms in her eye, then back at the unwanted visitor.
“Well, this is a wonderful hospital. I’m sure they will take good care of you here.”
“Yes, they’re very kind. But I want to ask you something”
“All right, how can I help you?” He smiles broadly and looks at an aide.
“Why do you hate me so much–hate Hispanics so much?” Mrs. Garcia looks directly at the “President,” staring into his face.
“Hate you? Why I don’t hate you or Hispanics.”
“But that young man who shot me, he shouted out vile things about us. He said you were the best thing that ever happened to America. A man who wanted to rid the country of people like us,” she frowned then, nodding her head.
“Oh no, he was mentally ill–a crazy man! Not my responsibility. It’s the fake news that says that!” His face changed from its normal orange to red.
“No, he was angry–full of hate, not crazy. Full of hate just like you. I’ve seen you on TV, the way you talk about us. The things people at your rallies yell–and how you laugh and smile. You are a racist, Mr. Trump. You are a white nationalist. He shot us because it’s your wish–it’s YOUR FAULT!” she raised up in her bed, yelling and pointing at him.
“How DARE you speak to me that way?” He screamed, turning to his aide. “Let’s leave this crazy woman’s room. She must be watching fake news from MSNBC or one of those Democrat channels.”

 

At that, the “President” was ushered from the room by a flunky and accompanied by his secret service protective detail.

 

Could it happen like this? Who knows.

 

What would it take for the WNC to own up to his responsibility? Not likely to happen!

 

There are still two days left until the 45th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation in the face of certain impeachment. Maybe something will hit the fan and Trump will jump!

 

The impeachment inquiry could start  soon. The House returns next month, having heard lots from their constituents. Now we have the white nationalist situation to add fuel to the impeachment fire!
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Never Give Up or This Too Shall Pass

A very mixed post today.  A very long post today. Bear with me as I cover

  • Progress and obstacles to getting out the Eagle Peak Annual
  • Buddhism
  • Trump and the GOP
  • Creating value from chaos—not being provoked into a responsive rant
  • Saving America

Well, the Eagle Peak Annual is moving along—ponderously slowly. More obstacles arise when one is striving to accomplish a thing of value. So it goes for one who lives the life of a Bodhisattva—dedicated to leading others to enlightenment.

I had my annual Medicare wellness visit on Tuesday. Tests were all great. HDL cholesterol is outstanding and LDL is low. Perhaps it’s something untested or a medication that could/should be stopped or its dosage reduced. As it is, I sometimes (over the past two years) have as much as three or four good writing hours a day. Other days I may have an hour or less.

Non-creative tasks or chores are possible. Walking the dog, sweeping and vacuuming. Even financial entries on Quicken or the spreadsheet—a mental subroutine, as it were. I have prevailed upon my primary care physician, who is now aligned with me to solve the problem. He and I will be victorious! I have too many books to write before I die.

Meanwhile, Donald “Biff” Trump and the KK-GOP conspire to cause a reactionary rant. That won’t help. It just feeds into the mindset of them and us.

Send her back his supporters yell at his North Carolina rally. He, them and the GOP persist in an effort to destroy America. I can’t abide that.

So, instead of working on the Annual, I must now work on yet another response to all them.

That, after returning from the vet to get my dog an antibiotic shot and some pills for a gastrointestinal ailment.

Obstacles! One cannot allow them to defeat progress.

Yes, I AM calling out the GOP. They are reincarnations of the Know Nothing Party members from the 1850s. They are reincarnations of the enablers of Adolph Hitler—who promoted his rise to power as an expedient. Hitler had ten times as much charisma as Trump. Watch Leni Reifenstahl’s Triumph of the Will–which G. Gordon Liddy showed at the Nixon White House as leader of the Plumbers.

Laws were passed giving Hitler autocratic power. Would the GOP do that for Trump? Probably, if they had a chance–but they don’t, NOW.

In the run-up to his reelection campaign for 1972, Richard Nixon came up with the Southern Strategy. Very conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans. Nixon won reelection in a landslide—then he was impeached.

Trump is worse, of course than Nixon—as far as criminal offenses go. He’s also not nearly as smart as Nixon.

Nixon was an anti-Semite. Trump is fine with Jews. He hates Muslims (except rich, nation-leading ones like MBS who might spend money at Mar-a-Lago or his golf courses, etc.), Mexicans, people from s-hole countries and other non-whites.

During the Vietnam War era, the bumper sticker for the right was America, “love it or leave it.”  The response among antiwar people during Vietnam, was “change it or lose it.”

The Vietnam experience, Nixon and Watergate ineluctably led me to Buddhism. From the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and the SGI, I learned that to change the world, I must change myself. Read the book, Waiting for Westmoreland—you’ll understand.

Trump recently invoked the memories of love it leave it. In his warped mind, he equates criticism of his policies as hatred of America. He, of course, is NOT America. He doesn’t care about America–he cares about money and adulation from fans.His values are not those of American democracy. His policies are racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc.

Pundits or analysts offer an armchair diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder for Trump. Yes, but that’s not the whole story.  How about the Dark Triad?

The Dark Triad personality is one that combines narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. A Psychology Today article from 2013 says the Dark Triad is:

“Defined as a  set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism) . . .”

They also note that: “Researchers are finding that the Dark Triad underlies a host of undesirable behaviors including aggressiveness, sexual opportunism, and impulsivity.”

Wow, sounds like him, doesn’t it? Check out the 12-question test in the article to confirm the diagnosis. But does anyone really need to identify Trump’s problems?

The real problem is that his behavior and actions are not only condoned but endorsed by the Republicans.  A party that destroyed the hope that the election of Barack Obama engendered. A party that is OK with the rollback of regulations that would protect America from dirty air, dirty water and a sooner devolution into economic chaos (see the deficit increase their tax cut wrought) even as they deny the Climate Crisis.

So, are more rants needed? Hell no! More protest marches? Hell no! More sit-ins at Congressional offices? I marched in countless protests to end the Vietnam War. Nixon and his supporters were unmoved.

What does work? Voting?

Democrats took over the House by 40 seats. That’s not enough.

What then? The Senate and the White House? That’s not enough either. 

No, the ill-fated strategy of the Vietnam War was winning the  hearts and minds of the people.  The Vietnamese people. America didn’t succeed at that. For good reason.

This time, it’s the hearts and minds of Americans that need winning. The Americans who are misguided and deluded by the Dark Triad Trump and the Neo-Nazi/KKK/Know Nothing-Republican Party. Those who believe that immigrants, non-whites and of other than Judeo-Christian beliefs are the problem. 

We must create value—not simply respond to insults in kind. Which it may read like what I am doing descriptively about Trump and the GOP. 

If we hold hate in OUR hearts and minds, we cannot change America. We will lose it.

In Buddhism, we understand that our karma—the results of our words and deeds creates effects we would as soon not endure. We have the President we have through some horrible collective karma as Americans. A very large, very hard pill to swallow. You may well not believe that.

Buddhism is not a turn the other cheek religion. It’s OK to send bad people to jail. It’s OK to impeach presidents or to vote them out of office. It’s not OK to physically attack them. We can argue with them–show them and tell them the error of their ways.

So, we begin by changing ourselves and by so doing, changing them. It’s not enough to blame or hate them. They are human, if mistaken and misguided. I can hope and imagine that the GOP as it is now known will fail as a party or be reconstituted with more principled and morally correct members. But that’s not MY job.

We must create value in the workplace, on the highway, in the neighborhood, at home and in school. Sit with the other. Talk with the other. Aid and give comfort to the other. Don’t just castigate those whom we hold responsible for the ills of America–despite the distinct possibility our assessment is correct.

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Happy 4th of July America!

It’s that venerable holiday when Americans have picnics, parades and fireworks. Often times when people go away to the beach, the mountains or other places.

It’s supposed to be in recognition of that day in 1776 that patriots declared their independence from the British Empire and its monarch, King George. Most people don’t give that a great deal of thought, one suspects.

Ironically, today one is reminded of those allegedly tyrannical times by the Tyrant Trump. An aspiring autocrat more concerned with increasing his own and his family’s wealth. A man who disregards the checks and balances established the Founding Fathers, aided by Banana Republicans.

Since the end of World War II, America has been the dominant military and economic power throughout the world. Trump, in his profound ignorance and self-delusions of greatness, has nearly succeeded in destroying America’s reputation and leadership.

Admittedly, America has had its low points. Slavery. The Civil War and Reconstruction. Vietnam. The training and support of Latin American military forces of despots. Racism. Income inequality. The intervention of the CIA in the affairs of other countries. Corrupt politicians of every party, every era—and from local officials to the White House.

Nonetheless, America has been a shining city on the hill.  Better than many other countries–though not as great as it once was. Trump’s slogan is an oxymoron–Make America Great Again. By his actions and ideals, he will return it to an abysmal past.

Trump is an aberration. One that can and must be corrected. Just as true patriots declared their independence those many years ago, we must do so again. Not by taking up arms but by removing the worst President in American history.  Impeachment must begin NOW.  Failing conviction, he must not be restored to the White House.  Then he must be prosecuted, convicted, sentenced and imprisoned.

Today, in his unmitigated gall, Trump dares make the celebration of America’s independence all about him. Worse, he does so by offering remarks at one of America’s best Presidents—Lincoln. One could expect that leader of the Republican Party to turn over in his grave at the offenses of Trump and the lack of any morality, decency or honor among the current so-called Republicans.

Happy Fourth of July—celebrate it by urging your elected officials to do the right thing: remove the abomination occupying the White House illegitimately with aid of Vladimir Putin. America CAN be great again–greater than ever before, once the criminally insane man in the White House is gone and Americans come to their senses.

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Eagle Peak Annual–Coming This Summer

Summer will arrive on June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere. We hope that  the first Eagle Peak Annual (formerly the Eagle Peak Quarterly) will follow in July.

We wanted it out for spring but that didn’t happen. Instead, look for a real summer issue that you can ponder at the beach, the mountains or on your staycation. 

What will be in the new Eagle Peak Annual? Some timely topics and new in-depth looks at perennial favorites. Here’s an updated sampler of what we are working on.

  • The Climate Crisis (we like what The Guardian has done–changed their in-house style guide, replacing the “passive” term climate change with climate crisis or emergency)
  • The Third Age–making those post-career and child-raising years golden (as in more self-reflection/direction, conquering financial and health issues, and more)
  • More writing-related tips–for those in the burgeoning world of self-publishing (or traditional)
  • An update on works in progress–with more previews and excerpts
  • A remembrance of one who has passed on–and a view of the Buddhist perspective on the eternity of life
  • Art–photos from here and there (many here, in the beauty of our Southwestern nature)

Out on time, the cover could look like this–with a determined barrel cactus bloom emerging from a rocky ledge on display.

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#impeachtrump

I am SO tired of Trump.

No President has committed more offenses. None has obstructed justice more often. Abused power more cavalierly. Been so manifestly unfit for the office. High crimes and misdemeanors? Let me count the ways–no, on second thought, there’s too many. That would take too many pages.

I am SO tired of not-quite-treasonous, Republicans

They not only tolerate but excuse Trump’s lawlessness. He couldn’t get away, so far, with what he does without their support. About the only thing Trump hasn’t done is the oft-quoted shooting of someone on 5th Avenue. Forgive me for doubting that few Republicans would do more than wring their hands and say tsk, tsk if Trump actually did

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is SO afraid of political fallout from impeachment that she considers talking about it something like discussing the pros and cons of incest. NO Nancy—impeachment is NOT a dirty word. It’s a legitimate response to abuses of power, obstruction of justice and all the other offenses for which Mueller could have indicted Trump—if not for the OLC flawed and outdated opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted.

Now Trump has a cadre of lawyers willing, apparently, to risk judicial sanctions for filing frivolous suits or motions. Like what? Asserting executive privilege over anything former White House Counsel Don McGahn might say in testimony before House committees. Having waived privilege to allow McGahn to freely talk to Special Counsel Mueller, the privilege cannot now be asserted. Some say such legal cases might take months or years. Seriously? Slam dunks. Dismissed with sanctions on the lawyers. Quickly. Short appeals. Denial of hearing by the Supremes. Six weeks total unless heard by Trump appointees.

Should be a writ of mandamus to the IRS Commissioner issued by a Federal Court to immediately release Trump’s tax returns. Ways and Means Chairman Neal needs to stop pussyfooting along and get this before a judge—who will warn the IRS (and Steve Mnuchin) of the penalty for violating applicable IRS codes, five years in the slammer.

Yes, the American public isn’t yet ready to support impeachment. Trump’s approval rating has dropped five points since the Mueller report came out and his disapproval rating gone up. Yes, the public needs live testimony reciting the contents of the Mueller report. Yes, they need documents and testimony from the banks, mortgage companies, accounting firms, etc. With all those, large numbers of Republicans would still kneel before Trump or kiss parts of his anatomy. But the public would support impeachment.

How then to get that testimony before House committees? Get Mueller, his legal staff and/or FBI agents to appear—hopefully with video recordings of the interviews with those people. Can Trump block that? He’d try. But the harder he tries, the more counts of obstruction pile up. At that point, either Nancy Pelosi gets over her fears or she can expect to have a great many Democrats receive primary opponents next year—especially including herself.

Woe is we, many Democrats fear. If we impeach Trump and the sycophantic Senate fails to convict, we’ll lose in 2020. Bulls**t! With all the Trump offenses already known, the GOP risks massive losses in the Senate. They have MANY seats up in 2020. Those who continue down the Trump path are who needs to worry–NOT Nancy Pelosi.

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Enough of Trump?

My March 7 predictions didn’t pan out as well as my previous ones.

We won’t have the Barr/Mueller report until Thursday–heavily redacted by Trump’s Roy Cohn. I’ll wait a bit for the dust to settle but as of now, it appears I blew these:

Sealed indictments, along with the Mueller report, of:
  • Donald Trump, Jr.
  • Jared Kushner
  • Trump himself
  • Probably Steve Bannon
  • Possibly Ivanka

Those sealed indictments are NOT happening, according to Barr. Reportedly, they were not requested or filed by Mueller. Why NOT?  

All have lied to Congress and most to investigators. Could have charged them with that. Why NOT?  Did Mueller chill? Afraid of blowback from Trump?

OK, enough Mueller bashing–for now, see let the dust settle comment above.

Trump, his sycophant posse, the news media, et al ALL seem confused by the alleged finding by Mueller of no conspiracy. FEW distinguish this from Trump’s refrain of NO Collusion. WRONG!

The alleged finding, per Barr, is that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy between the members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. Explicated, this means Mueller supposedly found insufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction. Therefore, no indictment of anyone. Criminal conspiracy, however, is NOT synonymous with collusion. Hence, a finding of NO conspiracy does NOT mean NO collusion.

Did Trump family members and campaign staff/officials meet with Russians? YES. Did they accept or welcome help from them? YES. Did they offer sanctions relief? YES. Did they lie about those meetings (import, purpose, etc.)? YES. Did they call, text or otherwise communicate with them about all of this? YES.

It DOES matter if a political candidate welcomes and accepts help from an adversarial foreign power in his or her campaign. It matters if they are elected and try to work on their behalf.

It matters if a counterintelligence campaign is launched into that candidate and his/her campaign. THAT part of the investigation may not be in the Mueller report. America NEEDS TO KNOW the results. 

I had a waking dream this morning as I lay in bed half asleep before rising. Wishful thinking perhaps. Trump had died of a massive stroke during the night. It didn’t happen. The facts are that he has put on weight since silly Ronnie Jackson’s first medical exam. He gets too little sleep (five hours maybe). He drinks more than a dozen diet sodas (caffeinated). His golfing exercise consists of getting out of the golf cart to swing the club and riding to the next hole (including driving onto the green). He gets no other exercise besides ranting. So his supposed good health is a myth by sycophantic medical personnel. A stroke or a cardiac event could well happen before the next election or even this year. Karma will get him–sooner or later.

Which also means, Trump may still resign–if the fecal matter hits the fan this spring or summer. 

For the after the dust settles post, perhaps the new hashtag will be #ImpeachBarr.

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Two New Book Reviews

Beyond the Sanctified (The Sevens Prophecy, #3)Beyond the Sanctified by Amalie Jahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third and final book in The Sevens Prophecy continues in the same vein as the first two–challenging the light versus the dark psychics. If I knew more about it, I might say it has some allusions to Manichaeism–the 3rd century Persian dualistic religion. In any case, the characters continue to use both latter day technology and their own supernatural powers to meet the challenges facing them from the opposing side. I found that a creative and workable approach. Without adding any spoilers, I can say that some don’t survive (more on the dark or evil side) and nearing the climactic scene, the pace of the conflict ratchets up appropriately. Stay tuned for a surprising twist (or you could say two–given the denouement) about who is who. I’d recommend it to those into supernatural, paranormal and the current issues facing people around the world–various sorts of crime, drugs, the climate, etc. Read the series; you’ll see what I mean.

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardly needs another review, but I’ll say this–it was hard to put down. Also very scary. Makes you wonder if this could happen to you. Not the kind of book you want to read if you have any sort of mental insecurities or disabilities. Do you believe in string theory? Parallel universes or the multiverse? Can you imagine what it would be like traveling between them and not losing your mind? Blake Crouch will help you with that in this book. He’ll also inspire other authors like me to go further in my own writing world. It’s a great book. I don’t give a lot of five stars, but I had to for this one.

NOTE: I managed to snag a library loan of Dark Matter through Overdrive. That’s a plug for those of you who are connected through your local or state library system. Support your indie authors when you can by buying their eBooks. For the $10 and up big five eBooks, I don’t feel badly getting them from the library.

View all my Goodreads reviews

#737 MAX and the #Trump Effect

The FAA says the Boeing 737 Max “is fine.”

If it’s fine, then why is a software fix needed?

Two crashes, over 300 people dead–in less than five months.  Boeing engineers concluded that a fix was needed after the Lion Air crash in October, 2018. Boeing and the FAA haggled over how extensive the fix should be. 

Then Trump’s Shutdown happened–for FIVE WEEKS. The fix won’t be applied until April. 

It could have been installed in January.

BUT FOR the shutdown of the FAA.

So let’s call this the #Trump Effecthow things go wrong that need not, just because he is America’s so-called President.

NOTE: The FAA still has an acting director–two years after Trump took office. Because he hasn’t submitted anyone to the Senate for confirmation!

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Impeachment, Indictment or Resignation–How Will It End?

No, I Didn’t Forget about Trump

Some folks have said I should be on TV as a political pundit. Not happening. But I did get a lot of predictions right last year.  Let’s recap those [see notes for what I got right] and add some new ones:

March 19, 2018–almost a year ago, I predicted these indictments:
  • Fancy Bear, Cozy Bear  and Guccifer 2.0 (Russian hackers; Mueller indicted a bunch of them on July 13, 2018)
  • Wikileaks and Julian Assange (mistaken filing by prosecutor shows Assange has a sealed indictment pending)
  • Cambridge Analytica and possibly Brad Parscale (not yet, but I still expect it)
  • Roger Stone–yes!, finally
In August, 2018, I reiterated those predictions and considered adding Steve Bannon to the Cambridge Analytica indictment PLUS, predicted these winners:
  • Trump will never sit down with Mueller (he did submit written responses to questions–all the better to trap him)
  • Manafort will be convicted in his first trial and plead guilty in the secondwhoa, did I nail this one!
  • The Democrats would have a massive victory in November, taking control of the houseYUP, nailed that
  • Mueller will NEVER issue a subpoena to Trump
  • The report will come out after the midterms (coming soon)
  • Trump may be named an unindicted co-conspirator (stay tuned and see below)
  • Trump will be unable to tolerate the investigations that will ensue in the House–“which will undoubtedly include examination of his personal and business tax returns”

A mistaken prediction:

  • Indictments of Americans will come in September–didn’t happen, but plenty already have been
    • Flynn
    • Gates
    • Papadopoulos
    • And more
In that August 19 post from last year, I noted that it would be 45 years since Nixon’s resignation on that date in 2019. A good commemorative  anniversary for Trump to pick as his day to go. Could still happen. But here’s my current assessment.
  • Sealed indictments, along with the Mueller report, of:
    • Donald Trump, Jr.
    • Jared Kushner
    • Trump himself
    • Probably Steve Bannon
    • Possibly Ivanka
  • More indictments from SDNY–stay tuned for predictions on those.
One more recap before the grand finale (for now) from way back in May, 2018.

Eventually, RICO charges will be filed against the Trump Organization–with the bulk of its assets seized by the US Government and the entity dissolved (this will take several years at a minimum)

Note that there is lots of discussion happening about RICO on the cable news channels. Just Google it.

So what’s next?
  • More hearings in the Democratic controlled House will drive Trump crazy–could have a stroke or gain ten more pounds anyway
  • SDNY could try to indict Trump this year (against OLC policy)
  • Shirt with Mueller in sunglasses and message "its Mueller Time"New York State will go after Trump big time
  • The Mueller Report
  • Trump may try to pardon the Trump Organization but may throw Don, Jr. under the bus if it’s either him or Jr. on the hook
  • Trump will NOT be in office for the 2020 election–I’ll handicap that in another post.
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Tips, Tips and Observations on Writing

Do you identify with your characters?

If you don’t, how do you expect your readers to? Well, OK, of course you identify with them. You write from life, don’t you?  Some people say you should talk to your characters. I try, but most of the time they don’t answer. You remember Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters–it’s dangerous to get too far into your characters.

But lately I’ve found myself talking like my characters, more than to them. It started with the ones on TV series or movies we watch on TV.  What happens when you’re around people from a different part of the country, speak with a foreign accent or have a cultural vocabulary wholly apart from you. Do you become a verbal chameleon, emulating them?

If you can do that, you can build better dialogue. You can better identify with your characters. Caution–be careful trying on the verbal tics of others, they might find it a tad offensive. Duh!

OK, back to TV and scripted shows. Did you watch this year’s eight episode installment of “True Detective” on HBO. Outstanding for me and frustrating for her. The continual time shifting between 1980, 1990 and 2015 drove her crazy. Truthfully, I did find it confusing at times–OK, more often than I’d care to admit. All right, enough background–on to the writing tips (through the television lens).

Wayne Hays, played by the outstanding Mahershala  Ali, has episodes of dementia/Alzheimer’s in 2015. Watch those parts to see how you might write a character with that problem (or, heaven forbid, you have family or friends who have experienced either of these and you don’t need the show).

Watching the final  episode, I saw Ali stagger in confusion a bit during an incidence of the disease. But it wasn’t just that, it was aging. It brought the memory to me of an introductory/survey course to Theater decades ago. The professor illustrated how an actor portrays age–showing the effects of gravity on his or her limbs. Ali did that. Unless you’re adding illustrations to your stories, you must find words to show that aging. Words like ones I’ve used in the past:

He had attained that age in a man’s life when the hair on arms, legs and chest grows brittle and breaks off while other hairs sprout and flourish mysteriously from nose and ears.

For more of this aging sketch, see the rest here.

I would be remiss in failing to mention the irony. Wayne Hays spends much time digging deeply in the recesses of his mind for memories of the case that bedeviled his partner and himself. Things pop into his head that explain it all, better than Clarissa. So, as I am watching the show, Wayne’s walk takes me back nearly 50 years to Arthur Ballet’s class–a teaching moment that I clearly visualized. No, I’m not on the verge of Alzheimer’s but there was an odd sensation. A reminder of how amazing the human mind of memories is.

You can find incidents in your life, moment by moment and day by day that will enrich whatever you write. Trust me on this.

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