Showing posts from 2018

I’m Not Kidding: What You Need Is a Placebo

In the late spring of this year   I was directing a play called “Bad Seed” and my leading actress was having major private problems, among them was that her middle-aged father had had a major heart attach and she was the primary member of her family having to cope with this shocking event while at the same time holding a fulltime job as an administrator at a law firm and, of course, starring in my play.   She is a terrific actor, one who memorized her huge part almost immediately and performed it well, but she told me she wasn’t sleeping at night.   “One or two hours at most,” was her sheepish confession.   I was very worried and I quizzed her about various possibilities: warm milk, over the counter sleep aids, doctor prescriptions.   “Tried them all; didn’t work.”   This went on for over a week and my concern deepened.   I sat down and told her all about my own reactions to my father’s sudden death (see Related Posts below), so she understood I’d been through something s

Why Everyone Should Care About Transgender Rights

Today is Trans Day of Remembrance, reflecting on discrimination, including death, of trans individuals. Federal law has long banned discrimination on sex and gender, a move originally made to protect the civil rights of African Americans with (a quirk of political history) women thrown in as an afterthought.   When the question about the scope of the Civil Rights Act was addressed the courts originally ruled that “sex” did not include “sexual orientation.”   But in the last few years a number of federal courts changed their minds about this and held that “sex” does extend protection to gays.   Other federal courts disagreed and the matter is likely headed to the Supreme Court.   The Obama administration sided with a broad reading, protecting sexual orientation, and also issued regulations that “gender” should be interpreted to protect transgender individuals who believe they were born as the wrong gender and work to change that as they get older. But Barac

A Prediction: Brett Kavanaugh Will Resign from the Supreme Court Within Two Years

Well, by golly, it sure looks like Trump and the Republicans in Congress have succeeded in putting a man on the Supreme Court who has a past involving ugly behavior with women (especially in his early drinking days).   But Brett Michael Kavanaugh appears to have reformed and now is a model of how a man should behave when dealing with and hiring women, and good for him for that.   However, his past is still there, somewhere.   It isn’t going away.   People are going to find it and display it for the world to consider. Almost all of us have some incident or incidents in our personal history where we did not behave in accordance with the image we have of ourselves, nor observe standards we hold ourselves to in our normal lives.   These things are incredibly painful to think about.   And we don’t think about them—or try not to.   Now imagine how horrible it would be to have debated on television with millions of people watching!   Yikes!   Poor Brett!

Telephone Trees and Other Horrors of the 21st Century

I will turn 75 this September so, readers, let me take you back to a world from the last century where things worked like this:   1.   When you called the phone number of a business or governmental agency a real person answered your call and promptly directed you to the appropriate area of the entity.   This real person spoke English in a clear fashion and could be reasoned with if there was a problem.   I know this is hard to believe, but try. 2.   Life did not revolve around a little machine that you were required to carry with you at all times lest you miss important messages (emails, texts, popup warnings) or be stranded without entertainment.   If you were going to be detained and wanted something to amuse yourself you carried a physical book.   I know this sounds crazy. 3.   You were not exposed to unwanted advertisements in every direction you turned and particularly not when trying to do something important like seeking help in an emergency or trou