Disability and Elderly Issues

My music: Saturday, January 28, 2017

Good morning.

7:13. Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Sugar Plum.


9:35.  George Strait. Amarillo By Morning [1].


Good afternoon.

1:22. The Bangles. Walk Like an Egyptian


Good evening.

7:35. Deva Premal. Om Namo Bhagavate [2]


Linear Notes.

  1. In 1972 the publishers of the highly-lucrative Psychology Today, purchased the Saturday Review. At considerable expense, they moved the editorial offices from NYC to San Francisco where I lived at the time. My editor at the Saturday Review gave me a generous advance to cover the World Series of Rodeo then in Oklahoma City.  Covering a solid week of bull riding etc. changed my life. For the uninitiated, George Strait’s lyrics may require a gloss. “Well I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate/” Eight refers to the rules for scoring a bull ride. The perfect score is 100. Fifty for the rider. Fifty for the bull. The meaner the bull, the better the score. However, in order to receive a score, the rider must stay on the bull for eight seconds. Hence: “I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate/” Try it sometime.
  2. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya (Sanskrit) is one of the mantras of the evocation of Krishna. OM is the interdimensional vibration permeates everything and everyone. NAMO: salute or reverence to divine power. BHAGAVATE: Respect the Lord. VASUDEVAYA: Vasudeva is the name of the family that created carnal Krishna. The Ya adds at the end means the active (male) feature of the mantra. When someone does this complete mantra evokes Krishna as a man who also lived here on earth and know the difficulties that all face. –About section, YouTube.

Trump picks Sonny Perdue to run USDA–last cabinet secretary chosen


Official portrait of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue after a contentious selection process appointed Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture




January 9. 2017. One day before his inauguration, Donald Trump names former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be his Secretary of Agriculture. The last cabinet member to be selected and its least important cabinet member, the selection process was contentious. Perdue is noted for his economic development of Georgia especially improving the port of Savannah, largest single-terminal container facility in North America, and Brunswick, a center for automobile imports.

Perdue has played a significant role in increasing chicken production in Georgia a role which may put him at odds with the President who appointed him. Georgia’s booming chicken industry depends on Hispanic agricultural labor–putting him at odds with his Administration’s immigration.

A strong supporter of trade with Cuba, Perdue has visited the island where he hopes Cuba will purchase large quantities of Georgia chicken.

When you return to this posting, expect more Sonny. What follows is my profile of Sonny published early in December.



Sonny Perdue first came to my consciousness when the press reported he wore a tie with tractors on it when President-Elect Trump interviewed him at Trump Tower

As with another former governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue has a silly first name and an odd way of dealing with it. Born in 1946 son of a farmer, Sonny’s parents named him George Ervin Perdue III. When he became governor he formally changed the name with which he signed documents to his childhood nickname.

There is some special quality former governors of Georgia have that border on the spiritual. Either they are condemned to a lifetime of obscurity or they become President. Take Jimmy Carter, for example who changed his first name formally so he could sign Presidential Proclamations using his nickname. What did Jimmy do as Governor of Georgia that suited him for the Oval Office? Yes, he unveiled a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a sign that Georgia recognized its greatest Twentieth Century leader. What else did he do?

My mother explained it. “People tell me he is worth watching.” Similarly (although there is no chance of Sonny becoming President), he has a watchable quality. Currently, Perdue is watchable.

In 2008 The New York Times regarded Perdue as sufficiently watchable to include him on a list for potential running mates for Vice President. How does one get to become a member of the cabinet? It helps to be a name on the right list.

This is how the Times eased Perdue into a slow rise from obscurity. “Republican governors said that Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Sanford were in the top-tier of potential running mates, but that Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida and Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia were also contenders.” Note: the online version of the Times hotlink Purdue’s name and gave him the opportunity for a quote.

“Mr. Perdue said he had not asked anyone to include his name on a list of potential running mates. But he said, ‘People include my name because we’re the capital of the South, a fast-growing region, and we’ve had wonderful success with a conservative fiscal policy.’”

The paragraph above indicates that when the spotlight was upon him (albeit briefly), he performed well. How well did he perform as Georgia’s governor? He was elected with two campaign pledges 1. Administer the state more efficiently. 2. Improve education; specifically, raise SAT scores.


See Wikipedia:

“Two primary objectives in Perdue’s administration was on reforming state government and on improving education. Perdue advocated reforms designed to cut waste in government, most notably the sale of surplus vehicles and real estate. Prior to Perdue’s becoming governor, no state agency had even compiled an inventory of what assets the state-owned, much less managed them.

“In education, Perdue promoted the return of most decision-making to the local level. After Perdue took office, Georgia moved out of last place in SAT scores in 2003 and 2004. Although it returned to last place in 2005, Georgia rose to 49th place in 2006 in the combined math and reading mean score, including the writing portion (new that year).[8] The high school class of 2006 recorded the sharpest drop in SAT scores in 31 years.[“


Perdue’s Helpful Family Tie

Last night (December 4), breathless, my Ear on the Ground in Georgia (EOGG) left a voice message at 9. “You know, Perdue’s cousin sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee.”

Perdue’s cousin is Senator David Perdue Republican of Georgia. On Friday, Senator David Perdue (a staunch Trump supporter) met with the President-elect at Trump Tower. They discussed farm legislation. The current farm bill expires in two years. The Administration will have a difficult time renewing the legislation. What is most significant about farm legislation these days is that it is not  significant. Until the 1970s, farm legislation determined how much a farmer could or could not plant. No more.

Current legislation deals with technical issues of little concern to consumers. The Farm Bureau and other farm groups are working overtime to prepare because (to repeat) it might not pass. Job One for Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture is to make sure it passes.

No other cabinet agency has the intimate relationship required  between the Senate and House Agriculture Committees in whose hearing rooms I have spent ten years of my life. In these Committee rooms it is helpful to have cousins (kissing and otherwise) who are members of the Committee. Sonny Perdue’s selection could very well be determined by blood as well as qualification.





Copyright © 2017 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.



My music: January 15, 2017

Good afternoon

5:02. Fleetwood Mac.  Seven Wonders


If I live to see the seven wonders
I’ll make a path to the rainbow’s end
I’ll never live to match the beauty again


5:44. Mozart. Don Giovanni. S. Ramey & K. Moll. “The Commendatore Scene”


Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant, complains of his lot (“Notte e giorno faticar” – “Night and day I slave away”). He is keeping watch while Don Giovanni is in the Commendatore’s house attempting to seduce or rape the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna. Don Giovanni enters the garden from inside the house, pursued by Donna Anna. Don Giovanni is masked and Donna Anna tries to hold him and to unmask him, shouting for help. (Trio: “Non sperar, se non m’uccidi, Ch’io ti lasci fuggir mai!” – “Do not hope, unless you kill me, that I shall ever let you run away!”). He breaks free and she runs off as the Commendatore enters the garden. The Commendatore blocks Don Giovanni’s path and forces him to fight a duel. Don Giovanni kills the Commendatore with his sword and escapes with Leporello. Donna Anna, returning with her fiancé, Don Ottavio, is horrified to see her father lying dead in a pool of his own blood.


Good evening

6:31. Jim Kweskin Jug Band with Maria Muldaur.  “Jug Band Music”


“I went up to my girl

put my hand on her knee

she said, ‘You can’t play the jug, you can’t play with me.’




Meryl Streep’s Righteous Speech Defending the Press and the Disabled for Unconscionable Behavior from Our President

“There is nothing good about it, but it did its job.”


Donald Trump Mocks Reporter with Disability, Photo courtesy TomoNews.


Donald Trump Says He’s Not Surprised by Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech By PATRICK HEALY

President-elect Donald J. Trump dismissed Meryl Streep as “a Hillary lover” early Monday morning after the actress, in a speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony, denounced him as a bully who disrespected and humiliated others.

Mr. Trump, in a brief telephone interview, said he had not seen Ms. Streep’s remarks or other parts of the Globes ceremony, which were broadcast on NBC, but he added that he was “not surprised” that he had come under attack from “liberal movie people.”

The Globes were the last high-profile Hollywood event before Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, a transfer of power that many in the entertainment industry have bemoaned.

While anti-Trump comments at the Globes were relatively restrained, Ms. Streep, one of the most outspoken progressives in the film world, mounted a powerful critique of Mr. Trump’s abilities as a performer, complimenting in a backhanded way a style of showmanship that she all but called insidious.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me — it sank its hooks in my heart,” Ms. Streep said. “Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth.

“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter,” she said, referring to a speech by Mr. Trump in 2015 when he shuddered and flailed his arms, seeming to mock a disabled reporter for The New York Times. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”

–Excerpted from The New York Times for review purposes.


Trump has previously claimed he was not aware that the reporter, Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times, has an impairment that visibly affects the flexibility and movement of his arms. The billionaire says that when he singled out Kovaleski for ridicule during a rally in South Carolina — “You’ve got to see this guy,” he said, before jerking his arms spastically — he did not intend to call attention to Kovaleski’s disability, arthrogryposis.

–The Washington Post


Published on Nov 25, 2015

Donald Trump is under fire again, this time for mocking a New York Times reporter that suffers from a chronic condition. CNN’s John Berman reports


“Somebody at the financially failing and totally biased New York Times said that, over the years, I have met Mr. Kovaleski,” Trump said in a statement. “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him.”

The Republican presidential candidate added that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a newspaper that is rapidly going down the tubes.”

In a story in the New York Times on Thursday, Kovaleski painted a different picture.

“Donald and I were on a first-name basis for years,” Kovaleski said. “I’ve interviewed him in his office. I’ve talked to him at press conferences. All in all, I would say around a dozen times, I’ve interacted with him as a reporter while I was at The Daily News.”

Kovaleski also tweeted, “I dispute Trump’s claim in today’s NYT.”


Kellyanne Conway and CNN’s Chris Cuomo discuss Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes acceptance speech, which was highly critical of President-elect Trump.


Kovaleski issued the following written statement in response to the Trump campaign’s adoption of his report as factual basis for their candidate’s assertion that thousands of Muslims in the U.S. publicly celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center, a claim Trump has used to support his call for the surveillance of mosques and the establishment of a registry for U.S. Muslims:[8] “I certainly do not remember anyone saying that thousands or even hundreds of people were celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember.”[9]

This statement by Kovaleski prompted Trump to remark in a 25 November 2015 speech given in South Carolina, “You’ve got to see this guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. Uhh, I don’t remember,’ he’s going like ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said.'”[10] Trump bent his wrist severely and flailed his arms repeatedly as he spoke giving many viewers the impression that his intent was not only to ridicule the reporter’s words but also to mock the physical appearance of Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis. Trump supporters[who?] have pointed to videos of Trump employing “the same, flailing mannerisms and goofy speech … when making fun of himself during an interview with Larry King in 2005; when imitating a bank president in October [2015]; and when mocking an Army general at the same November speech in which he made the original Kovaleski comments.”[11]



‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host on Meryl Streep taking on Donald Trump at the Golden Globes


The CNN anchor then asked Conway why Trump never apologized for mocking Kovaleski, one of the most notable moments in the 2016 presidential campaign that was played numerous times in anti-Trump attack ads.

“All Donald Trump then and President-elect Trump now needed to do was say, ‘Hey, look, making that gesture about Serge was wrong, and I apologize,’ and it would’ve been over,” Cuomo said. “Instead, there are these tortured attempts to say, ‘Oh, no, no, I had nothing to do with Serge.'”

Conway continued to deny that Trump mocked the reporter because of his disability — a claim that Trump himself repeated on Monday — then argued that politics should be left out of the Golden Globes altogether.

–Business Insider



Personal note

I am a 69 year-old paraplegic. My friend Adam Phillips reported for the Voice of America that I am a disability advocate. Guilty as charged.

Shadenfreaude to the rescue: Mariah Carey’s train wreck

Mariah Carey gave a disgraceful performance on New Year’s Eve. Humility would be appreciated. Meanwhile, “shadenfreaude” to the rescue.



Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. —Oxford Dictionaries

Schadenfreude (/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪd/; German:[ˈʃaːdn̩ˌfʁɔʏ̯də]; lit. ‘harm-joy’) is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Borrowed from German into English and several other languages, it is a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person’s troubles or failures. It is similar in meaning to the English term “gloating”, an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at one’s own success or another’s failure.


The kind of talent Mariah Carey possesses is a gift from God. Sadly, she is tawdry in the contemptuous way she treats her gift. Her expletive substitute for an apology compounds the absence of humility. The New York Times describes her New Year’s Eve performance as a “train wreck.” 2017 got off to a good start if Mariah Carey learns something.


Officially, Mariah Carey’s “performance” was a train wreck. The New York Times is after all the newspaper of record.

“Mariah Carey suffered through a performance train wreck in Times Square on New Year’s Eve as malfunctions left her at a loss vocally during her hit song “Emotions,” struggling to reach notes and to sync the lyrics and music.

“The trouble continued when she gave up on another of her best-known numbers, “We Belong Together,” while a recording of the song continued to play, a confirmation that she had been lip-syncing.”


Mariah botches New Year’s Eve performance and storms off stage

From the video about section:

Published on Jan 1, 2017

‘Mariah Carey just summed up 2016!’ Diva botches New Year’s Eve lip-sync performance and STORMS OFF Times Square stage while crying into mic: ‘I wanted a holiday too. Can’t I just have one?’

The superstar singer threw a tantrum on stage and stormed off after her opening song was ruined by a glitch.
‘Trying to be a good sport here,’ Mariah said as the glitch continued throughout her two-song performance.


Humility is an admirable train–especially for a performer with talent and pulchritude. This prominent photograph on Mariah Carey’s Twitter profile indicates the diva lacks good taste. Perhaps, her New Year’s Eve train wreck (which thus far has resulted in more arrogance than one would conceive possible) may yet serve to change her behavior. Perseverence furthers. Lilke a fine wine, this posting will continue to savor the train wreck until Mariah repents or until the bottle is savored.















Secretary of State John Kerry’s praisewothy speech on how Israel can obtain peace, December 2016

Here in full is Secretary of State John Kerry’s praiseworthy speech on how Israel can obtain peace.


From the About section of YouTube

Published on Dec 28, 2016

Kerry: UN vote was about preserving 2-state solution, no peace for Israel without it. In major address on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, secretary of state sets out key principles for peacemaking; slams settlement expansion and Fatah incitement; vows US will not impose final agreement, as direct negotiations only way forward
Kerry says “mistrust is too high,” and “more negotiations with no progress will only reinforce the worst fears.”

He lays out principles for when both sides “are ready.”

The principles include “provide for secure and recognized borders between Israel and a viable and contiguous Palestinian state” based on 1967 lines, with mutual land swaps. He says land swaps necessary to reflect changes on the ground.

The second principle, based on Resolution 181, is “two states for two people with mutual recognition and full equal rights for all citizens.” He says recognition of Israel as Jewish state is important, and hints Palestinians are now willing to do so, provided Israel recognizes a Palestinian homeland.

Third principle is a “just, fair, and realistic solution for the Palestinian refugee issue” with compensation, acknowledgement of suffering, and international assistance. He says the plight of Palestinian refugees is “heartbreaking” and must be addressed.

Four: An agreed resolution for Jerusalem as the internationally recognized capital of two states with freedom of worship in accordance with status quo. He says Jerusalem should not be divided, but says there will be no peace without having a shared capital in Jerusalem.

Five: Satisfy Israel’s security needs. He says the Palestinians must build a non-militarized state.


Donald Trump is no friend to Israel.

A one-state solution is stupid.


Theodor Herzl is the inspiration for Jews (such as I) who believe that there must be a homeland for our people in the land of Israel. The current Israeli government (which has stated its support for the two-state solution) is working actively to destroy Israel’s future.

This post is open for comments.

The two-state solution is the only way Israel can achieve peace. Peace is a sine qua non for continuing Theodor Herzl’s dream of Israel being a homeland for the Jewish people. As Jabotinsky observed, “In the Diaspora, even the rocks are anti-Semitic.”

Feel free to use the contact form to discuss the twin requirements of having Israel being a homeland for the Jewish people and the necessity to achieve peace.