We can be heroes

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

Those 15 words — and the 7,102 that followed — were spoken in a courtroom by a now 23-year-old woman to the man who raped her, while unconscious, next to a Dumpster behind a fraternity at Stanford University a year and a half ago.

They may well be the most powerful words I’ve ever read. Continue reading

Memories of The Greatest


This wasn’t supposed to happen. Sure, I was just 13, but I read the New York Post, the New York Times, the Daily News, the Herald Tribune and Sports Illustrated and I watched TV and I listened to the radio and all the experts said Cassius Clay would be crazy even to appear in the same building with Sonny Liston, let alone the same ring. Hell, he’d be crazy to set foot in the same ZIP code, a newfangled thing that had been invented the previous year.

Sonny was a monster. He was big and way too strong and he had a couple of sledgehammers hanging from his shoulders that could kill a skinny, 22-year-old pretty boy. He would hit Clay so hard, the experts said, that his fist would come out the back. Clay would certainly leave the ring on a stretcher. He’d be lucky, the experts said, to still be breathing. Continue reading

Just a dad, with his little girl

I collect handshakes. Hank Aaron, Smokey Robinson, Buddy Guy, Sam Moore, David Halberstam, Bill Kunstler, Hubert Sumlin … Getting a photo, or god forbid a selfie, is not what matters most. It’s shaking the hand and saying thank you for making a difference in my life. Thanks for making me smile. Thanks for making me think. Thanks for being you.

I like to think that if I shake your hand, maybe some of the brilliance will rub off.

But there’s one handshake I didn’t get. Continue reading

For what it’s worth, 06/02/16

We didn’t start the fire, until we did

The story in my local paper carries the headline:

Yeshivas fight back, claim county inspections ‘improper’, ‘draconian’

And no, this is not about the missplaced comma in the hed. This is about a bunch of religious wackos defending their right to endanger children. In my country. In my state. In my county.

Rockland County (NY) Executive Ed Day recently announced that “the state [has] given the county permission to inspect 53 private schools, mostly in Ramapo and Spring Valley, for fire and building code compliance.”

That’s good, right? When a school goes up in flames … or collapses due to faulty construction … that’s a bad thing, right? We try to make sure that doesn’t happen, right? Continue reading

For what it’s worth, 06/01/16


I’ve been awol. Shame on me. Shame on me also for writing awol instead of AWOL, which is AP Style. And since I’m writing this on June 1, 2016, let’s note that a brand new AP Stylebook came out today.

Remember when we had to capitalize Internet? Now it’s internet.

Remember when we had to capitalize Web? Now it’s web.

A few others, according to my email (which used to be e-mail once, but the times they do change) from the AP: Continue reading

For what it’s worth: The gun edition


Executive Vice President of the NRA LaPierre holds a 300 Remington Ultra Mag that was auctioned off after he gave the keynote address at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah

A weasel of a man named Wayne LaPierre cut a slick video a few weeks ago that pretty much revealed everything we need to know about our wonderful defender of the Second Amendment – the NRA. So let’s just come out and acknowledge the truth:

The “R” in NRA doesn’t stand for Rifle.

It stands for Racist. Continue reading