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Let me ask you something

As I get older and older (and OLDER) I find myself slippin’ into a more New Yawk way of talkin’–you know wahm sayin’?
Dis mawning I wawted to ask a guy whattime a certin store was gonna opin.. Came out soundin like dis, “lemme-asschew sumpin”. It feels so much more comfortable to speak this way–as if I was free from some invisible linguistic/social net that has been draped around me all my life…. y’unnerstan whamean? Continue reading

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The Only Games in Town?

The situation with the Rio Olympics becomes more untenable every day. It’s like watching a terrible train wreck about to happen and not being able to do anything about it.
You’ve got a governing structure—at all levels, federal, state and local—that would win gold medals in every category covering abuse of basic civil rights and institutionalized corruption. Violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) is so far out of control that the regular cops can’t handle it so the army is used to patrol portions of the country and Rio de Janeiro itself.
The country is walking on the edge of a political-economic cliff and it’s not impossible to imagine a military coup or popular revolt.
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Walkie-Talkie

Everywhere I go in the city, I see hundreds of people on the street (mostly below 40 years old) clutching their phones in their hands as they walk. A text or an e-mail might come in any second and they need to be instantly ready to respond to it.
The phone seems to be an actual extension of the skin and bones of their hand; a necessary part of life, as much as any of their major organs. I think that these phones are the new umbilical cord, connecting entire generations to the new great mother—the all-encompassing Social Network and the Internet.
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Secret Weapon–The Butter Gun

One of the courses I took in college—it was a required course if you were a political science major—was economics. I never could quite grasp the concepts involved and just managed to escape with a “C” in the course. About all I remember from that puzzling class is that the textbook was written by Paul Samuelson and that at any given time, a country had to choose between “Guns or Butter.”
Since I was so incredibly bored by this class, I used to imagine guns that shot butter or guns made out of butter. Now that would have been a radical change in the way world worked—don’t you think? But, alas, since I was sleeping through the class, I missed my chance to suggest this to the professor.
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Trump Self-aborting

I was once walking in Riverside Park with my son—he was about four years old—and he asked me, “Dad, does a squirrel know he’s stupid”? Interesting question (one of the many he used to come up with).z
A similar question comes up constantly with Donald Trump.
Does he have any real conception of how his unfiltered utterances affect other human beings? Does he know how insensitive and cruel he sounds?
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