America the . . . what?

Every holiday season, I look forward to re-watching some of my favorite Christmas shows.  While the enjoyment comes from feeling nostalgic about my childhood, today I find myself trying to relive the feelings I had about the United States and my fellow Americans.  I feel sadness that the place I call home is not recognizable anymore.  This country seems foreign to me now.

I watch 1962’s “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” and wonder about my favorite song in the show, “The Lord’s Bright Blessing,” and think to myself how in today’s times such a song would never be written today.  Too religious.

How about the climax in 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when Linus tells the story of Jesus so Charlie Brown knows the true meaning of the holiday?  Even back then “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz had to fight the producers to keep that scene intact.

“Home Alone” (1990) has a tender scene in a church where the boy character Kevin meets his neighbor Old Man Marley in a church to have a heart-to-heart about family.  Would this make the final cut 30 years later?

One shutters to think that one day the most famous line uttered by Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, “God bless us, everyone” may not be saved.  Will the g-word become the new n-word?

No, this isn’t another one of those War on Christmas columns.  It’s more about how Christmas time is one battle in the War on America.

Though I am not Christian, my parents brought us three kids up to believe in the dream of America.  As first-generation Americans from their families which immigrated to this country, it wasn’t enough for my grandparents to get to the shores of New York City.   They wanted to be a part of America, not apart from it. 

As one of the few Jewish kids in school I didn’t feel insulted or disrespected whenever we had to learn carols like “The First Noel” for the holiday program.  It wasn’t about religion for us; it was about America which is why we grew up loving Christmas.

That’s called assimilation.  And without it, each of us recedes onto an island with our own kind.  It is one of several reasons why our country is so split these days.

Too many citizens identify themselves first by their ethnicity, not by their country.  Saying “I’m American” used to be a special declaration.  It meant that we live in the only nation on earth where all kinds of people are welcome and have a chance to be treated equally; a noble experiment going on 250 years that still hasn’t reached its goal, but has made strides towards it.

No one seems interested anymore in reaching out to fellow citizens unlike themselves and finding common interests. Instead we stand our ground that only our rights matter.  The wearing of masks controversy symbolizes such selfishness.  “No one tells me what to do” is a mentality that is un-American.  Goodness, decency and values have been buried as relics from the past.

I find it sad that generations of people alive today never experienced the America I knew.  I don’t pretend to look at my past with rose-colored glasses.   There were lots of problems in the 1960’s as well.   Much has improved during my lifetime.  But the stuff that is disappearing is eroding this country’s definition.

As a father I have done my best to raise respectful young men.  As a teacher I taught students to be respectful to those unlike themselves.

But as I look around, I see less evidence that other parents and teachers are doing their work in raising young people to believe in morals which is instilling a belief in democracy and this country.

It is like I am living in a real “Planet of the Apes” twist ending where I’m walking along Santa Monica beach and come across the crowned head of Miss Liberty submerged in the sand.  This is America?

4:30 a.m. Wake-up: A Sign of Our Times

A green-colored glowing 4:30 a.m. is the first image I see nearly every morning.  No matter how hard I try to close my eyes and not open them, my mind continues to turn its gears. The harder I try not to wake up, the more my mind fights this by accelerating its pistons.  Ultimately, one to two hours later, I can’t stand it and give up and get up out of bed.

Articles have been written about people who have a similar sleep disorder during the pandemic, called Covid-somnia or coronasomnia.

The year 2020 is almost over, and thank goodness.  If you live in Los Angeles, the Lakers and Dodgers each winning a World Championship in October, the first time that has happened since 1988, were two bright spots in a year that will otherwise forever go into the history books as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Congratulations—we are surviving a world health crisis.  This was a golden missed opportunity for people of all political persuasions to come together on a common goal:  diminishing the impact of the virus.  If we had the right president in office, a unifier not a divider, this would have been an enlightening moment for America.   While not as bad as the Great Depression or World War II, this was our crisis test to continue the American tradition of working together for the common good of our neighbors.

Thank God most of us do not have loved ones defending America around the world.  Limiting contact with friend and family to Zoom sessions should not have been that big of a sacrifice.

Sadly, we failed the test.  If people can’t agree on science, then conflict separates us.  Wearing masks, staying at home, limiting social contact were traits on a resume to see if you were Pro-Trump or anti-Trump.

The new surge in Covid cases across the country combined with a President who does not want to leave office continues playing havoc with people’s sleeping habits.

No wonder I keep waking up at 4:00 a.m. each day.  From mid-March to mid-November, 8 straight months and counting, has been the most anxious continuous length of time most of us have ever lived through.  And it will likely be another 8 months before the majority of Americans receive a vaccination.

If you are waiting for normal to return, best to wait it out until 2022 which is less than 14 months away.

I don’t know about you, but I find myself overeating and not sleeping well.  Even the holidays are dripping with anxiety.  Families unable to be together, arguments in families between those who fear the virus and those who ignore it, masks vs. no masks is enough unpleasantness to kill the Christmas spirit.

Besides sports, during this year I have found solace in comedy.  My wife and I discovered “Schitt’s Creek,” the best family sitcom since “Everybody Loves Raymond.”  What makes the show so appealing is its perfect casting from the stars to the supporting cast.  What makes the show memorable is that it treats a family with a gay son as nothing special.  The show is not about messaging about homosexuality.  Its only message is about the love between parents and children.

The other thing I find calming is watching old Huell Howser episodes.  I just finished the one he did in 2005 on Oak Glen with all the apple orchards.  I still can’t believe he died in 2013 at age 67.  He was such a genuine loving human being, with the curiosity of a child and the heart of a saint.  Not a phony bone in his body.

It didn’t matter if he was visiting an old oak tree or an old man with an elephant as a best friend, his ingratiating personality always reacting with a genuine “wow” at discovering something is a salve for today’s times when it seems Americans are fighting other Americans.

It is also something of a curiosity to see how life used to be not that long ago when people shook hands with one another and stood a foot not six feet apart.  In one episode at Oak Glen apple orchards, customers were encouraged to use the their bare hands in sampling free apple slices from paper bowls.  No social distancing, no washing of hands, no masks.  A farmer with his bare hand used a knife, cut off a hunk, and handed it to Huell who ate it and . . . lived without getting sick.

And every person Huell interviewed was decent and nice, something that is missing in so much of our lives these days.

I am worried about the future of our country and world.  There is little connective tissue that we share anymore.

For so long, Americans shared common experiences.  We now live in a time when each person can create his own world.   Some may like this, that they can tailor their music, social media, TV content to their own taste.  But when each person lives in a bubble when it comes to facts, science, and only feeds themselves political views that they have, they can easily vilify those with different views. 

History has plenty of examples where once people look at other people as unequal, we are only a small step away from causing harm to the “others.”  History is full of these stories.  They are called genocides.

Once people like me die off who lived through better times for America, younger people who didn’t grow up that way won’t even recognize the loss.  I’m glad I won’t be around to see what that America will be like.

And that’s why I see “4:30” each and every morning.

Of Squeaky Mice and Little Men

The Burbank Unified School District has taken the anti-education stance to halt the teaching of the following classic books due to their perceived racism: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Cay,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” (Newbery Medal), and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Pulitzer Prize).  Interestingly, “Roll of Thunder” is written by a black author.

I wonder if the BUSD superintendent and the five-member school board have actually read any of these books?

I taught “Mockingbird” and “Mice and Men” for most of my 31-year career as a high school English teacher; these books were often the favorites of my students.  In “Mice and Men,” the wisest person in the whole book is Crooks, the sole African American character.   In “Mockingbird,” Tom Robinson is found guilty by an all-white jury then shot 17 times by the police.  I have seen students cry over the death of Tom.

The texts, part of a unit I called Dislike of the Unlike, teach anti-racism, decency and empathy. 

Since African-Americans make up a small percentage of Burbank’s population, it is all the more reason to mandate that these literary treasures remain as teaching tools for educators. 

For BUSD to empower four parents to alter the education of 15,200 students is short of astonishing.  This reminds me of all the times district officials would listen to a select few squeaky wheel parents and not to their professional teaching staff.

Did any one of them take the time to speak with their English teachers about this matter before pulling the plug on these books?

BUSD is not even following their own policy that “challenged material may remain in use until a final decision has been reached.”

English teachers are the most knowledgeable people on how to effectively use these books, not the parents.  They are the in-the-trench heroes who are trying to make a difference, teaching young people how to live peacefully in a diverse country that is too quick to pounce (think cancel culture) not pause when an uncomfortable moment arises.  We used to call that “a teachable moment.”

I hope the BUSD school board comes to their senses and doesn’t turn Burbank into one of those communities which starts censoring literature that has stood the test of time.  What a black eye that would be.  The city and its children deserve better than this.

Closet Cemetery

There is a graveyard in my bedroom.

I know it is Halloween time, but this is no decoration.

Hanging in my closet and folded in my dresser drawers are the clothes I used to wear every day.

When I retired in June, I figured that my sport jackets, ties, dress shirts, slacks and shoes would be put to less use.

Combined with the pandemic’s shutdown, I have had even fewer opportunities to dress up with nice restaurants closed.

One of the things I miss about not working is getting dressed for my job mainly because I got dressed up.  I enjoyed choosing which tie to wear with each shirt, which socks with each pair of shoes.

The majority of people don’t dress up anymore, and now with the economic shutdown forcing people to work from home, t-shirts and yoga pants have become standard work wear.

Where I worked, I was a walking anachronism.  In 31 years, I can count on one hand how many male teachers I saw regularly wearing any form of dress-up clothing:  a tie, a jacket, a dress shirt, long pants, shoes with a heel.  It was common to see men wearing shorts and sandals.  As Judge Judy would admonish, “Where did you think you were going today—the beach?”

In recent years, not even the male administrators dressed properly.  If it weren’t for the gray hair and facial wrinkles, they could have been mistaken for students in their hoodies get-up.  I’m sure when they passed by me, they thought, “Who does he think he is?”

What I thought I was was an educator, a role model for young people.  Dressing formally meant that teaching was a serious profession just like medicine and law.

It’s time for Dodger anxiety!

I cannot remember when I first became a Dodger fan because I was too young to remember such a thing.  I simply grew up loving the Dodgers through the decades as a boy during the 1960’s. 

Some of my all-time favorite Dodgers include:   Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Don Drysdale, Ron Fairly, Wes Parker, Willie Davis, Don Sutton, Jim Brewer, Steve Garvey, Claude Osteen, Davey Lopes, Tommy John, Reggie Smith, Manny Mota, Al Downing, Dusty Baker, Orel Hershiser, Pedro Guerrero, Mike Scioscia, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Yeager, Rick Monday, Kirk Gibson, Mike Piazza, Bob Welch, Eric Karros, Brett Butler, Paul Mondesi, Ramon Martinez, Adrian Beltre, Hideo Nomo, Shawn Green, Jeff Kent, Chan Ho Park, Eric Gagne, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Adrian Gonzalez, Manny Ramirez, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, Zach Greinke, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Mookie Betts.

My favorite Dodger of all time, of course, is Vin Scully.

As of this writing, the Dodgers will be playing in their 21st World Series, third in the last four years.  In their history, they have won 6 titles out of 20—a 30% winning percentage.

Here are the top all-time World Series champions in baseball.  The first number is titles won over the total trips with the winning percentage.

Yankees:  27/40, 67.5%

Cardinals:  11/19, 61%

Red Sox:  9/13, 69%

Athletics:  9/14, 64%

Giants:  8/20, 40%

Dodgers: 6/20, 30%

If you are a lifetime Dodger fan, then you know a lifetime of heartache.  The Dodgers have lost the World Series more times, 14, than any other ball club in history.  That is why it is tough to root for them when they make it that far.  Imagine if you are a Yankee, Cardinal, Red Sox or Athletic fan:  about two-thirds of the time those teams win it all.

What’s extra frustrating about the current group of Dodgers is that they have won 8 straight division titles, second only to the 14 straight won by the Atlanta Braves.  However, the Braves did win one title; the Dodgers nada.

The Dodgers should have won the title in 2017 against the Astros since everyone now knows they cheated; even with that dishonest advantage, the Dodgers pushed them to seven games.

In 2018, most people viewed the Boston Red Sox as the superior team so, no surprise, they lost that series 4-1.

This year, however, most pundits favor the Dodgers to win it all.  Imagine how heartbreaking it would be for them if they don’t. If baseball gods exist, L.A. will win its first championship in 32 years.

Back in 1988, I was studying to become a teacher.  Both the Lakers and Dodgers won championships that year.

This past June, I retired after 31 years.  From 1989 to 2019, the Lakers won 6 championships; the Dodgers not a one.

Laker fans know how long it felt before they won a title, longer than the actual 10 years it took.  Dodger fans have been waiting three times as long for the drought to end.

And that is why whenever there is a Dodger playoff game day, I get the DPA’s:  Dodger Playoff Anxiety.  My mind obsesses about DODGER BASEBALL.  I can’t keep focused on anything.

I read all the stories online, hear all the sports talk shows on the radio, watch the pre-game show on the Dodger cable channel.

And when they start playing ball, I will go from watching it on TV to hearing it on the radio depending upon what is happening on the field.

For example, in last Sunday’s Game Seven against the Atlanta Braves for the pennant, in the later innings, I hid in my bedroom with the radio on when the Braves were batting, then come out to the living room to watch the Dodgers bat.

When the situation is extremely intense, I can’t be still so I drive aimlessly. listening to the game on the radio.

Everyone has a Kirk Gibson story where they were when he hit his famous home run to win Game One against the A’s in 1988.  Here is mine.  I was in my car driving west on the 134 Freeway going from Pasadena to Glendale.  I heard Don Drysdale’s call, not Vin Scully’s or Jack Buck’s.  And, if you have never heard it, do yourself a favor and listen to it:

It will put goosebumps on your arms.

So, Dodger fans, keep your fingers crossed, light some candles and keep your radios handy.

Go Dodgers!

Seven-Day Horror-cast

There’s nothing more depressing than the seven-day weather forecast.  Do you look at it often?

I keep fooling myself that I will look at it and see comfortable temperatures in the horizon.  Maybe it won’t be 90 in 2 days or 4 days from now.

I’m always disappointed when the coolest day forecast keeps getting pushed back to 10 days or 14 days from now.

Anytime we are in the midst of a heatwave, why does it always seem that when meteorologists predict it will end, it ultimately continues two to three days longer than expected?  However, if the forecast is for cool temperatures or rain, those days never materialize.

Even though I have lived in the Los Angeles area all of my life, the San Fernando Valley to be exact, I have never enjoyed the heat.

We have three seasons.  The shortest one last 20 days.  That’s when the temperatures are below 70 degrees.  Then we have the middle one that lasts 160 days.  That’s when the temperature ranges between 75-85.  The longest season is, let’s call it, HOT, half the year where temperatures barely dip below 86, but often rage out of control like a California forest fire into the mid-90s and, more often in recent years, Death Valley-like triple digits past 110 degrees.

I read somewhere that we just lived through a six-month period of record high temperatures in 125 years.  Great.

Remember, there is no climate change to explain this.

Summer-like weather starts on July 1 and continues until Nov. 1—at least.

My favorite months of the year—November and December—have to do with 3 traits:  cooler weather, shorter days, and holidays.

Whenever there is a heat wave during those two months, I feel cheated.  There should be a law that no day reach 80 degrees or higher for those 61 days.  A few Thanksgivings ago we had a record 93 degrees.  That was awful.

You try to wear the few sweaters you have, you try to have some fires in the living room (if for no other reason than for atmosphere), but it doesn’t feel right when the thermostat in your house never dips below 72 degrees throughout the night.

Going to school in Burbank meant two things:  one, airplane noise would interfere with the lessons on a regular basis, and, two, when you returned to school in September there were bound to be days when the non-air conditioned schools would close early due to excessive heat.

Up until my late 30’s, I suffered the hot weather at home since I had no air conditioning.  But even when I’m home with the air conditioning on, the sweltering blast from outside still gets under my skin.  I feel lethargic, whereas when it’s 65 degrees outside, I feel invigorated.

I keep telling myself that one day I will move out of this area to a cooler climate, say, Santa Barbara, or Morro Bay.  However, it is difficult when you have family, friends and favorite restaurants to pack up your tent and leave it all behind. 

In the meantime, I’m going to ensconce myself watching “Holiday Inn” and sipping hot cocoa—all with the curtains drawn.

Prince Prospero AKA Donald J. Trump

One of the short stories I used to teach was Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.”

Prince Prospero decides to hold a masquerade party in his castle high on a hill and away from the town which is experiencing a plague, the Red Death.   The Prince invites special wealthy guests to be safe in his abode and enjoy themselves while the paeans below them die mercilessly.  He locks the doors to ensure that the pestilence does not come in and harm him or his guests, similar an idea that building a wall will prevent illegal immigration.

So what happens at the party?

Everyone dies.

The morale of the story is that no one, not even the wealthiest denizens, are immune to disease.  One can’t lock one’s doors to the plague.  A virus does not know the bank account or pedigree of its hosts.  It’s just contagious.

And now we turn from 1842 when the story was published to present day where we have a President who does not believe the scientists or doctors.  He feels he is immune, above reproach from a disease, from dying even.  Just as he runs away from paying his fair share of federal income tax, he fools the American people not to do anything that could protect them from getting sick from the worst pandemic in 102 years.

Call it karma, schadenfreude, or a simple comeuppance, Trump has the coronavirus.  Is anyone surprised?  What is surprising is that it took this long for him to catch it. 

Just a few days earlier at the presidential debate, he mocked Joe Biden for wearing “the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”  For months he mocked Biden for being too old and feeble.  Well, who looks too old and feeble now?

What will be interesting to see is how Trump comes out of this episode.  Will he restart his anti-mask campaign?  Or will he admit he was wrong about Covid?

Don’t expect an epiphany from a family (all of them shunned masks at Tuesday’s debate even when a doctor in attendance was passing them out) who, like Prince Prospero, feel that they are better than us, richer, more privileged, who don’t have to contribute part of their earnings for the good of the country.  How can regular people feel good about that?

To quote another piece of literature, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Roman senator Caius Cassius is manipulating fellow senator Marcus Brutus to kill Caesar.  While faulting the leader for having physical maladies such as epilepsy or the falling sickness, he tells Brutus that “we have the falling sickness” when it comes to doing nothing to rid Rome of a dictator.

In a month, the people will have their once-every-four-year moment to decide not only the outcome of the election, but the direction of this tattered country.  It is in the hands of its citizens, just as the Founding Fathers wrote it in the Constitution.   The question from a 400-year-old play remains:  how many of us have the falling sickness?

Thank You Very Much, McConnell

“Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me.”

This song, written by Leslie Bricusse for the movie “Scrooge” (1970), is sung when Dickens’ character sees a vision from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come of the people who owe Scrooge money celebrating at the sight of his coffin.

A fictional scene, this was played out for real just this past week when the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and within hours U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a new nominee for the high court would be voted on before the important November presidential election.

As a voter who is not affiliated with any political party, I wish to express my deepest disdain for McConnell and his ilk for not waiting until her body was cold—or at least until the first night of Rosh Hashanah concluded.

It is also hypocritical that back in 2016 when former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February, 9 months ahead of that election, Republicans refused to hold hearings for a new nominee to fill his empty seat even though President Obama chose Merrick Garland, a judge who normally Republicans would have supported. 

With less than 7 weeks ahead of this year’s election, why the flip-flop?  Because their “guy” is in the Oval Office.  That is what the whole thing is about.  Politics.  Playground bullying done by old white men who are supposed to serve the American people no matter which party they belong to.

Unfortunately, Americans should not be surprised at the lack of civility in Washington, D.C.  I’m not sure when bipartisanship disappeared, but for those of you younger than 50, take a look at some YouTube videos of President Ronald Reagan.

Watch his self-deprecating humor at a 1984 debate with Democratic nominee Walter Mondale.  When running for re-election, Reagan’s age (73) was being used against him, and so he was asked to respond to the criticism.   He quipped, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”  

This generated a huge laugh even from Mondale.   When can you remember two politicians from different parties sharing a hearty laugh together like this in the past 40 years?

The acrimony that political leaders exhibit these days is reflected in the general population.  Again, YouTube has plenty of evidence showing regular folks acting very badly in public.

There is a feeling in America that people lack common ground, that differences far outweigh similarities.  Our neighbors have become strangers.

Here’s hoping sooner than later that this country finds its footing again, and that no matter one’s politics, ethnicity or Netflix preferences, we can stand together as a united nation.

Otherwise, Russia, China and other foes will be dancing on the coffin of the United States singing, “Thank you very much” to the Americans who helped its demise.

Back to School Night (well, sort of)

My wife and I just had Back to School Night (BTSN) for our 17-year-old son who is a junior.   The schedule was the same as in the past where parents follow their child’s daily schedule from Pers. 1 through 6 spending 10 minutes in each class.

Unlike in the past, it was a virtual BTSN from the comfort of our den.  Teachers had the option of holding a live Zoom meeting or posting a video.  Two of our son’s teachers had live sessions while the others videotaped their presentations.  Either way was fine with me.  A parent can easily get a glimpse of a teacher’s personality on tape or live. 

I found the live sessions stranger due to parents who chose to show themselves on camera with attention-diverting backgrounds distracting the rest of us.  The videos had more information allowing teachers to use more visuals economically, though one teacher displayed long blocks of text which she then proceeded to read each word out loud, not a good practice.

As a parent, I have always enjoyed BTSN, finding it exciting to meet the educators who will temporarily spend time with my child and help mold him into a more learned individual.

As a now former teacher, I can’t help but judge which teachers I think will connect with my son and which will not.  Not every teacher can connect with every child.

However, having done 11 weeks of distance learning, I recognize the challenges all teachers face in this anxious period of time in which we live.  We all have to be patient and have faith that in due time things will return to normal and children will return to school.  In the meantime, support your child’s teachers as much as you can.  Emailing a quick “thank you for teaching my child during these difficult times” can brighten a teacher’s day.

There Goes the Neighborhood

I am not a fan of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

He lost my respect years ago when as San Francisco mayor he had an affair with his campaign manager’s wife.  Any earlier time in history, and such brazen adultery would have finished his future aspirations.

But standards and morals not what they used to be, he was elected governor two years ago with plans on moving on to the presidency.  God help us.

His political views are to the left of former Gov. Jerry Brown.  Many bills that Brown vetoed in 2018, Newsom signed in 2019.  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” should be the theme song for Sacramento Democrats.

He signed a law for schools which emboldens bad kids to misbehave without consequences.  He continues supporting legislation that will destroy single-family neighborhoods.

Right now, if you live in California and own a house, beware.  Senate Bill 1120 is in the state assembly which, according to the Los Angeles Times, would allow “property owners [to] convert their single-family house into a duplex or demolish the house and in its place build two new single-family homes or a duplex.  Property owners could also split a single-family lot into two and then build two additional units, thus placing four homes where there previously was one.”

In other words, one household turns into 4 households.  Think of the additional cars, air and noise pollution that would impact neighbors’ standard of living.

What is driving this insanity is the wrong-headed thinking that if only more housing would be available, the homeless population would decrease.  Are they serious?

That is assuming 2 large illogical beliefs.  One, that many of the homeless are mentally normal people who are on the streets because they can’t afford the rent.  Don’t buy it.

Two, that by destroying the American Dream and making each street un-uniform in appearance, two duplexes here, one duplex there, one house, etc., those homeless people will be able to move into that neighborhood.  Wrong again.

Unless the government subsidizes the cost of the new duplexes below market value, those on limited incomes will still not be able to afford a duplex in a nice neighborhood.  Instead, developers will bid on homes, knock them down, erect duplexes, and come away richer than before, leaving in their dust a permanently damaged landscape for people who have lived in their neighborhoods for decades.  Unbelievable.

To add insult to injury, he has botched this state’s management of the coronavirus pandemic.  Back in March, his reviews were glowing as he was the first governor in America to mandate a quarantine.   This did work for a while, until in May when instead of reopening the economy gradually, he opened the floodgates, leading to a surge in the summer worse than the spring’s number of cases and deaths.

If you live in California and believe as I do, run don’t walk to your laptop, find out who your local Assembly member is, and fill out the “contact” form imploring them not to vote for 1120.

And when the next gubernatorial election happens in 2022, don’t forget what is happening now.

Otherwise, the theme song for many of will be “California, Here I Go.”