Guide to Albany
In My Humble Opinion

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 With Hillary Clinton's disastrous press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the bright orange pantsuit she wore is likely to replace Monica's blue dress as the most iconic piece of wardrobe in the Clintons'  legacy.  We are visual creatures, and while words are important, a picture is indeed worth a thousand of them.  That being the case, one needs to ask why none of Hillary's advisers thought to question the advisability of her wearing an outfit not far removed from the prison jumpsuit her enemies would like to see her wearing.

Three Ring Circus


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                              "If I were a magician, I'd hand out broken compasses.

                               It's all about misdirection."

                                                                                    Jarod Kintz

    The last thing the Washington establishment wants is someone who will shake things up, an unknown quantity, someone who won't "play the game".   Ironically, people see in Donald Trump, this man who has been running the game for most of his adult life, in this of all men they see some kind of white knight who is bigger than Washington.  That would be a little like putting the Godfather in charge of the FBI, since he can't be corrupted.


                   "Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful,

                    but because it is his.  If it were his beauty that enthralled him,

                    he would be set free in a few years by its fading."

                                                                                                W.H. Auden

    Dr. Carson delivered his best line of Thursday's debate in his closing remarks when he took a good natured jab at the other candidates' constant self-aggrandizement in proclaiming how they are the only candidate that's done this, or will do that, or has held this position, or can beat this candidate.  Dr Carson pointed out that he was the only candidate that had separated conjoined twins, operated on a fetus still in the womb (without the intention to harvest organs), and performed a hemispherectomy; that is removing half of someone's brain.   That these things have little to do with being President, I think was Dr. Carson's point.  All the candidates have impressive resumes, but there is a difference between self advocating and self worship.  Carson concluded his remarks with a reminder that freedom is not free for any of us, and as such he was hopeful that he would not be the only one who would pick up the torch of freedom.  With this simple statement, the good doctor attempted to rouse us from our twilight sleep; there was no messiah on that stage, no single magical person who could fix all the nation's ills, no perfect president.  There is no single surgeon whose gifted hands can carry that torch of freedom alone, they will always need our help.


"Pleased to meet you,

  Hope you guess my name,

  But what's puzzling you

  Is the nature of my game."

                             The Rolling Stones

     Like a bull in a china shop, Donald Trump is creating havoc in the Republican party; and like the timid shop-keeper, Reince Priebus and his fellow establishment Republicans wring their hands over the effects that Trump might have on the elections.   Like that bull in the china shop, we hear the china crashing, but all eyes are on Trump, and that suits him just fine.

Don't Tread On Me



  "I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale,

   Handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail;

   Only last week, I murdered a rock,

   Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick;

   I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

                                                           Mohammad Ali

    Few men are able to so use poetry as a vehicle for posturing their threatening bravado as did Muhammad Ali.  I remember his not so veiled threats against Howard Cosell, and how they always left you uncertain as to whether he was joking around, or if Howard was in actual danger of being beaten to a pulp.  In a boxing ring, it's good to have that kind of mystique around you.  You want to be unpredictable, fear inspiring, maybe a little bit crazy.  The same is true in the mean streets of our cities, which no doubt explains the "Ali style" use of taunting, posturing poetry by so many of today's rappers.

What is Truth?



                            "What is truth?"


                                                 Pontius Pilate

    In this response to Jesus's declaration that He had come to be a witness to the truth, Pontius Pilate exemplified the futility of depending on political leaders to lead us into truth.  Pilate's cynical question demonstrates a hopelessness regarding the  knowability of Truth, and the sense that the question is hardly worth asking, as it has no answer.  In the presence of the Son of God, he does not wait for a response to his rhetorical question, but leaves to address the political situation.  Pilate was like most other politicians before him, and the ones who would follow; for him the question of what truth is was pointless; the question he concerned himself with was "What is politic?"... what would further his political ambition and agenda.  Likewise today's politicians are generally agnostic where truth is concerned; the standard they raise instead is their ideology, and their ideology finds its center in what will sell.


    Hollywood has a term that it uses when a TV show has essentially run out of ideas and it's time to start thinking about pulling the plug; it's called "jumping the shark".  It has it's origin in the "Happy Days" episode where Fonzie, donning his trademark leather jacket, goes water skiing and jumps over a man-eating shark.  I'm not sure what the plot line was, but suffice to say that it was not exactly in line with the entertaining writing of previous shows, and demonstrated that the show had little left to offer.




    Adding to the clutter of hats thrown into the ring for the Republican Presidential nomination, George Pataki, in his inimitable awkward style, has put forward his name to the seemingly malignant list.  So if you can't find your dream candidate in Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, or Rick Santorum; then maybe George Pataki is just what you've been waiting for; and if that's the case, then your last name is probably Pataki, or George signs your paychecks.  Of course there's still the likely contenders to reckon with; Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham,  Bobby Jindal, and John Kasich... about the only Republican we know isn't running is Mitt Romney, and he could always change his mind.  Me, I'm waiting for the "Rent is too damn high" guy from the NewYork Democratic gubernatorial primary to take a crack at the Presidency, I hear he's a registered Republican now...when's the last time we had a president with a beard that cool?

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Raising Sons



    There was a farmer who had three teenage sons.  Each Saturday, while their friends were playing video games, or cruising through town in their pick-up trucks,

the three boys were required by their father to work his corn field.  One of the farmer's neighbors took pity on the boys and suggested to the farmer that he could easily afford harvesting equipment to give the boys a break.  "I don't know why you're raising corn that way anyway," the neighbor said, "You could probably buy it cheaper than what it costs you to raise it!"  The farmer just looked out at his fields where the three boys were busy at work and replied, "I'm not raising corn; I'm raising sons."


   "Oh, there is something I ought to tell you... I'm not left-handed either."

                                                                                          The Princess Bride

    It would seem that after running candidates like Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry, that the Democratic Party discovered with Barack Obama that the safe, boring, traditional candidate is not always the best bet.    Indeed, with the barely challenged coronation of Hillary Clinton, one wonders if the party will ever nominate a presidential candidate without some non-traditional gimmick again.  The Democratic presidential nomination will likely be advertised as "White men need not apply", unless they are gay or transexual.


Kevin Cail

Kevin's varied background includes working as a union rep, as well as positions of industrial management. With a background in psychology he has worked as an administrator in the field of Autism, and written a counseling/advice column for a local periodical. He has served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations, and has operated a small business for over 20 years. He is the father of seven and grandfather of fifteen. With this blog he turns his attention to one of his greatest interests, the area of politics. :: Your Official Guide To Albany NY & The Capital Region

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