Daily Archives: November 10, 2019

Thanking Our Veterans

Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

As I see it, it’s more than a day to thank the men and women who have fought for our country. It is a day to see them and appreciate them.

I can only imagine how challenging it is to leave your family and put your life aside to defend this nation. It requires a commitment that dwarfs all other commitments. It means potentially going into battle in a land that is not your own to fight against a people that would happily see your nation destroyed.

To all of the veterans out there, thank you for your sacrifice. Without you, this great nation would not be what it is today.

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Filed under Misc

Thoughts On Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 Presidential Run

Just when we thought that the drama surrounding the 2020 Presidential Election was reaching its crescendo, another candidate has thrown his hat into the race.

Late last week, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he is running for President.

From the perspective of an undecided voter (which I suspect many voters are), his presence in the race makes sense. In the spectrum of Democratic candidates, he is neither too far the right or too far to the left. He also has experience in the executive offices of government. To Bloomberg’s credit, he led the city out of the darkness that was 9/11. To say that it was not an easy feat is far from an understatement.

However, Bloomberg does have a few shortcomings, as all the candidates do. He changed his political party affiliation twice before declaring himself to be an independent. He is an older white man running in a crowded field with other candidates who are not the traditional Presidential candidates. When asked a few months ago if he would run, Bloomberg said no. Now he says yes.

It’s understandable that he changed his mind about running, given what is at stake. However, flip-flopping is not going to win him the nomination or the Presidency. Nor will it come in handy if he takes the oath of office. If Bloomberg can win is also a matter of opinion. I suspect that if asked, some New Yorkers would say that they were not happy with him while he was in office.

Only time will tell who eventually wins the nomination. Whomever they are, they had better be prepared. They are in for a fight that has the potential to change this country for generations to come.

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Filed under New York City, Politics, Thoughts On....

The Guest Book Book Review

As much as we wish it, families are far from perfect. There are secrets, scandals, and sins that have a way of passing down through the generations.

Sarah Blake’s new novel, The Guest Book, was published earlier this year. In the 1930s, Kitty and Ogden Milton have it all. A loving marriage, beautiful and thriving children and the status that comes with being one of America’s leading (and wealthiest) families. Then tragedy hits the family hard. To assuage his wife’s grief, Ogden buys a private island to use as a summer home. The island should be a place of refuge and relaxation for the Miltons. Instead, it becomes a symbol of the family’s secrets.

The secret starts with a refusal that could have saved the life of an innocent just before World War II. Twenty plus years later, the secret grows. Len Levy and Reg Paulding are not the usual guests invited to the island. Len is Jewish and secretly seeing one of the Milton daughters. Reg is African-American and the lone person of color in his world.

The secrets begin to unravel in the 2010s. Evie Milton, one of Kitty and Ogden’s granddaughters, comes to the realization with her cousins that the island is in dire financial straits. She also learns, with the help of her husband, that the family secrets are just below the surface. With a little digging, those secrets are revealed.

What I liked about this book was how Ms. Blake established the world that this novel is set in and the casual racism/antisemitism that is part of this world. I also liked the transition from the past to the present. It takes a skilled author to jump from different time periods and different points of view in a way that does not confuse the reader.

My problem with the book is that the ending is kind of expected. The big bombshell that is supposed to be the “long-buried” secret is not really a bombshell. I saw part of it coming nearly a mile away.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History