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The Penalty for Holding – Coming May 10!

Get your game face on for "The Penalty for Holding"! It's my second novel in my book series "The Games Men Play" – a quarterback's search for identity amid the brutal beauty of the NFL.

When the quarterback of the hapless New York Templars is injured, backup QB Quinn Novak takes the team to the playoffs. There he attracts the attention of two other quarterbacks who've been rivals since high school – Mal Ryan of the Philadelphia Quakers and Tam Tarquin of the San Francisco Miners. Quinn begins a volatile relationship with the narcissistic Mal and a loving one with the open-hearted Tam, keeping each secret from the other. ...

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In defense of culture

In justifying cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which includes PBS, NPR and an alphabet soup of other educational institutions — Mick Mulvaney, President Donald J. Trump’s new Mack the Knife, alias budget director, framed it as a Trumpian zero sum game:

“I put myself in the shoes of that steelworker in Ohio,” Mulvaney said. “The coal miner — the coal-mining family in West Virginia. The mother of two in Detroit. And I’m saying, ‘O.K., I have to go ask these folks for money and I have to tell them where I’m going to spend it.’ Can I really go to those folks, look them in the eye, and say, ‘Look, I want to take money from you and I want to give it to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’? ”

Not since another budget director, David Stockman under Ronald Reagan, deemed ketchup a worthy vegetable for school lunches has an argument been so specious. ...

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The glass house of Trump’s America

A recent article in The New York Times looked at an Ohio farmer with three opioid-addicted children, two of whom are dead.

The third is trying to straighten out his life in the hopes of working and inheriting the family farm. The father, understandably, isn’t sure this will work.

I’m not going to go into the drug aspect, which bores the hell out of me, or how or why these people became addicted. There but for the grace of God….

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The problem of the beautiful youth

A new exhibit at the Japan Society considers a moment in Edo culture (17th through early-19th century Japan) when the wakashū, or beautiful youth, held sway as companions for men and even women.

The New York Times has written about this from the viewpoint of our current transgender controversies, which makes sense since the show, through June 11, is titled “A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints.” But I’m more interested in the parallels to ancient Greece and what such practices say about morality seen through the scrim of history. ...

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