After he gives a speech with platitudes and without substance, Donald Trump gets wide praise simply because it was not his usual buffoonish performance. Did the president consciously set the bar this low?

Language matters. Instead of talking about eliminating regulations, we should be talking about eliminating protections.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said it was “absurd” to suggest any connection between President Trump’s rhetoric and a triple shooting. The shooter was reported to have yelled racial epithets before firing at two immigrants from India, thinking they were Iranians, killing one and wounding the other. Last year I heard frequently from conservatives that the rhetoric from the Black Lives Matter movement had helped cause the shooting of police officers. I wonder if Spicer also found that connection “absurd.” Before that I heard that rap music encourages violence. I wonder if Spicer also labels that connection “absurd.”

“To be conscious you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil or the Two Nations.

It used to be that the Presidency was the pinnacle of a person’s life. Now it seems as if it is a steppingstone to a bigger business career.

I daily pass a small grocery store. It is owned by people who came from Yemen. Next to it is a similar store owned by people from Korea. We call them the Korean and Arab bodegas. That seems so New York.

As the country song puts it, there are two things money can’t buy: true love and homegrown tomatoes.

The sign in front of the Catholic Church on 42nd Street said, “Confessions.  Saturday.  4 to 4:30.” A half hour a week for confession! Was it a small congregation or one with very few sinners?

I got to the escalator at a local Target. A man carrying more stuff than I offered to let me go first, but I insisted that he proceed.  When I got to the escalator with him in front I realized that the escalator was not working.  I said to him, “But I expected you to get it to work.”  He immediately replied, “That’s just what my wife says.”

As I passed a group of toddlers after some rain, I heard the teacher calmly state, “It is your choice whether you walk in any puddles.  But first think about whether that is a good choice.”

What’s your line after spotting a sign off a Utah highway: RESTAURANT and HORSEBACK RIDING.  Mine: Do you worry about the kind of meat they serve?

A tidbit for your novel, short story, or screenplay.  Coming around a bend on a trail at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I hear a 50ish man in clothes without wrinkles say to four young men in well-used hiking gear, “And in any town, you can call the President of the Rotarians, and he will talk to you.” He then hands cards to each of them, commanding, “You should check it out.”  The four take the cards and trudge on.  Write a page or a paragraph.

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