Six Quick Observations about Trump Indictment

In the United States judicial system, it is customary to presume innocence when someone is charged with a crime. However Donald Trump is an exception to this presumption of innocence. He does a bad job of hiding his transgressions, personal, business, political and legal. He has a big ego and a bigger mouth. The weight and breadth of the evidence against him in the documents matter are overwhelming. My God, 37 counts!!!

Are there any stupider people than those who defend Donald Trump? They ignore his traitorous behavior, financial malfeasance, greed, allegations of him committing sexual assault and rape, and general ineptitude. As a leader, he is Barney Fife. I have no respect for the opinions and judgement of those who support Trump just based on this criteria.

If I had could question Donald Trump I’d ask: Do you think that you are a good role model for your son Barron? Would you want Barron to grow up and act like you? Would your wife Melania want Barron to grow up like you?

Laurence Tribe, the Constitutional scholar, said he was profoundly disappointed that the American people elected a man who was so bad at protecting national security and the American public. Tribe uses the word “sad.” I am furious that voters elected and support Donald Trump, a con artist and a “small man.”

My previous thinking was to offer Trump a pardon if he pleaded guilty to several counts and promised to withdraw from politics and public life. I’ve changed my mind. There would be no greater example of justice in our system that Trump going to jail for a long time. No pardon! Trump’s conviction and incarceration would serve as a great deterrent that no man is above the law.

I intend to avoid any Trump news. I don’t want to heard from him. I certainly don’t want to hear from anyone defending him.

The One Name I Wish I Was Called

A polymath.

I cannot think of a more flattering description or title as I have always admired men and women of varied skills, talents, interests and achievements. Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are three of the most notable polymaths in history. I think that the term “polymath” is ascribed too easily. A polymath is to the world what a Hall of Famer is to baseball. The criteria is very strict and not everyone gets to enter the portal of notoriety.

On my eighth grade graduation, I received this medal for “General Excellence.” Even at the age of 14, I was very interested in current events, literature, politics, history, philosophy, psychology and religion. One of my grade school classmates reminded recently that he remembered me reading a mammoth volume of the Warren commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy when we were in eighth grade.

I have read different criteria to qualify as a polymath. Here is mine…

  1. Education, reading, research and learning on various intellectual topics including politics, history, science, business, literature, religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, technology,and sports.

2. Communication of ideas, thoughts, imagination and discoveries through writing, public speaking, painting, acting and music.

3. Extensive travels across the world with a wide variety of experiences and adventures.

4. Varied or significant roles and responsibilities in business, science, education, finance or public service.

5. The ability to speak in more than one language.

6. The ability to understand technology for productive and worthwhile goals.

7. The ability to appreciate the arts including music, the theater, cultural events, plays, movies etc

8. A mind with novel ideas, insights, and opinions driven by consilience – – the capacity to merge and synthesize one’s experiences, talents, interests and intelligence.

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

I read with great sympathy the adventures of the passengers on the Carnival Sunshine as their ship was buffeted by heavy seas and gale force winds off the coast of South Carolina. The ship rocked so violently that many passengers got sick and there was damage to the boat. It appears that the ship sailed directly into the storm on their return to Charleston.

My first cruise was on the Disney Magic in 1999. Before we left port, I questioned why we were leaving when there was a tropical storm around Orlando. I was told that we would sail around it. Guess what? The ship sailed directly into the storm. I did not sleep that night as the ship swayed from side to side making it very difficult to walk. I did not get sick as I was too afraid. I spent time in a lobby with a young mother and her children who were afraid they were going to die. The storm lasted all night until we reached The Bahmas the next morning. I saw the Captain and asked why we sailed through the violent storm. He said that they did not anticipate the ferocity of the storm. I was skeptical about his answer.

Surprisingly I sailed on another dozen cruises or over 100 days on the seas and ocean. I have been lucky as I don’t recall more than 2 or 3 days where the seas were rough. However I will never forget my first bad experience cruising. Like the Carnival Sunshine, there were no communications with the passengers during the emergency. Life boats and jackets are irrelevant under those storm conditions.

I think the cruise lines have been lucky. If one boat sinks during a storm or for whatever reason, it may very well kill their business. Customer safety and comfort are paramount and it certainly was not for the pasengers on Carnival Sunshine.

Quick Analysis of the News

  1. Despite the announced agreement between President Biden and Speaker of the House McCarthy tonight, I would not be surprised that the agreement does not pass in the House and/or Senate. Neither Biden or McCarthy provide a lot of leadership or guidance.
  2. Can a candidate who has been found liable for at least one sexual assault, fomenting an insurrection and violence at the Capitol, mishandling or hiding sensitive government and intelligence documents and pressuring Georgia politicans to change vote tallies actually get his party’s Presidential nomination?
  3. Does Ron DeSantis actually make Donald Trump appear as a moderate and less dangerous?
  4. 2024 will be a national referendum on whether we still want to be a democracy, respect the rule of Law and respect the rights of all citizens. I am very pessimistic as to the answers.

Vox Persona

Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning and no place in this country needs it more than in Congress. 

Time for California senator Dianne Feinstein and Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman to retire for health reasons. Neither are capable (physically and mentally) of carrying out the duties of their offices. Ms. Feinstein’s circumstances are deplorable as she is obviously suffering from dementia.

Time for New York congressman George Santos to either resign or be removed from his office. It’s a disgrace that the Republican House leadership have not booted this fraud and felon out. His continued presence in the House is a huge disservice to the constituency that he cannot adequately represent.

Time for Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan to go too. They lack the intellectual bandwidth and judgment to perform their jobs.


Jim Brown died yesterday at 87. I remember watching him play for the Cleveland Browns. Often it too three or four guys to take him down. And no matter how often or how hard he was hit, he’d slowly get up and be ready for the next play.

Brown played 118 games straight and never missed a game. In my 70 years of watching football, he was the GOAT.

Mouse vs. The Louse 

Bob Iger vs Ron DeSantis. On man is qualified to be President, Bob Iger. DeSantis looks the like the next Ed Muskie, George Romney, and Gary Hart. Ballyhooed early Presidential contenders who fall short of their party’s nomination.

This Could Be The Last Time

Well, this could be the last time

This could be the last time

Maybe the last time

I don’t know

The Last Time by the Rolling Stones

Once I lived in a time of firsts, first grade, first date, first kiss, first love, first job, first house… Youth created the illusion of an unlimited future and an infinity of repeat experiences, opportunities and time. 

Now I exist in a time of lasts, last job, last meeting, last look, last conversation, last vacation, last healthy day, last goodbyes, last breath… Realities of limited time and few opportunities…No guarantees that tomorrow will be the same as today. Or that I may have a tomorrow. Moments may never repeat. Family and friends may leave me. Or I leave them.

Sports Break

Caitlin Clark from Iowa was the best college basketball player that I saw this year. She may be the best women’s basketball player that I have ever seen. I don’t remember another female player with her shooting range and passing ability.

Though LSU won the NCAA Women’s Tournament yesterday, I don’t think they would have beaten South Carolina.

Best Matches from 2023 WrestleMania

  1. Rhea Ripley beating Charlotte Flair for women’s title
  2. Kevin Owens and Sammy Zayn beating the Usos for tag team title
  3. Edge beating Finn Balor (The Demon) in steel cage match.

To my surprise, I enjoyed yesterday’s ESPN Pickleball Challenge featuring John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick.  The levels of performance got better as the four legends played. I think the telecast helped improved the pickleball brand. I enjoyed McEnroe’s antics. Great job by the young woman who was the referee!

Phillies are 0-3.Too early to panic…

I’m slightly prejudiced for being a “homer” but Joel Embiid deserves to be the NBA MVP. He rarely has a bad game and most games I watch, he dominates.

Not sure who is the biggest disappointment give their career starts: Ben Simmons or Carson Wentz?

Still prefer “old guys” Michael Wilson and Tony Kornheiser as sports commentators ahead of Colin Cowherd, Steven A. Smith, Jim Rome etc.

Pickleball 5.0: A Journey from 2.0 to 5.0 by Phil Dunmeyer(Takeaways and Review)


Practice your serve as much as your other shots. 

Develop a variety of serves. 

The closer the serve is to  a lob the more difficult it is for your opponents to attack to serve.

Consider, keeping a very effective serve for a critical point in the game or time.

A medium high bouncing serve to your opponent’s backhand is always a challenge. Don’t hit serve too high, however, because it will give him/her time to run around the backhand, and hit a more comfortable forehand.

A player who steps onto the court from behind the baseline when his or her partner is serving, is in a seriously negative position, even if assuming a perfect stance.

Prior to serve, communicate with partner who has the middle on return.

Service Returns:

Hitting the return of serve with appropriate pace and deep enough giving you time to join your partner at your kitchen line is offensive in nature, but it puts you and your partner in the best defensive position on the court

For the intermediate to advanced players, the skill of “hitting the ball on the rise“ provides the following benefits: 

  • Returns the ball back to opponents faster, resulting in them having less time to prepare and hit the ball. 
  • Limits retreating, and moving backwards’ unforced errors. By stepping in, and hitting the ball early, you keep more angles to hit the ball into. If you back up, you lose some angles of return.

Two Handed Backhands:

If you don’t already have a two handed backhand, I recommend you use the time perfecting your one-handed backhand. The two handed backhand has much more potential use in singles.

The non-volley zone/kitchen stance

Feet wider than the shoulders. Knees bent and back straight. Center of getting gravity through the back and rear straight to the ground behind you.


The whole idea behind the dink is to “strike” the ball, so it drops into the opponents NVZ area. You do not hit it over the net! You push it over the net.

Players who hit their dinks, usually take a backswing of 2 inches or more, and this places far too much power into the ball when you were only trying to hit the ball 5 to 8 inches. There is no wrist movement in the dink shot. Your wrist is locked as you push the paddle forward.

Avoid hitting your dinks straight at the opponent in front of you. Instead, make him or her move laterally, keeping in mind most people have a weaker backhand dink than a forehand dink.

Avoid hitting the same dink in the same spot repeatedly. Aggressive opponents are trying to stay “in the mental zone“ and look for the right shot to attack. By changing the location of your dinks, especially to the same opponent, you minimize his or her ability to zero in on a attackable return.

Check your spacing and make sure you and your partner are staying linked together on every dink. Your opponents may be exploiting the gap/space between you and your partner because you are not staying “one step, and a reach” between you.

Hitting it back to the opponent that hit it to you is the safest way to hit it. Adding different spins to the ball, make it more difficult to hit the ball “squarely“ and straight.


The faster the ball is traveling towards you, the shorter the back swing. The slower the ball coming towards you the longer/greater the back swing.

Volleying while you are moving, is not productive, or a good idea. The closer you are to the net, the less the backswing.

Pickleball checklist for volley errors

  • moving while hitting the volleys; 
  • not anticipating volley hit to you; 
  • paddle face position errors; 
  • not using compact swing; 
  • getting jammed on volleys; 
  • not bending at the knees; 
  • overreaching for volleys;


Lobs can be a “rainbow” in your game, but they usually result in a “downpour” of unforced errors. Three things can happen when you lob: (1) the lob can be hit too long, and it goes out; (2) the lob could be hit too short and gets attacked by your opponents; (3) the lob can be the perfect rainbow arc and falls onto the court non-returnable by your opponents.

If your opponents are making your pickle ball life from lobs, miserable back up two or three steps from your no volley zone. They should convince them to try other shots such as hitting the ball at your feet, which is more possible the further you move away from the net, this, however, may be the lesser of two evils.

The best option for returning a good lob is to re-lob the good lob high and deep back over the net forcing one or both of your opponents to retreat to their baseline to reset the point/rally.

Important point: the height of your return lob is far more important than the depth. The higher, the lob, the more difficult it is for opponents to hit especially aggressively.


70% of points are the results of unforced errors. Unforced errors are usually offensively hit balls, not defensively hit balls.

Protecting your backhand – – from the deuce court if you are right, handed, and need to protect your backhand, stand so your left foot is only 3 feet away from the midcourt line. If you’re right handed and need to protect your backhand in the ad Court, stand 3 feet from the left side line/baseline intersection.

Reaching for the ball with arm extended, or reaching in front to hit the ball limits power.

Getting closer to the ball increases power.

If a player is moving, he or she is in the worst defensive position possible.

Give your opponent a chance to lose. By playing good defense you increase your chances of winning. 

You win more points by “playing smarter” than hitting harder. 

Force your opponents to hit one more shot.

Ball placement trumps power.

On overhead shot, turn your shoulders and body into a sideways – – facing the sideline – – position as quickly as possible.

Pickleball players are discovering an interesting fact: by a large percentage, the first team to attack the ball aggressively loses the points/rally. Don’t force the attack shot. Wait for the attack shot that has a much better chance of being not defensible.

Probably 70 to 80% of Pickleball hitting errors can be directly attributed to poor foot work. Footwork is the key factor in being in the best position to return shots.

Know the assets/liabilities of your opponents.

My Brief Review:

It is a long book (282 pages but very comprehensive). I skimmed through many of the illustrations and sections of little interest. The content is slightly dated but there are plenty of good tips and strategies for players of all levels.

The palest ink is greater than the strongest memory

Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D.


The value of reading, and of writing things down that we read, or hear, cannot be overstated. Two expert guests (who specialize in speech and memory) on the Huberman Lab podcast explained that when we read text or listen to something and then write key aspects/takeaways down by hand- not typing, it engages our motor control centers in ways that deeply embed that information to our memory. Taking notes, however cursory, turns out to be the best way to remember and implement information later.

NCAA Picks, Big 5 and Dawn Staley

In full disclosure, I did not follow college basketball like I have years ago. For example, I used to be able to tell you the top 10 or 15 players in NCAA basketball. Today, the only All Americans or top draft picks I know about are the Purdue center, Edey and the Alabama forward, Miller, who just got in trouble. My NCAA picks (below) are basically wild hunches based on only a cursory study or familiarity of the teams. I am picking Purdue to win at all even though I have only seen a few of their games. Two of the games were against Rutgers. Rutgers beat Purdue in the regular season and barely lost to them in the Big 10 tournament.

Speaking of Rutgers, I was one of those people who were a bit disappointed that they did not make the NCAA tournament. However, I can’t feel too bad for Rutgers today. Last night, as the number 1 seed, and playing in their gym, they lost to Hofstra in the first round of the NIT. Rutgers did not exactly bolster their objection into not getting into the field of 64 or 68.

No Big Five team (Villanova, Saint Joe’s, Temple, Penn and La Salle) made it into the NCAA tournament. This was the first time since 1977 that a Philadelphia-based school failed to play in the tournament. Penn actually came the closest to playing in the tournament with their semifinal game in the Ivy League tournament against Princeton, which they lost. Not sure that any team will play in next year’s tournament either…

I have not seen a lot of Big Five teams play. However the two best players in the Big Five for this year are Jordan Dingle for Penn and Erik Reynolds for St Joe’s. I’m not sure that either of those players or NBA caliber or will be drafted. However they impressed me more than Cam Whitmore of Villanova who probably will be picked early this year in the year’s NBA draft.

One of the best ideas that I have read on Twitter of all places is that Dawn Staley should replace Aaron McKee as head coach of Temple’s men’s basketball team. If any woman could succeed in coaching men’s basketball at a major college level, it is Dawn Staley. It would be nice to see her back coaching in Philadelphia!