Assuming it can be accomplished safely, should we reopen our schools in the Fall?  That is one of the critical questions facing us at the moment.  Below please find my  thoughts and opinions on the matter.  Although I am neither a physician nor an educator, I have been following this issue closely, and I have strong opinions on the issue.  Much of the following is based on those opinions and observations, but I have supplemented it with the results of studies and analyses published by authoritative sources such as the CDC and various educational sources and media outlets.

According to the CDC and many other medical professionals the available scientific evidence indicates that if children get the CV they are highly unlikely to contract a severe case.  Most of the time they get a mild case, recover quickly and rarely infect others.  Many of them do not even realize they were sick.

Those under the age of 18 account for about 7% of the CV cases and less than .1% of the fatalities.  .1%!!

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the rate of transmission among children and from children to family members or other adults is extremely low.   Is it medically safe?  Nobody wants to do anything to endanger the health of the kids, the teachers or anyone else.  Let’s get that out of the way.  So, the question becomes, is there a way  to reopen the schools and eliminate the danger entirely?  The answer is “of course, not.”  Nothing we do in life is 100% safe.  Every time you cross the street there is a possibility of being hit by a car.  Every time you take a bath there is the risk you will slip, crack your head, and suffer a brain injury.  Yet, we still cross the street and take baths.  Similarly, I will stipulate that there is a very slight risk that a child or a teacher will get infected with the CV.  I also maintain that the risk is so very, very small that it is far outweighed by the benefits, and it should not frighten us into keeping schools closed.  Keeping schools closed carries significant risks as delineated below:

  1. Health-related dangers of keeping kids home.  No one wants anyone to die, especially children, but as you will see, the health risk of not attending school is far greater than the chance of their contracting the CV.  For example, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends that children return to school.  For many disadvantaged children the daily school-provided meals constitute the most nutritious food they receive.  Missing those meals would have a deleterious effect on their health.  I will include other mental and emotional health issues below under “social issues.”
  2. Virtual learning is not as effective as in-person learning.  According to the CDC  “in-person schooling is in the best interests of the students,” particularly when appropriate mitigation measures” have been taken.  We are all familiar with these measures, which include, among others, wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing.
  3. Returning to school is necessary to counteract the “summer slide.”  Many educators and parents are familiar with this phenomenon, although perhaps, not with the actual term.  According to the Northwest Evaluation Association, a research-oriented not-for-profit entity that specializes in academic assessments regarding K-12 students, over the summer students may lose up to 39% of their improvement in reading from the previous school year and up to 50% in math.  These percentages will, of course, vary depending on the student’s grade and other factors, but the salient point is very clear.  Students cannot afford to have their education interrupted, lest they fall behind, perhaps, significantly and irrevocably.
  4. Keeping schools closed has a disproportionally adverse economic effect on working class and poor people. First of all, in many cases the parents, especially a single parent, would be unable to work as they cannot afford daycare, nor do they have the type of job that would enable them to work from home.  Consequently, they may lose their job.  Secondly, many poor families do not have access to a computer, or if they do there are not enough for each child in the family to use.  Thirdly, they are more reliant on schools services as I will discuss below.
  5. Social issues.  There have been several studies regarding adverse effects in this area. Some of these would include “hindering the development” of “social skills and peer relationships,” child abuse, substance abuse, and the inability to focus on and ameliorate student disabilities.  This is especially true regarding poor families that rely exclusively on schools to provide assistance.   According to a 2018 study conducted by the Home Health Services Association, teachers and and other educational personnel are the number one reporters of child abuse.  Without being in the classroom many of these instances would likely go unreported and unresolved.  Furthermore, various studies have shown that some 20% of children between the ages of nine and 17 suffer from some type of “mental health condition.”  Studies of pandemics have found a “strong association” between the length of time being quarantined and the onset of PTSD.  also, physicians, social workers and teachers generally agree that schools provide a safe environment for learning, and we all know that education is the primary path to success in life.


Everyone agrees that keeping our children safe is of paramount importance. Contrary to what some cable news outlets have been proclaiming, no one wants to endanger their lives.  As I said above, we all know that nothing is 100% certain; everything we do in life entails some risk.

In my opinion, as I have outlined above, the benefits of re-opening the schools clearly outweigh the risks, particularly if it is done in a prudent, safe manner.  Moreover, since over 20 countries have already re-opened their schools safely we have empirical evidence that it can be done.  The Washington Post and many other media outlets have reported that none of these countries has suffered from further outbreaks of the CV.  Therefore, there is no reason to fear that we would.

These other countries have provided a blueprint that we can follow.  We don’t have to guess.  We have seen what has worked and what hasn’t.  Some of what has worked include:

  1. Staggered times/staggered days.
  2. Staged re-opening, as opposed to all at once.
  3. Require masks and social distancing.
  4. Limited occupancy, either through split sessions or separate days.
  5. Limit outsiders’ access, even family members.
  6. Frequent disinfecting and cleaning.
  7. Temperature scans throughout the day.
  8. Modify or eliminate gym and playground activities.
  9. Serve food in individual portions, perhaps in the classrooms, rather than by buffet.

I don’t understand why many teachers’ unions are opposing re-opening so vehemently.  In California the union has gone so far as to hold school re-opening hostage to a list of far left demands such as defunding the police and ending charter schools as an alternative to public schools.  What do those demands have to do with the CV and the safety of children?  Nothing.  It’s pure blackmail.  The science and empirical evidence, as I have presented above, does not support their objections.  Is the real reason for their objection politically-based.  Some people believe it is for the purpose of hurting Donald Trump’s re-election chances.  Frankly, I am not sure, but I would not put it past the Dems.  Some political commentators have opined that in a presidential election year “everything” is about the election.

I can understand why some parents might feel uneasy about sending their kids to school.  Home schooling is always an option, but I think the scientific and empirical evidence strongly indicates that the schools should be re-opened.





He was described, by some, as “the hardest working man in show business.”  He holds the Guinness World Record for logging the most hours on tv.  He exuded a unique style, for example, a self-deprecating wit, distinctive NY accent, and often irreverent ad-libs.  In addition, he would often relate elaborate, amusing stories in which he poked fun at himself.  In essence, he would make himself the butt of his own joke.  All these characteristics endeared him to his fans like few other entertainers.  People would greet him on the street like a long-lost friend – “Hey Reeg!  How’re doing?!”

Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was born on August 25, 1931 in NYC.  He was a true child of the American “melting pot.”  His father, who had served in the marines in WWII was of Irish descent; his mother was Italian.  Regis’ unusual name was a tribute to his father’s old high school, the prestigious Regis High School.  For years, it was thought Regis was an only child, but some years later he disclosed on Live with Regis and Kelly that he had had a brother who had just died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He was raised in the Bronx.  He had a distinctive Catholic education – Our Lady of Solace grammar school, Cardinal Hayes HS, and Notre Dame University.  He graduated from ND in 1953 with a sociology degree.  After a stint in (the Navy he went into the entertainment business.

Regis learned the business from the ground up.  He broke into the tv business as a page on the Tonight Show.  The host at that time was Steve Allen.  (There have been six principal hosts of the show from its inception in 1954 to the present.  Can you name the other five?  (See below for the answer.)  After that, he was a writer for a LA-based talk show hosted by Tom Duggan.  His first hosting gig was as a last-minute fill-in for Duggan when he failed to appear one night.  He would often relate how nervous he was to jump in at the last minute with minimal preparation, but he pulled it off.

Shortly thereafter, he debuted as a talk show host of his own show, aptly named The Regis Philbin Show from San Diego.  Since the show lacked a writing staff Regis commenced to open each show with a “host chat” session.  He would simply talk to the audience and his co-host, informally, about the day’s current events.  Although he was not the first talk show host to employ this tactic, it became his trademark, and he continued it prospectively.  In 1964 his show was syndicated nationally, but the show didn’t draw well, and shortly thereafter it was cancelled.

Regis’ next step up the ladder was in 1967 when he became the co-host or “side-kick,” on the Joey Bishop Show on ABC.  The role of the “side-kick,” which was popularized by Ed McMahon on the Tonight Show, was basically to laugh at Bishop’s jokes, whether they were funny or not, and take his teasing and abuse in stride.  After the show was cancelled.  Regis then bounced around for several years doing talk shows, game shows and variety shows with a plethora of co-hosts in a variety of cites.

Finally, in 1985 he got his big break.  He was paired with Kathie Lee Johnson (later Gifford), and the pair “clicked.”  In 1988 the show was syndicated nationally as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.  The show became very popular, and Regis’ career took off.  Audiences and viewers loved his style.  Over the years Regis hosted and appeared as a guest on numerous other shows and events, too many to list here.  Probably, my favorite was Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.  Some of you may recall his signature line to a contestant: “Is that your final answer?”

I think the following two testimonials sum up Regis perfectly and explain his popularity.  Geraldo Rivera knew him a long time and was an avid fan.  He recalled “we had wonderful laughs together.  Regis made everyone laugh.”  Rivera added, “he was quick with a quip.”  Arthel Neville, who occasionally co-hosted with Regis on Live, recalled “he [was so] generous.  He [didn’t] mind sharing the spotlight.”  In addition, she said she should have followed his advice with respect to her first marriage.  His succinct advice was “don’t do it,” and he turned out to be right.


We are all familiar with Regis’ tv career, particularly his stint on Live, however, in addition he cut several records and albums, and authored various books.  Moreover, he was the recipient of numerous honors and awards.  These included daytime Emmys, TV Guide Personality of the Year, Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, last but not least, the Guinness World Record for number of hours on tv (16,540).

Regis was married twice and had four children.  Audiences are familiar with his second wife, Joy, who often served as co-host on Live.  He was an avid sports fan, particularly of the Yankees and, of course, Notre Dame.  One of his endearing qualities was his ineptitude with mechanics and especially technology.  He often regaled audiences with his misadventures with the tv remote and computers.  I recall one story, in particular.  It’s too long to repeat it all here, but essentially, he had just bought a new car.  He was driving it into NYC via the Midtown Tunnel.  He had to pay the toll, but he couldn’t open the window or the door to do so.  He was holding up traffic, and you know how impatient NY drivers can be.  Amid all the honking of horns someone recognized him and yelled out “Hey Reeg!” adding to his extreme embarrassment.   He told it a lot better than I just did.  It was just hilarious.

Regis’ health had declined in recent years.  In 1993 he underwent an angioplasty procedure.  This was followed up with a triple by-pass, a hip replacement and the removal of a blood clot in his calf.

Finally, on July 24 he passed away from heart disease at the age of 88.  Rest in peace, Regis.  You entertained us for over 60 years, and you will be sorely missed.

Quiz answer:  Steve Allen (1954-1957, Jack Paar (1957-1962), Johnny Carson (1962-1992), Jay Leno (1992-2009 & 2010-2014, Conan O’Brien (2009-2010), and Jimmy Fallon ( 2014- present).




As I write this, there are 102 days until Election Day, November 3.  102 days until we will be voting in what I and many other people consider the most significant election in our lifetimes.   Unlike most elections, this year voters will have a clear choice.

I believe voters will be deciding the future of America for some time to come.  On one side is capitalism, free enterprise, law and order, self-determination and a personally unpopular president whom about half the country dislikes intensely but who has demonstrated that he gets things done.   One the other side is socialism, crime, chaos, a government that heavily controls how we live, and a “nice guy” of questionable mental capacity

In recent months the presidential election polls have shown Biden, the latter choice, to be leading President Trump, the former choice, nationally by between eight and 14 points depending on the poll.  Those same polls also have reported that Biden is leading in most of the battleground states, in some cases by double digits.  Taken at face value these polls appear to be predicting a landslide victory for Biden.

But, not so fast.  Ever since Mr. Trump’s surprise upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 there has been considerable controversy over the reliability of presidential polling.  Pollsters have spent the greater part of the last four years analyzing why the polls failed to detect and report that the election was as close as it was.  Are they less accurate now compared to previously?  If so, why?  The answer seems to be that there are many theories, but no one really knows.

Some pollsters, such as Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight, maintain that the polls are as accurate as they have ever been.  He maintains that they are correct 80% of the time.  Others, such as Jake Novak of Jake Novak News, pollster Glen Bolger and Matt Lackey, VP of Research and Development for Civis Analytics, whose opinions are outlined below, disagree.  In my view, since no one really knows how and why, the polls blew it in 2016 let alone how to correct them, it is likely to happen again.

I don’t want to drill down too far into the polling methodology.  That would bore all of you (and me) to death, but based on my research, I have some thoughts:

  1. Novak and many others denote the obvious, which is that presidential elections are decided, not by the overall popular vote but by state-by-state electoral votes.  Therefore, the predicted winner of the overall national vote will not necessarily win the election.  Indeed this has happened five times, most recently in 2016 when Hilary Clinton lost to President Trump.  One can debate whether or not this is “fair” or “just,” but the rules are specified in the Constitution, and there are various reasons for them.  (Some of you may recall that I analyzed the role of the Electoral College in a previous blog.)  Can you name the four other presidents who were elected despite losing the popular vote?  See answers below.
  2. Many pollsters query “registered” voters as opposed to “likely” voters.  The latter group would be more reliable, but they are also harder to identify.
  3. As I said, national polls have proven to be reliable measurements of overall popularity, but they don’t necessarily predict the presidential winner accurately.  For example, in 2016 the final Rasmussen poll predicted Clinton to win the popular vote by 1.7%.  She won by 2.1%.  Not a bad prediction as far as it went, but it was misleading.  As we know, Clinton lost the Electoral College vote and, hence, the election.
  4. According to Novak state polls have tended to be less reliable than national polls.   Lackey and pollster Glen Bolger agree and attribute that to (1) there is a segment of voters, most likely lesser educated and Trump supporters, that pollsters don’t reach, and (2) many Trump supporters are reluctant to admit it.  This view is supported by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, which opines that many state polls “underweight” Trump’s support because they often fail to “weight or adjust their samples to include more white voters who [haven’t] graduated college.”  Finally, according to Fox News a recently- published poll disclosed that 62% of voters are “reluctant” to express their true political preferences to pollsters, their employers, their friends or anyone else for fear of retribution (in the form of physical violence or loss of job) or of being mocked.  This feeling was expressed by Dems, GOPers and independents, alike, although it was more prevalent among GOPers.  Given the recent aggressiveness of the “cancel culture,” I find this very plausible.  I have to believe that the preponderance of these respondents are Trump supporters.


So, what does all this mean?  Well, for one thing, we should take the polls with a “grain of salt.”  I am not suggesting we ignore them, but we should be mindful of the lessons of 2016.  Mr. Trump’s claim that the polls are misleading and underweight his support may have some basis in fact.  According to Politico he “has a point.”

In my opinion, he may still be losing, but in all likelihood the election will be much closer than most people think.  If I were the Bidens I would not be measuring the White House for curtains just yet.

Quiz Answer:  (1) John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson in 1824.  (2) Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden in 1876.  (3) Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland in 1888.  (4) George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000.



Tuesday night, President Trump resumed White House press briefings regarding the status of the coronavirus.  In response to criticism from some people that these briefings had become too long, elaborate and partisan, it was shorter than the previous ones, was delivered in a calm tone, and with fewer questions from the assembled media.  Wednesday night, he followed up with another press conference that was also short and to the point.

Below please find some of the highlights provided by Mr. Trump in those press conferences.  I don’t wish to bury the lede.  Therefore, I will lead with what I consider to be the most significant point.

  1. There are in excess of 100 potential vaccines in various stages of development.  Two of them, in particular, are entering the final testing phase and may be available shortly.  In anticipation of this the administration has already entered into a distribution deal with Pfizer and Bio Tech to provide a minimum of 100 million doses of the “winning” vaccine for distribution.  Mr. Trump stated that a team from the US Army will handle the logistics.   In my opinion, the imminent prospect of a readily available, safe vaccine “trumps” all the controversial and negative news floating around about his handling of the CV.
  2. Medical professionals have improved treatment protocols in the past few months.  They have discovered various therapeutic treatments, such as remdesivir, that have been effective, particularly when prescribed at an early stage of the CV.
  3. As a result, the average time a CV patient has to remain in the hospital has been cut in half since April.  During that same period, US fatalities have decreased 75%.
  4. The median age of those fatalities is 78.  Despite various precautions that have been employed to protect the elderly (except for Governor Cuomo’s faux pas in NY), approximately 50% of all US fatalities have occurred in nursing homes.  This is despite the fact that seniors make up only approximately 1% of the population.  Even though every death is tragic, this outcome makes sense to me as most of the inhabitants are elderly and in poor health to begin with.
  5. The president described the major elements of a major emphasis on nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  Firstly, FEMA is sending additional PPE to all 15,000 registered NHs, including five-minute and 15-minute test kits..  Secondly, HHS is providing funds from its emergency account to NHs for hiring additional personnel and training them.  Thirdly, HHS will be identifying high-risk NHs in each state and notifying the governors so they can take appropriate action.
  6. The overall fatality rate in the US is about 3.7%.  Approximately, 99.96% of the fatalities are adults.  Children rarely get the CV, and when they do they recover very quickly.  Many times, they don’t even realize they were sick.  I think this fact should be considered when evaluating whether or not to re-open the schools.
  7. Some 20 countries worldwide have already re-opened their schools successfully, so there is empirical evidence that it can be done.  I believe that, although there may be legitimate concerns, on balance it would be beneficial to the children.
  8. The US has administered some 50 million tests, far more than any other country.  Moreover, that is three times the number of tests administered by the rest of the western hemisphere and 50% more per capita than Europe. India, with far more of a population, is second with 12 million.  Obviously, simple math tells you that more tests mean more cases.  I don’t think that is the sole reason for the alarming increase in the number of cases, but certainly it is a factor.  Other possible causes could be (1) the recent spate of demonstrations/rioting sans masks and social distancing, (2) increased travel, and (3) the increase in people congregating in groups socially.
  9. Presently, there are no unfulfilled PPE requests.
  10. The president has dispatched some 7,000 military medical personnel to hotspots in AZ, TX, FL and CA to assist.
  11. President Trump endorsed the use of masks and encouraged people to maintain social distancing but fell short of requiring them.
  12. Both Parties are negotiating an additional aid package.  As usual, the GOP and Dems prefer different approaches. So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what provisions the package ultimately contains.  Mr. Trump is likely to sign whatever bill comes out of the Congress.  The enhanced unemployment benefits expire at the end of the week, so time is of the essence.
  13. According to Mr. Trump the overall goal is “not [merely] to manage the pandemic but to eliminate it.”  He wants to shelter high-risk persons, enable non-high-risk persons to return to work, and enable kids to return to school.
  14. In other news of interest the NY Times has reported that (1) recently the daily US death rate exceeded 1,000 persons; (2) United Airlines will be requiring passengers to wear masks in its lounges and baggage areas; (3) Harvard announced it will be barring foreign students from campus; and (4) as many as 1/3 of all museums may not survive the pandemic.


Some news channels, notably CNN, declined to telecast the news conference, perhaps, on the basis that they didn’t want to give Mr. Trump additional air time.  Some of them provided highlights, which, likely, were edited selectively to portray Mr. Trump in the worst possible light.  In my opinion, this was an example of irresponsible journalism.  The CV is one of, if not the, most significant news stories of the year.  Regardless of politics, the content of the news conference was certainly newsworthy, and these outlets denied their viewers access to the unedited information.  All that said, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

Many of our cities remain in chaos, dominated by lawlessness, rioting, looting, destruction of property, and even murder.  The Democratic mayors and governors of these cities (NY, DC, Philly, Portland, Atlanta, Seattle and LA, among others) and states seem to be unable and/or unwilling to stop it.  The situation cries out for federal assistance, yet, these Dem mayors and governors have refused to allow Mr. Trump to send in federal troops to assist (although he has deployed troops to Portland to protect federal property).

I would love it if someone could explain to me the reason for this, other than blatant politics.  The number one responsibility of government is to provide security and protection for its citizens.  Without that, we have no government, no country.  The Dem administrations in these cities and states have failed dismally.  I hope the voters remember this on Election Day.

A final thought: Nancy Pelosi compared the federal personnel helping out in Portland to “Nazi stormtroopers.”  Really?!  That is not a valid or appropriate comparison in the least.  Moreover, it is an insult to the memory of the six million Jews whom the Nazis murdered in the Holocaust.  I think Ms. Pelosi needs a history lesson.  She also needs to apologize.  I’d like to believe she just made a really stupid, insensitive mistake, but it is possible she said it intentionally to pander to some of her supporters’ anti-Semitic leanings.


I am continually amazed at the bravery and selflessness exhibited by ordinary people during the Holocaust.  Often these feats are not fully recognized until many years later or even after their death.  Also, many of these heroes who risked their lives to help Jews and others were not Jewish, themselves, and therefore were not at risk.  Rather than “sit out” the war they chose to risk their lives to help those in need.  Such is the following case.

Žarko Dolinar was born in Yugoslavia on July 3, 1920.  His parents had immigrated from Slovenia.  Zarko had a natural ability in table tennis.  Americans call it ping pong, although if you have ever watched a table tennis match you know that the manner in which the two sports are played is substantially different.

He worked hard at the sport, and in 1938 at the tender age of 18 Zarko won the Yugoslavia TT championship.  Then, in 1939 he won a bronze medal in the individual international world championships and a silver in the team competition.  That performance elevated him to hero status in Yugoslavia.   He followed up that performance by winning the championship of what was known as the “Independent State of Croatia,” which comprised most of present-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  By the advent of WWII Zarko had achieved celebrity status in the region.  As we shall see, this was to be of great assistance to him in his more significant endeavors.

The Nazis invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941.  As they did everywhere, they quickly promulgated anti-Jewish laws as part of their “final solution.”  The handwriting was on the wall.  Zarko and his brother, Boris, were determined to help Jews escape any way they could.

Due to his notoriety Zarko was above reproach.  He had connections and access few others did.   He was able to operate freely anywhere and everywhere under the very noses of the Nazis and their collaborators, including at administrative and municipal offices.   He took full advantage.  When the roundup of young Jews began in June 1941, Zarko and Boris commenced to rescue as many Jews as possible without regard for their personal safety.  Zarko was able to procure blank identity papers and seals, which he and Boris used to create travel permits and identity papers for a large number of Jews.

For example:

  1.   Geršon Apfel, was one of Zarko’s Maccabi students.   In the spring of 1941 he learned that Apfel and all his colleagues in Hashomer Hatzair were scheduled for imminent “deportation.”   Zarko took Apfel into his home, prepared a special pass, called a passierschein, for him, and accompanied him to the train station from where a train would take him to the Hungarian-controlled area, where Jews still lived freely.
  2. Žuži Färler, an acquaintance from the Maccabi Sports Club, requested his help to flee.  Zarko transferred her and her deaf-mute parents to his apartment, arranged documents for them, and, personally escorted the family by train to Sušak, which was in the Italian occupied zone.   In Susak Zarko made sure they had secured accommodations before he returned to Zagreb.
  3. Dr. Josef Deutsch was a Jewish refugee from Germany who had fled to Zagreb, where he was arrested.  Using his connections, Zarko managed to have Deutsch released and assisted him in reaching the partisans.
  4. Similarly, Zarko helped a fellow sportsman, Gustav Perl, to reach Tito’s partisans.

Eventually, the Nazis came to suspect Zarko and Boris of assisting Jews to escape, but, for some reason, they never arrested them.

After the war Zarko was a very busy man.  For example:

  1. He continued to compete internationally winning eight medals in World Table Tennis Championships.  He was generally considered to be Europe’s best player in the mid-1950s.  He was the first Croatian to win a world title.  He won the world’s doubles championship in London in 1954 and was the singles vice-champion in Utrecht in 1955.
  2. He worked as a sports coach in various places, in particular at the Maccabi Sports Club run by the Jewish community in Zagreb.
  3. He designed and produced more than 80 different types of rackets.   
  4. For good measure, Zarko continued his education.   In 1949 he graduated from the University of Zagreb with a degree in veterinary medicine, and in 1959 he earned a doctorate in the field.
  5. Later he became a professor of biology in Basel University in Switzerland.


Žarko Dolinar was married to Judith Duić, whose family he and his brother Boris had saved during the Holocaust. They had one daughter.

On September 8, 1993, Yad Vashem recognized Žarko and Boris Dolinar, as Righteous Among the Nations, an honor they truly and fully deserved.   Unfortunately, Boris never lived to see the honor.  He had passed away in 1992.

Zarko passed away on March 9, 2003.  They may be gone, but their memory and accomplishments will live forever.


In trying to analyze the 2020 presidential campaign I feel somewhat confused.  I feel as though I am living in an alternate reality.  Much of the information seems anomalous to me.  What’s happening does not make sense.  It seems like up is down, and down is up.  Left is right, and right is left.

For example:

  1. All the polls show Biden leading President Trump nationally by anywhere from nine to 14 points.  He is also leading in most of the battleground states.  If those polls are accurate Biden will win in a landslide.  However, based on the higher level of enthusiasm I have observed for Trump from his supporters compared to Biden from his supporters I question whether these polls are accurate.  As in 2016 I think President Trump’s support is greater than they indicate.  Biden may still be ahead, just by not as much.
  2. Most analysts agree that a Biden victory would be a drag on the economy and the stock market for various reasons.  So, given the polls, the stock market should be declining.  Yet, it is rising.  Why?  It is very contradictory.  As I write this, the index is at 26,734, which is a substantial increase from the low of 18,592 on March 23.  It’s as if the index is anticipating a Trump victory.
  3. It seems to me several planks in the Dems’ platform would be too extreme for most Americans.  In a “nutshell” they have adopted the Bernie Sanders socialist platform.  Just a few months ago that was considered to be too radical.  Now, the Dems have embraced it.
  4. In my opinion, the worst idea is the Green New Deal.  Among other things it would eliminate millions of jobs.  It would destroy the coal, oil, gas and automobile industries, among others.  Yet, the polls report Biden is leading in all the states that rely on those industries (PA, MI, and OH, among others).  Why?  Don’t the voters appreciate the ramifications of the GND?  It doesn’t make sense.
  5. The Dems are advocating raising taxes to pay for all their programs.  Historically, raising taxes has been a death knell to any campaign.  Normally, politicians avoid mentioning the “T” word at any cost.  Yet, apparently, not this year.  Don’t middle class voters realize that their taxes would be raised also?  Again, it doesn’t make sense.
  6. The Dems have been unable or unwilling to deal effectively with the rioting, violence, chaos and crime in the cities they control.  Their main strategy has been to defund the police departments in those cities, which has exacerbated the problem.  Most major cities have seen substantial increases in murders and other violent crimes in the past few months.  Few criminals are arrested.  In NYC the “no bail” law enables criminals to get out of jail the same day and return to the streets to reprise their criminal behavior.  According to Forbes Magazine the top ten cities with the highest levels of violent crime are all controlled by Dems, in some cases for decades.  I’m talking about NYC, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Portland, DC and Baltimore, among others.  I know many people who, at this time, will not venture into NYC.  Others who live in those cities are thinking of leaving.  Biden and other leading Dems have refused to condemn this chaos, crime and violence or even criticize it.  This should have hurt the Biden campaign.  Yet, he remains ahead.  Again, illogical.
  7. There are various other inconsistencies, but the aforementioned should serve to illustrate my point.


I find it very hard to believe that a majority of voters would be in favor of raising taxes, chaos, violence and crime in the cities, and the Green New Deal.  Moreover, most of the electorate seems to have chosen to ignore or at least discount Biden’s obvious decline in mental acuity.  It is apparent every time he opens his mouth.

Perhaps, they are unaware of the severe ramifications of these policies and Biden’s condition. The Dems are on the wrong side of all these issues.  Furthermore, any objective person would have doubts that Biden will be able to perform the presidential duties of the office.  I have discussed these, in detail, in previous blogs, and there is no need to repeat all of them here.  Trump should be ahead comfortably.  Yet, he is losing.

I can only think of three reasons for this: (1) the irrational hatred of him by about half of the electorate, which is causing many of them to ignore the existential threat of the Dems’ socialist policies (2) the biased media, which continually presents the most negative side of everything he says and does, and (3) he is being blamed for the extent of the coronavirus pandemic.  Nothing can be done about the first two.   With respect to the coronavirus there is plenty of blame to go around.  Trump has not been blameless, yet neither have the state and local politicians, the media and the medical experts.  Information out of China was unreliable, inconsistent, and misleading, especially in the early stages.  All of us were deceived.  Be that as it may, there are multiple reports that we are close to an effective vaccine.  Perhaps, we will have it before the election.  Hopefully, that will save Mr. Trump.


As most of you know, the first ten amendments to the Constitution comprise what is known as the Bill of Rights.  The BR is an integral part of the Constitution.  After the Revolutionary War many states, particularly the smaller ones, were concerned of being dominated by the larger ones, such as Virginia and NY, and a powerful central government.  In the opinion of most historians, because of this concern some of them were hesitant to ratify the Constitution as it was then written.  The addition of the BR and its guarantee of various rights to protect individuals, assuaged those concerns and enabled the Constitution to be ratified unanimously.  The ratification process is a fascinating story, and if you have any interest in history, I recommend you research it on the various relevant websites.

In this blog I would like to focus on three of those aforementioned rights – freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms.  Each of these is now under attack.  Ironically, the attack is not coming from the federal government, but from other citizens with the support of much of the media and various state and local governments.  We have been seeing examples of this daily, but in the interest of time and space I will only list a few:

  1. The right to bear arms has been under constant attack for many years now.  Some critics favor an outright repeal of this right; others are willing to accept modifications.  It is a complicated issue.  That said, those seeking to ban individuals from owning weapons have been getting more aggressive.  The most obvious and egregious example is illustrated by the story of Mark and Patricia McCloskey.  Last week, they were trying to protect their home from a mob that had gathered on their front lawn.  The mob had broken into the McCloskey’s gated community.  They were threatening to kill them and their dog and destroy their house.  The cops did not respond to their 911 calls.  Luckily, the McCloskeys owned legally-obtained firearms.  They stood on their front porch with the weapons in hand, and told the mob to leave them alone.  Eventually, the mob left.  Despite the guarantees of the second amendment to bear arms the McCloskeys were attacked mercilessly by the far left.  Then, a few days later local authorities raided the McCloskey’s house and confiscated the weapons.  The local prosecutor is threatening to prosecute them.  Neither the Dem mayor nor the GOP governor has interceded on their behalf.  What crime did they commit?  Who knows.  Meanwhile, as I write this, no one in the mob is being prosecuted for anything.  I ask you, what were the McCloskeys supposed to do?  The police had not responded.  Step aside and let the mob have its way?  What would you do if someone were threatening your house, your family, your dog and your very life?  Answer honestly.
  2. Recently, there have been many violations of the right to free speech. Individuals are being fired from their jobs and businesses boycotted for saying the “wrong” thing.  Recently, the far left called for a boycott of Goya Foods, a Hispanic-owned company, just because its chairman visited the White House.   Bari Weiss, the former NY Times opinion editor, was terminated because her political views, which are generally centrist, were too conservative for the woke twitter crowd that seems to run the Times.   In her parting shot she opined that “twitter has become the ultimate editor [of the NYT].”  The point here is not whether or not you agree with Weiss’ political views; it is that her right to express them is expressly guaranteed by the BR.
  3. Gary Garrels, Senior Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, was accused of being a white supremist and terminated for suggesting that the museum might continue to feature works by Caucasian artists as well as artists of color.
  4. The attack on freedom of religion was most evident over the last few months as many governors, under the guise of combatting the spread of the coronavirus, denied worshippers the right to attend church services, even on Easter Sunday and even to listen remotely from their cars in the church parking lot.  Conversely, they had no objection to street “protesters” who gathered in mobs without masks and social distancing, to destroy property and attack people.


Make no mistake about it, the BR is under attack.  The far left  is chipping away at it piece by piece.  I believe the perpetrators only constitute a small minority, but they are vociferous and well-organized.   The overwhelming majority of people cannot possibly agree with these attacks, but they have been cowed into submission.  People are afraid that it they speak out they will also be attacked.

This goes for moderate and conservative politicians as well.  President Trump seems to be the only one who is speaking out to condemn these attacks.  By contrast, Biden, Pelosi and the other Dem leaders have been silent, which, to me, constitutes a tacit endorsement.

Where will it all end?  Your guess is as good as mine.  As I have discussed in recent blogs I believe what we are seeing now is just a small sample, a preview, of what will happen if Biden wins the election.

How ironic would it be if after having defeated fascism, communism and terrorism we end up defeating ourselves.  At this rate it could very well happen.

We need a tipping point, a “Joseph Welch” moment, an incident so egregious that the majority will finally step up and say “enough is enough.”  We need to take back our country before it is too late.


This year, voters are being offered a clear choice between two candidates with radically different outlooks for America.  Simply put, the choice is capitalism or socialism.  In my opinion, it will be a watershed election with long-lasting ramifications.  We, the voters, get to choose, but, then, we will have to live with the consequences.

Normally, regardless of what is said during the presidential campaign once they have secured their Party’s nomination the two candidates try to move towards the “middle” as that is where the majority of voters are perceived to be.  Historically, whichever candidate controls the middle wins the election.  Fringe candidates, such as Barry Goldwater (1964), George McGovern (1972) and Walter Mondale (1984) have been defeated decisively.  As of now, it appears that 2020 may be an exception to that rule as Biden is trying to win from the far left.

Oddly, so far he is succeeding despite the fact that (1) he is proposing a socialist agenda that the polls indicate most Americans do not support, and (2) he rarely ventures out in public, and when he does he clearly exhibits signs of dementia.  I think this is largely the result of biased media support, but there are various other reasons as well.  I will analyze them in another blog.

On November 3, voters will be choosing not only the president for the next four years, but, more importantly, they will be committing America to a political, social and economic way of life that will likely last for a very long time, if not permanently.  Before you dismiss my last statement as hyperbole please read on.

President Trump’s first-term performance is a matter of record.  You may agree or disagree with it, but at least it is within the context of what America has been all about for the last 250 years or so.  The upcoming election has become a referendum on Mr. Trump.  In my view, on a non-personal level he has done very well.  Among his accomplishments, he built the best economy in history, pre-coronavirus, enabled us to become energy-independent, and decimated ISIS and Islamic terrorism.  Additionally, his law and order, patriotic and pro-military credentials are solid, well-established and consistent with that of most Americans.   On the other hand, on a personal level he is disliked, or even hated, by a substantial portion of voters.  Moreover, most of the media ignores his triumphs, exaggerates his defeats, and irresponsibly fans the flames of hate at every opportunity.

The main theme of this blog is addressed primarily to those voters who, for whatever reason despise the president and will not vote for him under any circumstances.  My attitude is if you want to vote for Biden, be my guest.  You are entitled to vote for whomever you want.  It’s your right as an American.  Fair enough.

BUT, and this is a big “but,” at least be aware of what you are voting for.  At least realize what the Dems will do if they win, especially if they capture the Presidency and the Senate to go with the House.   We don’t have to guess.  They have been telling us.  They have been showing us.  If you have been paying attention you already know.  However, for the benefit of those who haven’t been, below please find a partial list of their platform.  I have not made these up.  I have not exaggerated them.  They are from accounts of Biden, himself, other prominent Dems, and their supporters.  If you want to fact-check them independently you can research them easily enough as I did.

The ramifications of most of these are truly frightening.  As you read them put aside your political ideology.  Put aside your hatred of Mr. Trump.  Think about whether or not you want to live in a country where these are a way of life.

  1.  On more than one occasion, Biden has said he plans to “transform” America.  I’m not sure what he means by that vague statement.  I’m not sure even he knows.  He’s been in politics for some 50 years, so, obviously, any transformation would apply to his own accomplishments, or non-accomplishments.  Can you identify one major accomplishment?  I can’t.  I believe he has been dragged so far to the left by the radical wing of the Dem Party that he wants to transform America into a socialist country.  He and his supporters won’t use that word, as it spells political death, but that’s what it is.  To paraphrase the late comedian, Groucho Marx, believe what you see with your own eyes, not what others tell you.
  2. He and his ilk would force identity politics down our throats.  We would have to submit to the arbitrary tyranny of the left.  We are already seeing this.  Whites are supposed to be guilty over their “privilege” of having been born white.  In retribution, they have to accept all kinds of criticism without complaint.  Anyone who defends himself is branded a “racist,” and is subject to loss of job, boycott of his business and/or public humiliation.
  3. Paying reparations for slavery.  This is inane.  Who pays?  Who receives?  How much?  Who knows?  Who decides?  What about the fact that not all present-day whites are descendants of slaveowners, and not all present-day blacks are descendants of slaves?
  4. Raise taxes on the “rich.”  He expects you to believe that this will pay for all his other policies.  Not even close.  There is not enough money and not enough rich people to do so.  And, by the way, who does he define as “rich?”  You may not feel rich or live like you are rich, but to Biden’s supporters you are.  Get out your checkbook.
  5. Green New Deal.  I have discussed this idea in previous blogs.  It is simply insane.  No more fossil fuels, no more airplanes or cars, no more energy industry.  Millions of jobs gone.  No more life as we know it.  Dust off your bicycle.
  6. Full citizenship for all illegals.  How many are there?  Ten million?  Twenty?  Thirty?  No one knows, but the preponderance of them will likely vote Democrat consistently, which is the idea.  Would the GOP ever win a national election again?
  7.  Universal healthcare.  Sounds good, but wouldn’t work.  Furthermore, how do we pay for it?  Simply, put, we won’t be able to do so.  Hello, Chapter 11.
  8.  Open or relaxed borders.  So, let me get this straight: we let everyone into the country, pay for their healthcare, let them compete for our jobs, which, thanks to the Green New Deal, will likely be scarce, and grant them full citizenship, including the right to vote.  How about those of us who already live here, who are struggling just to get by?  The Dems would rather cater to the illegals than to the country’s own citizens.  Are you getting the picture yet?
  9. If you are for law and order you will hate the next one.  If you favor violence and anarchy as we have seen in our cities recently you will love it.  He advocates making the “no bail” law universal, expanding restrictive gun laws, and continuing to reduce funding for and support of the police.   In summary, he wants to restrict the right of free speech, the right to defend yourself, let criminals out of jail and defang the police.  Our life would resemble the movie, The Purge.
  10. I’ve saved the best for last.  Make Washington, DC the 51st state.  Two more permanent Dem senators, which will almost guarantee Dem control of that body.  For what it’s worth, the Founding Fathers explicitly expressed opposition to DC being a state for various reasons.
  11. Most of these points are straight from Bernie Sanders’ platform.  We all thought he lost the nomination, in part, because his ideas were too radical, but, they have been resurrected.  This is further proof that Biden is firmly under the control of the radical “left.”


As I have postulated, the choice on November 3 is rather simple.  It’s not just Trump or Biden.  It’s deciding what type of country we will be living in prospectively.  It’s choosing between capitalism and socialism, law and order and rioting and crime, living in the 21st century or the 19th century, preserving the Bill of Rights or not, and retaining freedom of choice or submitting to the autocracy of the left.

Socialism has a really negative connotation and a very low approval rating among most voters, and rightly so as it has never been successful anywhere.  Ever.  Furthermore, very few Americans would identify as socialists.  It’s not who we are and want to be.  But, make no mistake about it.  These policies are socialist.  The Dems intend to sneak them in under the radar under the guise of progressivism.

Moderate Dems (if there are any still left) and Trump haters are faced with a “Hobson’s choice.”  They don’t want to vote for Trump, but a vote for Biden is a vote to fundamentally change America, perhaps permanently.  America is not perfect, but, warts and all, it is still the greatest country on the planet.  Why else would tens of millions want to immigrate here?  You want to change it in a responsible way?  Fine.  Let’s discuss it.  Let’s work within the system.  But, tear it down?  Transform it?  No way.  In a hundred years historians and your descendants will likely wonder why in the world you did it.

Inexplicably, as I said above, despite the above radical agenda and despite Biden’s lack of active campaigning and plainly failing cognitive abilities (just review his highlights/lowlights on U-tube) he is still up in the polls, comfortably.  According to the latest US News and World Report polls he is up ten points nationally and is leading in electoral votes 278 – 186 with 74 too close to call.

I know President Trump is hated by approximately half the country, but are we really going to elect a person with failing cognitive abilities and a socialist agenda?  Really?



For the past several weeks we have been “treated” to a partial preview of life under a country controlled by the Dems.  They already control the House, and there is a strong possibility that after the upcoming election they will have gained control of the presidency and the Senate as well.  We don’t have to guess how life would change under a Dem-controlled country.  The empirical evidence is there, plain as day, for all to see.

Their presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, echoing the comments of the more radical fringe of his Party, has told us they intend to “transform” America into a lawless, socialist country that would be unrecognizable.  Based on what we have seen during the past several months I think we would be wise to take them at their word.

A sneak peek of sorts is available right now in the cities that are under complete Dem control.  Look at the grinding poverty, the hopelessness, and, above all, the wanton, indiscriminate violence.  I have published several blogs regarding the Dems agenda for America in the recent past, and there is no need to rehash it all now.  If you are interested you can follow the advice of the late Casey Stengel and “look it up.”

In this blog, I would like to focus on the wanton violence in many cities, which are and have been under the complete control of the Dems, in some cases, for decades.  I have not heard of any cities under the total control of the GOP with similar problems.  The Dem politicians have not demonstrated the desire or the ability to control the violence, nor any desire to protect their law-abiding citizens and their property, nor to improve their lives in any way.  Instead they either ignore the lawlessness or, worse, aid and abet it.  In my opinion, this is a microcosm of how America would look under the total control of the Dems.

A few of the more egregious examples of disorder and violence as reported in the NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News, and various other news media outlets:

  1. Seattle – Rioters (which much of the media insists on mischaracterizing as “protesters” or “activists”) took over a six-square block in the middle of the city and created their own independent “entity” – CHAZ or CHOP.   Jay Inslee and Jenny Durkan, the clueless and gutless Washington State governor and Seattle mayor, respectively, did nothing.  In their alternate reality it was a zone of “love” and “peace,” until, that is, the rapes, murders and other crimes commenced.
  2. NYC – On July 5 there were 30 shootings, including ten fatalities.  Over the last month shootings were triple the total of last year’s.  The lawlessness was exacerbated by the inane “no bail” law, which was recently enacted by Governor Cuomo and the NYS legislature.  This enabled criminals to commit a crime and be back on the street the same day.  This, combined with liberal prosecutors and judges and policies that hamper the police, has created a perfect environment for criminals to operate with impunity, and they have been.  Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio have not taken any effective action to resolve this situation.
  3. Chicago – Over the July 4th weekend there were 79 shootings, including 15 fatalities.  Over Father’s Day weekend in excess of 100 persons were shot with 14 fatalities.  Chicago has been the murder capital of the country for years despite having very strict gun control laws.  All these laws have accomplished has been to hamper the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.  They have done little or nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining guns.  Mayor Lightfoot is in denial.  In her latest press release she insisted that any discussion of the violence was, you guessed it, “racist.”
  4.  Over the same weekend Philadelphia suffered 34 shootings and nine fatalities.
  5.  Other major cities, such as Washington, DC, Atlanta and San Francisco, reported similar numbers.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 93 people were shot in Atlanta between May 31 and June 27, double the amount during the same period last year.
  6. Even worse than the number of shootings and deaths was the fact that many of the victims were children.   Even though all lives matter, I maintain that it is especially sad when the victim is a child.  So, I would like to mention some of them to put a name to the mere statistic.  Note the ages of the victims: (a) Aavielle Wakefield – five months old, (b) King Carter – six, (c) Aiden McLendon – 22 months, (d) Ramon Burnett – five, (e) Major Howard – three, (f) Natalie Wallace – 7, (g) Chase Young -six, and (h) Secoriea Turner – 8.  Remember these names.  They are just as important as George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, or any other victim whose death received a copious amount of publicity.  There were many more victims, but time and space preclude me from listing them all.  As reported in the media, each of these was innocently minding his own business – playing in the yard, enjoying a birthday party or barbeque, sitting in their house or walking down the street – things that all children, including yours and mine, do every day.
  7.  As far as I know, all of these shootings were “black on black” crimes.  I am not aware of any that were not, and I’m sure the media would have reported it.  Statistics show that few blacks are killed by whites, and fewer still are killed by white cops.  Yet those are the ones we always hear about.

In a press conference with reporters Turner’s father sobbed “you killed your own. … You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.” In his grief, he hit the nail on the head.  Blacks are killing their own neighbors, mostly poor blacks.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms echoed the sentiment.  “The reality is this: These [murders] aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta.  These are members of the [same] community shooting each other.”  The mainstream media ignores or downplays this because it doesn’t not fit their narrative.


The violence is escalating.   It is no coincidence that this has occurred in conjunction with the movement to defund the police.  Cops  have been vilified to such an extent that many of them are wary about doing their job.  They fear criticism and retribution from a hostile City Hall, the public and the media.  Many have taken early retirement.  Others have been calling in sick.

Intelligent people know that defunding the police is a recipe for disaster on many levels.  It could be the worst policy I have seen in my lifetime.  We are now seeing the first installment of the policy.  It will only get worse.  Responses to 911 calls will be delayed or ignored.  Delays mean fatalities.  Recently, Mark and Patricia McCloskey got a taste of this when a mob threatened them, their house and even their dog.  They called 911.  No response.  No help.  Luckily, they owned weapons.  They brandished them in front of the mob, and it dispersed.  But, what if they hadn’t owned any weapons?  Bye-bye house.  Bye-bye dog.  Bye-bye them.

In the future, I believe historians will look back with incredulity that our political leaders could allow this to happen.  They just don’t care.  They are not sufficiently motivated to solve the problem.  Most of them live in gated communities with 24X7 security, often at taxpayer expense.  If not for that, if they had to live like us, they might be more receptive to the problem.

Bob Woodson founder and president of the Woodson Institute and a 50+ year veteran of the civil rights movement, concurs.  He told Fox News that the increased violence is the continuation of a ten-year trend.  He characterized poor blacks as “collateral damage.”

I agree.  It’s sad to say, and I hate to say it, but no one seems to care.  The gang members, drug dealers and other criminal elements prey on law-abiding citizens with impunity.   The politicians who run the cities talk a good game, but that is about it.  They promise to improve matters so they can get re-elected, and they do year after year.  Once they are, they don’t do anything to improve living conditions.

And, by the way, where are the Black Lives Matter advocates, the gun control lobby, presumptive Dem nominee, Joe Biden, and the other politicians, the media, and the race baiters?  Where’s Reverend Al?  On the sidelines and strangely silent.  That’s where.  How come none of them has stepped up to condemn the violence, the murder of innocent little children.  Apparently, for them, BLM only applies when a white cop kills a black person.  Other than President Trump we have heard nary a peep.   Everyone else is afraid to criticize the violence for fear of being labeled a racist.  Cowards all.

The number one responsibility of our elected officials is protect us and maintain law and order.  Those who fail to do so must be replaced.  That is what elections are for.




This year July 4th falls on a Saturday. Because of this quirk of the calendar Independence Day celebration dates, will vary. The federal government, 46 states and the District of Columbia are celebrating ID today, July 3. Three states – NY, MA and TX – will celebrate the holiday on Saturday, July 4. RI will celebrate it on Monday, July 6.

Traditionally, Americans celebrate their independence with family gatherings, parades, carnivals, barbecues, fireworks, and, of course, political speeches. Many of us go to the beach or play golf (weather permitting) or attend concerts, plays or baseball games. Many of us remember, with nostalgia, when MLB celebrated Independence Day with a doubleheader, but those days appear to be gone for good. Unfortunately, this year, because of the coronavirus many of those traditional activities will be cancelled or curtailed for health reasons.

According to Forbes Magazine both the AAA and the TSA are anticipating sharply reduced travel this holiday weekend due to the coronavirus. The primary reasons for this are (1) many people are concerned over the health hazards posed by the coronavirus; (2) many states have imposed travel restrictions and quarantines with respect to those entering from other locales; and (3) many people are out of work and reluctant to spend money on vacations. The AAA has predicted the lightest travel activity since the 1940s (even though the population is now about 2 ½ times greater). Moreover, for the first time it has declined to make a specific prediction at all. The TSA reported that a mere 633,000 travelers passed through its airport checkpoints on Sunday, June 28, which was a substantial decrease from last year’s 1.66 million on the same date.

However we spend the holiday weekend, hopefully, some of us will take a few minutes to reflect on how our country was “born.” Who were the “founding fathers” we hear so much about? Who were the heroes of the revolution? How much do you know? Let’s find out. Below please find a special Independence Day quiz. As always, no peeking at the internet, and don’t ask “Alexa.”

1. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence was
a. George Washington
b. Henry Lee
c. Benjamin Franklyn
d. Thomas Jefferson

2. The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration is in what city?
a. Bristol, RI
b. New York, NY
c. Waterbury, CT
d. Philadelphia, PA

3. The origin of the song, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was
a. American troops during the Revolutionary War
b. French troops during the RW
c. British military before the RW
d. Hessians at the battle of Trenton, NJ

4. The movie, “Independence Day” starred
a. Tom Cruise
b. Will Smith
c. Morgan Freeman
d. Daniel Day-Lewis

5. The first person to sign the Declaration of Independence (and the only one to do so on July 4) was
a. Thomas Jefferson
b. Patrick Henry
c. Benjamin Franklyn
d. John Hancock

6. Each of the following was a member of the Committee of Five (assigned to draft the Declaration), except:
a. George Washington
b. Roger Sherman
c. John Adams
d. Benjamin Franklyn

7. Who was the only President to have been born on the 4th of July?
a. John Adams
b. Grover Cleveland
c. Calvin Coolidge
d. James Polk

8. Each of the following Presidents died on July 4th, except:
a. John Adams
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. James Monroe
d. James Madison

9. Each of the following is considered to be a “Founding Father,” EXCEPT:
a. John Adams
b. Andrew Jackson
c. Alexander Hamilton
d. James Madison

10. The “Star Spangled banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during which war?
a. French and Indian War
b. American Revolution
c. Civil War
d. War of 1812

11. The origin of the nick-name “Uncle Sam” is purportedly:
a. The Continental Congress
b. The Sons of Liberty
c. Meat packer who supplied meat to the US Army
d. British troops during the RW

12. Who, along with John Adams, is responsible for designating the bald eagle as the US’s National Bird?
a. George Washington
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. Benjamin Franklyn
d. Patrick Henry

13. Which state was the last of the “lower 48” to join the Union?
a. New Mexico
b. Oregon
c. Hawaii
d. Arizona

14. How many persons signed the Declaration of Independence?
a. 13
b. 26
c. 40
d. 56

15. Which was the first state to ratify the Constitution?
a. Virginia
b. New York
c. Delaware
d. Massachusetts

16. Purportedly, the Independence Day Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in
a. 1876
b. 1930
c. 1945
d. 1916

17. Who was one of only two signers of the Declaration of Independence to be elected President?
a. John Adams
b. Andrew Jackson
c. Alexander Hamilton
d. Aaron Burr

18. Although July 4 is recognized as Independence Day, the Continental Congress approved a “resolution of independence” on this date.
a. June 15
b. July 1
c. July 2
d. July 3

19. Washington, DC became the capital in
a. 1776
b. 1800
c. 1820
d. 1920

20. The 14th state of the union was:
a. Maine
b. Georgia
c. Florida
d. Vermont

ANSWERS: 1. (d); 2. (a); 3. (c); 4. (b); 5. (d); 6. (a); 7. (c); 8. (d); 9. (b); 10. (d); 11. (c); 12. (b); 13. (d); 14. (d); 15. (c); 16. (d); 17. (a); 18. (c); 19. (b); 20. (d)


Well, how did you do? I’d like to know.
Now, some Independence Day-related trivia with which you can impress your friends:

1. Although we consider July 4th to be the official date of our independence, most historians now agree that the Declaration was not actually completely signed until August 2.

2. On July 4, 1777, the city of Bristol, RI celebrated the first anniversary of ID with a thirteen-gun salute. The city’s annual ID parade, which was first held in 1785, is the oldest continuous ID celebration in the US.

3. In 1778, to mark the second anniversary, George Washington issued double rations of rum to the Continental Army troops.

4. By the end of the 18th century many major cities were marking the day with various celebrations and parades. Today, many major cities hold massive and elaborate fireworks displays. In addition, many private organizations, for example, Macys, the Boston Pops, and many baseball clubs, entertain the public with fireworks displays. Macy’s fireworks celebration, generally considered to be the most famous, has been nationally televised every year since 1976.
Sadly, many private citizens, who are not properly trained, set off their own fireworks, sometimes with unfortunate results. Every year we read or hear about some tragic accidents involving loss of limbs or even death. Remember the case of NY Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul? He lost part of few fingers (and nearly his life) and almost ended a most promising football career.

5. In 1870 Congress designated ID as a federal holiday. In 1938 it granted federal employees a day off with pay on that day.

6. With respect to the “Star-Spangled Banner:
a. It was composed by Francis Scott Key from a British prisoner ship in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. (Key was not a prisoner, himself. He was on the ship to negotiate the release of a prisoner.)
b. He wrote it as a poem named “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” Later, it was set to a tune, which, ironically, is an English drinking song, with the strange name of “To Anacreon in Heaven.” In case you’re wondering, the song was the official song of a gentlemen’s club in 18th century London.
c. Key wrote four verses and a fifth verse was added later, but, of course, we only sing the first. Does anyone know the words of the others? I don’t, but I will say that all five verses end with “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
d. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson declared that it should be played at all official events.

e. The “Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem in 1931.

7. This year, President Trump is planning a special celebration at Mt. Rushmore amid controversy over the appropriateness of the monument. Can you name the four presidents whose faces are sculpted on it? Answer below.

8. Some notable events that occurred on this day:
a. 1802 – The US Military Academy at West Point opened.
b. 1817 – The ground was broken for the Erie Canal in Rome, NY.
c. 1826 – Former Presidents and Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson oth died within hours of each other.

d. 1939 – Baseball legend Lou Gehrig delivered his famous “luckiest man” speech before a packed house at Yankee Stadium.

Enjoy yourself on the 4th, but, above all, be safe. If you travel, drive defensively and if you must handle fireworks, BE VERY CAREFUL!
Quiz answer: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and T. Roosevelt.