March 29, 2020



The first game of the World Series is about to start. It’s early afternoon at Dodger Stadium. A thunder storm had built up. far, very far, to the west of the field, quite some time ago but now, a few raindrops the size of very small golf balls are starting to fall. The stands are packed to the roof. It’s standing room only. The home team has the first batter at the plate when the thunder begins to rumble—and the umpire walks, nonchalantly, off the field.

     The rain drops accelerate in number and intensity and the umpire comes on the loud-speaker and tells the fans, “Friends, this is your very famous umpire. You have nothing to worry about, this storm will be over in minutes and, besides, we didn’t even see it coming because we don’t have a National Weather Bureau anymore. I got rid of it when I was draining the swamp to save us money and, remember, it was created by some dam fool in the previous Administration, (laughing) you know who I mean!”

     The rain increases in intensity and the umpire comes back on the loud-speaker and says, “Friends this is your perfect umpire again. I was told by some idiot in my organization named John—who I don’t trust—that we don’t have a ground crew anymore. He fired them because he didn’t like their manager and he wanted to save us money. Believe me, that bunch was also put in place by a fool in a previous administration. And worse, the manager of that ground crew didn’t think I was the best umpire in the world!”

     The fans are getting soaked -and worse, a cold wind is starting to blow out of the west. The umpire finally comes back on the loud-speaker and says, “Friends, I’m going home because I don’t like to be out in this weather, I might get sick. You are welcome to stay here in this beautiful park as long as you wish because we are going to play this important baseball game come hell or high water! Good-bye and good luck!”

      To continue the baseball game analogy, it wasn’t the ‘Umpire’ (our President), or even the ‘Commissioner of Baseball’ (Mitch McConnell), or the Players Association (our Congress) who called for the United States to declare, “Time Out!” It seems to me that it was the Minor League managers, i.e., the Governors and Mayors of our great country, who first considered the Novel CV-19 virus a serious problem and began the call for ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ because no one at the Major League level was making decisions about the health or welfare of the players—the citizens of our country. In fact, those folks who were supposed to lead us at the national level had spent weeks denying we had a problem and had spent years closing and destroying the agencies that had been put in place by previous administrations to give us early warning and maintain preparedness levels to deal with a possible future, delay-of-game pandemics.  This is the same leadership team we can blame for our not having the test kits or respirators that would be necessary to determine, or contend with, our treat of a pandemic’s severity. The bottom line is, in my opinion, that we have a totally failed political leadership team now in place, in our country, the United States of America. My opinion of the worthless team includes:  Our President, and the Republicans in our Congress! I have already explained the ‘how we got here’ in a series of now Sixty-three weekly blogs and four books, one published and three still in manuscript form. I, seeing absolutely no really ‘Presidentially’ qualified person running for the Democrat nomination and hoping that Michael Bloomberg would enter the competition, was personally devastated when he revealed himself as a ‘gutless wonder’ when he was allowed to enter a debate. I fear for a Joe Biden administration. While I believe he is a ‘nice guy’ and a person of relatively good character (how could any life-long politician have  ‘good character?’ (It’s almost an oxymoron!) I really don’t think that he has the wisdom much less the physical energy to take us through this pandemic and the financial chaos which will certainly follow.  I want to see a new, younger, team to take over. And, I want women to be included in our future management teams.

     I remember a Latin saying carved into a building face, just above the columns, that was just across the street (Lindell Boulevard) from my windows on the second floor of the Commerce School at St. Louis University when I was a student there in my junior year. It was, “Ab Aspera, Ad Astra.” That, if my ability to remember Latin still holds, translates as “Through Asperity- to the Stars!” A perfect motto for the time that it was inscribed (the Great Depression) and now that we are facing a pandemic—which may lead to a Greater Depression—equally appropriate.

    I despair of our political situation today and I hope for a major improvement in it tomorrow.

Sometimes, in the midst of very troubled times, new, great leadership figures emerge to take us through the ‘troubled times’ into years of peace and prosperity. A person named Franklin Delano Roosevelt did that starting in 1933, the year I was born, and stayed on the job until 1945, when he died, and World War II was almost over. Could another New Yorker named Andrew Cuomo be the person we need at this time? I’ll give him my vote.

    We have a long way to go before the Democratic Convention—if it happens. And, Donald Trump has a long way to go before he shows any signs of having any ability to lead anything— other than a clown circus. Interesting times!

    Stay safe, and Adios,



Copyright, March 29, 2020, Louis J. Christen

Lou (The Lone Curmudgeon) Writes Again! Time Out!