Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying.

December 26, 2023

Note: I wrote the piece, below, seven years ago today. I wish I had listened more to my “seven years ago self” more often but I am very blessed. I hope you all enjoy my words from the past.

living or dying

Mark Rubin

Get busy living or get busy dying.

As this dreadful year—2016—comes to a close, Andy Dufresne’s observation won’t leave me alone. (The Shawshank Redemption—a movie based on a Stephen King novella, and a Best Picture nominee—tells the story of the wrongful imprisonment of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins).) Those of us who walk freely can only imagine the import of Mr. Dufresne’s observation, especially as an innocent convict. Still, the words instruct us.

Life marches on, inexorably, until it

Continue reading...

New York City circa 2023

December 7, 2023

New York City circa 2023

NYC

Mark Rubin

It started with a planned Saba (that’s me) visit to see my granddaughter in Rochester. Add to that dropping by DC to spend time with a lifelong friend and a chance to see relatives in Charlotte. The trip planning led me to believe I needed to squeeze in a couple of NYC days.

The early December trip got waylaid by Other Persons’ travel, my trial schedule, and life. Then, cases settled, LB checked museum exhibits, and … we just finished five delightful days in New York. (The main trip happens in January or February, and I might be greedy and slip into New York for a day or two.)

Travel was a

Continue reading...

Brutalizing Times

November 27, 2023

Brutalizing Times

Brutaizing Times

Mark Rubin

A swirl of emotions. I read a recent David Brooks piece in the Times a few weeks ago. Mr. Brooks published How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen soon before then. He focuses, in the column, the book, and in many columns, on living successfully in brutalizing times. A must read!

Mr. Brooks reminds us that our advancement to an enlightened and rationale place is, well, not so much. He urges humility for those whose good fortune allows us to even consider how we might think about the failing and falling world circa the 2020s. Then, he urges us to “lead with love in harsh times.”

Mr.

Continue reading...

Trump Redux

November 25, 2023

Trump Redux

trump redux

Donald J. Trump

[Note: Looking for a file, I ran across this piece, first posted on July 23, 2016 and titled, then: Superman Trump: Got It All Covered.* The essay seems quaint, given its lament for times when our leaders asked us come together for the greater good. Leaders? Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Obama, and HR Clinton. Hardly a Lefty Crew.

Today the diarrhetic effect of DJT’s words leaves us beyond exhaustion. Nary an uplifting thought about anything! Politics should not define us, fully and completely. However, the notion that this man, this Trump Guy, might spend even a moment in a position of authority over anyone – other than, I guess, those who choose to let him pay

Continue reading...

Dysfunctional Democracy

July 1, 2023

Dysfunctional Democracy

dysfunctional democracy

Mark Rubin

Our system broke down, somewhere along the way. I see a Nixon / Goldwater to Reagan to Trump lineage. I know Trump-a-phobes who see Trump as a one-off (and think the other Rs I mentioned served us well), and a significant minority of us think we need Trump to solve our problems.

Without doubt, our divisions weaken us. However, at the end of the day, we have an 18th century system for a 21st century world. A dysfunctional democracy, so to speak.

Many among us venerate the states, yet we expect our federal government to solve our problems. We like the notion of elected representatives to reign in POTUS, but we hold him or

Continue reading...

The U.S. Supreme Court and Ethics

June 22, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court and Ethics

The U.S. Supreme Court and Ethics

U.S. Supreme Court

The Ethics Watch: Update

Here’s the latest on the ethics front. Justice Samuel Alito took a trip with a billionaire to go fishing in Alaska. No disclosures. Then, he ruled on a case that involved one of the billionaire’s entities, and claims he lacked knowledge about the connection.

Why I’m Writing

I write because, a few months ago, Justice Alito told the Wall Street Journal he thought lawyers should defend the Court, in the face of criticism about the justices’ ethics. I found the comment amusing for its suggestion that nine justices need the legal profession to validate their acts.

Now, with the speaker’s acts, it’s time to speak up. As

Continue reading...

Oh Baby Baby It’s a Wild World

June 9, 2023

Oh Baby Baby It’s a Wild World

wild world

Mark Rubin

[Note: I wrote this piece in February, and it got lost in a shuffle.]

With a nod to Cat Stevens aka Steven Demetre Georgiou (at the outset) and Yusuf Islam (now), Oh Baby Baby It’s a Wild World.

I encountered two real estate situations in the past 10 days. I can’t provide details about the first, due to confidentiality concerns. However, I urge everyone to interpret If You See Something, Say Something® broadly. (Allen Kay created the tagline for the New York MTA.) Regarding the matter I can’t discuss, neighbors paying attention likely helped someone avoid a terrible outcome. Our lives touch vulnerable adults constantly and too many

Continue reading...

Disney Defeats DeSantis

April 2, 2023

Disney Defeats DeSantis

Disney defeats desantis

Governor Ron DeSantis

disney defeats desantis

Mickey Mouse and his Spouse

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R – Fla.) plays down his background, which includes a law degree from Harvard Law School. (He plays a redneck in real life!) Maybe that explains the governor and wanna be POTUS’s big-time fail on the matter of The Walt Disney Company and the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Some history. By the mid-1960s, Disney owned land in Florida. More than 40 square miles in and around Orlando. Wanting control over its destiny, Disney got the Florida legislature to pass the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Disney got the control it required, along with a money machine. Florida took its cut, and Orlando – or, as an old

Continue reading...

Donald Trump Heads for the Big Apple

March 31, 2023

Donald Trump Heads for the Big Apple

Donald Trump Heads for the Big Apple

Donald J. Trump

Indictments charge people with crimes. No more, no less! But no one should ever want to be indicted! No one!

The wrath of the law approaches Mr. Trump often, but now it has touched him like it never has before. He will be photographed – full on and from the side – and fingerprinted. The court will surely release him on his own recognizance, but I expect that he will have to forfeit his passport. (That assumes he has a current one.) He will likely face other mobility restrictions, and it will be unwise for him to thumb his nose at or raise a middle digit in the direction of

Continue reading...

Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!

February 15, 2023

Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!

Balloons balloons balloons

Mark Rubin

Balloons, balloons, balloons! Decades ago, a Tucson businessman name Sid Omansky ran commercials for his appliance store – which focused on selling color television sets – with the tagline Balloons, balloons, balloons. (Competitor Ted Flash TV ads, voiced by talented Frank Kalil, closed with “Open … and Sundays after church.”)

I thought of Sid’s because of the balloon controversy. What a load of nonsense! Pure, unadulterated Nonsense!!!

A Non-Story

First, does anyone think China will learn anything significant – anything it can’t learn by other means – by floating a great big airbag over our nation? That we risked our national secrets because we didn’t shoot the effing thing down before it left the Pacific

Continue reading...