Donald Trump is a terrible U.S. President.  Really.

Before you strongly criticize me for the above paragraph – or worse yet, e-mail me death threats less coherent than even the motives behind that senseless shooting spree in Las Vegas from a few months ago – please read what I’ve got to say, if only to respect my First Amendment rights.  Today marks the first anniversary of Trump being sworn in as U.S. President – the end result of many Americans voting him into office, while completely ignorant of his many shortcomings as a politician, which have been exposed and magnified to a sizable degree since, as proven by yesterday’s shutdown of the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C.

It’s clear, from looking back at the past year, that Trump leaves much to be desired as a politician – not helped by both his personality and ego, which also played roles in his many past failures as a billionaire businessman, and who almost makes the late J. Paul Getty look like a saint (with the emphasis on the world “almost”).  Trump has become a different kind of U.S. President – unfortunately, the kind who’s already upended almost everything that our country stands for, and which is no doubt causing the most stellar of our past leaders to turn over in their graves.  I’m already a registered Republican – but based on Trump’s first year in office, he’s already stained his party’s reputation, and made a significant number of people who voted him into office regret the folly of their actions.  No doubt, many Republican politicians who helped insure Trump’s election almost two years ago have seen regretted doing so – including U.S. Senator John McCain, who’s still feeling the sting of Trump strongly criticizing him for being a P.O.W. during the Vietnam War, while ignorant of what McCain was forced to endure.  If Trump ended up as a P.O.W. defying his captors – the captors themselves would have more than just the upper hand.

I can’t help wondering if Trump’s performance as U.S. President over the past year – and his overall attitude – was due in no small matter to him believing that fans of The Apprentice TV series failed to come to his defense when NBC fired him as the show’s host a few years ago, when he went too far in criticizing Barack Obama’s status as a natural-born U.S. Citizen (and yes, Obama was definitely born in Hawaii – two years after it became part of the U.S.).  But then, if I were a NBC TV executive (or an executive at the other American TV networks) when Mark Burnett first came up with the idea for The Apprentice almost fifteen years ago – I would have had ended Burnett’s producing career for good (and had him thrown him out of the Producers Guild of America forever, too), and The Apprentice would’ve never gotten on the air, insuring Trump’s fall into obscurity.  Of course, I would have also rejected the concepts of Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol, and any other Reality TV shows to begin with, considering how much they’d end up damaging the medium’s reputation since.

But real life isn’t Reality TV.  And sooner or later, the American public will realize that Donald Trump as President of the U.S. is no better than Richard Nixon was when his both professional mindset and conceit helped bring down his presidency almost forty-five years ago (made worse by a certain 1960’s TV series – three guesses what I’m referring to — in which Nixon himself made a brief cameo appearance, and which got him elected U.S. President in 1968).  And the chances of Trump’s legacy changing the U.S. for the better after he leaves the White House will no doubt be next or nothing, despite him being rich and famous.  One thing’s for sure – the next U.S. President who gets elected definitely won’t use “Make America great again” as a campaign slogan – at least for the rest of this century.  Providing that the world’s still intact by the end of this century, that is.






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   The above photo and dialogue says it all, as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday today, a reminder of how one person can change the world for the better, and inspire all of us to do the same – with the wisdom, courage, and compassion needed to accomplish that task – even more so, considering the many problems currently staring us in the face.  By following Dr. King’s example – and the examples of those before and after him, their causes and reasons for existing will be more than justified.


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   This’ll be the first Christmas without my late mother – and my family and I are are still continuing to adjust to life without her, a fact that we can’t ignore and forget, given how much tragedy has stared us in the face in the past year-and-a-half, and especially as the holiday season approaches.  Death has long been an important part of life – but not as important as the time spent with both family and friends, which has a magic all its own, and more powerful than the darkness and despair associated with personal tragedy.

   Twenty years ago – on Christmas Eve, 1997 – my mother and I spent some time with not only Elaine Zeitler, but also her youngest daughter Kerry and her family, then living in Torrington, Connecticut at the time.  The Lavernoich and Zeitler families have been very close since my family moved to Winsted back in 1956 – in fact, for many years, our families were next-door neighbors, and at a time when the world was becoming more difficult to live in and adjust to.  Christmas 1997 was very different for the Zeitler family – it was the first since Elaine’s husband Patrick, Sr. died a few months before.  I still appreciate the Zeitler family reaching out to my mother and the rest of my family, especially when my father’s health declined in the last decade of his life and after his death in mid-November 1994.  Based on myself witnessing my mother moving on with her life after Father’s death, I could understand the somewhat similar situation that Elaine faced following her husband’s death.

   On Christmas Eve, 1997, my mother, Elaine, and myself had supper at the Torrington home of Elaine’s daughter Kerry and her family – who, like the rest of the Zeitler family, were moving forward in the wake of tragedy.  Even today, I still consider that Christmas Eve to be one of my fondest holiday memories – and I’m sure it was for the aforementioned people as well, especially Elaine.  After all, spending time with family and friends has long been part of the Christmas holiday season – even when we don’t totally know what the future will bring.

   But then, as Christmas Eve started to give way to Christmas Day in 1997 – tragedy struck.  Again.

   Elaine’s health took a rapid turn for the worse – a fact that my mother and I learned over the phone in the early hours of December 25, 1997, and which the rest of my family, as well as the Zeitler family and everyone else who knew and loved Elaine would also learn when dawn broke on Christmas morning.  Needless to say, the rest of this holiday season was very difficult for the Zeitler family in the wake of this turn of events – and only a few weeks after that, Elaine died, and in the prime of her life, which was no more tragic than other deaths that we’ve had to endure both then and now, including those who died very young. 

   Still, memories of my mother and I spending that Christmas Eve with Elaine – in fact, all our pleasant memories of Elaine throughout her own lifetime – still endure today, partly because all the good and special moments in our lives have a special kind of magic which becomes more powerful and meaningful during the holiday season – and which not even tragedy can eradicate.  And by remembering both the good and bad in our lives, we have the courage and determination to move forward.  Even when we come across unexpected tragedy.

   Here’s hoping that the holiday season – and the new year – is magical and memorable for all of you.



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Target Chameleons-promo

In case you’re interested, this is one of several promos (which I found the time to work on yesterday) for my latest book, Target: Chameleons, which I published late last month, and which you can purchase exclusively on  But that’s not all — as the following YouTube video below this very paragraph should strongly stress:

I’ve already updated the official Chameleons, Inc. website to include the latest news concerning Target: Chameleons, with a brief explanation of the book’s overall genesis.  And when I get a chance, I’ll add character profiles concerning the book’s main villains.  Hopefully, you’ll be encouraged to buy not only the book itself, but also the previous two Chameleons, Inc. books — and I hope that you will.

Fortunately, I’m not resting on my creative laurels — I have several other projects which I hope to get up and running in the upcoming new year, and which I hope to explain more about, and not just on my blog page.  In the meantime — keep on web surfing.




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   This won’t be an easy thing to write about – and yet, I do have to get this off my chest (and hopefully not get into serious trouble).  My personal relationships with the opposite sex (other than my own relatives) over the years have been, at best, mixed – and I take a significant amount of responsibility for my actions, mainly because in my younger days, I wasn’t always thinking straight.  The fact that having both Asperger syndrome and OCD (Obsessive Complusion Disorder) throughout the majority of my life didn’t make it any easier, even when it came to establishing personal relationships.

   Looking back on my youth, I’ve come to accept the fact that I was never “World’s Greatest Lover” material – and that my attitude towards some of the women which caught my fancy (and those who didn’t) — especially in junior high and high school, as well as college – was far from considerate, partly because I wasn’t thinking straight at the time; for that (and perhaps more), I greatly apologize, partly because my attitude towards the opposite sex has somewhat matured over the years to the point of actually doing my best to be both decent and respectful of others in public (which isn’t always easy – given the other complications that I have to deal with daily).

   I guess that what I’m trying to say is this: as the years go by, you look back at the mistakes that you’ve made throughout your life – and regretted making them.  At the same time, you realize that there’s a bright side to the mistakes that you made in the past – at least you learn from them, and trying your damnest to insure that you don’t make them again for the rest of your natural born life.  And both your life and personal view of the world in general – and those around you – will be all the better for it.


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