COWERING IN FEAR — Locked in the Basement of Uncertainty

Sunday, November 1st 2020 @ 12:01 PM


Ronald Reagan, right, defeated incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the Election of 1980.

Republican Ronald Reagan, right, defeated President Jimmy Carter in the Election of 1980, after attacking the incumbent for his downbeat whining regarding a “malaise” in America.


Can the 2020 polls be trusted?

By Alan Z. Forman
Jimmy Carter lost the Presidential Election of 1980 by a landslide largely because of what he correctly identified as a “crisis in confidence” in America that became popularly known as his “Malaise Speech.”

Unemployment was rising; inflation had run rampant; interest rates were sky-high… and Amerian hostages had been held in Iran for over a year, as citizens were forced to wait long hours in service station lines and could only fill their cars’ gas tanks on alternate days.

The nation faced a deep “dark winter,” not unlike the one Joe Biden is spreading gloom & doom about right now.

Carter delivered the speech in July 1979 from the Oval Office in the White House after sequestering himself for 10 days at Camp David seeking advice on what to do.

But did America give up? Did the nation cower in fear because the President was shuddering… and shutting-down inside the White House and Camp David? hiding in the basement as it were.

No…. Because a year later Ronald Reagan exemplified a message of supreme confidence and hope, which he rode to an electoral vote landslide that put an end to Jimmy Carter’s ominous message of impending calamity and disaster.

Carter was correct: America was in a malaise. But tragically for him — and us — he failed to comprehend the responsibility of great leaders to shore up confidence among the population, to remind the citizens of the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the earth that they could overcome any and all adversity simply by thinking positive, acting upbeat, working together to achieve results… even miracles.
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VOTE!!! — It’s a momentous election

Monday, November 5th 2018 @ 6:00 PM


November 6, Election Day 2018

              November 6, Election Day 2018

Whichever side you’re on, the Election of 2018 looms likely to be the most momentous of the New Millennium to date and possibly the most consequential of the last half-century and beyond.

But if either side tomorrow wins big, it will not be good for America:

A “blue tide” will mire the country in presidential and possibly judicial impeachment proceedings to the extent that Congress will get nothing done for many months or even years to come.

A “red tide” will anoint an unpopular President and render him unstoppable.

Historically in America, the incumbent president’s party loses seats in Congress in the midterm election when the president is not on the ballot. Hence the conventional wisdom/expectation that the current Republican majority in the House of Representatives will diminish if not disappear in tomorrow’s election — a factor which ordinarily would have little to do with Donald Trump personally.

However the Democrats and the President himself have made Trump the major factor in this midterm election even though he is not running in 2018, a virtually unprecedented occurrence for which the pollsters seem to have no valid benchmark on which to base predictions.

In the last hundred years there have only been three times that the president’s party has gained congressional seats in the midterm election, and each of those times the president himself was a major factor in the election even though he was not on the ballot.

The first occurrence was when Franklin Roosevelt was President in 1934, two years following his landslide victory over Herbert Hoover; and his enormous popularity resulting from bold moves to lift the country out of the Great Depression made him a personal favorite in the balloting that year. In 1934 the Democrats increased their majority in the House by nine votes.

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TOPLESS GOSPEL CHOIR — An eBook about murder in Baltimore

Wednesday, October 17th 2018 @ 11:30 PM


The Topless Gospel Choir, by Hal Riedl, is currently available on Amazon for $2.99.  Click here to purchase.

The Topless Gospel Choir, by Hal Riedl, is currently available on Amazon for $2.99. Click here to purchase on Kindle


Written by Hal Riedl, an ex-Dept. of Corrections
case management specialist and book reviewer
for The Sunday Sun, it’s available from Amazon
for $2.99  Click here to purchase on Kindle

When the wife of the State Parole Commission Chairman comes home from an early-morning run, she finds her husband dead on the front sidewalk, having been dispatched by a professional assassin with two bullets at the top of his spine.

A senior prosecutor and a detective are assigned to represent the City — which is never named, but based on Baltimore — on a task force assembled by State Patrol. The Governor is said to assign the highest priority to the apprehension and prosecution of the killers.

An excerpt from Riedl’s The Topless Gospel Choir follows below, with more available on Amazon (click here) along with purchase information.

This is the city primeval.
The murmuring Bloods and the Dreadlocks
Meet to package their poison.
Their guns and their phones are stood down,
Their mules and their mouthpieces gather.
A shipment of untold proportions
Bids fair to make them all rich

Leo’s epic poem, his way to kill time in court until the judge comes out.

The cellphone dings. A text reads, “Get your ass outside and call me. Lulu.”

Leo knows he has time until the judge appears. Nothing’s going on in chambers, but Vance never comes out before 10. It’s a matter of principle, of lordship, with him. Let the teeming marketplace of the criminal docket seethe and fret, a judge has his dignity and his blood pressure.

The crowd in the long dim echoing corridor is thick. Baby mothers with small children; grandmothers, defendants on bail, defense counsel on cellphones; cops in their civilian best, their ID badges on lanyards round their necks; a few folks looking lost and frightened — witnesses, most likely. The karma in this place, Leo thinks, is horrid. If these walls could talk, they would scream.

He finds the unoccupied end of a corridor bench and calls Lulu. That would be Louise. Where does she get off texting him like this? She thinks intimidation works, but it only browns him off. Still, he might as well get it over with. She won’t let up until she hears from him. He punches in her number for a live conversation.

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Journey, a Western is Baltimore-born author Stephen H. Foreman’s latest novel. He discusses it here exclusively with Voice of Baltimore and will do so again publicly June 17th at The Ivy Bookshop.

Journey, A Western is Baltimore-born author Stephen H. Foreman’s latest novel. He discusses it here exclusively on Voice of Baltimore and will do so again publicly at a June 17th reading at The Ivy Bookshop on Falls Road.


Stephen Foreman grew up here
and was locally educated,
a graduate of City College
and Morgan State University
What follows is a brief synopsis of the novel, available at The Ivy Bookshop and on (Click  here  and here.)  Excerpts will be published by Voice of Baltimore in coming weeks.
By Stephen H. Foreman
Set in the early eighteen hundreds in the wild desert wilderness of New Mexico Territory, the novel Journey, A Western follows the lives of three distinctly different characters whose destinies are one.

There’s Journey herself – the name is short for Sojourner — a fiercely inde- pendent, horse-whispering 16-year- old of mysterious origins. Reuben Moon, the stoic half-Mexican, half- Apache hunter/tracker who raises her. And Esau Burdock, a brutal and pragmatic, wealthy slave trader.

The story opens on a November night in 1833, the sky on fire with meteors, each character alone, experiencing the storm. The narrative then delves into their individual histories.

Journey is born to a runaway slave who dies giving birth to her in the wilderness. Reuben comes upon the scene and manages to save the baby’s life. He raises her with Prita, a noseless Apache woman who was exiled for adultery, and Joel and Leah, a Quaker couple involved in the Underground Railroad.

Reuben loses both his parents by the time he is eight, his mother to cholera and his father to a Comanche raid. After witnessing the murder, he is raised as a Comanche captive. With an unnervingly natural talent for horses, he lives among them, and is eventually allowed as a young man to go free.

Esau is born to a petty criminal on the streets of London and is caught red handed at age 14 and given a choice: hang or go to New Orleans in indentured servitude. Over the years he claws his way up the ranks, and through grit and many would say evil, becomes a massively successful plantation master in New Mexico Territory.


Journey, Reuben, and Esau’s stories collide in the summer of 1834 when Esau holds a rendezvous of horse racing and trading.

Despite being only 16, and a girl at that, Journey joins the race. She doesn’t win, but she’s caught the attention of Esau. A year later, a mountain lion is terrorizing the area and Esau comes across Journey and Reuben in the desert as he hunts for it.

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Vice President Richard Nixon, right, “debates” with John F. Kennedy in a TV studio following the second Presidential Debate (Oct. 8, 1960). A month and a day later, Nixon refused to call for a recount of the election results.

Vice President Richard Nixon, right, “debates” with John F. Kennedy in a TV studio following the 2nd Presidential Debate (Oct. 8, 1960).  A month and a day later, Nixon declined to call for a recount of the election results.


In Pennsylvania, Stein shifts
from state to federal courts


Bubba and the Oval Office BJ
By Alan Z. Forman

In the aftermath of the 1960 presidential election, when voting irregularities in Illinois and Texas threatened to overturn John Kennedy’s razor-thin victory over Richard Nixon, the losing Republican candidate reluctantly accepted the “will of the people” and refused to call for a recount.

“It’d tear the country to pieces,” the then-incumbent Vice President instructed his chief speechwriter and adviser, Bryce Harlow, who was pushing hard for a recount, and brushed aside all pleas to challenge the result.

“[We] can’t do that,” Nixon insisted.

Contesting the election by calling for a recount would place the legitimacy of Kennedy’s upcoming administration in question, Nixon said, and would be, among other things, “devastating to America’s foreign relations,” adding that, “What if I demanded a recount and it turned out that despite the voter fraud, Kennedy had still won?

“Charges of ‘sore loser’ would follow me through history and remove any possibility of a further political career.”

It may have been the future Watergate President’s finest hour; certainly it was Nixon at his most statesmanlike. No matter that his own dirty tricks in the 1960 campaign might well have come to light had he demanded a recount.

The likelihood that Nixon was as responsible for election irregularities that year is proved by the scandal that ultimately sunk his own presidency more than a decade later, when a team of inept burglars working in his behalf broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. three days before the final presidential primary that spring.

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