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We, the USA, are the laughing stock…

We, the USA, are the laughing stock…


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Europeans cannot believe what is going on in this country…
On a recent trip to Greece, I easily spoke with 100-125 people +/-, regarding the upcoming election. No I did not interview them and no there was no so-called “scientific poll” taken. But they not only made their views clear, they were anxious to let me know what most people in their country were thinking.

The majority of those I spoke with were Greek or German. Many Germans visit the Greek Islands and that’s why their numbers were similar. But I also spoke with people from Poland, England, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and China … and in almost every instance they expressed surprise that our election process seems totally out of control.

Easily over 95% of those I spoke with thought Donald Trump was a joke. They wondered why a country “supposedly” as great as the United States couldn’t come up with better candidates. And although most respected Hillary’s intelligence, knowledge, connections, work as the US Secretary of State, and her history working for women’s rights and the wellbeing of children, this Trump guy was beyond comprehension. The world is laughing at us.

As for the first debate…
It’s hardly worth discussing, other than to say the guy just can’t tell the truth. In addition, he showed no depth of understanding or comprehension of almost any word that came out of his mouth. And that was not just him trying to answer the questions asked, but his general demeanor and the topics he chose to address, as well.

Whenever something was asked or discussed and he had no knowledge, he reverted to China, Hillary’s emails, building a wall, law and order, etc., etc.  And please take note … There is no new information on those topics. It’s all old news. Enough to said on the debate.

The bottom line…
Don’t you wonder how much The Trump is paying his current and former talking heads? It’s gotta be a fortune. Think about it, in no particular order — Jeffrey Lord, Kellyanne Conway, Corey Lewandowski, Sarah Huckabee, Katrina Pierson, Kayleigh McEnany, Roger Stone, etc., etc.  And of course there is Paul Manafort, Trump’s Russian connection.

How much is he paying these people to front for him? It has to be a substantial amount because they, these so-called Trump supporters, become part of every lie that comes out of his mouth, every disgusting remark about women, blacks, Hispanics. Every lie and insult that they try and defend is inexcusable, because they know the truth.

I just don’t get it. Then again, The Trump doesn’t get much of it either. Go figure…

Peace. I am Bob Danon, and integrity does matter.

Reverse the curse! Please Goat, reverse the curse…

Reverse the curse! Please Goat, reverse the curse…


Credit- B. Danon


Chicago underground… “REVERSE THE CURSE PARTY”
Be there, at the BILLY GOAT TAVERN, 430 N. Michigan Ave., (lower level), October 06, 2016. It will run from 5:30PM to 8:30PM, and all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation. Ya gotta go!

Now to be honest, for a number of years I have not been the biggest CUB’S fan. But that took a positive turn the day Theo Epstein moved into Wrigley.  Don’t get me wrong, I always want Chicago teams to win. That would be all CHICAGO teams!  And I have never understood the love-the-CUBS-hate-the-SOX, love-the-SOX-hate-the-CUBS mindset. It makes no sense.

A little personal history — I grew up in Hyde Park as a SOX fan, but I always wanted the CUBS to win!  And like many young boys back then, I hung out near the west exit of the old Piccadilly Hotel on Hyde Park Blvd., to get the YANKEE’S autographs when they were in town.  In the summer of 1962 (Yikes!), I was a vendor at Comiskey Park, Wrigley Field, and Soldier Field … And it was the best summer of my life!

After moving north in my early 20’s, I became much more of a CUB’S fan. And then everything seemed to go south, 1969 broke my heart. They just seldom made the kind of moves that the (almost) always great teams, regardless of the sport, seem to make to stay on top — The YANKEES, The RED SOX, The PACKERS, The CELTICS & SPURS.  But the CUBS never seemed to get it. And I was the guy who, until fairly recently, used to call ESPN Radio and repeat with each call, “If the CUBS were sold and moved to another city, Wrigley Field would still sell out for three years. No one would even notice …”  That is no longer the case. So the question now is,  Does that Goat Curse really exist?

The Legend: Read it and weep …  Click here

The bottom line…
Here’s what I would suggest regarding the lifting of the so-called curse:  Change the goat’s name. Ya got a Greek tavern owner who names his goat “Murphy”?  What’s that all about? An Irish name? How about Aristotle, Aris, or Yannis or Yanny, or Demetri or Kostas. Or how about just applauding the Ricketts for bringing in Theo Epstein, who in-turn brought in Joe Maddon and a whole lot of really good baseball players.

Chicago, you and CUB fans all over the country have suffered for decades because, for the most part, the owners at the time couldn’t get the job done.  That no longer appears to be the case. And although I do suspect that this year, or next year, will be the CUB’S year to win it all… Goat s_ _ _  happens!

My final thought on this is quite simple:  Get the goat into Wrigley for every at-home playoff game. Give the goat his own private box, with plenty of hay, or grass or whatever the hell goats eat. If the CUBS win, the curse has been lifted. If the Cubs lose, expand the Tavern’s menu to include Goat Pita Sandwiches. Chips! No fries!!

Peace. I am Bob Danon, and integrity does matter.

Liar, liar! Yada, yada, yada…

Liar, liar! Yada, yada, yada…


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So when you were growing up, did anyone tell you it was ok to lie…?
I mean really think about it. Most, if not all, kids lie. They tell fibs. They make up stories that often seem implausible. And eventually, at a relatively early age, they are telling lies, often to keep from getting into trouble. And eventually, if they keep lying, they get into more trouble for telling the lie. The lies are often just outrageous, and it’s a pretty common occurrence everywhere.

If you think about it, it’s a progression… When they start out, they’re very young and they don’t really know they’re lying… at least, not until a parent steps in and explains why it’s important to always tell the truth. As they get a little older, the teachers in preschool and early elementary school are telling them not to lie.  But it really always starts at home… or at least it should.

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the initial groundwork, the early responsibility in a child’s life with regard to not lying and to telling the truth, comes from the parent(s). I don’t know enough about Donald Trump’s daddy to even go there… so I won’t, but one could assume. And one could also assume that The Trump’s kids have had front row seats, all their lives, to all of their father’s lies. God only knows where that could lead, or has already led…

I’m quite sure you know where I going with this, especially considering that a number of the talking heads from CNN recently went after The Trump, big time, for lying.  Of course he hasn’t stopped lying, and he will most likely never stop lying. But I have a question for those talking CNN heads… What the hell took you so long?

I mean really.  Come on you guys and gals at all the major news shows and print outlets. This bombastic whack job is a born liar of the highest order. That’s not good, especially when one considers the job he’s after. Now in all fairness, there have been many who talk about it, but few who actually confront the liar. The reason seems to be they are afraid of losing access, and access is entertainment, and that leads to moola. But now there seems to be a little courage in the questioning of the liar, and he doesn’t like it.  Again it has taken too damn long.

History will tell us that lying is nothing new and I don’t need to pick apart every administration. But clearly Nixon, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all had their moments. The Trump, however, has taken it to a whole new level. He has made it into an art form and the media have played along and helped him gain far more attention than any candidate could possibly deserve — unless, of course that candidate cured polio, or walked on the moon, or invented a substitute and final replacement for gasoline. And could those claims be far down the road?

The bottom line…
This whole thing about lying goes right back to the premise of why I created Ask the damn question, and don’t settle for some  non-answer, or a lie from  a two-bit hustler that usually doesn’t have a real answer or understand the question to begin with. And while you’re at it, hold those you interview to the same standard, please. Many who are interviewed for screen or print, and especially the politicians, lie through their teeth.  If all are held to a higher standard, then the news isn’t broken…

If you want to keep the conversation going, how about we get a few honest answers and a little integrity from Chris Wallace when getting the answers, and not the BS when he asks a candidate a question. Or does he intend to try and pin Hillary down during the debates but give The Trump a pass by not acknowledging another lying answer or statement?

Two of my favorite Op-Ed people are Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman, both of the New York Times. Each most  recently wrote just outstanding columns about the liar, Donald Trump. I’d like to suggest that you take the time to read one or both. You won’t find better writing, reporting or opinions anywhere on this subject.

Maureen Dowd, Sunday New York Times August 21, 2016: Click here

Paul Krugman, the weekend edition of the New York Times, September 09, 2016: Click here

Peace. I am Bob Danon, and integrity does matter.

New York, New York… Never, ever, forget!

New York, New York… Never, ever, forget!



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I love New York City. And as Letterman says, “it’s the greatest city in the world…”
Like many, I will never forget that morning. On September 11, 2001, I was having breakfast with my friend, David Knauff, at the Einstein Bagels, in downtown Evanston, Illinois. We were sitting at the first table by the door when a man walked in, and walked hurriedly up to his friends at the table near ours and said… “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!”

I immediately looked up and said, “it was a terrorist.” He responded with, “no it must have been some guy in a small plane.” I said, “no way.” I got up, left David sitting there, got in my car and turned on the radio. In a matter of minutes I was at my art gallery in Wilmette and, with the television  turned on, I stood there with tears streaming down my cheeks as I watched the second plane fly into other WTC Tower. Never, ever to be forgotten…



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We  all watched, horrified at the initial impact of what was taking place, not even aware that shortly thereafter, a third jet would crash into the Pentagon and a fourth would crash into a field in Pennsylvania, when the male passengers on flight 93 tried to retake the cockpit. Risking their own lives and the lives of their fellow passengers,  they possibly saved hundreds if not thousands of other lives, with two simple words… “Let’s roll.”

I cried that day and many days since. And visiting the new 9/11 memorial in NYC in May 2015, took my breath away. So in my own special way, I’d like to dedicate this weeks column to the 15th anniversary of 9/11. It’s so very personal for me, because I have always loved New York City. I hope you will take a few minutes, to watch and listen, to the links below and to what cuts straight to the core of this proud American.

Watch one or two today, maybe another tomorrow or the next day. Watch what you want, when you want. Watch them all after this reading if you’re so inclined. And maybe watching only one of the three will be enough. It’s never easy. But let us never forget…



Watch and listen: David Letterman’s monologue, one week later, September 18, 2011  Click here to view video

Watch and listen: York Police Officer Daniel Rodriquez sings God Bless America in Yankee Stadium, October 30, 2001  Click here to view video

Watch and listen: Lady Gaga sings New York, New York on television, at the Frank Sinatra 100th Birthday Celebration  Click here to view video



The bottom line…
I had a chance to visit friends in New York in March of 2002,  and it was so heart breaking to see the WTC Towers down and gone. There were workmen and trucks still working endlessly to clear the wreckage and begin anew. Freedom Tower is there now, the Memorial Exhibit, inside and out is beautiful, but still now and forever, heartbreakingly sad.



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There are so many memories of that time, still fresh in my mind. And it’s still very hard for me to talk about it without getting emotional. But by far the most gut wrenching thing I remember about being there, that March, was the look on the faces of the New York Police Department men and women, and the New York Fire Department men and women I saw on the streets, or in front of their stations… There was a lost stare, almost a hollowness in their eyes that seemed to want to say something. But what was there to say? So I will say it now, and again, and again… Please, I implore you, never, ever, forget!

Peace. I am Bob Danon, and integrity does matter.

A very ugly American…

A very ugly American…

Ugly? Now that’s ugly…


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Looking west, from Europe…
It ain’t all pretty, but it doesn’t have to be ugly either… I’m in Europe for several weeks, taking a bit of a vacation. I’ll tell you more about that later in September. But for now, what follows are comments and views based on what other travelers have mentioned when they find out I am an American, as well as my own take on things.

I left Chicago’s O’Hare Field on Thursday, August 25, and the questions and comments from others began as I sat near my gate waiting to board. A number of Americans preferred to make their pros and cons known almost immediately upon learning that I wrote a political blog and that I was interested in the thoughts of others I met on my trip, regardless of where they called home, and regardless of their opinion.

Of  course, everyone from America or elsewhere had an opinion. Easily, the vast majority of those I spoke with expressed their preference for Hillary over The Trump, and that made me feel somewhat relieved. Of course, it’s only the Americans who get to vote, but there were those Americans who did prefer The Trump. And when reasons were expressed, and I mentioned Sarah Palin, their eyes lit up, and they told me how they were disappointed she and McCain didn’t win.  Really?!?!?!?!

THE ANSWER? Hell, I don’t even understand the question


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Those I spoke with returning to Europe, or in Europe, didn’t understand what was going on in the good old U.S. of A. “Donald Trump”! He was overwhelmingly perceived as The Ugly American… Oh they knew Hillary Clinton, and she certainly has a few problems of her own. But the greater majority most definitely approved because (in no particular order): She had been around forever. Women and children were always important to her, and high on her list of priorities. As a First Lady, regardless of what you thought of Bill, she was perceived as first-rate. As a Secretary of State she had traveled the world, knew all the leaders and the issues (their words, not mine), and was not only properly respected, but was often liked by many. There have been other female world leaders, Presidents, and Prime Ministers, and many had done a decent to very good job. So in almost every instance, having a female president was hardly an issue.

As I said, regarding The Trump, The Ugly American perception prevails. One fellow from Germany even suggested he was the “ugliest of Americans…” and apparently with good reason: the news Europeans receive by way of television, the Internet or print, often portrays this somewhat slobitious (I made that word up back in 1967-68. You figure it out.) creature as rude, crude, foul mouthed and, most of the time, ignorant. Many couldn’t believe he was actually a presidential candidate. And they were embarrassed for my country. As am I.

The world is laughing at us friends, and clearly it’s all Obama’s fault. No it’s Hillary’s fault. No, Obama, no Hill’s, no Bill’s, no Malia, Sasha, their grandmother Marion Robinson, The First Dog Bo, no The Second Dog Sunny…

How about the biggest, dirtiest, slimiest weasel(s) of them all, Mitch McConnell and the GOP? I mean can you believe the lineup of goofs they mustered for their primary season? I’m excluding John Kasich from that list because he, like Hillary, was clearly qualified to step into that rather
BIG job without skipping a beat. Come on folks, really … Ted Kruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, that brain surgeon guy? This is all fodder for SNL. I think the whole thing was rigged by Lorne Michaels. Let’s blame it on Lorne.

I have said it before… I am a life-long Democrat who, on occasion, has voted Republican in State (Illinois) elections. And I will forever stress the idea that the only way we, as a country, win, is when each party comes up with the very best America has to offer in their particular candidate.

Now this is the one that really worries me. So damn smug. Gonna get ya. Got ya!



The bottom line…
So I ask you, name 5 potential Democratic candidates that are more qualified than Hillary. Now name 25 that are more qualified than Donald Trump. It’s easy, and we all know it. So let’s stop with the lying, bullying, ignorant, fascist, racist, right-wing, punch-em in the nose BS. Regarding criteria, we don’t need or want an apprentice in the White House. We need and want the smartest, most qualified, and most invested person available in the White House … and it ain’t Donald Trump. If he wins, or even comes close to winning, the joke isn’t just on us, it’s on the world. As Americans we have to keep trying harder because decade after decade we keep making fools of ourselves. And no matter how his children or his “Handlers of the Month” choose to dress him up, The Ugliest American ever, spreads ignorance and ugliness every time he opens his mouth. Surely we can do better? And there’s no better time to start than today.

Peace. I am Bob Danon, and integrity does matter.