Time for St. Anthony to Take His Shot.

Director of the National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

It would be easy to get caught up in the campaign for canonization of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases since the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, Fauci is the only believable spokesperson in the Trump Administration on the COVID 19 pandemic. His colleague Dr. Deborah Birx, the Administration’s Corona Virus Response Coordinator, crushed her own credibility by telling the Christian Broadcasting Network the preposterous lie that “The President is so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data.” Birx also gratuitously embellished Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, and dissembled more than once on the matter of testing — probably the single most important, and missing factor — in mapping out any Corona Virus Response, for which she is responsible.

Unlike “Ambassador” Birx, who comes across like a wealthy, well-dressed dilettante, bemoaning being unable to host “dinner parties for 20 yet,” because of social distancing, Anthony Fauci is a down-to-earth, likeable 79-year old, highly educated Italian professional from Brooklyn — still bearing scraps of his Brooklyn accent — who played basketball in High School and rooted for the Yankees despite growing up on Brooklyn Dodger turf.

That training in street toughness, highlighted in a recent New Yorker article by Michael Specter, entitled, “How Anthony Fauci Became America’s Doctor,” should have made Fauci fight more furiously, against the anti-science prejudice and profit-over-patients Darwinism rampant inside the Trump White House, and frothing from the mouths of Ingraham, Hannity, Carlson, and even the fallacious Dr. Phil on Fox News. Unfortunately, like the good point guard he was on his high school team, Fauci stays in his lane, highly disciplined, especially when it comes to forcefully exposing lies and intentional falsehoods by Presidents and others with more power and bigger megaphones than he thinks he has. In fact, at this moment in history, no one in this country has more power nor a bigger following than Dr. Fauci — and no one is in a better position to save more lives by fearlessly using that force.

He wasn’t always so afraid to exercise his power, nor be so confrontation-averse. After graduating Medical School, Fauci choose to enter the Public Health Service, as a constructive alternative to going off to War in Vietnam. He didn’t pretend to have bone spurs to avoid service. Instead, he wanted to serve people and save lives the best way he knew how — by improving public health.

In the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Fauci, then at NIH, immersed himself in learning about this mysterious new disease. Unfortunately, he was buried in the bowels of the homophobic Reagan Administration where AIDS was laughed at, and the name of the disease wasn’t spoken for seven years by the President. For three of those years, Fauci served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a position he still holds 36 years, and five Presidents, later.

“ My face was the face of the Federal Government,” Fauci told The New Yorker’s Specter, in discussing his early role in fighting the AIDS epidemic. Specter wrote that Dr. Fauci asked the same question every day: “Why wasn’t the Administration moving faster?”

It’s the same question Dr. Fauci should be asking every single day today — with far more power than he had four decades earlier — of another fact-denying Administration. Unfortunately, now, under Trump, as he did under Reagan, Fauci has limited his effectiveness by limiting his aggressiveness. Again, he’s the high school basketball point guard, choosing to stay in his narrow lane.

Fauci was hated by AIDS activists, like Larry Kramer, founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, who first called him a “murderer,” Michael Callen, and Sean Strub. They found Fauci to be “uncooperative,” as Strub wrote in his book Body Counts (Scribner, NY, 2014), too tightly bound to the research scientist’s sometimes myopic mantra of focusing only on the data, and not seeing the patients most affected by the disease.

But it was this disease and it’s catastrophic effect on patients, unlike anything Dr. Fauci had seen before, that pushed the point-guard hard over the line.

“Everybody died,” Fauci told Specter for The New Yorker. “I was used to treating people who had so little hope, and then saving their lives — that was so wonderful. But with AIDS in those days, I saved no one.” AIDS transformed Fauci, Specter wrote, from a “ conventional bench scientist to a public health activist.”

Fauci’s transformation was gradual, like a butterfly emerging from its comfortable cocoon. Over time, he became one of the most influential voices in the United States and the world on HIV/AIDS, winning the trust and respect of AIDS activists who previously loathed him. It was also his voice which was most influential in the creation of PEPFAR — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — a landmark achievement of George W. Bush’s, considered to be a model for addressing global epidemics and credited with saving more than 17 million lives worldwide.

Fauci had morphed from being a “sinner by silence” to Saint Anthony on HIV/AIDS over 25 years, making him the perfect addition to Trump’s public-facing phalanx of medical/scientific professionals when COVID 19 crashed into the United States. The conventional bench scientist in him knew all the data about how strong and early moves to mitigate the effects of a pandemic — and early and continuous testing — could reduce the number of deaths. Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper that much on State of the Union, on Easter Sunday, April 11, 2020, when the number of COVID 19 deaths in the United States surpassed 20,000, and appeared to be out of control:

“Obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. But, there was a lot of pushback about shutting things early in the outbreak.”

The following day, with Trump hovering over the 5’5” Fauci at the White House Press briefing the way he lurked behind Hillary Clinton during a debate, the Infectious Disease expert walked back his statement — viewed as highly critical of the Administration’s failure to act swiftly — by tamping down the word “pushback.”

Yet, the question that was not asked of Fauci at that moment was whether he, Saint Anthony, was part of that “pushback,” to start mitigation and testing earlier and consistently? If so, how hard did he push? The question was the same Larry Kramer raised about Fauci before the good doctor’s transformation on HIV/AIDS: “Had Tony Fauci done all he was capable of doing?” (Strub, Body Counts, p. 328.) And, oddly, it was the very same question Fauci himself raised about the Reagan Administration 35 years earlier while a part of it: “Why wasn’t the Administration moving faster?”

Similar questions could have been raised about why the first batch of the CDC’s COVID 19 tests were defective (and who was responsible for them), and why, based upon Fauci’s extensive experience with epidemics, wasn’t he aware of the abysmal condition of the federal stockpile on medical supplies essential for use in any epidemiological emergency?

The easy, facile answer is that “it wasn’t in his lane,” which would push him back to being nothing more than a conventional bench scientist again and not one of the world’s leading public health advocates, which he has become. It’s an excuse which his old colleague and former NIH Director Dr. Harold Varmus gave to the New Yorker’s Specter:

““Tony isn’t running C.D.C. He’s not running FEMA. To tell him to stockpile defense mechanisms or to move forward surveillance tools into massive operations around the world — that’s just not his remit.”

That just doesn’t wash when one is talking about Tony Fauci at this stage of his distinguished career, where the world’s health is “his remit.” No one else has the enormous capacity, knowledge, record of accomplishment, depth of expertise, passion for public health and access to power as Dr. Fauci does. In fact, the answer was right in front of Fauci, in his own words and beliefs which defined his transformation from “bench scientist” to “public health activist” over HIV/AIDS, 30 years earlier:

““Everybody died. “I was used to treating people who had so little hope, and then saving their lives — that was so wonderful. But with AIDS (COVID-19, today), I saved no one.”

So it’s legitimate to ask if Saint Anthony has done all he is capable of doing at the peak of his power and influence? Has Fauci fought hard enough to mitigate the death and suffering of the COVID 19 pandemic, in nursing homes, poor urban and rural communities, among African Americans and health care workers abandoned by the present American president whose Administration is “not moving fast enough”? Is Dr. Fauci ready to jump out his comfort zone one more time to save even more lives? Or will he retreat to being a conventional bench scientist, and not the public health activist and truth-teller we know him to be? Is Fauci doing “everything he possibly can to stop the worst from happening,” as he told the NewYorker? Is Fauci moving fast & forcefully enough?

At 79 years old, with over 50 years of stellar public service, I pray that Saint Anthony is not distracted from his calling, nor diminished by his daily dealings with Donald Trump. Facing the biggest public health challenge of his lifetime — and ours — Dr. Fauci needs to amplify all of his courage and faith once again, to move out of his safe, familiar lane, and take the shot.

I Know Why the Caged Lev Sings.




I know why the caged Lev sings.

Trapped, he’s looking for his wings.

Marked for erasure, pain or death,

Lev will talk ‘til his last breath.


I know why the caged Lev sings.

Silence only buys him slings

And arrows, bile and hate,

So, he has to Lev-itate.


I know why the caged Lev sings.

“Suicide” is not his thing.

Poison hankies, gas for nerves,

Lev would rather dodge and swerve.


I know why the caged Lev sings.

Like Valachi, he’s learned a thing.

Scream out loud, use TV,

Out-run murder, for all to see.


I know why the caged Lev sings.

Gangsters working for the King.

Pence & Rudy, Pomp and Barr,

Run from sunlight, very far.


I know why the caged Lev sings,

Louder and harder he flaps his wings.

All the fuss, all the sound,

Drive his hit-men underground.


I know why the caged Lev sings.

Celebs win the golden ring.

Free from harm, hi-falutin,

Out of reach of even Putin.


I know why the caged Lev roars:

Lev-itation lets him soar.











Hate, Xenophobia, Terror & Murder


Jabba, Jabba Barr



Jabba, Jabba Barr

Swallows justice near and far,

Iran/Contra, Russia/Trump,

Hiding evidence in his rump.

Elliott Abrams, Cap the Wein,

Hidden in his large behind.


Jabba, Jabba Barr

Concocts cover-ups in a jar.

Pinch of law, avuncular acts,

Watch how Jabba clouds the facts.

Election to Russia, Arms to Iran

Poof! Goes proof if Jabba’s your man.


Jabba, Jabba Barr

Swallows justice near and far,

Gobbles truth like it’s a cruller,

Squats on Lawmen like Bob Mueller.

Sees obstruction in plane sight—

Sits on it to block the light.


Jabba, Jabba Barr

Swallows justice near and far.

Iran/Contra, Russia/Trump,

Hiding evidence in his rump.





Michael D. Cohen’s Testimony To Congress, February 27, 2019: Evidence of Criminal Acts by Trump, While President

(In the most damning Congressional Testimony since former White House Attorney John Dean, testified under oath 45 years ago that Richard Nixon committed crimes in the White House, former Trump Lawyer, Confidant and Fixer Michael D. Cohen, provided testimony under oath to Congress on February 27, 2019, and gave direct evidence of crimes committed by President Donald Trump, in office. The testimony, which I have excerpted here for brevity, was provided to the New York Times the night before Cohen’s Congressional Testimony.)



I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.


I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.


He is a racist.

He is a conman.

He is a cheat.


He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.


I am providing the Committee today with several documents. These include:

  • A copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account – after he became president – to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign;


  • Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank;



  • A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs; and


  • Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.

Before going further, I want to apologize to each of you and to Congress as a whole.


The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump.


I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign.


Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.


In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me “there’s no business in Russia,” and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie. (Editor’s Note:  Just like Trump lies repeatedly by repeating “there’s no collusion.”)


There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me “How’s it going in Russia?” – referring to the Moscow Tower project.


You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.


To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it.


He lied about it because he never expected to win the election.


He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.


And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie.


And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.



I have always tried to live a life of loyalty, friendship, generosity, and compassion – qualities my parents ingrained in my siblings and me since childhood.


My father survived the Holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others. He was helped by many who put themselves in harm’s way to do what they knew was right.


That is why my first instinct has always been to help those in need. Mom and Dad…I am sorry that I let you down.


Last fall, I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Individual #1.


For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.


It is painful to admit that I was motivated by ambition at times. It is even more painful to admit that many times I ignored my conscience and acted loyal to a man when I should not have. Sitting here today, it seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong.

For that reason, I have come here to apologize to my family, to the government, and to the American people.



Accordingly, let me now tell you about Mr. Trump.


I got to know him very well, working very closely with him for more than 10 years, as his Executive Vice President and Special Counsel and then personal attorney when he became President.


I wound up touting the Trump narrative for over a decade. That was my job. Always stay on message. Always defend. It monopolized my life. At first, I worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings. Over time, I saw his true character revealed.


Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.


Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great.


He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power.


Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the “greatest infomercial in political history.”


He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.



A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.


As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails.


In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.


Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great.”


Mr. Trump is a racist.


The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes.”


In private, he is even worse.

He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.” This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.


While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.

And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.



Mr. Trump is a cheat.


As previously stated, I’m giving the Committee today three years of President Trump’s financial statements, from 2011-2013, which he gave to Deutsche Bank to inquire about a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills and to Forbes. These are Exhibits 1a, 1b, and 1c to my testimony.

It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.


I am sharing with you two newspaper articles, side by side, that are examples of Mr. Trump inflating and deflating his assets, as I said, to suit his financial interests. These are Exhibit 2 to my testimony.


As I noted, I’m giving the Committee today an article he wrote on, and sent me, that reported on an auction of a portrait of Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 3A to my testimony.


Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. Please see Exhibit 3B to my testimony.


And it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that Mr. Trump directed me to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and told them no payment or a reducedpayment would be coming. When I advised Mr. Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.



Mr. Trump is a conman.


He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it,which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.


I am giving the Committee today a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from me to Ms. Clifford’s attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by Ms. Clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 4 to my testimony.


Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign.I did that, too – without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family,or the public.


I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.


As Exhibit 5 to my testimony shows, I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me – the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer — for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf.


This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year – while he was President.


The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. You can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.



When I say conman, I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.


As I mentioned, I’m giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr. Trump’s direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if Mr. Trump’s grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without his permission. These are Exhibit 6.


The irony wasn’t lost on me at the time that Mr. Trump in 2011 had strongly criticized President Obama for not releasing his grades. As you can see in Exhibit 7, Mr. Trump declared “Let him show his records” after calling President Obama “a terrible student.”


The sad fact is that I never heard Mr. Trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better.


In fact, he did the opposite.


When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half – including mine – he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving “someone like him” that much money back.


During the campaign, Mr. Trump said he did not consider Vietnam Veteran, and Prisoner of War, Senator John McCain to be “a hero” because he likes people who weren’t captured. At the same time, Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft.


Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery.


He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.


He finished the conversation with the following comment. “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”


I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now.

Over the past year or so, I have done some real soul searching. I see now that my ambition and the intoxication of Trump power had much to do with the bad decisions I made.


To you, Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, the other members of this Committee, and the other members of the House and Senate, I am sorry for my lies and for lying to Congress.


To our nation, I am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about Mr. Trump when you needed it most.



I am going to prison and have shattered the safety and security that I tried so hard to provide for my family.


My testimony certainly does not diminish the pain I caused my family and friends – nothing can do that. And, by coming today, I have caused my family to be the target of personal, scurrilous attacks by the President and his lawyer – trying to intimidate me from appearing before this panel.


Mr. Trump called me a “rat” for choosing to tell the truth – much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government.


As Exhibit 8 shows, I have provided the Committee with copies of Tweets that Mr. Trump posted, attacking me and my family – only someone burying his head in the sand would not recognize them for what they are: encouragement to someone to do harm to me and my family.


I never imagined that he would engage in vicious, false attacks on my family – and unleash his TV-lawyer to do the same. I hope this committee and all members of Congress on both sides of the aisle will make it clear: As a nation, we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before Congress and attacks on family are out of bounds and not acceptable.



Born to Write


I can’t get away from Bruce.


Everywhere I turn, everytime I look at TV, every publication I read, Bruce’s brooding face beckons me.


It’s so odd, since I’ve never liked New Jersey, hated the “Jersey Boys “ musical, and detested the stereotype of Italians created by “The Sopranos, generic jerks from Jersey. Yet, I cannot escape the most famous son of New Jersey since Frank Sinatra, whose velvety voice my mother adored.


I never adored Bruce’s raspy voice, but his words and his writing have taken my breath away, now, for the first time, when both of us are 69 years old.  After decades of listening to Springsteen’s songs, it’s his words, thoughts and actions which have turned me into a geriatric groupie.


It happened unexpectedly, while researching the official biography I’m writing about the singer/songwriter/humanitarian Harry Chapin.  Sure, like many others, I was struck by Bruce’s break-out hits in the 1980’s—Born in the USA and  Glory Days.  Both dominated the airwaves while I worked for an old ballplayer turned politician. Mario M. Cuomo, who articulated Springsteen’s working class anger in a less aggressive way.


It was Harry Chapin, six years after his death, who first brought me in close contact with Bruce, at a Carnegie Hall memorial  benefit concert on the 45th Anniversary of Harry’s birth.  I sat with my 12-year old son, and his mother, my partner of 15 years, less than 10 feet away from Springsteen.  He came out on the big stage, and talked about how Chapin would never stop bugging him about giving more of his earnings to people less fortunate—the poor, the hungry.


“Harry would stand outside my hotel window, and tell me that when he performed, he’d give one dollar for the other guy, and keep one for himself, “ Bruce said, “ and I’d nod my head, just to get rid of him and get some sleep.”  Then, Springsteen, holding his electric guitar and wearing an harmonica around his neck, stepped up to the microphone and in his haunting voice sang “Remember When the Music,” and left all of us in the audience gasping for air.


I hadn’t thought much about Bruce Springsteen for a few decades, until I learned that he had quietly picked up the humanitarian mantle worn by Harry Chapin, raising millions of dollars for non-profit organizations like World Hunger Year (WHYHunger), which Chapin founded with former Catholic priest and DJ, Bill Ayres.   Harry’s hectoring had hit home with the working class hero from Freehold, New Jersey.


Then, earlier this year, while carefully sifting through articles about celebrities using their gifts to improve the world, I came across a 20-year old interview done with Springsteen, by the writer Will Percy, the nephew of the great writer Walker Percy.  The “Springsteen Interview,” appeared in the Summer/Fall 1998 issue of the publication of WHYHunger, in a special edition devoted to Artists Against Hungerand Poverty.   In it, Springsteen didn’t just talk about his burgeoning humanitarian work, which he came to later in his career, but about the artist’s obligation to reach the public’s conscience.


“What’s interested me since I was young, “ Bruce told Will Percy, “ was how we live in the world and how we ought tolive in the world. I think politics is implicit. I’m not interested in writing rhetoric or ideology.  I think it was Walt Whitman who said ‘the poets job is to know the soul.’ You strive for that, assist your audience in finding and knowing theirs.  That’s always at the core of your writing, of what drives your music.”


“What a writer or artist does, “Springsteen continued,  “is to raise fundamental questions about the way we behave toward one another, and then move these questionsfrom the aesthetic into the practical, into some sort of action; whether it be action in the community or action in the way you treat your wife or your kid…”


“The way all those things intersect,” he said, “ is what interests me.  The way the social issues and the personal issues cross over one another; to me, that’s how people live. In some fashion that’s my intent to establish a commonality by revealing our inner common humanity, by telling good stories about a lot of different kinds of people.”


This past week, as his incredibly successful show Springsteen on Broadway , is winding down its’ year-long run before being aired on Netflix, December 15,  Esquire Magazine published another remarkable interview with Springsteen (“Beneath the Surface with Bruce Springsteen”, by Michael Hainey, November 27, 2018) in which he underscored that he was still striving to create a place where “the political and personal came together, to spill clear water into the muddy river of history.”


In his beautifully written autobiography Born to Run (Simon & Schuster, NY, 2016),  Springsteen is both more introspective then he’s ever been, and more outspoken about the political and social life of the USA of today,  a country different from the one in which he was born, worried that “the moral high ground has been swept away from underneath us.”


Yet somehow, despite the “crimes against humanity” which Bruce believes Trump commits each day by intentionally dividing and hurting people, the honesty of Springsteen’s life and his writing uplift me, and his voice is more clear and true to me than it has ever been.