17 June, 2017

The Illegitimate President

72,734, 751 American voters did NOT choose Donald J. Trump. He lost the popular vote by 9,749,926 votes! He neither represents nor serves the expressed will of the American electorate!

Presidential ticket
% of voters
Trump / Pence
50 + DC
Clinton / Kaine
50 + DC
Johnson / Weld
50 + DC
Stein / Baraka
44 + DC
McMullin / Finn
Castle / Bradley

Five times in American history, the reactionary glitch of the Electoral College has thwarted the will of the electorate. Never has it done so more grievously than in 2016. Neither Donald J. Trump nor his party has any claim to be doing the business of the American people. At best, they are working the will of a distinct minority of 46.78%. 53.22% of American voters chose somebody else.

16 June, 2017

Come Together, Right Now!

This message was sent to Senators Casey and Toomey as well as Congress Member, Rothfus.

While it was great to see the display of unity at National Field last night, it would be better and more significant to see unity, civility, and constructive interaction regarding legislation and governance. 

The sorry spectacle of the AHCA – rushed through the House, and reworked in secret by thirteen male Republican Senators in the Senate – is an egregious example of disunity, incivility, and unconstructive action. It speaks so loudly of poisonous partisanship I cannot clearly hear or confidently heed the professions of unity. The recurring acrimony and ongoing secretiveness exhibited throughout 2017 thus far belie all soothing words.

Knock it off! Work honestly and effectively for the common interest. Govern responsibly and serve the people, not the plutocrats and corporations.  Remember it is “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” not government of the people, by the wealthy, for the corporations.

In the picture at the top of this page, the two co-chairs of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY), called for Congress to tackle comprehensive tax reform and infrastructure investment together. 

The Problem Solvers Caucus shows that there are members of Congress ready to come together to put country over party, and govern responsibly in the common interest. 

14 June, 2017

Cowards, Not Warriors

Zealots usually have some rationale for the atrocities they perpetrate. In their minds and the minds of some others, this makes them warriors for a noble cause. The fact that they almost always attack unarmed, unsuspecting people give the lie to their pretensions.  Just in the last few weeks, the following rationales have been offered by zealots of various persuasions.

1.    A widely-circulated propaganda message put out by the group on social media urged its followers to attack civilians in the West using trucks, knives or guns during the Holy Month of Ramadan. 

2.     Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who media outlets quickly identified as a known white supremacist and right-wing extremist. “He calls for a homeland for whites, he has anti-Semitic statements praising Nazis,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center after examining his Facebook page.

Christian also participated in the “March for Free Speech” in Portland on April 29 with a baseball bat in tow to attack left-wing protesters. Police took the bat away, but Christian spent all day yelling racist slurs and giving the Nazi salute.

3.    A purported Sanders supporter attacked Congressional Republicans practicing for the charity baseball game against the Democrats. 

Bernie Sanders condemned the action, saying: “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”

None of the perpetrators knowingly confronted armed opposition. All of them attacked people they thought to be defenseless. Not a one of them was truly a warrior. All of them were demonstrably cowards with a pretentious and spurious rationale for their atrocious actions. 

While I oppose the Neoconfederate Reactionary Agenda of the contemporary Republican Party, I condemn in every respect the use of violence against any of the Republicans now in power. Ballots, not bullets, are the proper means for depriving them of their power to harm America and planet Earth. Arguments, peaceful demonstrations, phone calls, letters to Congress and Editors are all legitimate means and measures. Violence and incitement to violence are not justified in any circumstance. 

Sectarian creeds do not convey legitimacy on cruelty, aggression, murder, and mayhem. Authoritarian political ideologies are abhorrent on their face, and they do not confer honor on adherents who attack others in their name. Unless there is an actual war in which people risk life and limb in combat with armed and aware opponents resorting to force does not make one a warrior in the service of any cause noble or ignoble. Violence against the defenseless is an act of cowardice and covers the perpetrator[s] with shame.

Therefore, let me state emphatically and without qualification that the moment one resorts to aggression against peaceful people of differing views or hues one confesses and demonstrates the total illegitimacy of one’s positions and ideological professions.  

12 June, 2017

They Are Magic

Written in honor and celebration the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second straight Stanley Cup triumph. They showed it was true that “Destiny had a new home.”  As Ron Cook aptly said, “The Penguins were issued so many challenges in the glorious hockey season that ended Sunday night, seemingly too many, but they failed at not a single one of them.” No, they most certainly did not!

Larry Conley 12 June 2017 


They made a stand
And they soared free
It always was in their mind
They knew they could break the bind
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

Achieving their dream
Started 107 games ago
There was no other path to take
They refused to give themselves a break
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

We have to believe they are magic
No one could stand in their way
We have to believe they are magic
They never let their aim stray
And soon all their hopes would thrive
Destiny would finally arrive
They kept the dream alive
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

They took a stand
And now they’re home free
The planet alignment -  so rare
There's jubilation in the air
And their hopes came true.

Despite any setbacks, they came through
They rose from every stumble and fall
They kept going through it all
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

We have to believe they are magic
No one could stand in their way
We have to believe they are magic
They never let their aim stray
And soon all their hopes would thrive
Destiny would finally arrive
They kept the dream alive
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!


11 June, 2017

Bravest and Best


You call out to us all, with your hearts on fire
You rise to the challenge and go down to the wire
Oh, you come on strongly and play with courage and speed

Give a lifetime of thrills and a trove of dreams
Actions speak language of courage, and you speak it loud and clean
It can't be wrong, that your hearts are strong; you are a team
You're simply the best, braver than all the rest
Braver than any hockey team I have ever seen yet
Your strength is your heart, and the daring way you play
You tear defenses apart, guys, and you fill them with dread

In your heart, at the start of every game and every play
On the ice, you fly, and opponents get blown away
When I cheer you on I couldn’t be in a better place
You're simply the best, braver than all the rest
Braver than any hockey team anyone has ever seen yet

Your strength is your heart
And the daring way you play
You tear defenses apart,
And you fill them with dread

Each time it seems your opponents are taking control
The team digs deep and plays with the strength of an indomitable soul
I can feel that spirit even though I'm at home
So, guys, don't ever let up – don’t ever give in
You're simply the best, braver than all the rest
Braver than any hockey team anyone has ever seen yet

Your strength is your heart
And the daring way you play
You tear defenses apart,
And you fill them with dread

Oh, guys, you're the best!


3 F Hockey

In Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins must play 3F Hockey: Focused, Fast, Fearless Hockey.


Winger Conor Sheary said: “It’s a good thing that we have two opportunities, but we don’t want to let this one slip away,” he said. “If we say, ‘Oh, we can win on home ice,’ that can get us into a trap.”
In Game 6, the mindset must be on winning the Cup at the earliest opportunity to do so. This is the first closeout game of the ultimate round. The Penguins must keep this first and foremost in their mind. They must demonstrate it in every second of their play. That means they must, as Coach Sullivan repeatedly says, “Just play.”
Center Matt Cullen said after practice Saturday in Cranberry. “We have a group that, we understand where we’re at.”

“You have an opportunity in front of you, and you just have to treat it like a Game 7. To be honest, our last game, we treated like a Game 7, and we brought out a really good game.”
“That’s the mindset we have to have going into [Game 6]. We’ve already talked about it, and we will continue to talk about it. It’s important that we try to seize the opportunity we have in front of us.”
The Penguins must approach Game 6 like they did Game 5. They must be on the offense, be on their toes and dictate the terms., As Coach Mike Sullivan always says. “If we play that way, play with that mindset, we’ll be all right.”

This also means not taking stupid penalties, especially too many on the ice penalties. It means not being baited into needless fights and other stupid actions. It means an energized, Power Play with a lethal scoring intent. It means winning half chances and spending most of each period in the offensive zone.

“We have to bring our best game,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “The elimination game is always the most difficult to get. First and foremost, we have to understand the challenge. I believe our players do.

“I really believe, in these types of games when the emotions are high and the stakes are high, it's about focus. It's about attention to detail. It's about effort, and it's about execution, controlling what you can out there. That's where our whole focus is.”


“It’s established NHL biology that Crosby has eyes in the back of his head, but the way he brings out the occasional lethality of the flying Sheary and the routinely astounding Guentzel puts No. 87’s singular gifts in a context not approached with any of his various other wingers.” Sid and the Kids are the most lethal line in the NHL when they are playing to their full potential. And the driving force of that lethality is speed. Speed kills when it is deployed by a line that also has superb skills. For the Penguins to win in Game 6, Sid and the Kids and the rest of the Penguins must exhibit speed such as they did in Game 5. If the do so, the Preds will be ripped to shreds!
Sid and the Kids along with Malkin, Kessel, Rust, and Hagelin must bring speed to bear in Game 6. They have the capability to do so. When they do, the Predators will be at a disadvantage as every other team before them has been.

I am confident Coach Sullivan will emphasize this and Crosby will exemplify it. These two set the tone for the Penguins and due to the splendid harmony among the team, that tone plays out with wondrous variations and vitality.


“In the first three rounds of these playoffs, the Penguins have squandered their first opportunity to eliminate an opponent.” That is, one of two streaks the Penguins must end on Sunday. The other that they must terminate is the home team winning every game in the Finals. Then, there is the streak they must extend: their four previous Stanley Cup triumphs have happened on the road. There is no good reason to change that.

Whether one calls it desperation or determination, the Predators will be especially ferocious in Game 6. Lax officiating has let them get away with virtual thuggery, and it remains to be seen if vigilant NHL officials show up for game 6.  The NHL let its officials get away with such a departure from norms once the postseason begins? Why are we at a point where we all just sort of go along with officials not doing their jobs when the games matter most? And the situation is getting worse.” The slogan for this malfeasance is “letting the players settle this one.”  The problem is some coaches and some players deliberately set out to foul and, even injure, key players on other teams. Sidney Crosby has been subjected to near constant mugging. Things that are worthy rules during the regular season should be properly and consistently upheld during the playoffs. If they are not, then the playoffs do not constitute hockey, but some other game that resembles hockey as much as rugby resembles soccer.  [http://thecomeback.com/nhl/referees-quiet-whistles-ruining-playoffs.html]

It is clear the Predators and their coach wants to be physical. That is a euphemism for intimidatingly rough even if that requires bending the rules of proper hockey play to the breaking point and beyond. Thus, the Penguins must be fearless. They must face the threat of improper play by thugs on skates and find a way to make these scoundrels pay on the scoreboard. They have done so all season long, and I believe they will do so in game 6. When desperation meets an unconquerable will, it is usually the will that wins. As Winston Churchill once truly said in a far more momentous context: “As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.” According to Coach Sullivan, the Penguins have just the faith in one another and the unconquerable will to win Churchill describes. Also, empowering the Penguins is their courageous character. According to John Wooden: “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” The Penguins have both in abundance. Therefore, I believe the Penguins will rise and shine in Game 6 and win their fifth Stanley Cup on the road in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

09 June, 2017

Laying it All on the Line

[Connor Sheary, SidneyCrosby, and Jake Guentzel]

It's an old story told one more time
It turns a rival into a blockage on the line
We want to win it, and claim the Cup a second time
On Sunday, we’ll be sure to lay it all on the line!

We’re tired of playing subpar games
We’re sick of the mistakes that make our efforts vain
We don’t need much; our best efforts will do just fine
We’re going to lay it all on the line!

Lay it on the line
Lay it on the line
Lay it on the line
We won’t waste time!

It’s just not right to hesitate
We going to strike now before it gets too late
We’d never think of leaving this chance behind
We’re going to lay it all on the line!

Lay it on the line
Lay it on the line
Lay it on the line
We won’t waste time!

We know you love the game and all we strive to do,
We know because you show us that it's true
It's up to us; now we must do what we must do
Can’t fool around, or waste our precious time
We’re going to lay it all on the line!

We’ll lay it all on the line
Lay it all on the line
Won't hold back now
Not this time
We’ll lay it all on the line
Lay it on the line guys
Our best efforts will truly rise and shine
Sunday is the perfect and proper time
We’re going to lay it all on the line!

Written for the Pittsburgh Penguins after their magnificent victory in game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Let us hope they will lay it all on the line and win the Stanley Cup for the second straight time. Larry Conley 9 June 2017

02 June, 2017

Letter from a Patriotic Pittsburgher


“If at length it becomes undoubted that an inveterate resolution is formed to annihilate the liberties of the governed, the English history affords frequent examples of resistance by force. What particular circumstances will in any future case justify such resistance can never be ascertained till they happen. Perhaps it may be allowable to say generally, that it never can be justifiable until the people are fully convinced that any further submission will be destructive to their happiness.”    Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania III, John Dickinson

Once again, American citizens are confronted with an “inveterate resolution” that seems likely to “be destructive to their happiness.” Now, however, this resolution comes not from a far-off parliament, but from a major political party and an occupant of the Oval Office. The American Constitutional Republic has been taken over by a horde of Neoconfederate Reactionaries and an ignorant, arrogant scoundrel.

After losing the election by 2.8 million votes the dastard in the White House has done much to destabilize crucial alliances, he has curried favor with our primary geopolitical adversary, he has sought relentlessly to enrich further the fabulously wealthy and facilitate ravenously avaricious corporations. Such actions make it plausible, if not probable, that this party and this person are working deliberately “to annihilate the liberties of the governed” rather than to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Republic it ordained and established.

Although ignorance and arrogance are hallmarks of the Neoconfederate Reactionaries and the illegitimate occupant of the Oval Office, malice is the driving force and binding theme of all they do. The Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Nonetheless, the reactionaries in control of the Federal government want to prey upon the tired, the poor, the huddled masses for the benefit of themselves and their wealthy donors and corporate cronies.

Due to the bigotry, misogyny, resentment, and gullibility of too many Americans, this horde of horribles has gained power at the national level. Throughout the nation, many governorships and state legislators are also in their hands. Despite being politically successful in the short-run, these developments bode ill for the long-term and the common good.

On 1 June 2017, Number 45 revealed his vast ignorance and complete deceitfulness in the most glaring terms. “In a speech from the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said the landmark 2015 pact imposed wildly unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers. He vowed to stand with the people of the United States against what he called a “draconian” international deal.” Such statements reveal his complete lack of comprehension regarding the Paris Accord. In his deplorable speech announcing the decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, Trump frequently relied on dubious facts and unbalanced claims. “Each country set its own commitments under the Paris Accord.” Every nation that signed the agreement to help lower emissions did so on the basis of plans they submitted. The Obama administration set the U.S. targets. This arrangement is not a violation of sovereignty, but an exercise of it. The Paris Accord is a voluntary agreement! Claiming it violates American sovereignty is not merely erroneous, it is blatantly dishonest.

In the same vein, these buffoon in the Oval Office has discounted and disregarded the considered opinions of seventeen American Intelligence agencies that Russia sought to intrude in America’s 2016 election. These actions are not a matter of speculation; those who acted are not a mystery to any American with the willingness to acknowledge what our intelligence agencies know. Foreigners are not eve allowed to donate to campaigns, but the reactionaries in power are unconcerned with “active measures” deployed against us. The Russians have a documented and lengthy history of doing such things. The occupant of the Oval Office speaks and acts as though this demonstrated practice exemplifies a mere hypothesis, rather than a proven pattern. Such willful ignorance is not what the American citizenry needs from their political leadership.

“Trump cited some negative statistics about the predicted economic impact from the climate deal, including a $3 trillion drop in gross domestic product, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs lost and 86 percent reduction in coal production, all by 2040.” These statistics come from a March 2017 study by NERA Economic Consulting. This study estimates the potential impact of hypothetical regulatory actions necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The assumptions made give several economic and environmental professors pause who reacted to the NERA study for ClimateFeedback.org. For example, Yale professor Kenneth Gillingham said the NERA model tends to result in higher costs than other economic models because it assumes certain hypothetical regulations, but "one could easily model other actions with much lower costs." Also, it ignores the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, like avoiding the adverse effects of climate change.  Gillingham also said, "The NERA model provides useful information, but it is important for it to be taken in the context of model results from other models and not cherry-picked as was done here." In other words, the NERA model makes assumptions that generate an extreme outcome.

The report Trump took that estimate from “does not account for potential benefits from avoided emissions.” In other words: this “cost-benefit study” ignores any benefits of participating in a global plan to prevent the worst effects of climate change. It is a report on climate mitigation that ignores climate change. The report also does not consider the economic benefits to renewable energy industries, nor does it consider the health costs that associated with fossil fuel pollution. The NERA report is not a study, but a special pleading that confirms Trump’s unfounded assumptions and self-serving prejudices. It is a snare and a delusion presented as evidence by a charlatan who is philosophically, temperamentally, and intellectually unfit for any office, let alone the Oval Office.

One other gross deception in this offensive speech concerned India and coal production. Trump: "India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it. India can double their coal production. We're supposed to get rid of ours." The Paris Agreement does not even mention the word coal, nor does it do anything to put a global moratorium on coal. India does have plans to nearly double its coal production, and the agreement does not prevent that.  Under the Paris Accord, each signatory sets its own goals and reports on its progress. So, this sop to his presumed coal miner base is at best misleading and probably a deliberate and known falsehood. There is no mandate or requirement for us to “get rid of ours.” Let us never forget, the Paris Accord “allows the nations who signed the Paris Agreement to set their own reduction targets to help achieve the overall target of reducing the rise in global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.” There is no violation of American sovereignty; there is respect for the sovereignty of all signatories.

Generations from now, your decision to leave the Paris agreement will be regarded as one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any president. This decision ignores the will of most of the American citizenry and the clear consensus of the scientific community. It will harm our country. It will cost lives, jobs, and respect around the world. It isolates our country on the world stage. It cedes our leadership position and our economic advantage on clean energy to India and China. Chanting a slogan from a baseball hat does nothing to change any of these harmful outcomes. In fact, it's hard to overstate the negative consequences at home and abroad of this foolish, self-destructive move. Only a few of the worst polluters will gain increased profits, but the health of our families and communities will suffer. Future scholars will search in vain to find a President with this level of disdain for reality, this sheer venality, and this total indifference to the future of humanity.

“Here then, my dear countrymen, rouse yourselves, and behold the ruin hanging over your heads.” If arrogant ignorance, zealous partisanship, and rapacious greed can betray the planet and our country, what has become of our pledge to form a more perfect union with liberty, justice, equality, and prosperity for all? Will you stand your country now, or will you admit to being summer soldiers and sunshine patriots? As James Bryce, British Ambassador to the United States, once said, “Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” He was right regarding every country including America. So was Carl Schurz who said, “Our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.” This foolish and deceptively rationalized decision puts America wrong, and it is up to us to put it right!

So, in the name of true patriotism, this Pittsburgher declares that Donald J. Trump does not speak for us. Our colors are Black and Gold, but the only connection he has with those colors are the Black of his egomaniacal soul and the Gold he relentlessly covets. He is a blight on the American Republic and a disgrace to the Oval Office. The course of true patriotism requires us to resist his efforts and remove him and his party from power.