Trouble With The Curve

Through the first part of a rather inauspicious Little League career, I struggled to hit straight fastballs and was fortunate that young pitchers back then were discouraged from throwing the curve. When I graduated to Babe Ruth League, the first two curveballs I ever saw knocked me on my backside despite both being called strikes right […]

The Law of Small Numbers Repeated Many Times

I mentioned in my last post that I have some history as a deliberate thinker. As a writer, I craft my plots carefully, working out details early in the story to lead seamlessly toward the end game. You will rarely catch my protagonists relying on coincidence to solve a mystery. It’s harder and takes longer […]

The Great Reservoir of Unfinished Business

With rare exception, I have used this space to blog about my novels and the occasional political rant. Both topics expose my progressive ideals which, in my view, reflect the better part of me. But as I integrate my newest role—person with Parkinson’s disease (PWP)—into my being I have been engaging in a great deal […]

The Fiscal Cliff: A Return To Reason?

In the wake of the election, it’s nice to hear the usual DC suspects singing a tune of unity rather than obstruction. Time will tell if the principals in this stage show–President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner–back up their words with action, but they seem to have received the message […]

My Inspiration For King of Paine

I’m often asked about my inspiration for King of Paine because the story melds two wildly different story lines (and because one of them centers around some pretty kinky sex, and on first sight I seem about as vanilla as it gets). In the main story, Special Agent Frank Paine hunts an online stalker who’s […]

The Chop, The Beast & The Infield Fly Rule

The knock on me as a sportswriter for the Albany Student Press back in the early 80s was that I wrote with my heart instead of my brain. After a December 7th triple-overtime loss by my beloved Great Danes to the national powerhouse Potsdam Bears (Albany played in Division III at the time), I evoked the […]

Weaving Social Themes Into Suspense Novels

Like many thriller/suspense authors, especially those trained as attorneys, I craft intricate, well-researched plots, engage my characters in thought-provoking social drama and spice their lives with alluring romantic entanglements. The most challenging aspect of mastering this genre is incorporating contemporary social issues without preaching or compromising pace. Two early John Grisham novels illustrate the perils. […]

“Who Are You Chatting With? The Dangers of Anonymous Internet Communications”

Ever since my two sons began using AOL’s instant messaging service in the late-1990s, I’ve been intrigued by the potential for good and evil inherent in anonymous Internet chat, a device featured prominently in both of my novels. Like every parent, I feared my kids could become vulnerable to predators if allowed to roam cyberspace […]

Patrick Henry Revisited: Give Me Liberty AND Give Me Death

I dislike that we have become a starkly divided nation but understand the philosophical underpinnings of many disputed issues. I can’t understand how one mind can believe government intrusion into the personal decisions of citizens is an intolerable restraint on liberty (the conservative credo), yet insist government deny women free choice in their reproductive decisions, […]

Debunking Cain: Turning 999 Upside Down

Herman Cain’s policies escaped close scrutiny while his presidential campaign lingered on the margins, but the businessman/radio personality’s recent burst into the frontrunner’s box targets him as a candidate to be taken seriously. He’s armed with what he calls his 999 Plan, and he’s dangerous. Cain’s plan is ultimately to phase in the Fair Tax […]

Is Social Security A Ponzi Scheme?

Texas Governor Rick Perry made headlines last week at the Republican presidential candidates’ debate when he asserted with an imperious tone that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. It’s a tempting analogy because most of the payments to retirees are financed out of receipts from payroll taxes imposed on current workers and employers, not out […]

Do We Still Have A Dream?

We celebrate anniversaries to mark time, to reflect on progress year over year. On this 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Washington celebrates great leaps forward in race relations with the unveiling of the King Memorial, but my reflections leave me wondering if a shell-shocked nation has given up on […]

My Hero, My Wife, And A Purple Donkey

Recent events have reminded me that behind every good man stands a better woman, a Hillary to inspire the dreamer in Bill. Please forgive the redundancy in the title, but this post is about only one such woman. Ellie is my wife and my hero–and a purple donkey, too. Usually, she inspires me to write […]

What Would Republicans Say If Democrats Tried Extortion, Too?

Negotiation occurs when two parties stake out principled positions and work together to achieve reasonable compromise. Sometimes one party has more bargaining power and may negotiate a favorable deal. But extortion occurs when a person uses coercion–threats of harm–to establish bargaining power where none otherwise exists. Raising the federal debt ceiling is a routine administrative […]

Deficits, Taxes & Shared Pain

I’m not an economist, but I played one in college–well enough to know that if you put 100 economists in a room, you’ll get at least a dozen inconsistent theories (and the makings for a really exciting cocktail party!). I believe there is no economic basis for choosing between spending cuts and tax increases. As […]

Tax Hike!!!!

My wife, Ellie, and I watch the Sunday morning news shows religiously each week. We usually remain fairly civil, even in the privacy of our own living room, but nobody brings out the wrath of the Kahns like Mitch McConnell, who was interviewed on This Week today. No matter how many times or how aggressively […]

Wealth Redistribution, The Law of the Jungle & Seeds of Revolution

We look on with hope and concern as revolution breaks out across the Middle East, but as the world’s great bastion of democracy we seem to consider ourselves immune from civil unrest. I think that’s a mistake. The conservative agenda is planting the seeds of revolution in America, and in a democracy revolution does not […]