ALPERN AT LARGE--Man, there's a lot of things we didn't ask for, but we're getting, anyway.  On the other hand, we NEED some McDonald's Szechuan sauce.  You know, from the McDonald's promotion of the 1990's Disney Mulan movie?  That was AWESOME, and what do we do when we don't have Rick Sanchez's ability to go back in time to GET that awesome Szechuan sauce! 

GUEST WORDS--I haven’t stepped foot on a playground in decades, but a recent conversation revived that sinking feeling I used to get every time I was near a dome climber. All the other kids seemed to rise to the top with ease, but I always struggled to make it only halfway up. 

TRUMP WATCH-An elderly elephant with a blond pompadour inhabits the Oval Office. The elephant is not the physical being of Donald Trump but rather his unbalanced mental health. Trump is mentally unstable in a fashion and to a degree which is properly characterized as mentally ill. As often occurs with elephants in the room, the nation has refused to deal with this looming nightmare. An intervention is long overdue.

MIDDLE EAST WATCH--The concern that Iran will pursue the development of nuclear weapons once the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal expires in ten years is legitimate. But addressing these concerns cannot be achieved by nullifying the current agreement, which would only strengthen Iran’s resolve to acquire nuclear weapons. 

THE ISENBERG FILE-Lord Action said, "Power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." I would argue that if one is unquestioningly required to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States irrespective of what the political leadership and others do in derogation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights, then what we have lost is the real value of the laws and rights our democracy stand for. 

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