Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bethlehem is Christmas


The official and only Christmas City for the entire United States of America. 

Having lived here for 34 years I should be bored by Christmas in Bethlehem but I am not.  Every year I get excited.  Granted I have off street parking.  But, it is so much more than that.

It is Christmas in Bethlehem!

Main Street is full and when it snows it is almost magical. 

The police horses are meeting & greeting tourists and keeping the peace.

The horse drawn carriage rides are running non stop and you can ride around Bethlehem pulled by a Princess's coachman - with the Princess herself.

And, what would Christmas in Bethlehem be without the Hotel Bethlehem.  There is not a hotel that does Christmas better!

Today, as we were walking north on Main St. we heard someone say "Walk to the corner and turn around"  the women's parents did and then we heard "Oh my God it's the star of Bethlehem"  her parents, with tears in their eyes hugged each other and stood there holding hands looking down Main Street.

Speaking of holding hands - since I am spending a lot of time on Main St. these days I have witnessed a lot of  same sex couples holding hands or walking arm in arm.  How great is that?

Christmas is a week away you still have time to experience the joy that is my fair city at Christmas!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Stop The Hallelujah Nonsense

We all know Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  It is song that has been sung by some of the greatest voices of our time.  We all know and love the "Hallelujah Chorus" portion of the song - sometimes it sounds hopeful, sometimes it sounds mournful and sometimes it sounds spiritual or religious.

I have never understood why this amazing and brilliant song is used on Christmas soundtracks and I never understood it is used at times of national mourning or as a song meant to bring us all together and lift us up.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is about........  Wait for it.......... are you ready? ...........

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is about - what almost every Leonard Cohen song is about......

The hardship of love.  How painful love is.  How difficult love is. Unrequited love.  The ability to feel the same love another person has for you.  The inability accept love.  Wanting love but knowing you will never feel it.  The inability to give your love fully, truly and completely.  To Leonard Cohen love is a bleak and brutal landscape that must be walked across but every step is painful and in the end you will be left alone.   And, you know that it is going to all happen again.

So, I am begging you do not use this song during your religious program, do not use this during a community gather of hope and recovery.

The only thing this stunningly beautiful song unites us in is that we have all been hurt by love and we have all hurt others in love.

Leonard Cohen in performance

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey Hey Ho Ho Sal Panto Wants The Days Inn to go

My old friend and current excellent Mayor of Easton Sal Panto has made no secret he wants this hotel to not only be closed but torn down and ripped from the memories of Easton's citizens.

The Days Inn sits on what could be argued one the most important intersections in the city.  At the bottom of the South Side and the Eastern beginning of Downtown.  It does need to go. This shabby place has not been a place for tourists, business travelers or local events for quite a long time.  Back in its early days (I don't remember what chain it represented then) it was a really modern, well run and a place where you were happy to recommend to out of town guests.

Back in the day I attended many weddings, anniversary parties, campaign and charity fundraisers at the hotel.  Cocktails by the indoor pool (sometimes it was a little steamy) and then dinner in the main ballroom. The bar was dark & woody and good place for political deal making and quiet conversations before, during and certainly after the event.

Candidates used it for kick off events and election night parties.  State wide and national candidates used to visit it for fund raisers. It attracted crowds unwilling to drive "all the way to Bethlehem" for events at the far more elegant Historic Hotel Bethlehem.  Plus, Easton is the capital of Northampton County so it was a logical site for politicians of both parties.

The final use of the land has yet to be decided but regardless it appears Mayor Panto is going to take the first ceremonial sledge hammer to this shabby eyesore in early January. Sal does look pretty dapper in a hard hat.

Easton does need a hotel somewhere in it's downtown area.  It needs it for Lafayette parents & alumni, business travelers and tourists.  Easton does have some very good event spaces but somehow attending / hosting an event at The Hilton Downtown Easton has a certain panache to it.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Have Given Up!

Because I am so politically aware, and because I take the long view of American progress and I have thought about this nation's political history I am usually the one my non-political friends come to for advise and comfort after a big election does not go as they (we) hoped.

On this blog I think my most used expression is "This great republic"  and by that I usually mean - we are better than our current political leadership, we have survived a crisis in the past or just a general our country will be fine.

After Trump won enough electoral college votes to become President of this great republic I could not be the comforter to my friends. I could not promise them that this great republic would be safe or even survive under his leadership.

For the first time in my life I began to doubt that this nation's future was going to be better than it's past.

A racist was elected President
A failed businessman was elected President
A TV reality game show host was elected President
A man married 3 times was elected President
A man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy was elected President
A man who did not understand why we did not use nuclear weapons more often was elected President

I tried to bring comfort to my friends, I tried to say this great republic would survive but I just could not.

But, then I saw congress was incapable of fulfilling his mission and I gained a little hope.  Maybe if we just do nothing over the next 4 years this great republic will hang in there.

And, then Charlottesville happened this weekend.

Today during a summery of events on CBS Sunday Morning I started to cry.

It is 2017.

Racism is thriving in this country.
Bigotry is thriving in this country.

Often after overtly racist events occur politician and pundits say "We are better than this"

Clearly we are not "We are better than this".

If we were Charlottesville would not have happened.

I no longer have hope for our future.

I have given up.

We will no longer a great republic.

We will no longer be the indispensable nation.

We will no longer be Ronald Reagan's Shining City Upon a Hill.

Donald Trump and his racist supporters will destroy this nation and I can think of no way to stop them.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another Letter to Trump

Friday, August 11, 2017


Wow!  Are you 12 years old?  "Locked and Loaded"  I am sure even the most radical member of the NRA is laughing at you for that.  When was the last time a weapon was "Locked and Loaded"?   It is so funny you trying to sound all tough and shit.  You are a joke.  You seem hell bent on taking this nation to war. 

Why is that?  When your nation called on you to serve you ran and hid behind your illegal immigrant mother and claimed to have problems with your feet, yet you played tennis and golf.  You are such a weak coward.  You claimed the military academy your parents sent you to (to get you out of their home) was better training than actual service in the Army.  You are just pathetic.

"Locked and Loaded"  every time I think about your fat little fingers on your orange little hands tweeting those words I convulse into laughter & tears and then I stop to think about the harm you and your grifter family is doing to this country, I get angry and feel compelled to write you again.

How much money has your filthy family made off your trips to your "Exclusive and Private" golf courses in the last 200+ days?  The fact that you are making the taxpayers of this country pay for all of this just shows how little you really care about us.

Just writing this short of a letter is painful - the fact that someone as vulgar, crude, rude, disrespectful and childish as you is President of this great republic is even more painful.

You are weak.
You are a failure


Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Letter To Trump

If I were to write a letter to a person elected President of the United States I would start it Dear Mr. Ms. President.
I would have done that for President Nixon, President Reagan and President Bush (the younger) three men who I never supported or liked but because they were President I respected them.  Trump - I can't even refer to him as Mr. Trump but that would show some level of respect, something he has not earned and does not deserve.

So here we go.

Donald C. Flad Jr

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I am writing this because I am sick of you, I am sick of thinking about you, I am sick of worrying about the harm you are doing to this this great republic, I am sick of talking about the harm you are doing to the world's formerly indispensable nation.  Your very brief Presidency has been sickening.

You comment on the figure of the First Lady of France.  Who are you to comment on how someone looks?  I mean really Trump have you looked in a mirror?  You are not by any stretch of the imagination attractive, your hair is ridiculous, you have a very strange skin color, you may be obese (have you seen the pictures of you in the golf whites you like to wear?  Your hands are oddly small for a man so fat and tall and they way you use them in the odd flapping way is just strange. You are really kind of gross.

I am sick of your children (normally I leave family out of my political discussions but your family is different).  I am sick of Ivanka pretending how pro LGBT she is when you prove at every opportunity how much you despise LGBT people.  I am sick of her husband's pre-pubescent voice as he whines his innocence.  He went to meeting with a non-citizen promising campaign information about an opponent - that is illegal and probably treason.  Oh and boo hoo to Donnie junior whining about how hard his grifter life has been since Putin helped you win the title of President.

I am sickened about the money the taxpayers are spending so you can golf and so your "wife" does not have to live with you.

I am sickened that you are already on your second Chief of Staff, your second Press Secretary, your second National Security Advisor and your second Secretary of Homeland Security and you have not reached the 200 day mark

I am sickened that every time you give a "non-campaign style speech" the group you speak to has to apologize because "The President of The United States"  was vulgar, crude and lied.  I mean really Trump your really weird performance before the Boy Scouts was really appalling.  The fact that you think you did a great job makes it even worse. 

The fact that so many of this nation's police departments had to basically say after your speech to police on Long Island last week "Oh hell no!  This idiot does not speak for us"  speaks volumes to what an dumb ass you are.  Again, it was just so visually odd with you flapping your little orange hands through out the entire speech. 

Watch your speeches Trump - no one will ever compliment you on your figure, skin color, hair or hand size or intellect. 

Your Tweets; the spelling, the grammar, the use of ALL CAPS, over use of !!!!!!! - a 13 year old mean girl's tweets are better structured, better thought out and far more interesting.  Where are you when you hold your smart phone in you little orange hands and use your obese little orange fingers to send out these thoughtless, clueless, OK stupid little tweets.  The sad thing is you think you are making/setting policy with these peculiar 140 letters of insanity.  In reality you are confirming how you are in over your head and you have no idea what you are doing.  

The fact that you do not understand how this great republic's three separate but equal branches of government works is unbelievable.  Did you really go to The Wharton School?  Anybody who graduated from Penn would know how the U.S. government works and you do not.  Is this just another one of your lies?

The fact that you lie about shit that is quickly provable as a lie and then never back down from the lie is a clear example of how unstable you are.  I mean really here are some examples 
The wife of the Japanese PM does not speak English - A Lie 
Your inauguration had the largest attendance EVER! - A Lie 
Your electoral college margin was one of the biggest ever - A lie
Your businesses have no Russian investors - A lie  (your beloved namesake says otherwise)
You claim you have passed more legislation than any previous President.  A lie but please prove me wrong - please try 

Kellyanne Conway (ConArtist) says that you believe in an alternate truth.

You did not think health care was so difficult to understand.  And, according to many reports you never understood the legislation working its way through Congress.  The fact is you do not care about anything other than you was so clear during the health care debate.  You would have signed anything just to say you signed it. 

And, how did the insult to John McCain turn out for you?  Did you really you think insulting a genuine American hero would not be responded to.  I mean really, John McCain willingly would have given his life for this country and you played golf during those same year. 

You once said that your military academy experience was tougher than actual military service and your learned more from it. Because your parents sent you to boarding school is not the same as boot camp.  Did it ever cross your mind that your parents may have sent you to boarding school because they hated you and did not want you around?  Or, maybe they were embarrassed by your thinning hair and oddly small hands.

North Korea is more belligerent than ever - it is because of how weak and clueless you are.  You blame China, you blame Russia.  What country are you going to blame next?  Albania (shout out to my twitter pals for this reference).

Iran is all up in our joint like they haven't been for more than a decade.  And, it is all on you chubby.

I could go on and on and on and I know that my usual group of cowardly tea baggers who use fake names will respond to this blog post in their typical juvenile way .  If history predicts the future they will respond like 8th grade boys.  

 I am sick of you Trump, this great republic is sick of you and I am going to try really hard to blog about some things that matter to me from now on......
Downtown Bethlehem
South Side Bethlehem
Meals on Wheels
Third Street Alliance for Women
Health Care
Homeless Vets
Civil Rights
Martin on Main Festival
LGBT Business Council 
Climate Change
How much I loathe the Eagles and Phillies
Pleated pants
The best hamburger ever 
RuPaul's Drag Race
The weather
Gail Hoover - Realtor 
How hot Tom Brady is - and Gisele 
How I can set my alarm to my garbage pick up
We are! Penn State
Award season red carpet hits and misses
It rained today
What song I am going to "do" and next years bash
Can I find a better bow tie than Tony Iannelli
Should I run for State Senate
Is it gravy or sauce
It's not the heat it's the humidity

In fact, Trump I am so sick of you and sickened by you that I really wish I never had to think about you and your disgusting family ever again.

......................................................  Having said all this I do not want you to leave office before your term is up because that would make Mike Pence President and he is smarter and more politically astute then you which makes him more harmful to the nation I love so much.

Donald C. Flad Jr