The theater community feels a deep loss today, but we who remember Sam Shepard best for his role as test pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film THE RIGHT STUFF do, too.

Yeager was an almost mythical character in that film --- the first real hero of the race for space who, ironically, didn’t get to space at all. Shepard’s interpretation combined a down-to-earth, clear-eyed realism with a powerful, dreamlike aura of astounding bravery that won him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. We who wear our deep respect for the astronauts and test pilots on our sleeves remember Shepard’s portrayal fondly.

He appeared in other films but most of his work was for the Broadway and off-Broadway stage. He wrote 44 plays and won a Pulitzer Prize for one of them.

Apparently, he had been ill with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for some time. He died at his Kentucky home at the age of 73. Over the years, we’ve seen the actual participants in the race for space pass into history as well. Sen. John Glenn was the last surviving Mercury astronaut when he died in 2016.

This would be a great time to break out THE RIGHT STUFF, celebrate the bravery of those pilots, and watch Sam Shepard in an iconic role.

See no evil

July 31, 2017

It’s odd how there’s so much fake news that the media jabber on about for hour after hour, while major stories are festering right under their noses and they hardly even notice them. I guess a non-story about an elephant is just a lot more interesting than a real story about a donkey. But the anti-elephant/pro-donkey bias has become so blatant that a lot of people are starting to tally up all the ways in which the right side gets the microscope while the left side gets the blindfold. For instance, totally unproven Russian collusion is worth 24-hour coverage and possibly disastrous sanctions if the suspects are Trump staffers. But what about Vladimir Putin’s deep and well-verified ties to the other side, the one that suddenly became so paranoid about Russia after nearly a century of defending it?

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And speaking of alleged collusion and cover-up involving high US elected officials and a foreign nation possibly stealing classified information from Democrats' computers... This story is getting very little media play, even though there’s been one arrest by the FBI, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more. By the way, this is entirely a Democratic Congressional scandal that dates back years, yet somehow, the New York Times finds a way to blame Trump for it.

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And if imams are preaching the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews in mosques on American soil, why bother reporting it? Obviously, they didn’t really mean it, even if one of the mosque’s attendees was one of the San Bernardino mass shooters.

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But possibly the most sickening of all the “see no evil” stories is the lack of coverage of this one. Telling you about it might harm the narrative that enforcing long-standing immigration laws is heartless. I think that what’s heartless is when a so-called “sanctuary county” releases a criminal illegal alien who has already been deported 20 - yes, 20! - times, only to see him rob, beat and sexually assault a 65-year-old woman in Portland, Oregon. Unlike the perpetrator, the victim had every right to be in America. She also had the right to trust that officials of Multnomah County, whose salaries she pays, would put her right to be safe in her own home above protecting the nonexistent right of multiple deportee, criminal illegal aliens to prey on their own constituents. Sadly, her trust was misplaced.

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