Saturday, November 21, 2009


Her charm, her looks, her ability to turn negative into positive -- her ultra seductive, female skills – the stuff that little girls are made of -- "sugar and spice and everything nice "-- she's got it - THE POWER.

You like her. I like her, even if we don't like her.

She gestures, smiles, chuckles, shrugs, points a knowing finger -- and what's wrong, what's making you cringe, what's making feel like snarling at her -- zzzip – gone! You're smiling (maybe a bit ruefully), but you're marching with her down her track -- it's not your track -- she's wrong, but you're marching with her.

Those eye-glasses framing her twinkling, knowing, focused eyes that are beaming her purposeful intention -- getting her logic, her truths, her sometimes (actually most of time), all-over-the-place construct of what to do about this or that -- those gleaming, framed eyes really do seem to focus onto and into you.

Her thoughts are like a scaffold -- firmly anchored to the ground -- poles, boards, sections of ladder that frame each floor, frame each storey of the building she's building -- a building with plenty of room for all kinds of folks from wherever folks happen to be.

Her slightly messy hair, her slightly thickened, mature look of a mother wife, above good legs -- no -- great legs -- holding her up, giving her that stand tall, head high, "I believe in myself" look she has, even if a tomato, or cream pie whomps her in the face – that's POWER.

Nasty things that are said about her, Palin turns into compliments. Like home-made fudge that's better than store-bought, she eats it up. It tastes good -- insults are compliments -- my goodness, those insulters are paying attention to her.

All the bad things that have been done to her, gee -- it's the media, it's the handlers -- the handlers for McCain were -- chuckle-chuckle , smile, grin -- "just know-it-all guys who don't k-n-o-w nothin' -- right?"

Okay! The irresponsible things she's said and done during the campaign, her specific attitudes about abortion, about that dirty word "liberal," about Barack Obama, socialism, health care, stimulus, and those snobs, Katy Couric and Charles Gibson, and what the handlers did to her -- it's quicksand.

Sarah, a outdoors person, knows how to leap, jump, scoot, shimmy sideways, pull a muddy foot out of danger, and avoid it.

And now she's out there, on a trip around the nation, super- selling herself and her book.

Bestseller Palin, selling her bestseller -- oh she will!

She's amazing. She's got rebound, resilience, and instinct for survival, and wow -- what a talent she has for winning you over, if you happen to be unsure of what to believe in.

That's big talent, big power.

I know for sure that I'm scared of her.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Do you have a list of things you want to do, but keep postponing?

I want to write my sister, JB, and find out why she hasn't written or called -- is it because she's not feeling well -- she doesn't want me to worry -- what do I say?

I want to write Anthony Shaw, the doctor who saved our son's life. (See my post "Circumcision" 11/14) -- writing my post I looked him up, and found a "death notice" in the New York Times -- his wife died last month -- it says send a donation to her foundation -- no flowers -- what can I say or do to comfort him personally?

... all this personal stuff on my mind, obscuring, diverting me from what's worrying me about all the stuff that's happening, not happening, in Congress ...

I want to send my energy, my impatience, over the Internet and into the air, into the ears of the guys who are currently advising the President, and tell them "Do it!" Say "Get it done!" Bellow "Go for it now!"

Do I email? I've typed the names -- I've read this list more than once -- I've said the names out loud --the names are familiar but who's doing what isn't ...

Attorney General: Eric H. Holder Jr.
Agriculture - Tom Vilsack
Commerce - Gary Locke
Defense - Robert M. Gates
Education - Arne Duncan
Energy - Steven Chu
Health and Human Services - Kathleen Sebelius
Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano
Housing and Urban Development - Shaun Donovan
Labor - Hilda L. Solis
Secretary of State - Hillary Rodham Clinton
Interior - Ken Salazar
Transportation - Ray LaHood
Treasury - Timothy F. Geithner
Veterans Affairs - Eric K. Shinseki
Central Intelligence Agency Director -- Leon E. Panetta
Chief of Staff -- Rahm Emanuel
National Economic Council -- Lawrence H. Summers
National Intelligence -- Dennis C. Blair
Environmental Protection Agency -- Lisa P. Jackson
National Security Adviser -- James L. Jones
Office of Management and Budget -- Peter R. Orszag
United Nations Ambassador -- Susan E. Rice
United States Trade Representative -- Ron Kirk
White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate -- Carol M. Browner
White House Press Secretary -- Robert Gibbs

Here's a cabinet meeting with these guys.

26 people feed their knowledge and research into the President's mind.

Which cabinet members do I fasten upon, and pray for, send a message to, email or phone in my imagination and say yes, go ahead -- investigate -- but don't create obstacles with your questions -- seize upon the answers, the ifs, and maybes -- and consolidate the sum total into affirmative action!

Consolidate which of Obama's ideas -- ALL -- all that fit your area of expertise! I'm not an activist, or expert in one, single area -- just a doer, one single person who's seeing what's not happening, and you and I know -- the man who does nothing makes no mistakes -- actions speak louder than words.

He's got war, health, jobs on the front burners, and environment, banks, Wall Street, real estate, mortgage loans, credit, on the back and side burners and what else -- Guantanamo, race, religion, and his life, his family -- little things gigantic things, too many for me to spell out ...


Okay! I'll write JB, I'll write Tony -- I'm telling myself "Do it!" "Get it done!" Bellowing "Go for it now!" and launching this into the air, onto the Internet.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Whew, I wouldn't want to have a job like Obama's, or his staff's, or their secretaries, or their clerks -- tackling our energy problems.

My brain is doing somersaults. Somersaults scare me – you tuck your head into the ground, you're in a crouch, you give a shove with your feet ... UH OH -- you think your neck might break off , but whee -- you're up and over and boom -- you're flat on your back not quite sure where you are.

I'm not sure where we are with cars eating gas, windmills, harnessing other sources of energy.

But, when I read about Obama getting to work, putting the electric grid problem on his worktable -- assigning $3.4 billion of the money he got for fixing things -- money from the $787 billion economic stimulus package that Congress approved -- tick tick -- I find myself remembering the 1977 blackout -- suddenly, no light, utter darkness, in New York City.

My mental teletype's ticking away ...

Even though the money is to be matched by the industries that are involved, and there will be jobs, lots of jobs -- I can hear the debates, experts saying it's "socialism" -- Tea Partiers shouting "No meters! We don't want government putting meters in our homes!"

Hey guys -- blackouts are serious. California's had hundreds of dim-outs and blackouts. Enron buying up electric power at bargain prices, selling it back to cities at twice the price -- scandalous increases in monthly bills that residents had to pay! Trouble is still hanging over California!

New York's had three major blackouts.

9th of November 1965 , 5:28 p.m, I was stuck in an elevator. 6 months pregnant, on 57th street, where I'd finished talking to my agent on the 14th floor.

Traffic jammed the streets -- commuters were stranded everywhere. Power was restored some thirteen hours later, and well ... I was amused, exhausted. I'd climbed down 13 flights of stairs and walked home on the moon-lighted streets -- forty blocks to our house, where JC had candles lit ... and snacks on the table.

In the morning we were waked by lights popping on, the radio saying the airports had re-opened, the Mayor thanking everyone, bragging about how the city coped with little reported disorder.

We learned that the entire Eastern Seaboard went black -- the outage was in an area of eighty-thousand square miles, effecting about twenty-five million people.

What happened on Wednesday , July 13, 1977, at 9:27 p.m. was scary. People were dangerous, angry, violent. I didn't dare go out.

Fires spread throughout all five boroughs. Thousands of shops were looted. There were almost four-thousand arrests, and damage costs were estimated at over $1 billion.

JC was starring in "Trip Back Down" on Broadway. He got home at 2 a.m. Our son, fortunately, was visiting relatives out of town. The front door of our building was damaged by robbers who broke the lock, and smashed some of the wood. They stole the door knobs.

Time Magazine called 13 July 1977 --"New York’s Night of Terror." The metropolitan area fell into darkness for twenty-five hours and the city descended into near anarchy.

When the television came back on, here's what WABC News said:

We live in New York City on the top two floors of a loft building. There's a lot of noise, fire engines, ambulances, police sirens, and garbage trucks; the water goes off sometimes unexpectedly; Con Edison and other untouchable city agencies are constantly digging up the streets. But we're New Yorkers. We recover quickly.

The big blackout (two and a half days) started August 14th, 2003, Thursday afternoon at 4:15. We were in the middle of heat wave. JC was in "Urinetown" on Broadway. The performance was canceled.

We had food in the freezer. Before it got dark we bought a box of candles, and 2 batteries at the corner store -- the owner was rationing them, rationing his supply of milk.

Once the possibility of terrorism was discounted, rivers of commuters and tourists calmly walked the streets to their homes. Since the lights went out in the afternoon, there was time to prepare. That night we walked the streets with a candle and a flashlight. It was crowded, but it was getting unbearably hot inside our building. We nodded and said "Hi, how are doing? " to strangers the way New Yorkers do in a crisis.

We knew hundreds were trapped in stalled elevators -- 600 subway and commuter rail cars were stuck between stations -- without traffic lights, everything was gridlocked, as people fled their offices on foot -- for hours into the evening; streets, highways, bridges and tunnels were jammed with traffic and pedestrians.

Mayor Bloomberg reported that it took four hours just to get out of Manhattan. He told residents to open their windows, drink plenty of liquids to avoid heat stroke in the heat, and not to forget their pets. Temperatures were 92 °F.

Friday morning, the 15th, our water pressure was lower than usual. Smells were in the air -- garbage trucks weren't operating -- curbs were lined with garbage bags, cans, bottles, decaying food. The few-hundred-dollars of food in our freezer was getting soft; ice cream was melting.

Cell phones weren't working. New Yorkers were lining up, 10 deep or more, at pay phones, as ordinary telephone service remained mostly unaffected.

We heard that it was life and death in hospitals, even hospitals which had their own generators.

JC's Friday night show was canceled. There were no shows, no movies, no restaurants; no buses, or subways, and very few grocery stores were open.

Outages were reported in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, upstate New York , Detroit, and most of New Jersey, We didn't enjoy walking. The streets were too crowded, and too many people were high or sloppy drunk.

The radio news said lights would be back on 1 a.m. When we woke at 5 .a.m. on Saturday the 16th, the lights were still out. We were restless, bored, concerned -- it was hard to read without lights. We didn't feel like eating -- the food in the refrigerator was spoiled. The freezer had been off for more than 36 hours.

Finally around 2 in the afternoon, lights popped on in the buildings across our street -- not ours.

All our lights, television, a vacuum we'd forgotten to turn off came back on around 5 p.m. JC was off to work (no shower), walking -- the subways were working but not up to speed. After 48 hours with no electricity, our dripping freezer, refrigerator, JC and I and our house were a mess.

It took three days till things, more or less, got back to normal.

But -- oh dear -- our lights flicker, not every day, but fairly often, and unpredictably.

Like most New Yorkers, we turn off lights; we avoid using appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher), and use air conditioners sparingly during the summer. There are constant warnings about dim-outs, blackouts, overloaded circuits, and news about blackouts in other parts of the world -- Australia, London, China, Tokyo.

Fixing the power grid -- it's a biggie – more expensive, more complicated, bigger than the National Highway system that got going 50 years ago.

55 million were affected by what happened in 2003 -- six years ago. We used to talk about millions of dollars . Now we're talking about billions -- dollars and people.

My mental teletype is ticking away -- I'm not very good with math, but tick tick -- the numbers are going up and up and up. Please, let's get going -- not yelling, name-calling, filibustering -- let's get on with the grid!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A few weeks ago, I came across Cosby's tribute, a farewell and eulogy -- it was like a song he was singing, to comfort the family and friends of Ben Ali, the man who created a place to eat, enjoy Chili, and spicy good conversation with other friends. Click -- have a look.

Ben's gone, but lives on. Ben's Chili Bowl will continue to be a place to visit in DC, thanks to plain ordinary people customers, and an ever longer roster of celebrities, past and present, like Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, the Mayor of DC, President Obama, and Bill Cosby.

What a guy Cosby is -- warmth, humor, keen political awareness, sharp eyes seeing the divide between black and white, and laughing, poking fun at it -- bringing up the awkward, gauche, no-no aspects of prejudice -- replacing it with love.

Family love -- love your family -- we're all a part of a loving family -- that's what Cosby himself, as Dr. Huxtable (in his show), showed us.

A few years ago, his son was murdered while changing a tire on the "405," a Los Angeles highway.

Easy for me to say a "few years" ago, but the death of a child is always now, in the now. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, and how many years have passed -- the dead child is profoundly there, absent/present in the moments of now.

My friend Doro's son was murdered on the streets of Harlem -- some years, ago (see my 5/6 post, "My Sister Doro") -- and though she's surrounded by children, grandchildren and the children of the people she's working for (she's a housekeeper), and their chatter about themselves doesn't include "Larry" -- her dead son Larry is profoundly there, absent/present night and day, every day and every night.

When we're chatting I mention him. I never met Larry, and though I haven't "met" Bill Cosby, except as a fan, I mention his son Ennis.

I do that because I think when you mention a person who's gone, it's a way of keeping that dead person alive.

Doro keeps me going. Bill Cosby does it, also. The "retired" busy man, with his comments, his participation in all sorts of social-political family things, his words about Ben's Chili, his involvement with today's melange of issues -- keep the family of us, all of us, going.

Thank you Mr. Cosby for being what you are.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


TV wasn't our baby sitter. But I've seen bits of "Sesame Street." What a marvel it has been for so many kids, so many families, for forty years.

Here's the cast with Michelle Obama celebrating.

I didn't feel it was right to sit our infant in front of, or anywhere near our television set, but our friends -- they ensconced their kids for hours and hours in front of the magic box watching everything.

Of course, I opened my mouth, occasionally, and said in an actress's bland tone, "All that TV, I would think your child gets restless and bored."

Talking with other mothers you have to be careful. You can't tell them to yank the pacifiers out of their toddler's mouths. (Some kids chomp away on them well past the age of three.) You just mention something innocuous about how nice it is, to have a quiet child enjoying the sucking. .

I've judiciously bragged about teaching my son to read at 9 months, explaining -- "Kept me from being bored," and mentioned what fun I had with my little one, promoting jingles, poems, and let's pretend games.

But the fact is, I didn't have the time to sit with our son, and do nothing, and watch "Sesame Street."

Mom Em was very busy with her dancing career. And our son's Dad was there, when I wasn't, and Vonnie, a young woman from Guyana, who took care of light housekeeping and our son, in a tender, reliable way.

Lucky Em, lucky us -- we've led a sheltered life.

Big Bird and Jim Henson's muppets DID enter our life via our son's playmates, pre-school, grade school, and high school pals, who grew up on "Sesame Street" -- grew into adolescents with "Pac Man," and tons of movies, ever louder, wilder, Pop music, as they figured out what they wanted to be --if they couldn't be rock stars.

"Sesame Street," and Tipper Gore (wife of Al, our vice president who was almost our president in 2000), made a big to-do over violence in Pop music, and then -- pow -- hit hard on the violence in television and movies.

What did I do about the horrible murder-death-despair scenes -- horrifying images, sickening put-down of women?

Um ... I ... uh .. . had my career, and I did run my home and family. Women like Tipper ran their homes and families, and made careers out of helping others.

Celebrating "Sesame Street," its survival and growth -- (it was one of the first TV shows to depict a racially harmonious neighborhood; the show is shown in more than 140 countries and is the longest-running kids' program in U.S. history, and currently averages more than 5 million viewers each week ) -- I should, at least, mention what other shows are doing.

According to the National Institute on Media and the Family:

● 20-25 violent acts are shown in children’s television programs each hour.

●61% of children’s television programs contain violence. lethal violence is in 54% of programs.

●67% of children’s programs that contained physical aggression were not correctly rated, with one program containing 53 acts of aggression in 1 hour

●Children, ages 8 to 18, spend 4 ½ hours per week, 6½ hours daily in front of computer, television, and game screens -- more time than any other activity in their lives except sleeping. (Kaiser Family Foundation.)

●Violence (homicide, suicide, and trauma) is the leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults, more prevalent than disease, cancer or congenital disorders. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

●Parents Television Council just released its new data comparing the incidence of violence against women and girls by CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX during prime time sweeps in 2004 and 2009. They found a 120% increase in depictions of violence against women and girls amidst a steady rate of overall frequency of violence.

Oh Tipper, come back! Work on this! I know your husband is doing a huge, important, life-and-death job for all of us -- never will I forget how simply, forcefully, patriotically he conceded, five weeks after election day on Dec. 13, 2000 -- saying -- in a televised address --"Tonight, for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession..."

Hurrah! We've got "Sesame Street!" Help us get more streets, more leaders like Big Bird and Al Gore , for the unity of the people and strength of our democracy -- get it for the world of children's entertainment.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I've got nothing to say except, that I've got too much to say, and I can't find a clear sentence that sums up what I'm feeling about Ft. Hood.

When something like this happens, it's seized upon. Every media outlet tells us a shocking little something, and in bits in pieces what has happened is fleshed out.

The questions on the news commentator's mind -- the questions the police are asking about who did it, and why -- everyone's questions about the shooting are repeated -- how many dead, how many injured, how many are critical -- and each person who tells us what he knows becomes a familiar face.

Okay, so how was this tragedy fed to me?

November 5, around 2 p.m. I heard that 12 were dead, 31 injured. I was shocked. "12 dead, 31 injured was on every news channel, headlined, repeated throughout the rest of the day and evening.

November 6, it was 13 dead, 30 injured; and strong grownup looking men said let's talk about compassion first, ask questions later.

I nodded. That fit my feelings.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD was introduced as a factor. Every time I hear or see a bunch of initials, an acronym, I have to translate it. I'm figuring it out while the next sentence is said, and I miss half of it. Acronyms waste my brain time.

After Obama's comments on November 6th, there were broadcasts, quite a few, criticizing him, saying he was "insufficiently involved." That pissed me off! We elected a brilliant man in his prime, and waste brain time, mine and yours, digging in, analyzing anything he says, avoiding the point. Obama felt bad. And sad. He wanted to comfort us and the people at Fort Hood.

November 7th, and 8th, the weekend, the news broadcasts rehashed what had been said, and re-ran the news flashes of the 5th and 6th. The fact that the weekend was more or less silent -- no new news -- actually, it was a relief. It made me smile inwardly -- that the news feeders take the weekend off makes them humans, not just part of a selling machine.

November 9th. Headlines:."Two More Shooters." "Perpetrator Not Dead."
We heard about that ten times in ten minutes.

Nov 9, Liebermann said he wanted an investigation of "self-radicalized, home-grown terrorists." I think Lieberman is big waste of my brain time. (See my Nov. 5 post "What's Wrong with Lieberman?")

The New York Times disagreed. It reported that investigators had tentatively concluded this was not part of an extremist plot.

Goody goody, I thought (feeling myself getting tired of thinking about what happened in Fort Hood.)

November 10th -- pictures of Hassan were everywhere.

On the 10th, Flags were at half mast in DC.

On the 10th, there were revelations about Hassan being a devout Muslin -- revelations about his motivation -- he was about to be shipped out, deployed to Iraq -- he didn't want to go -- he'd been writing, phoning, trying desperately to stop his being sent there.

Big news flash on the 10th -- his brothers had held the funeral for their deceased Mother at the Virginia Mosque were two of the 2001 terrorists had attended sermons by a radical preacher. (The second, or third time I heard the flash, I realized this happened in 2001.)

Later, I heard a few mentions of the fact that the DC sniper had been executed at 9:11 p.m.

Oh boy! That took me back to the weeks, how many weeks we were frightened about that sniper and his teenage accomplice ... How long did it take till we recovered?

Have we recovered? Doesn't a fearful thought cross your mind when a car passes your car, aggressively, and you catch a glimpse of a killer posture, killer face on the guy in the driver's seat?

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time ..." Why does my mind jump to that quote from "Macbeth" -- jumps, skips to "...It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

The words, just the words about the words I've been hearing are weighing me down -- not because of Fort Hood, but because I know I'm going to be bombarded tomorrow and tomorrow with words-words-words about Hassan, and how American Muslims feel and more fear is heavy, heavy on me, hearing more about Hassan's anti-American ravings.

I wonder if we were THIS captured, this infected, this overwhelmed by too many opinions a couple of years ago? Didn't this start with the pre-presidential campaign debates -- the lineups, all those potential candidates way, way back in... when ... 2007 ... 2006 ...?

This rambling is me, with my head shaking, my private, personal moan, about what we've done -- what the media, senators, and congressmen are doing to Obama -- those who love him as well as those who hate him. Each thing he's tried to do -- managed to do, push in, shove in, get going on some level, has been weighed down with words-words-words that serve no purpose, but to get our attention on the speaker, the channel -- buy it – be one of the media's "FOR IT," "AGAINST IT," 'DON'T CARE" statistics," in a terrifically organized percentage figure that means nothing.

Oh woe, I fear that our health care bill won't get through the senate if each inch of it, every word is re-examined by everyone who's got an election coming up, as well as brilliant, thoughtful senators and all those eager "authority" pals of the commentators. plus other celebrities, who add their words, their passionate opinions ... whooeee!

Will women lose abortion coverage? Will we get a bill with no public option? I care about both items, but I think we need a health care bill now, before the Christmas break -- we need to have a health care bill passed, and then, if we lose either item, or both --THINGS CAN BE FIXED.

We have the Fort Hood killer. The dead can't be brought back to life. The hammering away on it doesn't accomplish anything except perhaps encourage deep concerns in our Muslim citizens -- fear that they'll be treated like Japanese Americans were, when they were interned by Roosevelt's executive order # 9066.

Worry beads don't stop the thing you're worrying about from happening. I haven't heard words about 'What can we do to make Muslims versus Christians not a war, or what we can do to get health care passed. Or what can we do to end the two wars we're already fighting and prevent wars in Iran, North Korea, and Paskistan.

Except "Write your congressman" which is like saying "drop a postcard in the corner mailbox" which is so crammed by 4:00 p.m. that I can't get a letter in, but I guess I could e-mail ... who?

Yep! This is a mess in my head. Overload.

I'm just one person, part of the family who elected Obama to change things, a lot of heavy duty major things that have been wrong for a long time.

Obama IS trying to change things -- let him do it. That's why we elected him. Let's go with him to the next step.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Here's what was said on MSNBC TV about circumcision.

You wonder and worry about giving your baby pain. Baby's pain is your pain, times a hundred, a thousand!

My baby had a huggy, blue and white polka-dot puppet. I'd make "Floppo" wriggle and jump, wave his floppy hands, kick his floppy long polka dot legs when I talked with my son, while he was under the sunlamp that we used to help heal his diaper rash.

What did I know about circumcision?

When my baby was born, he spent the first week of his life in St Vincent's Hospital in New York City, where Sister Margaretta was my life-line that connected me (at another hospital), to a name, a person I didn't know, called Tony Shaw. I knew he was the surgeon who saved my baby's life -- Sister Margaretta told me Tony breathed for him, sat next to his crib/bed, for twelve hours after the operation Tony had performed, when our newborn son's lungs collapsed.

I was at Columbus Hospital on 20th street. Our baby -- I saw him for a moment when he was born -- he was beautiful; he had a classic profile, I thought "he looks like John Gielgud," and then things blurred. I woke in a dark place -- nobody was there -- then someone said "Your baby's sick. He's at St. Vincent's Hospital on 12th street. Your husband said he'd see you after his show."

Five weeks later, when our son was living in our home, Tony asked us -- do you want your son circumcised? We shook our heads, not "yes," not "no." Unsure, I mumbled something about "no more pain."

Tony said something about babies recovering quickly, not feeling pain -- not the way adults do. Tony suggested that medically it wasn't necessary to subject the baby to any more surgery -- the pros and cons about circumcision were equal.

I grabbed onto that. I grabbed onto the idea that babies recover quickly, "not feeling pain."
By then, I had been told that our son was going to need more surgery after he weighed twenty pounds -- which he'd probably weigh when he was nine-months-old.

I learned what I had to learn, and surrounded that knowledge with iron walls.

That morning, with Floppo in my hands, I was just outside the doors of the room where they'd taken my nine-month-old baby, to do that surgery. I could hear our son's cries. It was unendurable.

The sliding doors to the operating room opened. A uniformed person (in a surgical cap and surgical slippers) said, "Doctor wants you inside. We need the baby to be still."

Inside on a table, hands and feet held by two uniformed nurses, he was yodeling, screaming, wriggling. The moment Mommy talked and Floppo danced, he was soothed, calm enough for the procedure to proceed -- and whatever needed to be fixed, after about fifteen minutes, was fixed.

Do babies feel pain?. Based on what I know, what I saw, what I experienced -- sure they do, but they can be distracted.

(Yes, and much later on, after I was injured and in pain, I learned how to distract myself as well.)

So, what do I think about circumcision? Not "yes," not "no "-- you learn what you can from sources that you trust -- you keep your eyes open, listening and learning.

Then, you go with your instinct. You have to go with your instinct.