I’ve been following our president on his first triumphal foreign tour and it’s quickly obvious that all the foreign countries already have him psyched out. The Saudis gave him a medal and had him doing a sword dance. The Israelis will probably end up giving him a Bar Mitzvah, and the others will all pick up on the theme — keep it photogenic, keep it light and keep it moving, and the less said the better. Rest assured that none of them wants any sign of a protestor anywhere near Trump and they expect to send Trump home to Washington, D.C., feeling like a statesman beloved by the outside world. Unfortunately for our president, he’ll be returning to the same capitol he left behind and the sharks will still be circling, having already smelled fresh blood in the water. In his absence, a parade of intelligence officials, past and current, has been testifying before Congress and Trump’s troubles are not diminishing; in fact, they are growing. Who knew it could be this complicated? Well, apparently not the president. Sadly, I suspect that everything he ever learned in his lifetime, like how to face a problem, confronting it head on, sitting down with the opposition, working out a solution and making a deal is just not working for him anymore. What may have been good business technique before is now being called “obstruction of justice” and, frankly, I don’t think he knows what to do. It’s a different game with different rules and Trump clearly is not a quick learner.
Speaking of Sharks circling, I’ve been outed as a Great White Shark chauvinist. My longtime trainer, friend and Malibu Health Gym owner Brad Norris, a lifelong ocean guy and fisherman, told me I had it all wrong in my article last week on sharks. When I spoke about the two sharks we encountered off of Johnson Island, 1,000 miles from Hawaii, I just assumed the bigger of the two was the male, and it turned out that I was simply a shark sexist. In the world of great white sharks, it’s the female that is the bigger and the female can often grow to 20 feet. My apologies to the great white shark ladies.
Also in the animal kingdom, Ella, The Malibu Times’ dog, turned 18 on Kentucky Derby Day, which is her official birthday. Now having reached that august age, Ella has suddenly decided that she no longer wants to walk on a leash. Put her on a leash and she flatly refuses to move, digging in her heels. I know that people are looking at me thinking, “Who is that terrible man dragging that poor little dog on her leash?” I’ve explained to Ella there are county ordinances and health department rules and the City of Malibu doesn’t want her walking in the parks unless on a leash, lest she attack someone and gum them with her last few remaining teeth, but to no avail. If I run into any city officials, I’m going to plead extenuating circumstances.
• • • • •
This past weekend we had a highly successful guitar festival here in Malibu, which drew large crowds, and it led me to think about large crowds in Manchester, England, for the Ariana Grande concert and what happened there. Although we don’t yet know much about the bomber other than he is 22 years old, England-born from Libyan refugee parents, a young man with his entire life ahead of him, and he took a bomb into a very public place, and killed himself and 22 others whom he did not know, for reasons that are far from clear. There is a death cult in this world and it’s difficult not to overreact, because it makes absolutely no sense to anyone other than the kids that blow themselves up — if even they can understand why they’re doing it. All we know is that we have to take serious measures to protect ourselves.