Just Another Day In February

My mother and her sister had very little in common.  So when they agreed on something/anything, it got my attention.

Sally and I visited my Aunt Jean in Columbus every other week during her last year of her life.  At least once during each visit she would note that she had outlived both of her parents.  That was important to her.  I never mentioned this to my mother.  Fast forward 8 or 9 years later and my mother would always find a way to include in our phone conversations that she had not only outlived her parents, but that she had even surpassed her sister.  It was the contest she was born to win.

My father died on August 2, 1994, one month and two days prior to his 69th birthday.  So we can safely round up to 69.  And I am about to turn 69 on February 4th.  I have no idea what my father thought of such things.  I don’t think we ever had a serious conversation about anything. But I can hear Aunt Jean and my mother.  I don’t feel like celebrating.  I don’t feel guilty.  This is just a moment, the time that I turn 69 years old and officially outlive my father.

I hope to put this moment behind me.  What I have done during my life may have some value.  I certainly appreciate my longevity, but I’m not ready to take a victory lap.



Picture – Just A Day In Ohio In February 2024 – David L Cunix

Our Predictions Will Have No Impact On The Future

This article is being written on December 26, 2023.  It will be edited for publication on January 5th, after I have received all of the entries for this year’s contest Everyone’s A Genius In Hindsight – 2024.  I hope that you participated.

This post contains my answers.  20 brave souls entered this year.  Brave in that they won’t be able to pretend that they always knew who would win the presidency in November or just how good, or bad, the 2024 Browns really were.  I truly appreciate each and every participant.  A year from now, in early January 2025, we’ll see how well they did.  Now is the time to go on the record with my predictions.

First, I really hope that most of my predictions are wrong.  I’ve been sitting on this article for over a month.  I don’t wish to be negative, but I had these predictions in my head as I was drafting the quiz.

  1. The President of the United States on December 30, 2024 Kamala Harris
  2. The Democratic nominee will be __Kamala Harris
  3. The Republican nominee will be __Nikki Haley
  4. The winner of the 2024 Presidential election will be __Nikki Haley
  5. The winner of the Ohio Senate election will be ___Sherrod Bown
  6. There will be __9_ justices on the US Supreme Court on December 31, 2024, though not necessarily the same 9 that are on the bench today.
  7. The winner of the February 11, 2024 Super Bowl will be ___The 49ers
  8. The Cleveland Guardians will win _88__ regular season games.
  9. The Cleveland Browns will win _10__ regular season games.
  10. The Academy Award for the best picture will go to __Maestro
  11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will close December 31, 2024 at _29,000
  12. A gallon of milk will be $4.59_ at Heinen’s Mayfield Village on June 30, 2024.
  13. Wild Card – The big, unexpected story of 2024 will be _2024 will be a year of state funerals.  A year of darkness.  It will remind us of 1968__.

Tie Breaker: Recorded at the Agora on June 18, 1979, it became a local anthem and was later covered as the theme song of a popular TV show.  __Cleveland Rocks by Ian Hunter_.

The future will be created by our actions, not our predictions.  Let’s all work together to create that better future.



Picture – The Predictor in Chief – David L Cunix

Of course, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to post Cleveland Rocks!


Asking The Right Questions

Within days of the horrific terrorist attack of October 7th, the world’s focus seemed to shift to the terrible plight of the innocents living in Gaza.  We were told how there was no food, no reliable energy sources, no water.  My question at the time was how Hamas could have the resources to mount such an attack, fire thousands of rockets, and built miles of underground tunnels without any money.  Obviously, the millions of dollars sent to Gaza from Qatar and the other Arab countries were either diverted from the needed infrastructure or were mixed, with the donors’ blessings, with the Iranian funded war machine. Well, it was obvious to me.

My friend, Steve, asked a better question.  Yesterday he asked, “What did they do with the dirt?”  What a great question.  No one is denying that Hamas has built hundreds of miles of tunnels beneath Gaza.  Videos show the tunnels are deep, long, and wide enough to store weaponry and transport troops.  One tunnel was wide enough for a tank.  What did they do with the dirt?

His question has haunted me for over 24 hours.  Many of our elected officials as well as the newspaper and television reporters constantly tell us that there is a huge difference between Hamas and the rest of the Gazan population.  It was Hamas, not the Gazans that staged a pogrom. How could the ordinary citizens of Gaza have known about the plans, the weaponry, the tunnels?   We are asking the wrong question.  We have been asking “Who Knew” when we should have been asking “Who Didn’t Know”.

We have been told that Gaza is overcrowded.  Who didn’t see trucks and heavy equipment moving through the streets to the entrances of the tunnel construction?  Who didn’t see the convoy of dump trucks hauling away dirt and rock?  How did none of the doctors or administrators notice the command centers located on/under hospital grounds?  Nor did these same doctors think it odd that some of the hostages were brought to the hospital?  So who didn’t know?

We hope and pray that the rest of the hostages will be returned alive.  And we hope that they receive the long term support they each will need to recover from this terrible ordeal.  But that goal does not negate the important task of destroying Hamas.  Who rules Gaza next?  I don’t know.  An Israeli puppet would not be successful.  Another Iranian surrogate would lead to more attacks.  What lessons have they learned in Gaza?  Have the Gazans learned that leadership like Hamas only brings poverty and destruction?

We can’t begin to find workable solutions until we start to ask the right questions.



Picture – There Is No Reason To Hide If Nobody Is Looking – David L Cunix

Everyone’s A Genius In Hindsight – 2024

Will it be Biden vs. Trump?  YOU MIGHT HAVE THE ANSWER!  It is time for my fifth installment of my quadrennial contest – 2024 I Told You So.  This is your opportunity to have your genius fully appreciated as you predict 2024 before it occurs.  Don’t be bashful.  No one has ever gotten more than five answers correct.  This is a general knowledge guessing game.  There is a mix of politics, economics, sports, and popular culture.  There is no cost to enter and the game is open to everyone.  Feel free to share this with all of the Mavens in your life.

Though the contest is for fun, there are prizes:

1st Prize – $50 Gift Card to Shuhei or the restaurant of your choice.

2nd Prize – Lunch with me.

3rd Prize – Two lunches with me. 

The Rules:

All entries must be submitted to me by 5 PM on Friday, January 5th.  Entries may be mailed, emailed to me, or delivered in person.  The winner will be determined by the number of correct predictions.  In lieu of the exact answer, the closest to the correct answer will be given credit.  The decision of the judge (me) will be final.  The second tie breaker will be a coin toss.

Good Luck!

  1. The President of the United States on December 30, 2024
  2. The Democratic nominee will be ____________________.
  3. The Republican nominee will be ____________________.
  4. The winner of the 2024 Presidential election will be ____________________.
  5. The winner of the Ohio Senate election will be _____________________.
  6. There will be ___  justices on the US Supreme Court on December 31, 2024.
  7. The winner of the February 11, 2024 Super Bowl will be ___________________.
  8. The Cleveland Guardians will win ___ regular season games.
  9. The Cleveland Browns will win ___ regular season games.
  10. The Academy Award for the best picture will go to ______________________.
  11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will close December 31, 2024 at __________.
  12. A gallon of milk will be $____ at Heinen’s Mayfield Village on June 30, 2024.
  13. Wild Card – The big, unexpected story of 2024 will be ____________________.

Tie Breaker: Recorded at the Agora on June 18, 1979, it became a local anthem and was later covered as the theme song of a popular TV show.  _____________________________



Picture – I Would Never Have Predicted All Of This – David L Cunix

They Weren’t Sure About The Truth, But They Could Spot A Lie!


The elderly couple live on a different floor in our building.   As they got into the elevator, they flashed their “I voted” stickers and asked Sally and I if we had, too.   Of course.  We always vote by mail.  They wanted to know our thoughts.  The husband admitted that they had been confused.  They had seen all of the commercials on TV.   I briefly explained the basics and they were both relieved.  He explained that they had been unsure about the truth, but they knew they could spot the lies.  They had voted NO.  I let them know that Issue 1 was going down in flames.

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “overreach” with a picture of the Ohio Republican Party.  Heavily gerrymandered, our state has Republican supermajorities in both the Ohio House and Senate.  That is pretty amazing for a state that is about 55% Republican.  No matter how much power they have amassed, it is never enough.  The citizens of our state had the nerve to challenge the legislatures’ fixation on women’s bodies and sought to amend the Ohio Constitution.  The goal was to restore the rights lost with last year’s Dobbs Decision.   Instead of moderating Ohio’s extreme legislation to find a way to more closely reflect the will of Ohio’s voters, our elected leaders tried to change the rules in the middle of the fight.  That cynical ploy was Issue One.

This wasn’t the first example of Republican overreach.  I reminded my Republican friends of the time the Republicans tried to destroy the public employee unions, 2011’s Senate Bill 5.  In November 2011 the voters of Ohio stomped all over Governor Kasich and overturned the law.   The final tally from this past Tuesday’s vote will rival that of 2011.

Desperate to win, the proponents of Issue 1 tried several arguments:

  • It will make it harder to amend our constitution.
  • Abortion! Abortion! Abortion!
  • We must protect the Ohio Constitution from out-of-state special interests.
  • We will lose control of our children and they will all become Trans!

Needless to say, the shrillness of the ads promoting these arguments were very persuasive to the people who already wanted to vote in favor of Issue 1.  When talking with anti-abortion groups, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose claimed that Issue 1 was 100% about abortion.  To the general public he presented a more balanced, if not completely honest, view.  The most amusing was #3.  Protect Our Constitution received $4,000,000 from Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein.

Over 3 million Ohioans casted their votes on Tuesday.  Close to 60%, a clear majority, voted for majority rule.  This won’t impact our gerrymandered legislature, yet, but it will serve as a reminder.  Our citizens aren’t always sure of the truth, but they sure can spot a lie.



Picture – OhiO – David L Cunix

Random Thoughts 2023

We have been wallowing in woke negativity.  For over 3,000 years we have been instructed to tell our children that “we were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt” as if this was a bad thing.  Now, thanks to Ron DeSantis, I realize that we owe the Egyptians a debt of gratitude.  After all, we learned how to make large buildings and waterproof baskets.

#####     #####     #####

You have to wonder about the way some insurance companies do business.  If an insurance company screws the agents who bring them business and makes them money how will they treat a client on the verge of a major claim?

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I recall some of our friends telling us to “get over it”.  The American public knew that Donald Trump was a serial philanderer and tax cheat, but he won.  That’s that.  Well now that he may have to pay for past and, oddly enough, present crimes, it seems like our friends may be the ones who need to “get over it”.  I’ve heard that we should ignore his alleged criminality because he is running for president.  Can’t this wait?  But Donald Trump will be running for president, unless G-d forbid he wins, for the rest of his life.  If he loses the Republican nomination, he will be running as a third party candidate.  When he loses in 2024, he will immediately announce for 2028.  This pattern will continue until either he is pardoned, convicted, or elected so that he can dismiss all charges.  If this works, we’re going to need bigger ballots.

#####     #####    #####

Five letter last names carry a certain amount of weight in this country.  Look at our current and previous couple of presidents.  Obama, Trump, Biden.  Cunix is just as memorable, if not as pronounceable.  And yet my kids are not seeing any benefit.  Saudi princes aren’t throwing money at my children.  Chinese businessmen are not contacting them.  None of my children or stepchildren are sitting on the boards of international corporations.  I’ve seen E., D. Jr., and H. on TV.  They are proof that brains and talent aren’t the only paths to success.   I’m beginning to think that some five letter last names may lead to million dollar pay days.  Cunix just isn’t one of them.   Good thing my kids are finding their own way.



Picture – Waiting For The Boomerang Effect – David L Cunix

A Darn Shame

I was thinking about my clients.  The people who come to my office are Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Sikh, Hindus, Agnostics, and Atheists.  Not only to I have clients who are adherents of so many faiths, I also have had the opportunity to provide the health and life insurance for a number of churches and synagogues.  My clients are male, female, and non-binary.  Some of my clients are straight.  Others are L, G, B, or T.  I know this because I have spent 45 years talking with my clients and getting to know them as people.  They have trusted me to protect their privacy.   They have allowed me to help solve their insurance needs.

What an honor!  So many of us are lucky to have specialized knowledge, an understanding of how one little segment of our world works and the ability to help people.  For me, insurance.  For others it might be family law, or dentistry, or taxes, or that employee at the mall who helps you to purchase the right suit.  Specialized knowledge.  I celebrate the opportunity to help someone.  Which brings me to the recent Supreme Court decision.

The news reported that a woman in Colorado took a case to the Supreme Court in the hope that she wouldn’t be forced to create wedding websites for gay couples.  She wasn’t doing wedding sites and she didn’t have any prospects.  She could have easily eliminated her potential future problem by posting on her website that she respects her religion’s view of marriage and that all of her websites would include references to marriage being the solemn union of one man and one woman.  Gay couples would reject her and her company.  Where is the fun in that?  No, she wanted to reject them, the gay people, and to shame them.

I can’t imagine that this woman will be successful.  Is there a market for her services?  The organizations that funded this lawsuit don’t need her.  One thing is certain, she will never have a chance to meet and get to know the millions of Americans who don’t look like her, pray like her, or LOVE like her.  And that is a darn shame.



Picture – The World Won’t Stop For You – David L Cunix

Republican PTSD

He needed a hug.  Actually, they all did.  I was in Columbus and I heard or met with members of the Republican Ohio House and Ohio Senate leadership.  They had all been traumatized and were prepared to tell anyone who would listen.  We didn’t ask.  I certainly didn’t.  They just started to blurt out their pain and anguish.  And even though they all spoke to us separately, the story was the same, as if it had been scripted.

The first point that each of them felt that they needed to make was the uniqueness of OHIO.  Did we know that most states didn’t allow citizens to initiate constitutional amendments? I had never given it any thought, and since I was in Columbus to make sure that my clients weren’t subject to even more unnecessary phone calls and solicitations, constitutional amendments weren’t on my mind.  But it was very important to these Republicans.  We were told that 37 states prevented this type of constitutional amendment.  Ohio was one of 13.  We were told this with the expectation that we would marvel at the progressive nature of our state and that we would be grateful that we still had this right.  By the way, the correct answer is technically 18 states, but 13 sounds so much more impressive.  Now that we all understood Ohio’s special place in the union, it was time for them to share the real source of their pain.

CASINOS!  Yes, they were traumatized by Ohio’s four casinos. They each recalled all of the sordid details.  First the land was purchased.  The casino operators were all out-of-state corporations!  Then they crafted an amendment that made them, and only them, the likely winners of legalizing casino gambling in Ohio.  And the well-funded campaign was successful.  The constitutional amendment passed with 52% of the vote.   The casinos and the Ohio citizens managed to go around the legislature, the governors, and the special interests that had wanted to prevent casino gambling for decades.  They trembled just talking about this.  And that is why they were forced to rush through legislation to change the way signatures would be collected for future constitutional amendments and change the voting requirement from a simple majority (50% + 1) to 60% of the vote.  I’m sure you can feel their pain.

It may have taken a moment, but almost everyone in the room remembered that the casino amendment passed on November 9, 2009, 14 years ago.  Once the Ohio Senate Majority Leader finished blubbering about casinos he then announced that he had nothing more to say on the subject.  But this kind of blatant BS only makes some of us look more closely at everything else we’re told.

Your friends and neighbors are collecting signatures for an amendment to the Ohio constitution that would restore the rights Ohioans lost when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade last year.  And should this make it to the ballot and succeed, Ohio won’t be competing with Florida or Texas, or even Arkansas as the most regressive state in the union.  That, and not casinos, is what keeps our legislators up at night.  The governor just signed a law to eliminate August elections.  Our Republican friends crowed about saving the taxpayers $20,000,000.  Now we are going to have an emergency election in August to change how citizen initiated amendments make it to the ballot and possibly the constitution.

We are waiting for the final ballot language to know whether we will need to vote NO or YES to block this abomination.

But while we wait, be on the lookout for your elected Republican member of the Ohio House or Ohio Senate.  Of course they need to be repudiated.  But they also need a hug.



Picture – A Gift From My Attorney – David L Cunix

Number 987

William Shakespeare, in the play Julius Caesar, declared that “a coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste death but once”.  By my calculation, many of the Republican members of the US House and Senate will soon be reaching their quota.  I’m absolutely positive that one of our Ohio Congressman is on Number 987.

I was in Washington DC last week.  I attended meetings, took part in some lobbying, and spent hours as a tourist wandering the Halls of Congress.  A tourist.  The doors to the House and Senate buildings were guarded and everyone entering passed through a metal detector.  Like other tourists, I had paper and a pen.  I didn’t see a single tourist armed with zip ties, bear spray, or any form of weapon.  You aren’t surprised.  You know the difference between a tourist and a terrorist, a law-abiding citizen and an insurrectionist.  Tucker Carlson believes that his audience doesn’t.

Speaker of the House (Lucky 15) Kevin McCarthy has given 40,000+ hours of security footage from the January 6th insurrection to Tucker Carlson of FOX.  Mr. Carlson, with the help of some carefully edited tape, is now trying to convince his audience that they didn’t see what they thought they had seen on live TV on January 6, 2021.  Tucker claims that it was a crowd of meek tourists who somehow found themselves in the Capitol that day.  The Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is not having any of this.  He very publicly denounced Tucker Carlson and McCarthy’s foolish gesture.  McConnell and his leadership team stood by the assessment of the Chief of the Capitol Police.   Where are the cowards in the Republican controlled House?

Was it an act of cowardice to cower in the House Chamber as the Capitol police held the rioters at bay?  NO!  Were the Members of Congress who reached for gas masks or were rushed down back stairwells to safe rooms cowards?  Absolutely not!  Now if these people roaming the halls were, in fact, meek tourists, then yes, the fear the Congressmen exhibited would have been unfounded, perhaps even silly.  Was your Republican Congressman standing by the door of his office to welcome these tourists to Washington?  Did your Republican Senator offer the QAnon Shaman a special tour of the Senate Chambers?  Of course not.  That would have been foolish and dangerous.  It is your Congressman’s silence now, in the face of dangerous propaganda, that is the real act of cowardice.

Your local Congressman’s office will be quick to counter that this representative of the people is an attorney, a former prosecutor (common stepping stone to Congress), and shouldn’t be expected to address every issue.  Ignore the weasel words.  I get their weekly emails, newsletters, and fundraising letters.  There are lots of pictures with policemen and local sheriffs. And to this day each one of these snivelers can describe in vivid detail the riots in 2020 after George Floyd was handcuffed and killed by a Minneapolis policeman.  These Congressmen’s outrage is both palpable and totally safe.  Standing up for the United States which means taking on the former president who fomented an insurrection, the vandals and thugs who overran the Capitol, the members of their own party who facilitated the attack, and the media that is whitewashing the affair takes a measure of courage foreign to these members of Congress.

And so these cowards die another death.  After 8 years of Donald Trump, I’m guessing we are up to number 987.



Picture – Winter In DC – David L Cunix


The Other Side

The river was wider than anticipated.  Not deep.  I was never in any real danger of drowning, or at least I didn’t think so.  But I didn’t realize how far it was to the other side.  And now, with the shoreline within reach I can turn around and see, for the first time, how far I’ve come in the last year or so.

I wrote an essay this past August that included my death.  It wasn’t morbid or predictive.  The story was a fantasy that included aliens and robots and leaned heavily on The Truman Show and Brave New World.  My editors were not amused.  Not only did I not publish post, but I also stopped writing.  Death, not physical and certainly not mine specifically, but death, the end of things as I knew them to be, was a constant theme for me in 2022.  It has taken until now to understand that.

I was forced to confront major issues in 2022:

  • Was I prepared to be alone for days at a time?
  • Could I accept that insurers, in today’s environment, would dare to provide cable company levels of service and customer care?
  • Could I ignore our elected and appointed leaders and retain my faith in this country?

As I said, these were my issues.  Feel free to dismiss them if you’d like, but I now realize what a struggle they presented to me.  It was as if each added another foot or two of water to the depth of the river I was crossing.

*          *          *          *          *

Jeff Bogart and I moved into an office on Chagrin Boulevard on October 13, 2000.  I teased him for years that the only reason I agreed to share space was so that I didn’t have to eat lunch alone.  Truth, my biggest motivation to having an office partner was so that I didn’t have to eat lunch alone.  We hung out through four locations and twenty-two years.  When we had time we would talk sports, politics, and music.  And because we were two separate businesses we could afford a full-time secretary.  Did we need a full-time secretary throughout the year?  Maybe, but it gave me one more person in the office.  It is a zoo here during Open Enrollment when I may have 7 or 8 clients in here per day, but during the rest of the year it can be very quiet.  Too quiet.

It has been about ten months and I am adjusting.  Ari, my part-time secretary, has already been exposed to more rock and roll history, presidential politics, and insurance than she ever wanted to know.  G-d knows what she’ll retain or how she’ll explain this gig after she’s moved on.  The new office has begun to feel like home.  That is important considering how many hours I spend here each day.

*          *          *          *          *

Insurance companies are businesses.  Their first priority is to make money.  But there are two types of insurance companies.  MUTUAL companies are owned by their policyholders.  Technically they function for the benefit of the people who have purchased insurance policies from them.  STOCK companies are owned, and function for the benefit of, shareholders.  This does not mean that a mutual company will necessarily do a better job of providing customer service or paying a claim.  The health and life insurance portions of the insurance industry have been more client focused than, for example, your car insurance carrier.  I’ve been doing this 44 years and never had an experience like the one I detailed in my March 28th post, Exhausted.

The insurer, a company known more for its name than for the products it writes, left a permanent mark.  And though this insurer is far and away the worst I’ve ever dealt with, 2022 had other insurers choosing to disregard the needs of both the clients and the agents who serve them.  One company “forgot” to tell either the agents or the clients that it was no longer including Pediatric Dental in its individual health plans.  But that company has a history of communicating with us on a need to know basis, and oddly enough, we never need to know anything until we catch them.  Another company, one known for its internal chaos, had to be reminded that they can’t cancel a client just because they, the insurer, made a mistake.  It took 40 minutes on the phone today, but everything is OK now.  This is stupid shit.  Totally unnecessary.  It weighs on us, the agents that follow through and keep the insurers in check.  Alone it is just another day.  When you are waist high, these issues can seem like you are being pulled under.

*          *          *          *         *

 It was July 6th, only a couple of days after the horrific Highland Park shooting, and rightwing media was trying desperately to spin the story.  The bodies had yet to be buried but the right was trying to find a way to portray the shooter, a troubled young man that should never have been able to purchase guns, as a transvestite since he disguised himself as a woman to escape from the scene of the crime.  I listened to one of my friends explain that the shooter had to be a liberal since Trump supporters all love this country and would never shoot up anything.  I can’t make that up.  And though political violence is not strictly a phenomenon of the extreme right, to deny it is a feature of today’s FOX / OAN / Bannon War Room mentality.

I was led to believe that we chose our leaders.  Gerrymandering has proven that our elected officials often choose us.  And that is why I have always had more faith in the Senate and, to a lesser degree, the president, than the U S House.  The whole state elects a Senator.  That faith can quickly be eroded by the likes of a Tommy Tuberville or Ron Johnson.  Ohio has had Senate leaders as well as guys who seemed to make Ohio better with their absence.

We are facing huge issues as a country.  Are our current crop of elected representatives up to the task?  I honestly don’t know.  It took 15 votes and some of the ruling party to nearly come to blows to elect Kevin McCarthy the Speaker of the House.  15 votes!  We were on vacation in Punta Cana wondering what kind of country settles on the likes of Kevin McCarthy for this important a position.  And the Republicans didn’t have a second choice!  My beach book was the January 6th Report.  I only got halfway through.  It was too depressing.

I want to believe.  I want to feel that the people we send to Congress will, eventually, focus on the good of our country.  Sure, they have to argue for awhile about drag queens and CRT, but I have to hope that our real concerns will be addressed.  I’ll be in Washington in a few weeks.  I’ll let you know what I see.

*          *          *          *          *

 The river was wide, but I really do feel that I have reached the other side.  Little things like celebrating my birthday with friends and at Shul, playing racquetball again this past Sunday, and even baking a cherry pie helped me to find solid ground.  And if you find yourself wading across a river, I hope that you, too, will reach the other side soon.



Picture – With Snorkel Gear – David L Cunix