I wonder if Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was mindful of The Ministry of Love from George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel, “1984,” when he created his newest cabinet post, “the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness?  I wonder, will the new ministry will have a Room 101?

(To tune of, “Happy Talk,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein from Broadway show, “South Pacific.”)

For happiness they’ve formed a ministry.
But what’ve we got to be happy about?
Inflation rates that soar?
Crowds heading for the door?
A Ministry for happiness? What for?

For happiness they’ve formed a ministry.
Better be happy or they’ll call you out.
With no shoes on your feet.
And not enough to eat.
A ministry for happiness? How sweet!

Orwell said it right.
They’ll tell you day is night.
Their formula for happiness is fear.
If despots will survive
Then 2 plus 2 is five.
Room 101 is waiting for you dear

For happiness they’ve formed a ministry
Government telling you just how to feel.
But people aren’t blind.
They’ve two eyes and a mind.
A ministry for happiness? Get real!

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


In Europe Belgium and France have banned face veils worn by many Muslim woman. Are they so uncomfortable with themselves that a veil worn in public unsettles?

(To tune of, “A Ship Without a Sail,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

What’s the fuss, where’s the fight?
Don’t we all keep thoughts out of sight?
Most people hide what they feel inside.
Like, when a love derails.
What’s the fuss, we all wear veils?

Hide your face, hide your heart.
What’s the difference? We’re all apart.
Holding those secrets in our eyes,
we don’t end up in jails.
What’s the fuss, we all wear veils?

Such a big country,
people with different faiths
In a big country
there’ll always be confused debates

Just let all be, let all live.
You and me, why should we give
a damn if some choose to hide their face?
Pray that no hate prevails.
What’s the fuss, we all wear veils?

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


The Supreme Court after oral argument seems poised by a slim majority of justices to follow its Citizens United decision, giving corporations freedom of speech to buy elections, with yet another decision (McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission)  affording wealthy individuals the unfettered right to corrupt the system.  I saw a photo in the newspaper today, in which protesters outside the Court edifice are raising a mock American flag with corporate seals replacing the stars and U.S. currency replacing the stripes.  I have great respect for the flag but wonder if George M. Cohan would feel as patriotic about the sharply divided moneyed class system that seeks to obliterate the flag’s original symbolism and replace it with the creed of a corporatocracy.

(To the tune of “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” by George M. Cohan)

You’re a green–back flag.
You’re a bottom-line flag.
In the boardrooms you’re proudly displayed.

You’re the symbol of,
a creed they love,
a system, the rich have it made.

Let the poor live too,
‘til they’re black and they’re blue
From the lessons no hope instills.
The stars are now big corporate seals.
And the stripes, hundred-dollar bills.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved