22 August 2017

Guns at Political Rallies?

The "author's" latest piece in Time is at:


If you missed the earlier ones, go to;


A bientot.

19 August 2017

Dog Daze and Chicken Hawks

I am old. I don't do facebook, twitter, snapchat, Google Plus, etc. No, not even texting or sexting. My digital domain is limited to this blog, plus email. Period.

I do subscribe to a daily email called "A Word a Day."  Interesting. Each week they pick a subject and daily list a word and its definition, pronunciation, and derivation. Some words I know, others not.

Last week, the theme was words related to animals, and we had words like "lionize," "dog days," etc.

Now, of course, I, like you, am transfixed by our daily obsession with our president, who has, in the past ten days, threatened North Korea with nuclear war, and threatened to invade Venezuela. So a bell went off this past week when I read Thursday's word, "chicken hawk."  


"A person who favors military action, yet has avoided military service."

Hmm, ring any bells for you?

A bientot.

08 August 2017

Breaking News!


Ok, children: this is the test.  Trump has now drawn a red line: "Threaten us one more time, and I'll do something very violent." JFK succeeded in a scary nuclear confrontation in the Cuban missile crisis, but it was very close. Can The Donald pull this off?  This is not a reality TV show. This is just plain "Reality."

Sure glad I don't live in Alaska, California, or even Chicago, tho I have relatives in two out of three.

But I have to say, I don't think the Trump/Kushner/Bannon team has many options. The North Korea lunatic is making very specific threats that our experts say he is capable, or almost capable, of executing. And if not today, then tomorrow for sure. So the here's the question: when a person who fails the Anglo-American jurisprudential test of being a "reasonable man,", says "I am going to kill you," and he has the incentive and capacity to do so, does a sentient national leader whose population is the object of those threats, take it seriously, and do something, even if his predecessors did not?

I pose this hypothetical:  

Assume please, you are a peace-loving person, living on a nice tree-lined street, but in a community that has no laws, no police, and just gets along on the assumption that no person would do something so uncivil to a member of the community as to cause his victim, or the victim's friends, to respond with equal incivility, or worse.  Fantasy land? Game of Thrones? No, if you think about it, that's close to basic global politics today.  

Anyway, this is my hypothetical, so get to paint the scenery. Bottom line, that's the community in which you live. Suck it up.

One day, you are out cutting your lawn, and a moving truck pulls up in front of the vacant house next door.  A big shaved-head tattooed guy, with the help of equally scary buddies, gets out of the truck and he and his team proceed to carry boxes and stuff into that house. You make inquiry and discover that the head of the group now living next door did 20 years in the state pen for arson-murder. Further, you learn on Google that after release he was arrested again for another murder, but escaped conviction with a defense of "diminished capacity," and after doing three years at the funny farm, he was discharged, and has moved in next door.

Your new neighbor immediately takes offense at the color of your teenage daughter's dress, and tells you if she leaves the house again, he is going to kill her, and firebomb your house when you and your family are asleep. You try to reason with him, but the several conversations always end with his telling you, "Fuck off, asshole, I mean it. Just try me." He then gives you a tour of his garage which is full of ready-to-use Molotov cocktails.

You are a peaceful person who loves his family.  You have a rifle, that you use only to kill deer during hunting season.

Remember, no laws in this community. At least none that are enforceable. No police. Everybody for himself.  

One day, your new neighbor stands on his front lawn and calls for you to come outside. You go out. You hope you two can talk. But there is no talk, at least no conversation.  In one hand, he holds a gasoline-filled bottle with a cloth wick, and in the other hand, a cigarette lighter. He says, "Watch this, asshole. You are next!" He lights the device and heaves it into the vacant lot on the other side of his house. You blanch from the noise and heat generated by the ensuing explosion and fire that quickly consumes every tree on the lot. He then turns to you with a sneer, and says, "Last warning, shithead, I saw her again. One more time, you and your family are toast!"

You are incensed. Enough is enough. You go into your house, unlock the gun safe, take out the deer rifle, load it, bring it down to the living room, open the living room window and sight the rifle through the living room blinds and put your neighbor in the cross hairs as he stands on his lawn laughing at you, threatening you, telling you he is invulnerable because he knows if you kill him, there will be collateral damage. Decision time. You put your finger on the trigger, and ... .

I'm not sayin' this is exactly parallel to the current situation with North Korea, but ... .

Oh yeah, if I recall correctly, Mr. Trump and his team denigrated his predecessor who drew a "red line" about Assad's use of chemical weapons and then did nothing when Assad crossed that line. Y'think the President remembers that? Or if he doesn't, does Steve Bannon?

I am going fishing tomorrow. The guys tell me the sea bass fishing off Block Island is super. That's 15 miles east of my usual fishing grounds, and "east" may be especially crowded tomorrow, but maybe the family will come fishing with me for the first time in 20 years. Nah, I'm just kidding. Really, but I am glad I don't have any relatives in Alaska.

A bientot.