Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Blue Whale in the Room No One Wants to See

I wrote the other day how the President of the United States in blaming the Texas Church Massacre on a deranged person does not want to see the Blue Whale  in the room. That is that even if the person was deranged or mentally ill, of which there is no history, the massacre could not have happened if we had common sense gun laws in the country.

No one who thinks like the president wants to accept that the conditions that existed in 1787 were totally different from they are  today. It seems to me that suggesting a blunderbuss in the hands of a citizen is the same as a machine gun is the height of naïveté or at a minimum a sign one is blind to society as it exists today. One would say a good SAT question would be a machine gun is to the blunderbuss, as a nuclear bomb is to a (a) cherry bomb; (b) hand grenade; (c) 3 sticks of TNT; or (4) land mine.

Who is Deranged? The Supreme Court? The President? Or us?

I don’t think there is anyone that believes the Supreme Court of the United States has been right in its decisions as to what the law is  over the years. Those eminent nine justices sitting around in conference over a nine month period from October through June with their smart clerks have always been able to interpret the Constitution in such a manner that they pretend to tell us what provisions written in 1787 mean today even though what they said yesterday might have been quite different.  They are also able to find things in the Constitution that no one ever thought existed there.

They tell us that in the gun area the law that governs there can be few restrictions on the use of guns.  Thus we have situations where people can buy as many guns as they wish and can attach to them magazines that shoot 30 or more rounds off in a matter of seconds while carrying hundreds of other rounds which can be readily inserted into the gun to bring about the results we saw in the church massacre in Texas (26 people dead and 20 injured) or the country music festival in Las Vegas (58 people dead and 546 injured).

The NFL and Me: the NFL and Murders; Guns and God:

Full disclosure: I have watched less than an hour of NFL football this season. So take what I have to say with that in mind.

I don’t have any idea what happened yesterday in the NFL. I don’t suppose they played the games in light of the shooting in Texas earlier that morning that left 26 people, maybe more, dead. It happened in a small Baptist church but was the worst murder ever in our history at a church or any other place of worship.

I’m kidding. I know nothing stops the NFL. I should know that by now.

Within 24 hours of Stephen Paddock’s act the Chiefs and the Redskins played their game. It was as if nothing had happened in the nation. You do remember Stephen? The church killing was by Devon Patrick Kelley. Sounds like an Irishman except the Devon sounds English. Right now the records in the United States for  these particular murders are held by Paddock (most); Kelley (most in a church replacing Dylan Roof); Adam Lanza (most in a school). None of these records stopped the NFL from offering its fare.

Darkness and Wonder in the City of Lights: Paris

Just spent ten days in Paris. It’s a wonderful city and my favorite destination even though flying internationally is hardly a joy.

Most poignant memory of it is the last night I was there. I was coming back around 10 p.m. from sitting outside at the La Rotonde brasserie on Rue du Montparnasse and turned onto Rue de Rennes. Earlier that day I had said goodbye to my 4-year-old grandson who was heading home. I had spent a lot of enjoyable time with him taking him to the wonderful playgrounds at the parks and gardens.

I noticed a woman who had her head covered with a shawl which made me believe she was a Muslim sitting on the sidewalk against a building. It is not usual to see people sitting on the Paris streets with cups in front of them looking for a handout or some who are standing with their hands out. Walking by her I glanced down and saw a young boy around the age of my grandson quietly sitting next to her.

“I Like to Be in America” Trump and the Puerto Rico Crisis

How many know that when we took over Puerto Rico we changed the name of the place to Porto Rico? We put it under the command of the Army  whose leaders found the new name easier to spell. That was during the Spanish-American War when we liberated Cuba and gave it to the Cubans to run. We’ve seen how they eventually found a warm embrace with Russia. I don’t suppose we would have been happy if Puerto Rico was another Russian ally.

I also assume you know that during that war we took over the Philippines using as a military tactic concentration camps and  ethnic cleansing even though you were not taught that in school as something Americans did. We were particularly interested in the Philippines because it was a good base for our ships doing business in the Asian area then called the Far East but also we believed we could enlightened the benighted Filipinos to the great benefit of Christianity since at the time they were all Papists.

You Fight 16 Years and What Do You Get

Apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Lyrics to 16 Tons

You fight 16 years and what do you get,

Another day older and deeper in debt                         

St. Peter please help us ‘cause you want to know,

The generals plan to continue the show.

The President Trump says we are going to fight on to victory.

The Secretary of State Tillerson says we are not going to achieve victory but we’re going to fight on because we want the Taliban to know they will not achieve victory.

The generals say we’re going to . . . .

We really don’t know what the generals say. Why would we listen to them anyway They’ve had 16 years to figure out what to do and they haven’t. Right now it looks like they are losing. Why would one believe that they could do things better now than they have done before?

Anyone who lived through the Vietnam War remembers how the generals were always telling us the solution was right around the corner. Was it Westmoreland who saw the light at the end of the tunnel? Little did he know, or at least he didn’t say, the light he saw was the headlight on a North Vietnamese/Viet Cong freight train barreling down the track. As it roared along we’d have 58,000 plus American names to put on the Vietnam Wall in DC.

The Deep State: Do You Like It? Do You Hate it?

I have to admit I did not know about the Deep State until the last couple of months or so. It seems to be something that washed up on shore along with the Trump Administration.  All I seemed to know of it was that it is so well buried that people like me cannot see it.

I wonder if any of you have seen it. If so, could you tell us what it looks like? Never mind that, can you tell me if you have heard about it. If so can you tell me what it is supposed to be because for the love of Mike and Madge I couldn’t figure it out even though the word was being bandied about a lot lately.

I set out to find out.

I heard that Glen Greenwald a columnist had a recent article about it. I followed him a bit a few years back until his red tails began to show under his suave words during the Snowden incident. Glen was the type who saw a million warts on the American system of government while he stared starry eyed at dictators especially if they were followers of the red flag. He moaned whenever something happened in America that was less than perfect.

Let Them Stand! Understanding Monuments

Hard not to have thoughts about the many situations roiling our country. One is the  “tear down Confederate monuments” uproar that follows on the Confederate flag brouhaha of some years back and the Charlottesville Tiki march of a few days ago.

One thought incorporated into supporting their removal is to note that  “the vast majority of monuments date to between 1895 and World War I.” Or, put another way, during the long era of Jim Crow. (1877 to 1964?).

Obviously the monuments could not have been put up much before 1860 or before the end of Reconstruction in 1877. After that it would take another chunk of years to raise funds etc. as the South rose out of the ashes of defeat. That it took time is never an argument against memorials which seek to recall things to mind. The DC Korean War memorial came 40 years after.

Another idea supporting their removal is “The monuments were put up as explicit symbols of white supremacy.” that quote is from an article that noted: “The group responsible for the majority of these memorials was the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC)”  Juxtaposing those two thoughts suggest an oxymoron. It seems to me that daughters of soldiers are mainly if not solely thinking of honoring the sacrifice and lives of their forebears. White supremacy was the least of their thoughts.