Thursday, June 29, 2017

Early summer, early life.

It’s very early summer, just a few days into the season. The humidity is up where I live now, and so is the temperature. Perhaps it is a harbinger of the coming hot August days, but today my mind wanders to this time of year, this kind of summer when I was a child.

Like now, school would be just out or almost out for the summer and endless days of play were in the offing. I’ll keep these thoughts to my 12th year. I had just completed the 6th grade. Summer would be spent camping with the Boy Scouts, playing ball in vacant lots, catching fireflies at dusk, staying up late, sleeping in and playing numerous outdoor games with neighborhood friends and playmates.

In July, were two weeks of my Dad’s vacation. We spent it in a sparse housekeeping cabin on a lake in the Adirondacks. It was a one-bedroom cabin, and I’d sleep on a porch cot in my sleeping bag piled with several blankets. It gets cold in the mountains even in summer.

I loved the sounds of night listening from the screened porch feeling safe, but I especially loved the waking light and sounds and smells of morning; fresh cold air from out under the covers, chirping birds, scampering chipmunks and squirrels leaving trails in the lawn dew.

I learned a number of things during those summers’ weeks especially a profound appreciation of nature. My folks took the same cabin around the same time for a few years. The man and woman who owned the cabin lived in a main house on the premises. I became friends with the man. He was older than my parents, and his kids had moved away. He was a strong, rugged and kindly man with a perennial smile that didn’t show teeth, just his heart. He knew how to do everything: plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting, fix a car, repair a canoe, or fix a boat motor.

I’d watch him in his workshop, and he’d ask me to help. Sometimes he’d have to run an errand or two into town, and I’d go with him in his old pick-up truck; somehow we’d always stopped for ice cream. Occasionally we’d head out to some dirt back road to cut fresh fir branches to weave into a wire mesh lean-to ceiling. Guests would sit in the lean-to at night, smell the balsam and watch logs crackling in the fireplace and listen to loons calling to each other in the lake distance.

I learned all the old camp songs sitting around that lean-to. There were old Irish melodies, college songs, and a few bawdy rhymes that my Mother probably wished I hadn’t heard at that age.

But back to my older friend. One day he handed me a single shot 22 caliber. rifle and taught me how to safely handle it. Handing me a box of 22 shorts he said to take the trail and go to a small pond about a half-mile away and do some plinking. He gave me a couple of soda cans to take with me. He must have asked my parents permission before he handed me the rifle because they said it was OK and to be careful.

My Dad didn’t have a gun in the house, so this was my first experience with a real firearm except that I had a BB gun and the same rules applied.

I didn’t learn responsibility that day. My parents always talked about its importance. I learned trust and what a powerful gift it is. I will never forget that man and what he taught me by being my friend.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A tale of two rights of choice

It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for the paraphrase. It seems there are some sensible members of Congress who have stepped up and said, “hold on, no vote on the health care bill until there are some changes.”

Bravo to them and woe to us. The proverbial question is why can’t a representative government come up with a plan that is fair to all citizens. The answer for me is that when you are locked into a political ideology where your absolute is the only “right,” then you are obstructing the innate fairness of democracy.

I keep reminding Congress that democracy is compromise, along with its sub-categories of civility, and compassion. Democracy is balancing need and want. Democracy knows that the majority is not always right, but acknowledges the self-righting process of life and living and believing the internal guidance of spirit will eventually correct any wrong. History has proven that time and time again.

Most of us forget that real “life and living” is apolitical. “life and living” involve neighbors and friends and family, all of whom want the comforts of life and some of whom need help getting there. That is what compassion is. That is what all religions teach and what few followers grasp as a daily ethic.

If we can forget and forgive the dogmas of the world for just a moment, we will transcend our consciousness into the grace of the heart. Once there no lack is unmet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Somebody has to say it...

For decades…yea, even the past century the American people have had the fourth estate covering their backs. A free press is a bulwark against a secret government.

Mr. Trump’s castigation of the press; his constant attack is undermining the legacy and admonition of Thomas Jefferson that a free press is necessary to democracy and for our republic to survive.

All tyrants attempt to control the media. It is the only way for the skullduggery of political shenanigans to succeed. Mr. Trump is not a tyrant, yet, but his actions indicate that that is a modality he probably would prefer. Under his aegis press briefings have gone from daily briefings to no cameras only a recording of audio and no visual accountability to the public.

I am also deeply disturbed at the Republican majority in Congress. I understand the need for fiscal responsibility. I understand the need to lessen the deficit and curtail some rampant entitlements. I also acknowledge the Congressional Budget Office non-partisan calculation that, if passed in its current form, 22 million more American’s will lose insurance coverage under the  Senate Healthcare proposal, while the wealthy will reap major profits with tax cuts.

Something is wrong folks! If we are a country “of the people, for the people and by the people” then why are 22-million or more people getting screwed by the elitists in Congress. That is not representative government. It is an oligarchy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Cusp

I feel like I am living on the cusp of history. I was born in late 1941, and then, though very young, but not unaware, I understood the concept of “lack,” and the rationing of World War II. I remember my parents and grandmother talking about the shortages of essentials, and then the excitement my grandmother had when she could buy nylon stockings.

I grew up in the 1950’s, as the nuclear age began post-Hiroshima, a peaceful time at the end of the war and the beginning of the  Eisenhower Presidency, early television programing, rock and roll, tail fins on cars and bucket seats and sock hops.

I matured in the sixties, witnessing global travel, global awarenesss of interdependence and the advancement of the cold war and the space age beginning with Sputnik in 1957. The Korean War was just ending, and Vietnam was beginning with the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The assassination of JFK was monumental as was the landing of a man on the moon, LBJ’s Great Society, and color television.

The seventies was a time for me advancing my journalist career; savoring and questioning the experience of covering the White House and Capitol Hill and covering the actions and issues of another war’s end, Watergate, Nixon’s presidency, the civil rights movement and a man on the moon.

The 80’s and 90’s were just as professionally adventurous coupled with the worry that the millennium computers would crash.

One of the definitions of the word “cusp” is the point which marks the beginning of change.

I was born on December 6th, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Certainly a “cusp” in this definition and it’s not over yet.

Friday, June 23, 2017


A dear friend inquired about me since she had not seen new postings for several days.

I responded that I was taking a break from the chaos of America and focusing on beauty and peace. It is the Zen of non-attachment that filters the negative from daily conversations.

My professional training has been to observe, discern, inquire, write and report. In the December of my life, those awareness skills are heightened, and my conclusions are both sad and worrisome.

The political contention I observe in common America is infectious. It is fraying to the family fabric to the point of alienation, and it is assaulting the harmony of friendships.

I propose three steps to normalcy.

Our leaders, no matter who they are, must be far more cautious in the promulgation of fear and far more willing to listen and to be civil with sincerity and compassion.

All of us need a time out. Spend some time in nature and its inherent peace. Let the opiate of a flower’s fragrance sooth conflicting tensions. Let the caress of summer breezes bring joy to your heart. Look at the glory of sunset and know that all endings lead to a bright beginning.

And finally, acknowledge your spirituality. It is your life-force. Know that you are more than you think you are, and so is everyone else. There is no one path to God. All paths lead to the Divine. Red blood and salty tears are the same for all people, so too is laughter and smiles and the ability to love.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


What happened in Alexandria yesterday marks the beginning of limited access to our Congressional representatives.

The delusional idiot who opened fire on Congress members practicing for a charity ballgame stunted the freedom of all Americans.

To think that killing innocent representatives of our collective government will change things in Congress is absurd. It will change things, yes, but not to the betterment of freedom and free access to those we need to talk to on a constant basis.

Whatever the motives were for this soul to think his action would alter history to conform to his illusion; he was wrong. He did alter history but to the detriment of freedom and liberty.

The world, unfortunately, is filled with lunatics, and anarchists who see the comfort of normality as inimical to their vision of life. They are the disruptors, the disturbers, the would-be dictators of social and moral society.

Is there a way to stop them? No! Is there a way to impede them? Probably not! So, what do we do?

One suggestion is to stop the bickering, the contention, the conflict within our government and return to the camaraderie, the courtesy, and the common sense that existed in our legislative halls for over two centuries.

Conflict invites encourages and inflames the perceived powerless of our society.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flag Day 2017

Today is Flag Day.  I mention this every year because I think it's important. Of all the national things that we each hold sacred, our flag is at the top. If we each still believe in the ideals of this republic then our flag is the standard bearer of our beliefs and even though we are busy, and it's a weekday, and the kids have homework, and they need to get to soccer practice, we ought to remember this day.

There was a time in our history when our flag was empty of experience. It had the symbolism of a united people and the expectation of greatness, but we were a young country, and as yet we had little collective history.

The United States wasn’t even a year old when Continental Congress adopted the flag design on June 14th, 1777. But now, centuries later we remember that our flag is much more than red and white cloth stripes and symbolic stars in blue.

It’s everything that’s ever happened to this country and everything we’ve ever done. It’s victory and defeat. It’s protests and pageantry. It’s honor with humility and shame with remorse. It’s living and dying for principle. It's every soldier, sailor, airman and service member who ever served.

A nation is not its flag. The flag is the collective body and history of the nation. It’s not only the rights we are constitutionally guaranteed, but it’s also the personal human rights we embrace and grant to others through courtesy and compassion and character.

Above all the flag is our waving and Clarion symbol for the entire world to see our courage, our liberty, our freedom and our belief in the God we trust.

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's getting hot...

Good Day All,

It was hot here yesterday, 92 at my place.

Today should be even warmer.

Here's something I wrote when it was winter.

 I looked it up and re-read it to see if I could feel a little cooler. Here it is from wintertime.

“This day is a draining, shivering cold. There is a frigid thunk to the wind chimes on the porch, not the usual resonate ring of atoms in easy motion. The chime sound is tight, quick and solid as if it is too hard and too stiff for even the ring to move beyond its source. Everything has a stillness about it except the wind, and it too shivers as it seeks the elusive warmth of icy friction”.

Then I remembered something I read in Readers Digest when I was a teenager. It was something like this: "The pond shivered itself to ice." What a great image.

I will read this several times today to see if I get cooler.

Stay cool.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Deja Vu

I thought after America went through the Watergate fiasco that it would never happen again in my lifetime. Then lives were disgraced, people went to jail, and the President resigned.

Former FBI Director Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee and his subsequent allegations, under oath, set me into the proverbial mind-set of Deja Vu, (all over again) as Yogi Berra used to say.

All justice wheels move slowly, grinding away the chaff from the kernels of truth so we (the public) will have to wait and see what emerges from the special prosecutor.

If there is another lesson in all of this political skulduggery besides the kindergarten one of, “tell the truth.” It is a growing certainty that “truth” always seems to find a way through the cracks of denial or obfuscation. The only hindrance is time.

The sooner we as individuals, and as a collection of global societies, realize truth contains no pain or suspicion but equalizes each of us into the fairness of life and opportunity. When each of us embraces the truth, in all aspects of our lives, as our ethic, we will have trust in the world, and Lord knows what that could lead too.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The 1st Congressional inquiry

It’s not new for Congress to investigate issues that stimulate public inquiry.

The first congressional committee inquiry was formed to look into what was called St. Clair’s Defeat.

In November 1791, General Arthur St. Clair led a contingent of nine-hundred troops into the Ohio frontier. They were ambushed by local Indians, and most were killed or wounded. A House committee wanted to know who was to blame.

Like the committees of today, they asked for documents about the failed mission of St. Clair.

President George Washington was asked for his papers about the Ohio expedition, and he wondered if he had the right to refuse. He and his cabinet debated the issue. They decided that he should submit documents that were for the public good, but refuse any that would injure the public.

What that did was establish the principle of executive privilege.

President Washington did eventually give the requested documents to Congress.

To finish the story, Congress concluded that the blame lay with the War and Treasury departments. St. Clair was exonerated.

Not much has changed in Washington over the centuries, except maybe the lack of civility.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Smell the Roses

I think it's time to tell this story again.

I saw something in my life experience that you don’t see very often. I watched a well-dressed man stop abruptly as if held by some invisible force. He was in a hurry, given his stride and determined pace, yet when he passed a public garden of blossoming roses the man suddenly stopped, put down his briefcase, and turned to face the beauty that bloomed there.

There were probably sixty rose bushes each with eight to ten blossoms festooning the prickly stems. It was a magnificent site. The plethora of color, in the softness of the morning light, stopped this busy man in his hurried quest. He stood there surveying the garden patch, spending a moment at each bush. His gaze stopped at a full bush of bright golden yellow blossoms. He reached down, not to pick, but gently touched or better yet caressed this gift of nature. He kept his hand there for a long moment as he once again glanced at the entire patch of color.

I thought how fortunate I was to be reminded, in such a tender observational way, that no matter the urgency of an appointment, or how focused we are in our thoughts, when nature chooses to embrace us with her beauty, and we choose to see it, that moment transforms our thoughts into a passion and we respond with awe. Thank you, Sir, for the reminder to take time and smell the roses.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Bravo to Harvard!

Ten students were admitted to that prestigious University, and after admitting officials explored the “Facebooks” of the potential students, the college rescinded their admittance.

The students had apparently posted, at various times, racial slurs, sexual anomalies and other salacious comments that were not in the ethical tradition of Harvard. The students were informed of their rejection.

Hey, Parents, this is one for you. You’ve been telling your youngsters for years that whatever you post may come back to haunt you. Postings on Internet sites like Facebook are a record of one’s thoughts. It does not matter whether it was a momentary sophomoric rant or a deep-seated prejudice, it stays with your Facebook personality for all to see. Ignorance does not know when stupidity is present.

The adage that “you are what you eat" is true, so is, “you are what you write.”

Monday, June 5, 2017

Heads Up World

I’ve written about the omnipresent danger and the “head in the sand” modality of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster before.

Here is an update and link to a Newsweek article by noted nuclear scientist Muhammad Riaz Pasha.

I’ve pulled out the Fukushima section, but you should read the whole article.

"The meltdowns at the Fukushima Daichi Power plant are dumping 300-400 tons of contaminated material into the Pacific Ocean every single day. With a half-life of 220,000 years that nuclear waste will continue to destroy the Pacific for just about ever. There was no nuclear bomb let of by the Russians it is a hoax!! The Iodine 131 is coming from Fukushima UNIMAGINABLE Nuclear Meltdown Being Covered Up!

The Japanese Government teamed up with Toshiba to build robots that could help clean up the highly radioactive site of the Fukushima power plant meltdown. It turned out the robots couldn’t function in such high radiation levels: 600 Sievert per hour, which could kill a human being in about two minutes. Unfortunately, the “scorpions” didn’t get very far. Earlier this month, a “scorpion” robot that was sent inside the meltdown site malfunctioned after just two hours because of high radiation levels.

A second “scorpion” was sent in just last week, only to meet a similar fate as its predecessor: the machine’s left crawler belt malfunctioned and the robot stopped working altogether.

Satellite image shows damage at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (via

Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant began operations in 1971 and was severely damaged by a deadly March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed over 15,000 people in Japan. The massive release of radiation forced the government to evacuate about 160,000 people and establish a 310-square mile exclusion zone deemed uninhabitable. Tepco has since embarked on an estimated $188 billion cleanup process that has included the treatment of contaminated water dumped on the site to prevent three out of six reactors from melting down completely.

It is clear to us now that the radiation level in the containment vessel of the crippled Reactor 2 is much higher than experts had believed.

The danger of Reactor 2 reminds the story of the potential collapse of Reactor 4 after the March 11, 2011, earthquake. That reactor contained 14,000 times the radiation of the Hiroshima bomb.

Fumiya Tanabe, an expert on nuclear safety who analyzed the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States, said the findings show that both the preparation for and the actual decommissioning process at the plant will likely prove much more difficult than expected.

An official of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.

Fukushima disaster is totally out of control. This is a nuclear war without a war. Fukushima radiation has contained entire Pacific Ocean, Radiation detected in Europe and radiation at Fukushima reactors uncontrollable.  Nuclear scientists ran away and never came back and Fukushima nuclear facility is a TICKING TIME BOMB."

This is where investigative journalism could be of great service to humanity.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A fantasy

I happened to be walking outside yesterday, and I noticed Mother Nature talking to her flora and fauna. She was telling them about President Trump’s ill-advised decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords.

I introduced myself and asked if I could ask her a few questions. She said, “just a few, for I have the world’s nature to console and counsel.”

“Mother,” I said, “what is your reaction to this seemingly unilateral decision by the American President?”

She said, “Political men and women often make the wrong decisions where nature is concerned. So too do the ignorant by not believing the science. It is most often an appeasement to a small segment of a political base who deny the obvious, such as, that coal energy is over. Wind and solar energies are as certain as climate change. The ignorant would do well to plan for their children's future instead of yearning for the past.”

“Is there anything we can do,” I asked. “Pay attention to the signs,” she said. “Nature will not let the earth be destroyed by the greed and arrogance of humankind. Our storms and weather systems are increased to the level of man’s pollution, and they will get stronger as the need arises.”

Mother Nature turned to go and turned back with this profound warning. “Tell all those who will read and who will listen, that Nature is not something separate. Mankind is the nature he abuses.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Sometimes the idiocy of ego is mind boggling. What was alleged comedienne Kathy Griffin thinking with her severed head and likeness of DT. Shame, shame, apologies are not enough. Perhaps a new career would be in order.
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