Monday, November 29, 2010


In The State of Texas an individual in possession of ‘more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds of marijuana’ is subjected to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000. If I - or my son or daughter - were in the recent mess that Willie Nelson is in we would go to jail. Willie Nelson will not. $10,000 is nothing to him.
I am not so much embittered that Mr. Nelson will do little or no penance; I am, once again, astonished by the double standards of our laws as they relate to the elite.
There are poor bastards rotting in prisons all over this country that have violated lesser laws than this. Why do we find Willie Nelsons’ bust an amusing and silly peccadillo? Slam him hard or release the lesser offenders.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Things I Wish I Had Back

1. My Dad – He died at the age of 48 when I was 16. I don’t care what anybody says, boys need fathers.
2. My Sister – She died a few summers ago at the age of 67 after hiking through the Rockies with her beloved husband and some other friends. I don’t care what anybody says, she was the heart of our family.
3. My Niece – She died by her own hand a few years back. It continues to be sad and mysterious because she was so lovely and so loved.
4. My Friend Rick – He died from a brain tumor at the age of 52 after teaching 2nd-graders for 30 years. If we are lucky one or two guileless, humble and decent people will cross our paths in a lifetime. Rick was several of those.
5. The Moments I First Held My Children – They are mental snapshots now. For those minutes nothing else mattered and all made sense.
6. The Moment I Met the Girl I Married (and the ensuing years) – Falling in love is easy and wonderful. Staying in love is more of a challenge. With Sarah I have accomplished both – thanks to her.
7. Private School Tuition – Since 1981 I figure we have spent about $200,000 sending our 3 kids to private schools – from pre-school through 12th grade. During those same years we’ve paid about $90,000 in school taxes for institutions our children never attended.
8. The Faith of a Child – I have become an adult with doubts, questions and arguments. Doubts, questions and arguments stand directly in the path of childlike faith and never find answers.
9. Most of the Many Hours I Spent Playing Golf – Some of the best times I’ve ever had were on golf courses with my friends. Most of them were wasted and frustrated hours – and money.
10. Harsh Words I’ve Said to Pretty Much Everyone – The tongue is often ugly and damaging. So many regrets…

Friday, November 05, 2010


The work of one mind is a glorious thing. Newton worked alone; so did Einstein. All of the great classical music composers worked alone as did the Dutch painters. Cole Porter composed songs alone as did Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Randy Newman, John Prine, Bob McDill, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, Dennis Linde, Hugh Prestwood, Loudon Wainwright, III, Don McLean, Jim Croce, Donovan, John Sebastian, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Tom T. Hall, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and so many more. The engineers who devised the atom bomb, however, worked in concert. Therefore, songs written by more than one person are devised to kill – not people – but the purity of songwriting.

Say Goodnight, Keith

I shall refrain from expressing my outright glee about the indefinite suspension of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC. Although I am pleased with this development it has no personal impact on my life as I refused to set my eyes on him, his colleagues or his network a long time ago. Fox may be Fox but MSNBC is paid advertising at its worst. I would rather watch a continuous 24-hour loop of Oreck Vacuum Cleaner ads than view 10 seconds of ‘news’ from any of these abrasive, biased loudmouths. However, I must say that I do not find Olbermann’s political donations nearly as offensive as the smug, arrogant, discourteous, elitist, unprofessional and unraveling antics of Chris Matthews on election night. No, I am not surprised that he acted out in such an adolescent manner as he was witnessing his precious lefties going down in flames. This has always been his brand of ‘reporting.’ What surprises me is the powers-that-be at this ad agency have yet to realize how unlikable this guy is to the general public. Everybody wants to kick his ass. I would not think this to be a preferred response-trait for broadcast television personalities. What further elevated this dark moment in broadcast ‘news’ history was the sound of mindless cackling emanating from the other members of the MSNBC team while Chris was losing his mind in front of the handful of citizens who were watching. Really funny folks, those lefties! Laughing while a colleague is losing touch. The lovely cackling chorus included Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson. Mindless.
Finally, here’s the thing: let’s look at the numbers. Here are the viewing statistics for election night as compiled by Nielsen Media research: MSNBC – 1.957 million; CNN – 2.424 million; Fox News – 6.957 million. Whoever makes the decisions at MSNBC must be hypnotized.


Most of you will recall the famous Bible story of the young Israelite named David who volunteered to go one-on-one against the mighty warrior Goliath. Legend has it that David picked out some stones from a creek bed, placed them in a small leather satchel and walked out onto the killing field to do battle with the fierce and notorious Goliath. Goliath laughed at him and mocked the Israelites standing afar off for sending a boy to do a man’s job. David took out one of those smooth stones, placed in the web of his homemade slingshot and buried that rock in the middle of Goliath’s forehead killing him instantly. He then took off his head with a sword. Goliath was a Philistine and he and his countrymen were doing battle with the Israelites to lay claim to the land in which both peoples resided. About 1,500 years later a Roman official responsible for governing the area around Jerusalem decreed it to be called Palestine – a bastardization of the word Philistine. That was the first utterance of the word. Prior to that decree there was no nation called Palestine and there were no people known as Palestinians.
The Philistine people are thought to have come from various regions in the Aegean, conquered a strip of land on eastern the Mediterranean and there developed their own Semitic-type culture. The last records of their existence were in the 5th century AD.
2,100 years later this ‘false’ title still persists but history does not support the existence of the place or the people. Of course, ‘they’ are demanding a homeland, a capital and sacred sites – right there in the City of David. Goliath may be laughing again but I believe David’s little pouch is still full!


I have subscribed to Newsweek Magazine for two decades. It was my primary source of news for many years. Finally, about 5 years ago, fed up with how brazenly liberal this weekly had become, I canceled my subscription and stopped paying their bills. I still receive the magazine and I continue to scan its contents and its infinite number of advertisements. Typically, I do this in my favorite bathroom: in one side and out the other. In recent months I have learned from their pages that they have a new owner/publisher and are seeking new ways to stay alive and competitive. I have a few suggestions: fire Jonathan Alter, Fareed Zakaria and tell the guys in the mail center to stop sending it to people who no longer want it, read it or pay for it.