Saturday, September 8, 2012

This Blog is unlikely to ever enjoy another posting. 

Thank you to all my friends who shared their ideas here over the past few years. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Democrats and liberals. You should encourage all the Republicans you run across to vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who is a true conservative and at least honest in his policy views.  There is also another benefit to America, but you would be wise not to mention it.  :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Opinion poll

Considering the huge sums of money our schools and colleges spend in producing athletes, do you think we got our money's worth in London?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thanks to IRISH MIKE

Taken from August 6, 2012 Newsweek Magazine.

Attempting to control protests during the Republican Convention, Tampa banned possession of certain items near the event.
No:  Air riffles, BB guns, Paint guns.
No:  Nunchucks, lumber and pipes.
No:  Supersoakers and water canons.
No:  Rope, wire, chain, and tape longer than 6 feet.
No:  Gas masks and face coverings.
No:  Light bulbs, glass bottles, and ornaments.
No:  Portable shields.
YES:  Guns are allowed.  (Gov. Rick Scott rejected the ban).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

without further comment

Goodbye Marvin Hamlisch

For this one song alone, you could be remembered...

Memries, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember...
The way we were...

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I received this beautiful picture from Bill Wnnco with permission to post it.  This is his daughter-in-law and grandson. He calls it a "beauty and the beast" photo. "It says it all!"


At coffee, Dawn of a New Day Cafe, downtown Saginaw, Pat, Sandy and Deb.

Standing on the corner near Fishbones in Detroit before the Tigers game. Bud and Trase.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goodbye Gore Vidal

"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

bargains for billionaires

And then they have the nerve (I might have used a stronger term) to criticize George Soros for giving money to Progressive causes.

Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, is worth nearly $25 billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in the world and the 7th richest person in America. While median family income plummeted by nearly 40% from 2007-2010, Mr. Adelson has experienced a nearly eightfold increase in his wealth over the past three years (from $3.4 billion to $24.9 billion). Forbes recently reported that Adelson is willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money or more than $100 million to help defeat President Obama in November.

The Kochs (David, Charles, and William) are worth a combined $103 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season. The Kochs own more wealth than the bottom 41.7 percent of American households or more than 49 million Americans.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Some rules for living in modern America

There are an estimated 300 million guns in America, not counting those in the hands of police and military personnel. This is almost one gun for every person in the country. Counting babies. Counting old people in retirement homes.

If you want to live in this country, here are some simple rules to follow:

1. Stay out of elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. Educate your children at home, or in small groups in other people's homes.  Christian schools are NOT safe as they have been the targets of several multiple killings. Jewish schools are also targets. Even an Amish school was turned into a slaughter place. Of course, public schools are the most likely to have shootings, and those in wealthy communities are more likely to be shot up then those in poor neighborhoods. On the other hand, shootings in poor schools are more likely to occur one-on-one.

2. Stay out of shopping malls and large stores. Shop at small stores and then only in the mornings.

3. Taverns are not likely to be the scenes of mass killings, but they are dangerous on a one-to-one basis. Lots of tavern patrons are armed. Most shootings at taverns take place outside when the target is leaving. Best advice, when you have to leave a tavern, run. If you leave a tavern, do it before dark.

4. Don't go to a post office. There are good reasons for the expression, "going postal".

5. If you go to the movies, go to matinees after the movies have been in town more than a week. Never go at night.

6. It is best not to work in a work place. The best thing to do if you have to work, is work at home. Or be a farmer. Very, very few farmers are ever shot in America.

Most important, don't let the criminals win!  Don't let them make you change just to accommodate their illnesses and fantasies. Follow these few simple rules and you'll be OK.

And let's face it, if you're not the victim, someone else will be. Better them than us, huh?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bang Bang some more.

Well, of course I will make some comments.

This is part of my purpose in life, now, to point out the silliness of our responses to gun crimes like the most recent Colorado shooting.

1. I have heard that as many as 1 out of 7 people whose paths we cross every day are armed with handguns. I even see some of those guns strapped to hips in places like the coffee shop and the restaurant. Why didn't even one of these people defend themselves or others in the theater? What the hell?

2. The police are looking for "motives"; well, the greater fools, they. Motives? Name me one sensible motive for shooting 50 people at random? Never mind what this guy's "motives" were, go ahead and name me any sensible motive.

3. People are "shocked" and "saddened" and "horrified". Nonsense. I would venture that aside from the people who were actually there at the scene and the dearest friends and relatives of the victims, nobody is saddened or shocked. What is there to be surprised about?

4. Oh, was he mentally ill? It's no harder for a mentally ill person to acquire firearms in this country than for anyone else. Don't tell me we should keep the weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill.

5. I think the guy had every Second Amendment right to his guns, just like everyone else. Don't you? 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Would it just sound like nonsense to say that we have been so busy this summer, we don't have time to do anything?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why lie?

On cable news this morning I saw that new Romney ads are calling Obama a liar, indirectly, by saying he cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Hundreds of millions of dollars are going to be spent by both candidates to convince us of something all of us already know: the other guy lies.

Why do they do this? I'm no psychiatrist but I suspect the object of these ads is to try to turn public mistrust into public hatred. One party is more guilty than the other, no doubt.

Democracy will not flourish where the voting public cannot make a true judgment as to facts because they are convinced that every politician is a liar, that their own votes don't really decide anything, and that no matter how the election turns out, the elected officials will not do what's in the best interest of society.

I guess I'm foursquare against lying politicians. Wish I knew what to do about it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Where you so often find us these days ---- eating and drinking in a tavern.

Monday, June 25, 2012

If the society we live in continues to move in the direction it is going, there will be violence. This isn't something I wish for. Certainly a violent society will threaten my children and grandchildren, and that alone is good reason why I couldn't embrace it. In all probability I will be dead before the shooting starts.

But there are two knots in the fabric of our civilization which I think are astonishing, because they are so contrary to the future well being of us all, but which will not break, despite what seems to me to be clear evidence of an evil outcome. One of these is the hatred -- or at least the dislike and shunning -- by the white sector of our society (declining) toward the other sectors, black and brown (increasing) .

The second knot is the ever increasing dichotomy between the haves (whose resources are constantly increasing) and the middle class (whose resources are constantly decreasing.) Everything indicates that those with the money are increasingly running the show and building more and more barriers against the possible sharing of power with the less well-to-do. In the effort to free themselves of obligations such as taxes (lower estate taxes and lower capital gains taxes) and elections (more and more "safe" districts and less control of corruption in politics), the wealthy are building themselves a structure which gives them more privilege, while increasingly shutting out other people.

I wonder what can be done to avert a violent collision between the sides?
Monday!  I wish this was a coffee club morning.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grandpa and Amos

What I'm reading now: 


"Today Mitt Romney visited a firehouse here in New York City. Of course, he was disappointed when he learned that the firehouse is not where you get to fire people." –Jimmy Fallon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's very good to have friends who make me laugh, or at least smile, or perhaps, even just groan.

With so much negativity in the news these days, and not many movies or TV shows that elevate my mood, friends are the first line of defense against the pressures of melancholy. (But I DO laugh at Jeff Dunham.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

executive privilege

According to headlines this morning, Obama has decided to invoke "executive privelege" to keep certain documents away from Congress.

Not acceptable to me, but then, no one ever asks me.

Too often in the past, the invoking of this privilege is a means for covering up wrong doing in the executive branch. These are things the public has every right to know about.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Message from IRISH MIKE

In the recent recall attempt in Wisconsin, of Governor Walker, as everyone knows, the public employees including the teachers, were trying to protect their interests against the Republican party. The public employees have lost. There are powerful money interests currently supporting the Republicans who seem to have unlimited ability to spend in the pursuit of controlling American government.

Our good friend IRISH MIKE has sent the following analysis, with which I agree.

There are 59,552 public school teachers in Wisconsin. Average Wisconsin teacher salary is $46,390 (Ranked 28th among all states). There are over 90,000 millionaires in Wisconsin. So how do we balance the budget? Of course we go after the greedy 59,552 teachers and cut their benefits and salary. After all they're making a whopping $46,000 a year. AND it would just be wrong to ask those 90,000 plus millionaires to contribute some of their wealth in a tax increase.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recommended Reading

SPARTY recommends this article from the New York Times . It concerns the topic of a posting I made below ("The SUM king") and upon which some people have commented.

Your continued comments are welcomed.

The line that most struck me, was this one:
"Add up the totals throughout the country, and racial animus cost Mr. Obama three to five percentage points of the popular vote. In other words, racial prejudice gave John McCainthe equivalent of a home-state advantage nationally."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Goodbye Ray Bradbury

"There are worse crimes than burning books.
One of them is not reading them."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The SUM king?

Alright, I know we aren't going to make Romney king, even if he wins the election, which at this point, I believe is entirely likely. But that is not really the point of this cartoon.

The country is moving rapidly toward rule by the wealthy. They have, in many regards, purchased the government and the Republican Party (where they have always resided, anyway.) The "lumpen proletariat" (which used to mean those very numerous people at the low end of society who could not be organized or enlightened to the cause of resisting the wealthy) has now become the "lumpen middle class".

I see the middle class as now composed of a great number of people who cannot be expected to vote in their own interest, who cannot be expected to think about constructing the future. They are so busy trying to cling to whatever it is they now have - to preserve their shaky hold on simple prosperity - to be expected to look at the future as a better place. I suppose they hope that someone will magically fix things in the long run, someone else, of course. 

There is no point in pretending that most of the people we are talking about are not the white people. These are the folks who let their industries move away, who saw their state and federal treasuries looted by the economic aristocracy, and who now sit back lackadaisically and watch their public schools being destroyed. In fact, many of these white people have gladly contributed to the demise of their institutions because they hate other races so much. They never wanted those minorities in their neighborhoods, their schools, their unions, or anywhere else near to them. Now their very democracy is sliding away. 

So, welcome king Romney! not as an ordinary king, but as a representative of a class who are now seizing the United States.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


What I'm reading now.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Senior citizens continue to bear burden of student loans


The burden of paying for college is wreaking havoc on the finances of an unexpected demographic: senior citizens.

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans, providing a rare window into the dynamics of student debt. More than 10 percent of those loans are delinquent. As a result, consumer advocates say, it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished or for debt collectors to harass borrowers in their 80s over student loans that are decades old.

The recent recession exacerbated this problem, making it harder for older Americans — or the youths they are supporting in school — to get good-paying jobs. And unlike other debts, student loans cannot be shed in bankruptcy. As a result, some older Americans have found that a college degree led not to a prosperous career but instead to a lifetime under the shadow of debt.

“A student loan can be a debt that’s kind of like a ball and chain that you can drag to the grave,” said William E. Brewer, president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. “You can unhook it when they lay you in the coffin.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

I've been interested in the story about the "loss" of 2 billion dollars by J.P. Morgan. I'm afraid I know too much about the American system of capitalism (which is from the outside looking in) to accept this "loss". I believe that with a little scrutiny, we will find a lot of that lost money in the pockets of the persons who lost it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

from James Kunstler

What I wonder is how long the American public will remain in its Kardashian trance. At this torpid moment no one believes that any theoretical political cohort in this land - tea-partiers, swindled youth, professional lefties (or what's left of them), or the fugitive thinking centrists (wherever they are) - might bestir themselves to bust up a nominating convention or march on one of many debauched institutions in the nation's capital, from the SEC to the wax museum formally known as the Department of Justice. I think differently, though. I think this grim interval of crisis consolidation is drawing to a close and, like the buds swelling on every tree in New England, events will soon burst into astounding efflorescence.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What I've recently read:

What I'm reading now.

Latest little history quiz

What's happening here?

some recent snapshots

Dress-up night on the cruise we took to Nassau.

This is my grandson, Wyatt. I think he's going to turn into a perfect Irishman.

Bill has sent this terrific picture of his grandson posing with the motorcycle Bill is still not too old to ride. Let's hope Christian is still too young to ride it.
The earphones are a good idea. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In our fair city, of late, there have been bodies lying all over the place. At least one was a cop. Although he survived the shootout, his opponent did not.

Bodies are found many mornings, just lying about.

We are just the embodiment of the blessings of the Second Amendment as currently interpreted, and my! -- Don't we feel safe?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pig Farming

HOSTESS - an American nutrition icon - is trying to slide out from under its labor contracts and its pension obligations to its workers. This is becoming a familiar American story, isn't it? (Once G.M. gets to do it, everyone should be able to, right?) A company neglects to provide the pension program it promised years ago and now finds the time has come to make good --- and it can't.

I suspect that saving 125 million as HOSTESS hopes to do in cutting pension obligations/contributions at this point, will mean excellent bonuses for the management class, which is to say, the pigs sitting around the table with the neighborhood farmers on Animal Farm.

Most of this pension business was a self-inflicted wound by the management of these corporations. It began a generation or two ago when the responsibility to develop an adequate program was shirked. I believe the business class refers to this as "kicking the can down the road."

Someone's cans should be kicked. I think I know which ones, and they aren't wearing the workers' caps in the HOSTESS factories.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


(The ACELA fast train Boston-Washington)

There was talk this morning at the Philo Group discussion coffee klatch to the effect that railroads are a thing of the past because they cannot possibly pay their own way. The idea of fast trains or "bullet trains" merely means more expensive outlays of public money into a business that can never turn a profit.

Someone remarked that the Boston-Washington rail link makes a profit.

I make this point: airlines cannot make a profit either, and we prop them up with public moneys. The highway system cannot make a profit, and we prop that up with public moneys.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

message from SPARTY

Foreward from SPARTY from Washington Spectator:

from DASHMANN, a Goodbye

Earl Scruggs, creator of the 3 finger banjo picking style which gives bluegrass music its modern sound, passed away at 88 years old today. As Bill Monroe is the father of Bluegrass music, Earl Scruggs, this legend, pioneer and personal hero, was certainly the archetect of what that genre has become. For those who do not recognize him, he played the banjo in the "Beverly Hillbillies" TV series and "Bonnie and Clyde " movie.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hard Hearted

I see that on her blog, Wonkette is spreading the story that Dick Cheney's new heart is also his first one.

I'm quite certain that it took no heart at all to start the Iraq War and no heart at all to get filthy rich in the oil business he was supposed to be regulating. This is not a person I admire, to put it pleasantly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin

Considering the murder of Trayvon Martin, I make this claim. If the assailant had stabbed Trayvon to death, or had beaten him to death, or had hanged him, that man would even now be in a prison cell awaiting justice.

This is the work of the gun lobby.

from DASHMANN's point of view.

My friend John called me up to chide me about University of Michigan's recent losses in two sports, to MAC teams. One of course, was his alma mother. The Western Michigan hockey team beat Michigan in the CCHA Championship game, and Ohio University beat Michigan in the NCAA basketball tournament.

For the first one, Congratulations! to the Broncos. For the second one, I have no comment.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?

Yes, my wife took me on a sea cruise to Nassau, but I'm home.

Monday, March 12, 2012

humorists footnote

I came across this list of the ALGONQUIN Round Table members. (Although there never was an official membership.)

  • Franklin Pierce Adams (1881-1960),
  • Robert Benchley (1889-1945)
  • Heywood Broun (1888-1939),
  • Marc Connelly (1890-1980),
  • Edna Ferber (1885-1968),
  • Margalo Gillmore (1897-1986),
  • Jane Grant (1892-1972),
  • Ruth Hale (1887-1934),
  • Beatrice Kaufman (1894-1945),
  • George S. Kaufman (1889-1961),
  • Peggy Leach (1894-1974),
  • Neysa McMein (1888-1949),
  • Herman J. Mankiewicz (1897-1953),
  • Harpo Marx (1888-1964),
  • William B. Murray,
  • Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
  • Brock Pemberton (1885-1950),
  • Murdock Pemberton (1888-1982),
  • Harold Ross (1892-1951),
  • Art Samuels (1889-1938),
  • Laurence Stallings (1895-1968),
  • Donald Ogden Stewart (1894-1980),
  • Taylor Deems (1886-1966),
  • John Peter Toohey (1880-1946),
  • David Wallace (1889-1955),
  • John V.A. Weaver (1893-1938),
  • Peggy Wood (1892-1978),
  • Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943)
  • Saturday, March 10, 2012


    SPARTY has sent the following challenge:

    This morning a host on Michigan Public Radio posed this question: Who are the three greatest American literary humorists?

    He hasn't yet offered any choices of his own, but I'll start this off. When I was a much younger person, I read everything I could find in the library by Robert Benchley. I haven't read anything of his in years, now, so for allI know, I might go back and find his stuff silly or not funny at all.

    So, feel free to contribute, any of you.


    As nearly as I can interpret the criticisms of the current US Middle East policy, there are a number of politicians who believe that the U.S. should attack two more Middle East countries, Iran and Syria.

    Is this the opinion of any of my friends out there? Anyone among you looking forward to two more wars?

    Sunday, March 4, 2012


    What I read last.

    what I'm reading now: