Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Street Fighting Man

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.  Martin Luther King, Jr.  The new president hit the ground running, formulating policy by tweets, breaking protocol dangerously like accepting a phone call from the leader of Taiwan thus vitiating the longstanding One China policy, issuing a meaningless yet all-encompassing executive order on the ACA which is subject to great swings of individual interpretation, and generally acting like a banana republic dictator by trying to rule by edict.  (Off to the Women's March.)

A very dangerous man, exposing the country to international conflict by threatening China over their artificial islands far from our shores, and internal conflagration by, for instance, his Muslim ban.  In this nation of immigrants, supposedly neutral with its separation of church and state, he would do well to know that we are governed by the rule of law, not by daily decree from a tin pot tyrant.  (They couldn't believe the garbage they were hearing about American Carnage.)

But the opposition has formed, and swiftly.  A half-million person march in DC emphasizing our traditional basic values within twenty-four hours of his ascension, and a swelling protest against his selective immigrant ban at international airports and at the White House the very next weekend.  (Off to the White House Protest.)

Having lived through the civil rights demonstrations and anti-war protests of the sixties, I am impressed with the speed at which the meaningful roar of the people has coalesced.  The Women's March on Washington was like the leadoff hitter in a baseball game hitting a home run, followed by the next batter up dumping a single into right field.  Game on, Mr. President.  (Not on my watch.)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, Dad.  You would have been 92, if you hadn't passed last century, but in your too-short life you got so much done.

Reader, don't believe me, read the NYT obituary.  Yes, from the dishonest press, so it couldn't be right, right?

Child of the Depression, combat veteran, scholar at two prestigious schools (three if you count his high school), father to six, loving husband to our mother, Wall Street lawyer, civil rights fighter, constant volunteer, advocate, my hero.  I'm glad one of my three sons got held by you before you departed.

You wouldn't recognize where America is headed now, the country you fought for with your utmost in desperate hours as your fellow Marines bled and died around you.  But resistance is back, Dad, and I've been there and I'll be there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Blowing kisses

Putin must have been beaming like a proud papa as he watched this huggy kissy clip of Trump and Comey.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Putin's Poodle

My sister in St. Paul sent me some photos of the march in the Twin Cities on day 2 of the Trump administration, when millions of people nationwide were marching peacefully to express their concerns over the president's statements, actions and intentions, stated or secret.  At the same time, Sean Spicer, the brand new White House press secretary, was administering his notion of a beat-down to the press in an unhinged, 5-minute howl at  "youz guys" for reporting on the relative size of the inaugural crowd while the president was standing in front of a wall honoring fallen CIA heroes at the CIA giving a stump speech, as shameless sycophants in the audience applauded him when he promised that the "dishonest" (substitute the word "critical") press would pay big time in his "running war with the media."

My sister reported there were about 100K marchers in St. Paul.  The top picture is by David Joles of the Minneapolis newspaper, the next three are by David Brewster, formerly of the St. Paul newspaper.

On Sunday, advisor to the president Kellyanne Conway gave her notion of a beat-down to the press in a cringeworthy 13-minute yowl in which she laughably cited to "alternative facts."  Meanwhile the president still falsely claims that the reason he lost the popular election by almost 3 million votes is because millions of illegal aliens cast votes.

Russian strongman and former KGB chief Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey would seem to be unlikely bedmates.  They gave us this meglomaniacal narcissist.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Putin--The Elephant In The Room

Why did I march yesterday?  To protect our democratic institutions, because when they come under dangerous assault similar to what happened under the Nixon administration, the voice of the people becomes paramount.

"Truth--Not Twisted Tweets."

(Picture of a resting, watchful pussy cat with its claws showing.)  "Grab Back."

"Fascism--Still A Bad Idea."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"American Carnage"

"American carnage," the phrase President Trump used between loud sniffs from the inaugural stand yesterday to describe the American landscape he thinks he is inheriting, was on full display today in the streets of Washington DC, and New York City, and Chicago, and Atlanta, and Boston, and Denver, and Los Angeles, and Seattle, and other national cities in the form of massive numbers of protestors a day after he had "thin" inaugural crowds to watch him sworn in.  But in contrast to yesterday when there were clashes between disorderly demonstrators and police with stun grenades and pepper spray, and punches were thrown, and people were injured and arrests were made, today's marches were peaceful and orderly, albeit crushingly packed.

This morning I was sipping coffee watching the news on a TV screen in a McDonalds, preparing to go march in the District in solidarity for the first time since the sixties, when a man my age and dressed as I was in blue jeans and a denim jacket, wandered over and asked if the Mall was crowded already.  I said it seemed to be from the news reports, with at least triple the number of people as attended Trump's inauguration.

He asked sarcastically if that meant that meant Trump should step down.  I said, "Ask the Russians."

In the District an hour later, I was soon solidly imprisoned on Independence Avenue at 12th Street, along the march route, by the crush of people assembled in the street, many carrying diverse and revealing signs such as the one showing a picture of Trump with a windswept coiffure saying "We Shall Over-Comb," and a placard stating "Russian Doll" that showed Trump as a nesting doll.  What I experienced today was the anger the American people feel about the things Trump said and the way he acted on the campaign trail, and I think the huge size of the crowds today was a spontaneous reaction to what he said and did yesterday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More of the Same.

Yesterday was the Martin Luther King holiday, so as is my wont on holidays, I had lunch at noon at the local gourmet pizza restaurant.  Any of my three estranged children are free to join me at these lunchtime fetes, but they had their wills severely overborne by their mother and her coterie of "professionals" as minors during the lengthy, costly divorce orchestrated by her, and I guess they're still mesmerized by her domineering influence as adults.

Western domestic law, it's a total failure and would be an absurd joke except that its ramifications are so serious, tearing families apart permanently, depleting every estate it gets its claws into and totally bankrupting everybody's emotions, especially the children's.  I got to thinking while I dined with the empty chair again that, although I have seen recent pictures and obtained a little information on the internet about the doings of my oldest and youngest sons, I haven't had a scrap of information about my middle child nor seen a picture of him in over a decade.

I don't know if I would recognize this son of mine, now a man if he's living, if I was looking straight at him while asking him for directions at a bus stop.  I always walk around the food establishment after I order and try to look closely at any man around thirty who is present, but you can't just stand near a table and peer intently at diners in a restaurant so who knows?

Now there's even a wife of one of them in the mix, she too is welcome to come join me for lunch any holiday or birthday there, and I hope the studies I've read about the extreme disaffection and lack of any emotional attachment these victimized children display as adults are all wrong.  I plan to be at the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover for lunch at noon on Presidents Day, kids.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King holiday

It's Martin Luther King Day.  He was born on yesterday's date in 1928.

I don't particularly like the memorial constructed in his honor in DC because its statue is too brooding and makes him looks vaguely Asiatic.  Maybe that's because it was carved by a Chinese artist, you know, made in China.

Dr. King was a great man, an American hero.  He uttered a statement that resonates today in light of the Trump scandal of how much The Donald's election to the presidency was propelled secretly or not so secretly by his comrades the Russians, which seems not to bother many of those who voted for him at all:  "In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 and was assassinated in 1968.  JJD&L, I'll be having lunch today at noon in the usual spot, please come join me, my treat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

To say goodbye.

I went to church last month to pray for an acquaintance I had the good fortune to meet more than once, the sister-in-law of a childhood best friend who took care of him for months while he recovered from a terrible accident, who was an inspiring person but was terribly ill.  She died peacefully with loved ones around while I was driving to church so I know she was with the Lord even as I prayed for her.

Another loss I encountered last year was a man I chatted up while I was out on a run in early September on Railroad Avenue in my hometown, an African American who had lived there always, in the bad times when there was segregation in the state I live in, and the good times when he could have sold his formerly depressed property for a lot because now it was fronting the W&OD Trail whereas formerly it was merely by the railroad tracks.  He was an interesting fellow, full of anecdotes about the olden times, whom I intended to chat up again on future encounters, and I was shocked to learn from another occupant of that block last month that he passed away in the fall.

We lost notable celebrities last year as well, from the sweet sounding Leon Russell to the caustic tongued Antonin Scalia.  David Bowie who sang sadly about the slow death of Major Tom, spinning out of control in his runaway spaceship whose last transmission was to tell his wife that he loved her.

George Michael who sang Father Figure, a song I'll always remember and that I loved because it came out around the time of the birth of my middle son and I always associate it with him.  Tell my son that I loved him.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I just like 'em

I take lots of pictures.

I carry my Sports Camera whenever I run.

Over the years I quite by accident occasionally get snapshots I like.

My car trips and running sometime take me past memorable sights.

Photos also can memorialize persons I know.

Or places.

Or effects.

Here are eight over the years that I like.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's a new year...

… so it's time to update my profile picture.  The last one was from the noon hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2015.

The new one is from July 9th of last year, when I spent an enjoyable afternoon bicycling on the C&O Canal Towpath with a friend.

Here is another view of that day.

And one more.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A couple of movies, and snow

The first snowfall of the season came today, with bitter cold accompanying it.  I went out for a run as the snow started, but only went a mile as my hands were freezing despite wearing gloves.

Yesterday I went to see a movie at the mall, following a lunch of pizza at noon at the Lost Dog Cafe.  I hadn't been to see a movie at a theatre in over a year.

A Monster Calls was the movie, dealing with a boy's struggles coping with his mother's death to illness, aided or perhaps goaded by the appearance of a spectre in the form of a massive walking tree.  A movie to bring a date to it was not, as it was oppressively overwrought.

But the trip to the cinema was salvaged by seeing a second movie on the same day, Hidden Figures, a film about the incipient American space program as it battled the Russians for celestial ascendency even as it massively handicapped itself by discriminating against brilliant talent readily at hand in the form of capable African-Americans who were denied the opportunity to prove their worth due to the prejudices, customs and laws of the times in the South.  The long-suffering underclass finally overcame the obstacles presented however, a triumph not of the American spirit but of the human spirit in the everlasting struggle against mendacity and evil.