Thursday, September 07, 2017

Irma la Dur

I just spoke with my brother. He lives in Vero Beach, about due east Orlando and directly in Irma's path.  This will be his fifth hurricane,  and he shows no concern. "Just another thunderstorm," he says. The ocean is seven miles to his east, so storm surges are not a threat. Mar a Lago, to the south , lies a few feet from the ocean's edge at an elevation of about eight feet, roughly twelve feet beneath the probable surge. Most of Palm Beach will be submerged as the ocean races west towards the inland waterway. Mink coats won't float, and Bentleys will lose their resale value, unlike my brother's gassed-up Dodge truck. He, his wife and their  menagerie will stay inside and wait it out and look for air lifted mink coats in the yard when the sun comes out. I'll miss those land line calls, though. Cell phones suck in the best of times.
     And remember that a truckload of dry clothes beats a stadium of tearful prayers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

TREACHERY

Dear Mr. Trump, although your ignorance is unforgivable, it is not uncorrectable. You and your racist friends must acknowledge the histories of those confederate heroes you now defend. Each one is represented by a statue or monument somewhere in the south, and they each swore an oath to protect and defend the United States upon receiving commissions when graduating from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. Their defection to the southern rebellion qualifies them as traitors, pure and simple. Here's a short list: Robert E. Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Scores more, some of them infamous, like Longstreet and Pickett ,served in various grades of rank.        
         Although many fought with northern classmates in the Mexican war, they shamelessly volunteered to divide their country. Lee struggled with the dilemma, but fell to pressure from his friends and family, becoming the greatest general of the war on either side. Without his leadership, the south would have fallen much sooner and thousands of lives would have been saved, although in fairness and historical accuracy it must be added that Lincoln might then not have resorted to drafting the Emancipation Proclamation. His was not the strongest voice against slavery, but that's another story, Stephen Spielberg notwithstanding.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

REAR VIEW MIRROR

Today as I browsed the shelves in my favorite bookstore I came upon an anthology of early to mid century (the last one ) articles from The New Republic. I was drawn to those which reported on the Dayton, i.e. Scopes, trial, aka Trial of the Century, which convened long before the O.J. cartoon show of recent sad memory. Dayton attracted the ears of all serious journalists and legal scholars. In the dock was Mr. Scopes, a high school teacher who had tried to bring Darwin to the locals, the latter of whom took umbrage and sought to rid themselves of Satan's messenger. Scopes' plight caught the attention of Clarence Darrow, who went south with his copy of the Constitution. The prosecution called upon William Jennings Bryan, a fire breathing populist and progressive who in his old age had become a purveyor of ignorant evangelism not far removed from snake handling and talking in tongues, two favorite pastimes of the local true believers. Bryan preached biblical literalism, a doctrine at odds with our Founders' message. Darrow easily savaged this drivel, but was ultimately stymied by Deep South sympathies. The New Republic published many essays and editorials about the trial, its participants, and its implications. These articles are a who's who of liberal thought at mid century, and reading them now, one sees a reflection of one's own time and its passions. Whole paragraphs could be pasted into much of today's reporting, with no loss of continuity, but the real lesson, I think, is "time will tell." Mountains of ignorance cannot be bulldozed by millions of pages. One word suffices now as it did then: vote.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

THEY MITE NOT BE GIANTS

The country's foundation is under attack by these insects, guided, we believe, by the Russian , Putin, Mr. Trump's probable mentor and possible successor. Trump's unending distractions deflect inspection by exterminators. Facebook's newsfeed is filled with such distractions, all purporting to be satire or critiques, but they're just deflecting serious investigations of this new administration's treasons.

Monday, April 03, 2017

KAFKA'S GHOST

Jeff Sessions awakens to find himself once more under the bed with no memory of how  he got there.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The fault, dear Brutus


Dick's good friend, Mr.Sube Rozza, posts infrequently on his own Facebook page. Rozza lives in a remote corner of the far west on an estate called Casa Rozza.  He chairs a think tank of like minded fellows of both genders who call themselves  The Ponder Rozza. Here we have re posted his latest remarks for the benefit of those not privy to his page. His thoughts are not unlike those of this editorial board.

News of the election has just reached us here at Casa Rozza , and we are neither surprised nor dismayed by the outcome. Whereas the new president is clearly a self-regarding fool, his opponent, Mrs. Clinton, is a monster unworthy of elevation to office. Her voters were correct in preferring her to the vile Mr. Trump, but far better people than she were passed over. It seems to us that the American electorate is swayed by trivia and bored by significance. Mr. Obama was neither guiltless nor guileless, but his abilities swamped the critics until institutional racism overcame our better instincts and sent to congress those who represented our worst instincts. Some see this as a needed historical balancing, as if too much of a good thing were a bad thing. A moment's reflection negates this. We have had great leaders and bad, and the bad have all brought us to  near ruin, fiscally or martially. We now face the real possibility of the former two in combination, thanks to those of us who fell for Mr. Trump's septic sway. Do not look to the stars for salvation. Look to your shoes, and take steps to organize, proselytize, and sanitize.
    In response to  Facebook friend's  comment regarding any benefits one might derive from star gazing, I went on to say that I have the good fortune to live beneath a sky unpolluted by light caused by mankind. To call it "dark" is misleading, for it blazes with the light of trillions of stars. Most Americans are not given the pleasure and privilege of such majesty, and of those few who have it, even fewer are drawn to conclude that life abounds across infinite universes. Many still believe in a god so small that he created humans in his image and gave them a home alone, as it were. We at Ponder Rozza give much thought to such philosophic / scientific issues as these, but always find that new evidence opens new doors into insoluble problems of time and space. The "Big Bang" hypothesis may be of abstract interest to some, but it explains nothing of the infinity of time, for what in fact preceded it but multitudes of universes that collapsed and exploded? Brilliant minds have broken against such rocks of absurdity, and we are no closer to an understanding of who, what, when, where...and as to "Why?" There can be no Why, and that is what drives us to madness as we murder one another to establish doctrinal supremacy. And yet one continues to gaze upward, fingers crossed.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

JUST FOR YOU

A maggot on the right wing's
rotting corpse
laid by flies that ate
from dog turds
in the park?
An orange peel dropped
as garbage trucks
chugged off
to drop their loads
in city dumps?
The world will hold its breath
while Donald Trump cavorts
beneath the hugest flag
that ever flew,
and don't forget,
he does it just for you.