December 30, 2015

100 Words -- Trump vs. The Other Clinton

Donald Trump has launched a preemptive strike against Bill Clinton. Trump will tell us what already know: Bill Clinton was an inveterate womanizer. The idea is that if Bill Clinton was a womanizer, then Hillary can’t be talking about Donald’s sexism. Well, if Trump wants to go there, let’s talk about the other pyscho-sexual elephant in the room, or am I the only one who thinks that Trump repeatedly calling Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break “disgusting” falls somewhere between odd and disturbing? So Donald, how did that potty training thing work for you? Got something you’d like to share? We’re listening.


Thin Ice




December 21, 2015

December 20, 2015

100 Words -- A Winter Memory

Growing up in the 50's and early 60's, you never had to wonder what kind of winter it was going to be. It got cold and stayed cold.  Back then, we drove manual transmission cars. At night, we were supposed to park the car in neutral. One evening I forgot to do this. The next morning, the transmission was frozen solid. My bad, my problem to fix. This meant sitting in the freezing cold, holding the clutch down while the engine warmed up. After what seemed an eternity, the transmission thawed to where I could work the gearshift. Lesson learned.

My father in balmier days.

December 17, 2015

December 16, 2015

100 Words -- Bombastics Away!

Ted Cruz believes precision carpet bombing is the answer. Don’t bomb the city; bomb where ISIS is. How freaking hard is that? Bomb the hell out of them, like we did in Iraq, and then send in 150,000 American troops to mop up. Uh, not exactly. Cruz talks up the Kurds. Marco Rubio wants a Sunni force. But wait, isn’t that Obama’s plan? Anyway, what we really need is to win the social media war. Shut down the Internet! Break those mean old encryption algorithms! Gee, that sounds like a job for the CEO’s in Silicon Valley. Paging Tony Stark!


December 15, 2015

100 Words -- 'Tis the Season!

A lot of folks complain that they aren’t allowed to refer to Christmas as well, Christmas. Call it what you want, just understand that why we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25 -- scholarly research favors a springtime birth -- is still debated. Some argue it was to overlap pagan holidays celebrating the winter solstice. Others cite the belief that Christ was crucified the same day he was conceived: March 25. (Creepy, but the math works.) Either way, December 25 wasn’t official until the middle of the 4th Century. So call it Christmas. Call it the holidays. It’s all good.


December 13, 2015

December 12, 2015

Entanglement

Two things to think about. Then a question.

First, I have read that every time we shake hands with someone there is an intermingling of sub-atomic particles that goes on at the point of contact. Second, there is a property in physics called entanglement, which posits that once two subatomic particles exchange information with each other they are aware of changes in each other no matter how far apart they are.

Question: If two people shake hands are they at some level intertwined -- entangled if you will -- forever, even after their dead? For all eternity?


December 9, 2015

100 Words -- Paranoia Overriding Reason

Tom Brokaw spoke out last night against Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country until further notice. Brokaw was blunt in his condemnation of “paranoia overriding reason,” moving in his reminder of the sacrifices Muslims have made to protect this country. We haven’t had a moment like this since Walter Cronkite came out against the Vietnam War. In that case, the country was ready to hear what Cronkite had to say. And he had a moral authority that few since could claim. I am glad that Tom Brokaw spoke out. I just wonder how many were listening.


December 6, 2015

Morning Frost



100 Words -- Pass the Sang Froid

The British admire grace under pressure. Americans aren’t so big into that. Mass hysteria is more our style. We’re rushing out to buy handguns and rifles in record-breaking numbers. The odds that someone with a handgun will be in the right place at the right time to kill a terrorist are actually pretty small. What’s more likely is that many of these newly-purchased weapons will eventually be involved in an accidental shooting, a suicide, or a domestic dispute. Some will find their way into the black market. One thing for sure, any would-be terrorists will have no problem buying weapons.


December 4, 2015

100 Words -- Fear Itself

Franklin Roosevelt began his presidency with this rallying cry: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unjustified terror.” Well, that was then. Today’s politicians embrace fear. They stoke it, hoping to turn terror into votes. They see what we have become. They see that our star-spangled banner no longer waves over the home of the brave. They see a people grown fearful, armed to the teeth, angry at the world. They make speeches not to appeal to our better natures but to our fear and loathing. And too late, we see we’ve become what we hate.



December 3, 2015

100 Words -- History Lesson

Just got my winter reading, “To Hell and Back: Europe, 1914 to 1949,” arguably the worst 35-year run EVER. Checked out a review of the book, wherein the reviewer nutshelled what author Ian Kershaw believes were the four main forces pushing the continent towards war: (1) ethnic-racist nationalism; (2) irreconcilable demands to realign national borders; (3) acute class conflict; and (4) a protracted crisis of capitalism. I’m looking at this list and thinking about the current state of affairs and going: “Check, check, check AND check.” Then I think about giving the White House keys to Donald Trump. Check, please!