Saturday, April 30, 2022

Trying to think of a headline but decided to let the stories do the talking

 ‘Company Controlling CNN Debuts New Show Promoting and Sexualizing Teen Drag Queens’

‘Tyra Banks Producing Teen Drag Show For Discovery +’

‘Discovery Announces GENERATION DRAG Series’

From one of the stories:

“Generation Drag follows five teenagers as they participate in the Dragutante, a drag show designed as a platform for LGBTQ+ teens to express themselves, as well as the parents and other family members who are learning to support them.”

If anyone wondered about the future if Disney and other woke corporations get control of state legislatures, there it is.

When new people come in and tell you exactly how to treat the violent patient

From Assistant Village Idiot

“All you have to do is…

“You can find it all over comment sections, including conservative sites we are all familiar with, when discussing education, or parenting, or policing, or homelessness, or just about anything that is difficult to solve.  You will hear variations on the phrase "Well, all you have to do is..." Yeah everyone's an expert. It is maddening to the people who actually have to accomplish the task to have the obvious pointed out to them for the hundredth time.  I once had a well-connected professional mental health advocate go over our heads to the medical director to arrange a meeting about a client who did not feel he needed to be held in the hospital and wanted to be released. Well, we politically** had to do it, so the next day we are in a big room with all sorts of outside (non-)players to put our heads together to see what was holding up young Jason's discharge. After the usual donuts, unfunny humor, political jibes at Republicans, and posturing about previous agency battles they had won by just being right, and insistent, and cleverly rude, we got down to the root of it. ‘Looking over his chart and talking at length with Jason about the situation, the problem is that he  needs an adequate aftercare plan.’ Please credit me for refraining from slapping my forehead and saying ‘Oh! Creating aftercare! Why didn't I think of that! Ma'am, what the f--- do you think it is that I do forty hours a week? He's not ready for aftercare because he's still trying to beat the s--- out of anyone who says the word 'no' to him. Landlords and outreach workers don't like that, no matter how many expensive supportive government programs you put in place.’"

**The patient had pull.

DeSantis Democratic opponent spouting same old stuff

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried ran last election promising to get rid of Florida concealed weapon law. Her latest after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced open carry is coming to Florida:

“We should be passing laws to prevent gun violence and working to fix our state’s affordable housing crisis, not creating chaos to score political points.”

Everybody with sense knows what “passing laws to prevent gun violence” means. “We are coming after legally owned guns.” If only criminals have guns … Well, I’m not sure what Democrats believe about that.



Biden reportedly plans on taking IRGC off terrorist list because … well, Biden

‘Mossad said to foil plot by Iran’s IRGC to assassinate Israeli diplomat in Turkey’

“US general, French journalist also reportedly targeted in planned attack by operative from Revolutionary Guard Corps; suspect said arrested in unnamed European country”

Friday, April 29, 2022

Game observations

 My wife and I sat behind the visiting team dugout, six rows up. Our tickets were free.

A woman sitting two rows up from the dugout wore an anti-COVID mask. In an open-air baseball park.

A grandmotherly-looking woman brought a snack to a grandchild-looking kid. When presenting the snack, the woman sang, "Take me out to the ball park." At the seventh-inning stretch, hometown fans stood and sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." I wondered if the woman heard the difference between her song and everybody else's.

Early in the game, my wife said, "I don't think that woman down there is wearing underwear." The woman was attractive, early 30s, wearing a short brown skirt and a brown pullover shirt. She sat on Row 1, below us. I said, "Am I supposed to look?" Not long after my wife made her observation, the woman got up from her seat and walked past us. My wife said, "See?" I didn't, and not when the woman returned to her seat, nor the two other times she went past me. I attempted to discern if my wife was correct, but it's not good manners to stare too long at a woman's backside.

Thursday night baseball game

Hard to beat an 11th inning walkoff inside the park home run, play at the plate, cloud of dust and the Bradenton Marauder was safe. All 694 in attendance were on their feet for the play.

Final score, 3-2. The Marauders overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to beat the Dunedin Blue Jays. Great final play, the center fielder missing a sliding attempt at the ball, then a relay to shortstop to catcher and  the slide and hometown fans went home happy.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022


“I got 15,000 manuscripts in the first five days. Of those 15,000, I and members of my staff read about 140. And 137 of those 140 were wasted paper; hand-scrawled, laboriously written, therapeutic unholy grotesqueries from sick, troubled, deeply disturbed people. Of the three remaining scripts, all of clearly poetic, professional quality, none of them fitted the show.” – Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone Companion.


You can't control dreams

In a dream a couple of nights ago, I was an Army sergeant, which is okay, because I play that role quite well.

I had soldiers with me. We were outside a large brick building. Another group, wearing PT uniforms, entered the area and wanted to enter the building. They refused to show any ID.

My soldiers corralled the others, except for one, who said he was a lieutenant and in charge. He began telling me why he was going to go into the building.

“Sir,” I said as he went on and on, “Let me tell you yadda yadda yadda.


“Yadda yadda yadda.”


“Yadda yadda yadda.”

I got in his face and shouted, “SHUT THE F’K UP!”

I said it loud. So loud I woke myself up. “Wow,” I said to myself. “I hope that wasn’t out loud.” My wife seemed still asleep. I got up and went to the bathroom, did my business, washed my hands and went back to the bedroom.

My wife got out of bed and went to the bathroom door. She said, “What kind of dream were you having?”

I went through the entire thing and said, “I didn’t yell out, did I?”

“Oh, yes,” she said. “It was quite loud.”

I apologized.

High-dollar universities see no need for men

 “The feminization of the university and the prominence of therapeutic culture have created a perfect storm directed at free speech and reason. In a recent survey of college students, females were twice as likely as males to say that a controversial speaker should be canceled if the majority of students “feel emotionally unsafe or uncomfortable with the speaker’s content.” Males, by contrast, were more likely to support a controversial invitation in the name of academic freedom and the advancement of knowledge. The enormous shift in basic values on college campuses over the last 50 years cannot be understood without taking gender into account, concluded psychology researcher Zachary Rausch on the Psychology Today website.



 The parrots made their semi-annual stopover a couple of weeks ago. They will be back at the end of summer. There aren't as many as in years past, maybe 40 now, down about 20.

I heard the first redwing blackbird a few minutes ago. Seems kind of late for them. 

Some sandhill cranes live here year-round. Last Friday my wife and I were on our way somewhere when three cranes stepped onto the four-lane, two adults and the smallest baby crane I have seen since we moved here in late 2014. Little brown bird, looked fuzzy. The daddy crane led the family. My wife stopped our car. The car to our right did not stop. The daddy crane leaped up and back, wings fully extended and twisting him in the air. He turned far enough, fast enough, the car sped by, the driver's window missing the crane by an inch or less. The car was speeding.

Cranes know they have right of way, but they can't stop speeding cars with unwatchful humans.

Song lyrics for any age in history

"She's so fine, there's  no telling where the money went." -- Robert Palmer, Simply Irresistible.

Gary Sinise moving foundation, family to Franklin, Tennessee

“The Gary Sinise Foundation is so excited to officially announce we’re moving to the great state of Tennessee! We will move into a new headquarters in Franklin this summer, and our very own Gary Sinise also plans to move to the state with his family. ‘It will be very, very good to be in a state that’s connected to seven other states, all of them with military bases and many, many veterans and all those communities around Tennessee,’ said Gary. ‘Having our foundation more centrally located in the country will be a very, very positive thing for the work that we do.’”


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Cotton bolls in class remind SF students of slavery, but UC Berkeley prof says abolishing white people OK

 From The College Fix

“A San Francisco history teacher allegedly was suspended and then forced to apologize for bringing in cotton plants for a lesson on slavery and the cotton gin.”

Teacher was absent from school five weeks and upon return “issued a written apology to school families.”

“The Chronicle also quotes the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education’s Zeus Leonardo who said lessons such as the one in question ‘could be producing harm for the very students the teacher thinks they’re speaking up for.’ Which is interesting considering Leonardo has posited that children are born human but then are ‘“bullied’ into ‘becoming white,’ and said ‘to abolish whiteness is to abolish white people.’”

Link at Maggie’s Farm



Monday, April 25, 2022

Time does not exist?

That is an idea considered by every thinking person, and is quickly proved untrue by the application of: “Do what?”

Now, though, physicists are (reportedly) in serious conversation over the idea.

From Sputnik News

“Future developments in the field of physics may lead to time itself being regarded as non-existent, at least in the context of some theories, says Sam Baron, associate professor in philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

Apparently there are a couple of physics theories that bump each other for transcendence, or prove each other false, or give physicists headaches. Sometimes we might think, “You guys have gone a long way in proving stuff, but, you know, why not give it a rest?”

Those folks who tried to build a tower to heaven got into things they did not comprehend, could not comprehend, and were scattered to the four winds, or however many winds there are.

God made time; man divided time into measurable amounts.

TSTA does fear, science, pro-queer and blame Republicans in one sentence

 'Texas health providers suspending gender-affirming care for kids'

“In response to Republican efforts to limit scientifically-backed gender-affirming care, LGBTQ advocates say hospitals, insurance companies and pharmacies across Texas have already started restricting critical treatment for fear of legal consequences.

While I was looking for an answer to how we got where we are, with any mention of school/teacher responsibility blasted as interference in education, the Texas State Teachers Association web site offered many articles on "Where we are," but none on "How we got here." Go to the site and read the headlines and see the idea war waged that teachers, by their degrees and by training, know more than parents on how to raise kids and certainly are more knowledgeable than parents. As in every other aspect of the culture war, we the people are supposed to get out of the way and let the experts do their self-appointed jobs.


Things are so f'd up this barely makes a blip on the f'd up radar screen

 Oil from strategic reserve headed to Europe

(Bloomberg) — A cargo of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve departed a Texas port bound for Europe, a signal of increasing oil-market disarray as refiners shun Russian supplies and prices surge.

The rare export of strategic U.S. barrels is evidence of the ever-widening search for crude to replace Russian cargoes seven weeks after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine triggered international revulsion and sanctions. With the global oil benchmark trading above $110 a barrel, traders and refiners also are trying to cope with a cutoff of Libya’s biggest source of crude and little expansion in U.S. output.

Not saying I have a fix to anything, just passing stuff on.


They just popped up?

How is it that queer-backing, lesbian-supporting, transgender-inventing teachers just popped up in the last three or five years? Were they hiding for decades, meeting at night, laying plans for taking control of kids from parents?



Sunday, April 24, 2022

Azeris returning home from Ukraine war complain government isn’t giving enough help

From Caucasian Knot

The natives of Azerbaijan, who left Ukraine after the start of the special operation and returned to their historical homeland, have complained about the insufficient authorities' attention to their problems. According to their stories, they have to look for housing and livelihoods on their own.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that by April 9, since the start of the special operation, a total of 6163 Azeri citizens arrived in Azerbaijan. Most of them stay with their relatives and friends, but they need food and psychological support, Azerbaijani public organizations have stated. Refugees themselves complained that they could not find jobs in Azerbaijan.

Lala Babaeva, a mother of two children, is a citizen of Ukraine. She lived in Mariupol for 14 years. Her husband was in Poland when the hostilities broke out; and she had to get out of Mariupol on her own. On the fifth attempt, she and her children managed to leave for Odessa.

Babaeva said that no one met them in Baku. A female airport employee even was rude to her after learning that she was not vaccinated against coronavirus. In the first days in Baku, she lived in her sister's apartment. The state, according to Babaeva, didn't help her in any way.

Nadjaf Akhmedov was the chairman of the regional congress of Azerbaijanis in the city of Dnieper; and he had his own business. He left Ukraine with his family; now they live in Baku. So far, he couldn't get employed. They have no housing in Azerbaijan and survive with the help of relatives and friends.


© Кавказский Узел

UFO report lists ‘unaccounted-for’ pregnancy

Altogether, the Defense Intelligence Agency listed “five instances of ‘sexual encounters’ associated with these anomalous advanced aircraft.’”

The “Catalog of UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects described in descending order of reported frequency, those physiological effects. The effects included 75 instances of reported paralysis, 54 instances of reported eye injuries, 33 instances of reported loss of consciousness and ‘One each of: EM effects on power system, involuntary muscle movement, induced body odor, wart growth, sooty deposit, mental enhancement, mental degradation, swallowing difficulty, teeth vibration, fillings crumbled, hair precipitously turned white, time sped up, unaccounted-for pregnancy, cancer, fever, stomach sickness, physiological energization, loss of smell, external control of vehicle, material evidence.’”

You might wonder if the government agency investigating UFO claims followed up on that pregnancy. Well, keep wondering, because the story doesn’t say.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Inspector Lewis

Inspector Lewis has solved his last case on my television. He and Laura went off to New Zealand. The show ran through nine series.

Inspector Lewis was a police procedure show set in Oxford. England, not the Oxford from which Jethro Bodine grajated third grade. Or sixth, whichever it was.

Oxford, England, has old buildings. Lots of old buildings.

About Episode Two, after seeing way too many old, yellow, stone buildings with black growth, I thought, “Y’all need to rent some pressure washers and give those buildings a good going over.” I’m pretty sure Jethro would agree.

Back in the day, the Russkies, too, had climate-friendly vehicles

The Germans should have known better, but … 1914, 1939. Mistakes happen.

Biden promises “every vehicle in the United States military is going to be climate friendly.” We fight the Russians, the Chinese, somebody like those, on cloudy days … We’re screwed.



Friday, April 22, 2022

Little-known facts about the AR-15

There were no shooting deaths until the invention of an AR-15. No one even considered using a gun to shoot another human being until someone saw an AR-15 and said, “I bet I could use this to kill a lot of people.”

30 or 40 more facts at




Thursday, April 21, 2022

Where have you gone, Buck Weaver?

The Spread, an MLB Network program I saw listed today, for the first time. MLB employees giving daily gambling data. 

Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal gambling investigation in 1970. Dean placed bets for a friend in Mississippi. Wouldn't raise any eyebrows now.

Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn banned Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle from baseball, but the next commissioner reinstated the Hall of Fame center fielders. Their crime? Both agreed to employment at Atlantic City casinos for "meet and greet." 

The country is going to Hell in a handbasket, and you don't need an oddsmaker for that.

Buck Weaver was banned for life because he didn't report his teammates for taking bribes. Weaver refused to be bribed.

Before the Warthog flew

US, RAF, Red Air Force and Nazi flyers used big-gun modified aircraft and rockets against tanks, but results were seldom as claimed.



A Levi’s ad popped up in my Hotmail. Something is missing

First pictures, four people, two men and two women. Left to right – Hispanic dude, white chick, black chick, black dude.

Next series, six pictures, five waist and below, sex indeterminable, one full frontal, black dude.

Next series, one closeup of right rear and part of right arm, white chick.

Next series, three people, one black dude, two black chicks.

Next series, three people in shorts, below waist, above ankle, could be three white dudes. No faces, because, you know, white dudes don’t matter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Burger King Spain uses Last Supper to peddle burgers, Catholics not pleased

Of course the multinational issued an apology.

“In response to the backlash, Burger King took to Twitter to apologize for the campaign. ‘We apologize to all those who have been offended by our campaign aimed at promoting our vegetable products at Easter. Our intention has never been to offend anyone and the immediate withdrawal of the campaign has already been requested,’ the company tweeted in Spanish.

That is what passes for an apology from a corporation that maybe should have thought about that kind of ad in a country that is more than 60 percent Catholic. “We’re sorry if you were offended.” That says, “We didn’t do anything wrong, and if you were offended, maybe you should grow a thicker skin. And get more education.”

Will she go my bail and all subsequent legal costs?

MSNBC’s Dr. Patel: Carry extra masks on planes and force your neighbor to wear one.

Uh, forcing anyone to do anything on a scheduled flight is a federal crime.

I would like to be there when she tries to force a mask on an American who believes in liberty.

When COVID began, those media people quickly took up the standard of “Democratic Party Enforcer,” claiming “The Science! The Science!” Dumbasses.

We should be far enough away to avoid a burn

Hubble telescope picks up five galaxies merging.

Single-star group expected from merger in about 1 billion years.

The group is 300 million light years away, which means if anything happened to nix the joining, we will never know.

Link at Knuckledraggin.



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Where have you gone, Shoeless Joe?

Joseph Jefferson Jackson was one of the Chicago White Sox players banned from baseball for taking bribes from gamblers in the 1919 World Series.

Major League Baseball has no place for gambling, ruled Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first baseball commissioner. In all, Landis banned 18 major league players for taking bribes, knowing about bribes or for meeting with gamblers.

As stated above, Landis ruled MLB has no place for gambling.

Except today, MLB advertises gambling organizations on its MLB TV channel.

The Atlantic did a good job on this six months ago, with Sports Gambling Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen.  A few words by Will Leitch:

"In every Major League Baseball clubhouse, a sign with Major League Rule 21(d) is prominently posted. The rule deals with gambling. It says that any player, umpire, or employee of a team or the league who bets on a game they’re not involved in will be banned from MLB for a year; if they are involved in the game, the ban is for life. Elsewhere in these ballparks are gambling signs of a different kind: ads and sponsorship logos for DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and the like.

"Today, though, the lessons of the Black Sox scandal have been lost to time. There appear to be no such fears about the corrupting effects of gambling, a vice that, like so many before it, has become corporatized.

"The NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, and NHL (not to mention some college programs) have all signed lucrative deals with sports books such as MGM, Bally’s, PointsBet, and DraftKings. The Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting in 2018; last year it was a $26 billion industry. That number is expected to skyrocket over the next decade—especially when a pandemic isn’t slowing down sports. The future of money in sports is gambling, as anyone who watched the first two weekends of NFL games this season can tell you. This tsunami of advertising—and the oceans of cash it generates—puts the integrity of the games we love at risk. For all we know, the next big gambling scandal might already be happening."

In 2020, “sports betting ... was a $26 billion industry.” Somewhere, sometime, money talks will lead to a big time throw down by players or a team. When sports rules makers turn away from regulations and tradition, preferring money, the curtain will hide the man pulling the levers.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Ace of Spades Saturday Night Joke

Only 24 hours and a few minutes late.

An Irishman and a Norwegian apply for the same job. The job they're applying for is at an engineering firm in Dublin.

Both the Irishman and the Norwegian do so well in the interview the boss can't decide who to hire, so he sets up a small aptitude test. Both men again score the same. 19/20 correct.

After some waiting the boss comes through and says to the Irishman: "I'm sorry, but on this occasion we've decided to hire the Norwegian."

The Irishman angered by this says "Surely, me being Irish would mean you would give the job to me instead of a foreigner." He went on a rant about looking after the locals, etc.

When he was done, the boss replied. "Well it's like this. We didn't make the decision based on how many answers you got right but more on the answers you got wrong."

The Irishman, still angry says, "But we both got one wrong answer."

Again the boss replies, calmly saying, "It's not how many wrong answers you got but the answer you gave. On question 7 the Norwegian wrote 'I don't know' as his answer. Your answer was 'Neither do I'."


Saturday, April 16, 2022

It happens

On 29 July 1970, near Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, four men were killed “when the weapon of another vehicle was accidentally discharged striking (a) vehicle. One tank was moving out of night defensive position.  Another tank accidentally fired its main gun hitting this tank and another tank.


It’s that dratted God-created biology that’s in the way

Two queer men in NYC planned on having a baby. See the problem?

Since neither of the men is a woman, they decided to go the in vitro fertilization route  -- fertilize an egg, find a woman in whom to emplace the egg.

One of the men goes to work for the city. NYC insurance does not cover in vitro for queer men.

Dammit, that’s discriminatory! The city’s insurance covers in vitro for lesbian couples! Why shouldn’t two queer men have the same rights?

Well, duck, neither of you is a woman.

Yeah, that biology thing sucks when you get to real life and are no longer under the reign of sodomy.


It's The Bee, it's satire and not far from the truth

Yeah, let’s slap Disney Inc. upside the head because … They are so wrong and even stupider than wrong.



Friday, April 15, 2022

The more things change … You know

One of the most distressing tasks of a university president is to pretend that the protest and outrage of each new generation of undergraduates is really fresh and meaningful. In fact, it is one of the most predictable controversies that we know. The participants go through a ritual of hackneyed complaints, almost as ancient as academe, while believing that what is said is radical and new. – Clark Kerr, former chancellor UC Berkley.

Is "pretending" a way of maintaining peace, or perhaps of allowing students to believe they have discovered an outrage unknown or unrecognized by previous students? Wouldn’t it be more in the making of adults to teach students, “Your protests are the same as those of 25 years ago”?

More honest than some would admit

My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffers from mental illness. I said, "No, we all seem to enjoy it." -- From Maggie's Farm.

(Edited to remove a  bunch of extraneous stuff.)

N. Europe battle unknown for 3,000 years

From Science dot org

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can't be found in any history books—the written word didn't become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology. 

Struggling to find solid footing on the banks of the Tollense River, a narrow ribbon of water that flows through the marshes of northern Germany toward the Baltic Sea, the armies fought hand-to-hand, maiming and killing with war clubs, spears, swords, and knives. Bronze- and flint-tipped arrows were loosed at close range, piercing skulls and lodging deep into the bones of young men. Horses belonging to high-ranking warriors crumpled into the muck, fatally speared. Not everyone stood their ground in the melee: Some warriors broke and ran, and were struck down from behind.

When the fighting was through, hundreds lay dead, littering the swampy valley. Some bodies were stripped of their valuables and left bobbing in shallow ponds; others sank to the bottom, protected from plundering by a meter or two of water. Peat slowly settled over the bones. Within centuries, the entire battle was forgotten.

Historians expressed surprise that a battle had occurred at all, much less one of that size, believing that wars were unknown before the establishment of towns and cities.

Equally surprising was the modern-day consideration of diversity within soldier ranks, DNA showing men from various parts of Europe fought, some whose old wounds on skeletons indicated mercenary professional soldiers.


Thursday, April 14, 2022


My wife spent ages 5-12 in the Texas Panhandle. You can pretty much see forever out there, or at least until the horizon runs out.

A friend of my wife moved from near Amarillo to Lamar County. She and her husband convinced her mother to visit North Texas. As they were driving in North Texas in a tree-filled area, the woman said to her mother, "Isn't the land lovely, Mom?"

Her mother replied, "I don't know. I can't see it for all these trees."

A few minutes ago I took a Google tour of Hamburg, North Dakota, population 11 as of the 2020 census. Quite a few ground-level photographs. Nice-looking place. Only a few trees.

Another town in Oklahoma…

… a truck stop on I-40 had regular unleaded for $2.19, November 2017.

Yeah, we remember who was president then. 

While perusing the interweb...

 …I came across a small town in West Central Oklahoma. A restaurant was on the Google map. Included in the restaurant’s menu were these listings from October 2019:


Okra -- $7

Corn Nuggets -- $7

Fried Green Beans -- $7

Fried Pickles -- $7

Fried Mushrooms -- $7


Cheese Nachos -- $8

Chili Cheese Nachos -- $9.50

Chili Cheese Dog -- $4.50

Those must be some pretty good pickles, and those other sides seem a mite costly as well.

Then there was this:

Calf Fries -- $9 w/fries -- $14

I have eaten a lot of places – Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and some others – but never until now did I see “Calf Fries” on the menu. I have never eaten any, nor do I intend to.

If you don’t know what calf fries are (or even if you do know), take a look here:

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Frank James arrested in subway shootings

 New York police might keep a lookout for his brother Jesse, too.

Judges 9:32*

We set up ambush near a canal. The canal wasn’t an arrow-straight, concrete-lined waterway, but a glorified ditch, a winding, twisting narrow stream deep enough to carry small boats from village to village. Most canals were several hundred years old, dug when the Vietnamese came from the north and took land from the native population or pushed Khmers back east or Thais back south. 

The moon that night was big and fat and rose an hour after I set the squad on a wide treeless point that jutted from the bush and into the paddies. I hated big fat moons, except when on ambush in the rubber plantations and I could see the dinks when they came down trails or across clearings, carrying mortar tubes and bipods and base plates and shells they would drop down the tubes and send toward base camp where my bunk was. Or if I was at base camp, staggering from somebody’s tent and toward my own hooch and maybe had too much to drink, but not enough, because I could still walk. A big fat moon helped then, because maybe I would see tent stakes and piss tubes and not trip over them and fall down and make a fool of myself.

But there, stuck out on that point, with two hundred meters of flat open ground between the paddies and safety in the woods, and if shit got really bad, we would have to run across it ... I hated big fat moons.

I put Allen and his M-60 machine gun on the center of the point, and Frenchy, who wasn’t a squad leader yet, but would be in a month when Ben Thomas got stupid and dead at the same time. I put Allen and Frenchy and myself on the point, because from there I could see up and down the canal and anything that came by. The point was fifty meters from the canal and stuck into the paddies like a middle finger jabbing a message against fate and all that shit. I put Bo, Reese and Jim to watch the rear and the flats that stood between the point and safety in the woods.

The moon rose higher and got smaller, but no less bright. Paddy rice wasn’t tall enough to hide the canal, but dikes near the canal would make anything that came down seem to float through the paddies. Dinks used the canal to bring down weapons and ammunition and whatever else they needed to run their war, which wasn’t much. Intelligence people said the dinks ran small boats up and down the canal at night, probably during the daytime too, but we didn’t have enough people to check every boat that came along. Anything that moved at night was fair game, and it was easier to kill dinks than search them. The dinks knew that anything moving at night was fair game. They shot us, we shot them. That was the rule.

About midnight Frenchy nudged Allen and Allen poked me with an elbow. I looked left and saw a mast coming down the canal and the bulwarks of a boat. A mast? I had figured on a  small canoe, one of those hollowed-out logs the dinks used to take pigs and produce to market, but there came this big canoe with a mast. Allen shifted his gun left.

I had a parachute flare, the kind with a rocket in the end and a cap with a firing pin you fit over the end of the flare, and you fire the flare by slamming the end onto the ground  I didn’t do it that way, but rose to my knees and fired the flare with my hand. The flare whooshed into the sky, and a woman at the prow of the boat cut loose with one of those Chinese light machine guns. She could tell where the flare came from, and she just cut loose with the machine gun, and green tracers whizzed past my head. Then the flare popped and danced beneath its parachute, and I saw the woman. God, she was beautiful, standing at the prow of the boat, one foot braced against the bulwark, the butt of the machine gun at her right hip, and she ripped off a full pannier, right at me.

Frenchy yelled at me, and the woman reached down into the boat and grabbed another pan of ammunition and slapped it onto the gun and held the trigger down. Her face grimaced from recoil of her machine gun or fear, or maybe she grinned at the joy of it all. She ripped off about half that pan and then Allen opened up and stitched her with a ten-round burst. The woman didn’t fall, not right away, and Allen stood up and held his gun hip high and walked his shots down the boat, catching a man at the tiller and another man coming over the side. Allen stopped firing then, and there was a silence and I heard the woman’s body splash into the water. I called Jim from the rear position, and Jim put three rounds from his grenade launcher into the boat, and the boat blazed in the moonlight. The flare danced downward, parachute swinging on a small breeze.

I got everybody out then, running across the moonlit flat ground and into the trees, falling onto the ground and panting like hounds when the fox is finally dead.

Allen placed another belt of ammunition in his gun. He looked at me and grinned. His teeth flashed yellow-white in the moonlight. “Man,” he said, “that bitch had balls.”

·       Judges 9:32 -- “Get ye up, therefore, you and the people who are with you, and set up an ambush in the fields.” -- King James version




Monday, April 11, 2022

No catch and release here



What do 7-Eleven coffee and Ginger Baker have in common?

Both suck without Cream.

An artist vacant

After seeing “Self Portrait” by Gwen John at Ace of Spades, I did a little reading on the artist. I had not heard of her. The portrait shows a youngish woman, pale, whose eyes seem to wonder why she is sitting for the portrait, and she hopes the artist soon finishes.

The bit of reading and the portrait also reinforce my belief that picture- painting artists all are at least a little insane. Apparently, Ms. John did not care much for the world. Her writings indicate she would not morn when she passed from it. The article states that when Ms. John died in September 1939 at age 63, “she appears to have starved to death.”

In Texas I knew an artist who at one time had been very good and even relatively economically successful. His early works indicate a degree of crazy more than is normal. Then he went away for a time. When he returned, now about as sane as everyone else, his paintings lacked everything that had made him good. His colors were nowhere near as brilliant; his characters had none of the outlandishness of his earlier people; his scenes of Texas were wooden.

I did not know him when he was crazy, but I did see two dozen of his paintings in a collected show in Paris, Texas. I would like to have known the artist when he was crazy and good, as well as when he was less crazy, but only mediocre.

© 2022 Robert Merriman

Sunday, April 10, 2022

‘Death is not an absolute state’

From Sputnik News

“The vivid mental recollections that people who survived near-death experiences typically describe are not hallucinations, as some have hypothesized, claims a new study.

“Nor are they consistent with illusions or psychedelic drug-induced experiences, but are rather a distinct cognitive process, claims the research that has expanded on the current understanding of death.

“An estimated hundreds of millions of people around the world have shared unique experiences of unexplained, lucid episodes of heightened consciousness when standing at death’s door, so to say. This is the direct result of advances in resuscitation and critical care medicine over the past century.”

The brain continues to function after heartbeat stops. The study determined “a heightened state of consciousness” following official death.

The last time I saw my father, he was in a hospital bed, watching a baseball game. His actions and written statements led me to believe: Given the opportunity, the soul prepares to separate itself from the physical body.

The referenced study does not mention actions before death, but witnessing and explaining actions after death is not in the realm of human understanding, except with improving technical devices.


AF officer kicked out got paid for six more years

Maj. Brandon Bailey was convicted by court martial in 2010 for drug and theft charges. Due to an “administrative error,” though, he was paid $800,000 over a period of six years.


Just don't move too fast


‘Palestinians vandalize, set fire to Joseph’s tomb’

From The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett joined the condemnation on Sunday of the overnight arson and vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb near the West Bank city of Nablus, saying he was appalled by the images of the damage to the shrine.

“During the night Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb. Dozens of Palestinian rioters in a campaign of destruction simply violated a holy place for us, the Jews,” Bennett said at the start of the cabinet meeting.

“They broke the tombstone on the grave, set fire to rooms in the compound — I saw the pictures and was shocked,” he said.





Blue states: Lesbians, Queers, Bisexes and Transgenders welcome! We’ll pay you to move!

Red states: Touch our kids and maybe we will execute you before feeding you into the wood chipper

From Gun Free Zone

Alabama just made it a felony to transition children.  Texas is right on their heels and Florida has a similar bill in the works.

Blue states like New York are actively advertising for LGBT families to move there.  I’ve seen GoFundMe pages asking for donations to move families with transgender children from Alabama and Texas to Massachusetts and California (I’m not linking, search Google if you want proof).




Saturday, April 9, 2022

A word new to me

Pleonastic. Needlessly wordy or redundant.

Used by Francesca Donato, Italian member of the European Parliament. 

I am not likely to use the word, but it's nice to know it is available.

Life in Kabul

From RT

They are using our cars now,” says Rahim (not his real name), a former soldier. He looks embittered as his eyes follow a passing Humvee. “They are using our weapons; they live our lives. And what happened to my life?” 

Seven months ago, Rahim was part of ANA’s Commando Corps. After mid-August 2021, he disguised himself as a civilian and grew a beard to avoid the revenge of the Taliban. He said he killed many of them on combat missions in Helmand and Logar provinces. Unlike many of his former fellow soldiers, he refused to be evacuated and stayed in Kabul to support his family. Now he works a doorkeeper, making around $150 a month.

“I am sure they will kill me if they understand who I am,” he says.

I try to disagree. From what I know, if the Talibs find someone who served in the police or the military, the worst they do is beat them up or arrest them for a few days. But Rahim shakes his head. “It depends on what unit you were in. They knew we were hunting them, and several friends of mine from the same squad went missing already. They disappeared in Kabul, and nobody knows if they are still alive.”

A woman who works at Kabul airport “has her hair covered with a black scarf and her face hidden under a mask, apologizes for her limited English and starts talking about the “good old days.” She mentions a women’s empowerment project she used to participate in, and her Western colleagues.

I ask how she feels about the new government. She shrugs.


“How are the Talibs treating you?” I ask.


“It’s OK,” she replies in a local language. “But, you know, a Talib is a Talib. The word says it all. And I think there is no future now. Nothing to hope for, really. But God is great, let’s see.”