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Are you doing all right?


"Yeah", said Ben,"this is basically a sports chair, I can lift it into the car easily and I'll pop a wheelie for you after I've had another bourbon."

Dutch had been driving to Chicago and stopped at Ben's house outside Tulsa. They had been fraternity brothers at Yale in the Sixties. Dutch was divorced and Ben's wife Ginger had died three years earlier.

"I admit that I'm shocked to see you in that chair", said Dutch, "how did it happen?"

Fracking bans widen, N.Y. joins Denton, Texas.

New York joins a small but growing conglomeration of states and cities which have instituted bans on fracking, including an astounding decision by the city of Denton, in North Texas, about fifty miles from where I live. The bans are highly significant and give me a shot of optimism here at year end especially because citizen activism has played such a huge roll in these bans. I can remember watching Mark Ruffalo on T.V. a few years back elucidating the health dangers of fracking in his native upstate New York, and truthfully, I thought he was a voice in the wilderness---but his involvement changed things.

Rep. Peter King at the pearly gates.

Rep. King has appeared at the pearly gates and stands gaping up at Saint Peter who is about seven feet tall, weighs in at about 450 lbs and is reading notes from a legal pad.

"I'm a peter too", says King.

"No doubt", said Saint Peter, " says here that you choked to death on a piece of red meat. How did that make you feel?"

Those people down the road.

"The kids ain't comin' for Thanksgiving tomorrow", Francine yelled out to Darrell, who was blowing leaves off the deck in back of the house. "Angie's got strep, so we're going to be alone".

"Well I can watch the Cowboys without all that commotion", said Darrell.

"I guess I can just sit here and eat this big ham all by myself, then" , she said.

Open Thread Miami Book Fair.

The Miami Book Fair will be streamed by PBS again today, The reason I keep repeating myself is that I am beside myself, because I don't have cable, C-span, and book T.V. I can access the content of these interviews.

Today's schedule 12-6 EST.

If you click on "Schedule" on the website, you'll get a list of interviews from Friday and Saturday plus what's coming up today. The past ones are supposed to be available on "Video on Demand" but I don't think they are archived yet.

Jim Webb throws hat in.

I'm happy to report sending a hundred bucks to Jim Webb's exploratory committee for 2016. He is the breath of fresh air I have been waiting for.

All nonsense aside, Webb has great credentials, in addition to which he is a new cut of cloth, a person of experience and substance, and all important and rare in today's celebrity culture--a person worthy of narrative. 

I supported Webb in his Senatorial election in Virginia, an investment of which I am proud.

Well, what are his policies? I suggest googling his announcement video.  


Personas eat policy wonks for breakfast.

I go a little nuts when I hear Democrats talk about the recent election in terms of programs and policies---that we simply didn't blow our own horns loudly enough. We exist in a society so dominated by a media focus on celebrity that no subject with even a smidgen of factual information has a chance of taking more than one breath in a public forum. Last week a space ship landed on a comet---breathtaking. Unfortunately the comet landing was easily upstaged with a camera lens which landed on Kim Kardashian's bare backside. Personally, I did not go looking for Kim's buttocks. But every time I turned on my computer, there was the picture again and again. Kim has reached the lunar landing level of celebrity status---her latest quip being, "One large cheek for man, the other cheek for mankind".  Democrats will win when they master the art of manufactured personas and studied quips, not when they can explain policies better.

The New Malcontents.

After the government shutdown ended last week the title of Steinbeck's novel, "The Winter of our Discontent" kept ringing in my head to such an extent that I drove all the way into Dallas to buy the book at an actual book store which is peculiarly located near that bastion of American History known as the Bush "Library" and its attendant hub of Conservatism, SMU.

Blame it on the Freemasons

When the vote to reopen the government ended in the House of Representatives last night a woman staffer grabbed a microphone and as she was rudely escorted from the hall she imparted to the crowd snippets of her religious beliefs along with epithets against the Freemasons. When the overseers of an institution act like inmates it is not surprising that the inmates become the normal ones.



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