Saturday, February 07, 2015



Some of the News
That may be True

NBC names replacement for Brian Williams:

Geraldo Rivera

Brian Williams

 I note this headline:  NBC to Investigate Brian Williams’s Helicopter Story

 What is there to investigate? The facts and transgression are clear.

Friday, February 06, 2015

family stuff


To appreciate fully the incident of the burglar you need to have a picture of the layout of our house in suburban Philadelphia. Surrounded by stone walls and tall trees, the house faced a small courtyard and a shed attached to a stone building that had served as a small stable.  It had been an adjunct to a large estate at one time housing the gardener his family.
The house itself was of gray stone with upstairs dormers for three small bedrooms.  Two of the bedrooms were reached by stairs off the kitchen while the third bedroom was at the top of a small staircase at the other end of the house. At this other end, we had built an addition with the master bedroom and bath and a large room for our new baby.
On the night of the burglar, staying upstairs in the house were son Rob, 12, Suzy, home from college,  Blanca, an au pair from Venezuela, sleeping in the small room at the top of the back staircase, and Perry, the baby.
On several occasions, Suzy had claimed that there were noises or persons in our courtyard. Never true. So when she woke me up in the middle of the night I was skeptical. After I went out on the courtyard and found nothing, I told her that next time it had better not be a false alarm.
As I passed Perry’s room on the way to the master bedroom, I thought I heard a noise. Peeking in, I saw a man standing inside by the window. Perhaps foolishly, I charged across the room to get him. He hit me with a wooden toy barn but I managed to get the man to the floor and hold him there. Thank God he apparently had no weapon and was not a bruiser, being not much more than my size.
Then the fun began. My wife rushed in, turned on the light, grabbed the baby and carried her out of the room. Suzy called the police. Minutes later, my wife returned with our large white German shepherd, named Harvey, who looked ferocious but proceeded to wag his tail and lick the burglar’s face.  Next, Rob appeared with a shotgun I had never seen before. The gun kept wavering between me and the burglar until  I ordered Rob out of the room before someone got killed.
Waiting for the police, I was just sitting there, holding the man. What do you do, ask if he’s read any good books lately? I berated him for entering our house. When he said that he thought it was his place, I asked if he always entered through the window.
Finally, the police arrived. But they refused to enter the house, saying that the heard the man was armed and had to wait for back-up. My wife told them that her husband was in his jammies holding the man but they would not budge.
Eventually the police back-up came. As they entered, Suzy pointed to the back of the house toward the bay’s room. Weapons drawn, these for policemen rushed to the back and seeing the back stairs went directly to the room where Blanca the au pair slept, scaring her half to death.
The police officers did arrest the man and the next day Blanca went back to Colombia..


Obama Presidential Library

"Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago are all set to submit official proposals to house the library." 

Is Kenya not in contention?

Thursday, February 05, 2015



The recent outbreak of measles in California calls into question the foolish way vaccinations are treated in the U.S. Failure to vaccination puts many at risk, not just your child. Schoolmates are particularly in danger where schools do not have an enforceable policy. Despite all this, nearly all states have a religious or philosophical exemption from mandatory laws. As a result, many are at risk and, surprisingly, Mississippi leads all states in vaccination percentage.

When there is an issue of public health, there should be nosuch thing as a religious or philosophical objection. Religious freedom stops when it inflicts harm to other people.

Note: In some communities, in pre-vaccine days, when measles or other was present, authorities would place a yellow "Quarantine" sign on your front door.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

More stuff for family

Military Service.

When I completed the 18-month Navy program in November 1944, World War II was still raging. I wish that I could regale my children and grandchildren with heroic tales of combat and valor, but I cannot. After a brief period of desultory training in cold, dreary Asbury Park, NJ, I was sent to midshipman school in Chicago.
This was a time of easy courses and much fun. I frequented jazz and blues clubs and for a time dated the beautiful daughter of a Chicago gangster who was murdered in the ‘30s. The only famous musical performer I can remember seeing was Doris Day, singing in the Palmer House Hotel with the Les Brown Orchestra. 
Near the end of Midshipman School, I volunteered to serve in a navy unit called Scouts and Raiders. At the time, this unit’s mission was to sneak into Japanese-held Pacific islands prior to invasion by our forces and bring or send back tactical information.
(“The pigeons always came back”) However, by the time I was commissioned and sent to the training camp we had about run out of islands to invade and so the mission had been changed to fighting as guerrillas against the Japanese in China.
Although we did do some of the original training, such as strenuous swimming and carrying rubber rafts through swamps, the type of training had changed. We had classes to learn the Chinese language (but Mandarin only) and lots of training in judo and other hand-to-hand combat.
My fellow volunteers were mostly a rough and ready lot, big football players and other athletes. One older guy had fought in the civil war in Spain and tried to recruit some of us for the International Brigade. We all partied strenuously. In my more foolish moments, I several times “stole” the Elk head from The Elk Club, carrying it back on my lap on the bus to the base. So I looked very foolish.. I always did return the trophy. A welcome respite from our daily training was when the base commander would summon several of us to his “office”. This meant that he wanted to play an hour or so of volleyball.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

TV Ads

This year, the Super Bowl ads were not the greatest. Some were quite wonderful, but quite a few were mediocre.

In general, most TV ads are pretty good, in content, presentation, and acting. But, for the life of me, I don't understand why one car rental company in each of its ads features an arrogant horse's ass.