Restating the Obvious

A pair of monsters

Fish story

Long ago, when I was a sports reporter and editor, one of my tasks was to edit "Fins, Fur and Feathers," the local column for outdoorsmen. That wasn't the only outdoor column I handled. There was another, written by a moonlighting game warden who had taken a course called "News and Article ...

Book Review 376: Clive of India

CLIVE OF INDIA, by Mark Bence-Jones. 377 pages, illustrated. Constable paperback In 1707 the last man to control a really powerful Muslim army died. This was Aurangzeb, Great Mogul. Within 50 years, Robert Clive at the head of an absurdly small army — in modern terms, a company of Europeans ...

Nixon’s treachery

From the New York Times, a sketchy account of Nixon's treachery in '68, to go along with his secret plan to end the war of '72. Presumably a fuller version will be given in author John Farrell's new book, for which this seems to be a promotion. More interesting to me is this throwaway ...

sultana

Are you in danger from boiler explosions?

No, obviously, at least if you live in the United States. Boilers are my favorite example of why government regulation of business is a good idea, and with a new president and Congress coming into Washington with visceral and profoundly ignorant views about regulation, today is a good day to ...

lodgr

Book Review 375: The Lodger

THE LODGER: Shakespeare on Silver Street, by Charles Nicholl. 377 pages, illustrated. Penguin paperback A century ago, a diligent professor from the University of Nebraska discovered an authentic autograph of William Shakespeare at the Public Record Office, only the sixth example known. ...

Book Review 374: Hitler’s Empire

HITLER’S EMPIRE: How the Nazis Ruled Europe, by Mark Mazower. 726 pages, illustrated. Penguin. If asked to characterize how the Nazis ruled subjugated countries in a word, it would to be tempting to answer “brutally”or “murderously.” But a more acute answer would be “ineptly” or ...

Apotheosis of Tillerson, by Rockwell

A weak cheer for Rex Tillerson

Even a blind sow finds an acorn once in a while. Trump's appointments to date can be summarized as an assembly of imbeciles, some with nazi tendencies. Rex Tillerson as secretary of state qualifies as an imbecile if, as reported by Steve Coll, his favorite book is "Atlas Shrugged." And he is ...

Thirsty yet?

The Maui News story about EMI's water permits led with the Bureau of Land and Natural Resources' renewal of the withdrawal authority, then went to the bitching of the opponents. Only then did it mention what I take to be the most significant part of the story: The daily limit was halved to 80 ...

Not the USS J.O. Richardson

The forgotten man of Pearl Harbor

In 1940, Commander-in-Chief Franklin Roosevelt ordered the Pacific Fleet to base itself at Pearl Harbor. He also poured money into a crash program of fortifications in Hawaii, Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, the Canal Zone and elsewhere in the Pacific. Earlier, starting in 1937, he had ...

sign

Galatians 6:7

"God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform" -- William Cowper For all my life Bible-thumpers have been warning me that God would punish America for its sins, usually with hurricanes, communist invasions, tornadoes or whatnot. We have had plenty of all except the commie takeover ...

Pray you do not get sick, Deplorables II

So the nominee for secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Tom Price, thinks Obamacare interferes in a bad way with the doctor-patient relationship. Price is a surgeon. I wonder what he thinks about the current system. Earlier this month I had to make 3 time-consuming and costly trips ...

Can an itch be a tickle?

Humor is hard to do. Consider the 2016 Ignobel Prize in Medicine, which went to German scientists who discovered (in 2013) that if an itch is induced in one forearm, having the sufferer watch himself in a mirror while scratching the like spot on the other arm will bring substantial ...

trump

Tastemakers

In 1985 I was in Manhattan for a convention. The people I was with were anxious to look at Trump Tower, which was fairly new. They also wanted to see Bijan, a shop in the tower that sold $250 neckties. I had no interest in either but went along with my group. If I had any expectations, they ...

Who is most likely to murder you?

1. A Muslim terrorist 2. A Christian terrorist 3. The gun nut boyfriend that your co-worker just broke up with.

‘Transparent flapdoodle’

I regret I never used that phrase in any of the stories I wrote in my newspaper days. Bravo, Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. (http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-united-baggage-20161115-story.html) He is exactly right about the 'Spirit-ualization' of the ...

Pray you do not get sick, Deplorables

The most unhappy of all Americans following Trump’s victory will be Republican congressmen who for the past 7 years have been declaring Obamacare a disaster and voting every two months to repeal it. Now they can and replace it with something better, as so often ...

Book Review 373: Bankrupting the Enemy

BANKRUPTING THE ENEMY: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan before Pearl Harbor, by Edward S. Miller. 323 Pages, illustrated. Naval Institute Edward Miller’s  “Bankrupting the Enemy” has gained in relevance since it was published in 2007 because since then the attempt to control state ...

You CAN haz cheesburger!

Bring back our industrial jobs!

On a trip to Oregon in August, we visited the Tillamook creamery, where they were packaging 2-pound blocks of rat cheese. It starts with blocks of approximately 40 pounds, which are sliced into 20 pieces. These are wrapped in heavy plastic and weighed. Underweight packages are directed to ...

PAPAL SIN: Structures of Deceit, by Garry Wills

Garry Wills is an American who shares the opinion about papal authority of rightwing hero Lord Acton. But since Wills is an American, he, unlike Acton, does not let the pope silence him. This has led to some entertaining books although his impact on the Catholic Church has been ...