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Dan Patrick’s dark secret

March 26, 2020

Let me first distinguish between Dan Patrick, the witty sportscaster, and Dan Patrick, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.  The first Dan delighted ESPN viewers for 18 years before moving on to other markets.  The second Dan just made headlines by suggesting that maybe old folks would be okay with dying if it meant a stronger, less-populated America.

Earlier this week, Dan 2 told Tucker Carlson that he would be all in with risking his life to reopen the U.S. economy, and he thought many grandparents agreed with him.  I would like to go on record as one who disagrees.

Growing old and drifting out of the mainstream is challenging enough.  Dan 2, who turns 70 on April 4th, should know this by now.  Wars, economic cataclysms and political debacles aside, we septuagenarians have endured the viruses HIV, SARS, MERS, Hanta-, Ebola and seasonal flu, plus Disco Fever.  Staying at home is not a sacrifice for us, it’s what we’ve been working toward all our lives.

Dan 2 is a ruby red Republican.  He created the Tea Party caucus in the Texas legislature.  He is for charter schools, creationism, Confederate monuments and gun rights, although, oddly, he supports background checks for gun sales between two strangers.  Go figure.

He is against video games, illegal immigration, legal pot and gay rights.  After the Pulse gay nightclub massacre (49 dead, 53 injured), he tweeted Galatians 6:7: “Do  not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.”

While exhaustively researching this post (thanks, Wikipedia), I may have unearthed the real reason Dan 2 is willing to battle Covid-19.  In May of 2012, he had a feud with another Republican.  Patrick accused his fellow state senator of spreading lies about Patrick’s marriage.  His colleague denied doing so, but added “Put bluntly, I believe you are a snake oil salesman, a narcissist that would say anything to draw attention to himself.”

That colleague’s name: John Carona.  Coincidence?  Yes.

for your enjoyment

March 23, 2020

Please allow me to attempt some levity in the clouds of Covid-19.  For the past two years, I have been developing a radio series called “Nuevo Malibu”.  It’s an absurd comedy (unlike Trump’s absurd tragedy) that speculates what life would be like if Aging Orange had accidentally nuked Canada right after his election.

California, Oregon and Washington state immediately secede and form a new nation with British Columbia and Tijuana, Mexico, naming it Nuevo Malibu.  World-weary drifter Clell Landis heads for the new Promised Land, narrowly avoiding an aerial attack by Sarah Palin, whom Trump has appointed as Secretary of the Inferior.

Landis meets proctologist Shay Watt? when a flying Port-a-Potty lands on his foot.  The outhouse, which they name the TURDIS, is a time machine that whisked Dr. Watt? away from Woodstock.  Landis tells her of Trump’s election and bombing of Canada.  They jump into the TURDIS and head back in time to avert Trump.

On their way, they land on the Planet Stephanie, where they meet Mack, a subliminal being who communicates with them through holograms.  Mack knows all and can make anything.  Along with the Narrator, who longs to be a sentient being, the crew ends up in the closet of a 13-year-old Trump, where they more or less make things right.

In the second episode, the crew miniaturizes and searches Trump’s brain for his executive functions: processes like reasoning, problem solving and morality.  They find nothing but some seamy memories of Stormy Daniels.

In the third episode, the crew explores Planet Rom-Com, where the atmosphere sweeps them up in a romantic comedy with tragic results.  In Episodes 4 and 5, they stumble into a turf war at Disneyland between the Walts, characters like Mickey Mouse and Cinderella that Walt produced, and the non-Walts, the more recent additions to the Disney empire, like Darth Vader and the Avengers.

I’m still editing Episode 6, in which the crew checks in on Trump’s Old America and eats at the Caucasian Cafe.  In Episode 7, they play out a mash-up of Casablanca and Blazing Saddles.  In Ep 8, a stunning secret will be revealed about Emily Dickinson.

I’m having a wonderful time recording it with the many talented folks I’ve met through community theatre on the island, then editing it with my friend Dave.  We hope to get back at it when we get the all-clear about the virus.

And all of this is available to you.  Just go to and click on “Talk Shows” at the top of the home page.  Scroll down to the flying Port-a-Potty and click on “Nuevo Malibu”.  Scroll to the bottom of that page to get to Episode 1.  Eps 1 – 4 are already there and Ep 5 will be added this Saturday after being aired with Ep 4 from 8 to 9 p.m. PST.

Please check it out and let me know what you think of it.  I guarantee you’ll get more laughs than you would from a Covid-19 update.



genuine March Madness

March 20, 2020

So there will be no college basketball tournament this year, when my beloved Kansas University would have been the favourite to take it all.  I wish that’s as bad as it will get as we gird for massive casualties.  But with Trump complicating matters with his confusing and self-serving daily briefings, I fear we are just nibbling on the cheese cubes of this shit banquet.

With idle speculation and conflicting casualty estimates swirling around like Hurricane Katrina, it’s impossible to know what of it can be believed.  One study estimates the U.S. could see a million dead and the U.K. a quarter million.  I hope that’s a worst case scenario, but right after it was issued, Trump and Boris Johnson really changed their tone.

If Trump is the GOP candidate this fall, you can imagine the ads he’s writing for the Dems.  I envision a split screen of Trump assuring us it will all go away magically when it warms up in April as graphics on the other side show the number of cases and deaths the day he said that, then spinning like odometers to update us as he spews subsequent bullshit.

It is only as a lifelong fan of absurdity that I can enjoy his surreal attempts to evade any responsibility.  Certainly he didn’t cause the virus, but there’s not enough paint to gloss over his continual bungling of the response.  His moves are almost athletic.  That’s good, because he doesn’t get any other exercise.  No, golfing in a cart doesn’t count.

As members of a highly vulnerable age cohort, Jude and I have wisely, gleefully isolated on the farm.  It’s just the right time of year.  It’s warming up, so we can start on our garden.  The virus will really have to work to find us.  Don’t use public transportation?  Gladly.  Avoid crowds like religious ceremonies?  Way ahead of you.

Our hearts go out to our family and younger friends as they scramble for child care, utility bill payments and adequate food.  This is an extraordinary time that will change our culture profoundly.  It can make us stronger and better people.

And there’s already a silver lining.  Trump dare not hold any of his ego-stroking rallies.


where to begin?

March 6, 2020

Whew!  In Bernie’s brief tenure as front-runner, I tried my best to feel good about some of the pundits pointing out that he might have a chance.  My 73-year-old gut would have none of it.  He would have an upstream struggle against Trump’s tsunami of whale shit, especially in the down ticket races, it kept insisting.

Plus, he recently had a stent put in his heart.

Biden’s crucial win in South Carolina (thanks, Jim Clyburn) and Very Good Night on Super Tuesday did not quite have the ring that all’s right with the world again, but it felt to me like we inched back from the edge of The Abyss.  The markets agreed.

Listening to the millionaire Sanders bitch about rich people reminded me of  the millionaire Trump’s faux rage.  Other similarities come to mind.  Both have merely borrowed a major political party for their own purposes.  Both play the populist card, albeit from different ends of the deck.  Both pursue specious goals like The Wall and Medicare for All with the tenacity and clarity of Captain Ahab.

Even though Biden has enough going against him, I think he’s the Dems’ best hope, partly because he seems to be Trump’s worst fear.  The GOP is already politicizing the Burista thing, but I can’t see that gaining much traction against a health crisis that Trump is making worse with staggering efficiency.  And I will gleefully take Joe’s occasional gaffes over Donnie’s endless lies any day.

After often thinking POTUS had finally pushed things too far, I can’t quite believe that this is the camel-breaker.  Yet I’m cheered that the virus is a narrative that he can’t control, and the turbulent markets are shaking the foundation of his best strength.

Are you still buckled up?


let the obfuscation begin

January 27, 2020

Kate, Linda and Al, thank you for your comments on my last post, and thank you for not giving me up for dead.  Quadra Island is shaking off a rough (not Saskatchewan rough, by any means) two week stretch of winter that had Jude and I contending with frozen water pipes, a meshuggenah micro-hydro system, a broken truck and a long steep driveway that reappeared just two days ago.  So we’re watching the impeachment to relax.  More on that later.

Al, I believe Trump won the election more or less fairly.  There’s no way such a huge, important matter can be done in complete fairness, especially when it involves an Electoral College.  He had the advantage over Hilary due to his lack of moral and ethical constraints, but he just flat out-maneuvered her in the Rust Belt.  And she was warned by her people there that she needed to show up.

I can’t think of any viable Democrat I wouldn’t choose over Trump this November.  I’m wary of Sanders and Warren, though.  Since hysteria is kinda what Trump does, he could paint them as rabid Socialists.  Biden may be the best choice in that case.

But here’s the thing: Trump may not be the nominee.  Since the explosive New York Times report about Bolton’s book, the impeachment tone has shifted.  Calling witnesses has moved into the outer realm of possibility.  Still a long shot, but Trump’s mental and physical health are always at the forefront to me.

If he doesn’t or can’t run again, age will be a factor.  Then we’d see a scramble among the younger Dems, but they’d have to be in the race already.  Too bad, because Adam Schiff’s stock in the party has to be rising dramatically.

And, Al, you asked where the Representatives are.  They are likely watching the wrath they wrought, just like 50 million other Americans have.

All props to Schiff and the other managers.  They did a terrific job of telling the story.  The Republicans have only countered with a lame, arcane argument about process.  Today, it took an absurd turn when Ken Starr admonished the Senate for cheapening the concept of impeachment.  The Ken Starr who obsessively pursued Bill Clinton.  One of the women lawyers, Jane Raskin, got the shittiest job of all: trying to make Rudy Guiliani look respectable.

Let the turd polishing begin.

take time to stop and smell the roadkill

January 18, 2020

Happy 20’s, all.  I don’t have any real reason or even excuse for not posting for so long, other than constantly tripping over my jaw because of the behaviour of a certain megalomaniac.  No one we know here on our island paradise in B.C. can understand how the U.S. continues to tolerate his bullshit.  The only thing reliable about him is his daily lies and distortions.

When Nixon was on the verge of impeachment, I was working long hours in an adolescence group home.  When Clinton’s turn came, I was working on a locked psych unit and simply didn’t need any more insanity in my life.  Plus, I was living in my van and couldn’t get adequate satellite dish service.

But now that I’m retired, I have the time and dish to stop and smell the roadkill.  If I went to Hollywood and pitched a movie with characters like Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Lev Parnas and Robert Hyde, I’d be escorted out of town.  I do, by the way, believe Hyde when he says that he’s never been prescribed any drugs.

The smart money is on a quick acquittal, but I’m anticipating surprises.  New outrages are constantly surfacing, and I think Chief Justice Roberts will do something heroic.  Trump will be further emboldened, and do something monumentally foolish like he did right after he thought Mueller had let him off the hook.

The Dems have a truly solid team.  The GOPers have Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, a man who once obsessed about Clinton’s privates.  The Republicans, sadly, cannot differentiate between the gravity of national security and oral sex.  Even with an acquittal, there will be heavy political consequences.

Buckle up, folks.



worst birthday gift ever

July 21, 2019

I just returned relatively unscathed from the U.S., literally sweating out the start of that massive heat wave until I got to LAX.  I went south to visit family and friends.  I hadn’t  been to the Midwest since 2012, and I had an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

My dear friend Bill was delivering a motorcycle to his son in Ellensburg, Washington.  His wife Leah rode out with him, then generously yielded her spot in their Toyota Tundra so she could fly home to avoid more altitude sickness crossing the Rockies.  He picked me up in Seattle just after leaving her at the airport.

It went swimmingly the first 27 hours.  We reminisced about our wasted youth, much of which we wasted together, and gleefully.  Then in Rapid City, South Dakota, we decided to have a fine meal at Red Lobster and spend the night.  After ordering our meals, I went to the bathroom to pee.

I couldn’t.  I was blocked so badly that every attempt grew more and more painful.  We went to the nearest emergency room, which was packed.  One woman there said she’d been there five hours.  I was certain that I couldn’t bear that pain that long, but my look of distress got me treatment after an hour or so.

I was having my first attack of prostatitis.  Pretty much any guy in his 70’s can count on prostrate problems, but I can’t figure out why Random Chance, in its infinite wisdom, chose South Dakota to remind me.

After some procedures and a shot the nurse said “might soon feel like you’ve got a baseball in your butt”, I was released.  Bill and I drug ourselves to a hotel and heated up our to-go Red Lobster feast in the room.

In the morning, I felt fine, including my butt.  I peed freely.   Bill and I drove the rest of the way to Kansas City, stopping only for gas and a buffalo burger at the famed Wall Drug Store.  The next day — my birthday — he drove me to the Budget car rental agency at the KC airport.

I had rented the cheapest car they had, a manual transmission that no one else wanted.  Problem was, they couldn’t find it, so they told me “how would you like a Mustang at the same price?”  I immediately turned 18, my age when the Mustang was first released on an undeserving world.  “Why, sure!”, I said.  “Happy birthday!,” they said.

So they brought up a new Mustang 5.0, which had more horsepower than all the other vehicles I’ve owned combined.

And it was orange.  Repeat: orange.  It had a real “STEAL ME!” vibe.

Nonetheless, I headed out to my daughter’s home in mid-Missouri.  Problem was, I had to do a 150-mile stretch on the Interstate at the beginning of the weekend crush.  So I was driving a muscle car on the first day of my 73rd year in traffic that was either sailing past me or right on my tail until it could sail past me.

Somehow I survived.  Fortunately, my daughter had beer.  The visit went very well.  I got reacquainted with kin I hadn’t seen in ten years.  Then I visited my nephew, whom I hadn’t seen in 16 years.  Then, some old friends, and my son and two grandsons, whom I hadn’t seen in seven years.

It was an incredibly rewarding and stressful week.  After a thorough immersion in this modern world, I may never leave Quadra Island, or even the farm, the rest of my life.