Wednesday, December 28, 2011



For Christmas my wife gave me Christopher Hitchens’ last book: Arguably Christopher Hitchens.   As I read the Introduction I immediately latched on to his essay on the art and science of blowjobs.  The title of the article, first printed in Vanity Fair in July of 2006, was: As American as Apple Pie

Hitch follows the evolution of the blowjob from Pompeii to the New World (America); and he makes the argument that in this day and age, America really owns the blowjob.

Makes you proud to be an American.

The two most told lies by men are:
1.   The check is in the mail
2.   Honest, I won’t cum in your mouth.

THE Ol'Buzzard 



To be truly free would be: to be free of all government constrains – to live a life of independence and make choices without conformity to other people's ideas and desires.   This sounds wonderful, but would require a regression to a hunting and gathering society. 

A free man - Jim Bridger - mountain man

Interaction with society is a necessary evil, and societies need governments to organize and run infrastructures, protect resources, oversee commerce and establish a judicial system that looks out for the rights of individuals.  

Corporations are not people – they are not individuals:  they are gangs or cults that are in the business of exploiting the needs of people in order to make a profit.  Their natural inclination is to make a profit at any cost.  Like any gang, mob or organized group of people, corporations have a persona and the person characteristics of an individual; and, just like individuals, it survives through the Darwinian principal of adjust to change or die.   No corporation operates for the benefit of man kind unless it is convenient for its business model. 

The ideal purpose of government is to furnish and maintain the things that an individual is not capable of alone: roads, bridges, mass transit, health care, police, fire and rescue services and protection of the environmental; but also for protection of the individual from the exploitation of corporations and other cults and organized groups. 

No government has ever operated primarily for the good of the individual.  Our government is no exception.   But now, more than ever, the United States is in real danger of being co-opted and moved in the direction of authoritarian rule. It is not operating for the welfare of the individual, but instead has become the tool of corporate greed and religious cults - whose goal it is to exploit and subjugate the individual.

The trend of the U.S. government at this time, especially as driven by the Republican right, is to go far beyond servicing the individual.   The government is now being manipulated by the class of wealthy people, who profit from the corporations, in order to accumulate more wealth.  

Even more dangerous is the cult of religious extremist who, through the Republican Party, are attempting to co-opt influence in the government, with the aim of creation a Christian theocracy.  Under the banner of ‘less government and family values’ these organized mobs, like a moral Gestapo, would insert themselves into our most private and personal lives; decreeing what we should believe, what we should learn, what we should read, and controlling our sexual and reproductive choices.   They would legislate laws giving preference to ‘White Americans’; they would establish English as the national language and Christianity as the national religion.  These extreme Christian groups are no longer a minority voice, but are represented by the Republican majority.  They would revel in an opportunity to establish Christian Shariah law and bring back the inquisition to persecute those who dare to believe or think differently.  

The parallels to Orwell’s 1984 are startling.   We have lost the guarantee of trial by jury under the hypocritical name of The Freedom Act.   The government now has the authority to access our e-mails and track our internet activity, they can read our letters and even monitor the books we check out at the library without proving just cause and seeking judicial approval.  We can be arrested and held indefinitely without trial and even detained by the military and tried by a military tribunal. 

The loss of these Constitutional rights is trivial when compared to the America proposed by the Tea Party – fundamentalist Christian co-opted Republican Party.   We could find ourselves moved back – not to the 1950’s – but to a new Dark Ages where the Bible would replace our Bill of Rights. 


During the Stalin era the Communist Manifesto claimed that war with the America was not necessary because the U.S would fall “like an over ripe plumb” because of the inequality among its people. 

Communist Russia in no longer a threat and the economic inequality has surely increased; but the real threat is ignorance and religious fanaticism.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Monday, December 26, 2011


Instead of making bull shit resolutions that, we all know, I are not going to keep; on some of my blogs I am going to include things that bug the hell out of me - and that I would like to see change in 2012.   I am going to call it:


Sunday morning I went into the local Hannaford grocery store to pick up some salad makings and a bottle of wine.   I got to the checkout and the young cashier told me I couldn’t buy wine before twelve-o-clock (noon.) 

 “Why not?”  I asked.

“Because it’s the law,” she replied.   

Now, it didn’t take me but a moment to reason that Christian church services run until noon on Sundays.   If the law stated that all Christians could not buy wine until after noon on Sundays – I would have no problem with that.   But, I am not a Christian, so why the hell shouldn’t I be able to purchase wine on Sunday morning?   Hell, the Catholics and Episcopalians are drinking wine in church on Sunday mornings – but I am not allowed the same freedom to access a good bottle of red.


The Ol’Buzzard 


For Christ sake let’s end the Republican debates. 
It is like being forced to sit in a pre-school room and listen to a bunch of  four-year-olds.

Moderator:  What are your thoughts on Global warming?
Candidate:   The science isn’t in yet.

Preschool teacher:  Those are not bugs in your peanut butter, they are peanuts.
Preschooler:   No they are bugs.

Moderator:   What are your plans to improve the economy?
Candidate:    Lower taxes for the ‘job creators’, downsize the government workforce and cut social programs.

Preschool teacher:  What can we do to make our pre-school better?
Preschooler:   Give all the toys to me.

Moderator:   Who’s your hero?
Candidate:    Ronald Reagan

Preschool teacher:   Who’s your hero?
Prescherool   Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

Moderator:   What will you do if you are elected President?  
Candidate:   I call it my FREEDOM PLAN.  I would Invade Iran;  pass a Constitutional Amendment to prevent gay marriage; get rid of labor unions;  allow unchecked pollution from the ‘job creating’ industries; phase out Social Security and Medicare; outlaw all abortions and government funded prenatal  care; cut back all government services for the unemployed and welfare recipients;  do away with taxes for the ‘job creators’ and ‘job creating’ multi-national businesses; require everyone speak English; land mine the Mexican/American border; outlaw Shariah law; require the teaching of Creationism in school; allow all white men to carry a concealed weapon without a license; and make every one wear a “I Love Jesus” button every Sundays.
Moderator: You would really do all that:
Candidate:   Yes, because I love Freedom and I love Jesus; and God bless the United States of America. 

Preschool teacher:  Can we all be very very quiet and take a nap?
Preschooler:  WAAAAAAAAAAA!

It is not like I watch the debates - but I can't get away from them.  When I watch the news it is always the main topic.  
the Ol'Buzzard

Friday, December 23, 2011


A Christmas Greeting from the Ol'Buzzard

Christmas:  Utter Crap.

But the best wishes to you for the holiday season anyway.
The Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, December 18, 2011



When I was in Vietnam my military pay was $1,600 a month; plus, I was making a fantastic $75.00 a month extra for hazardous duty combat pay.   After the war was over I read that the war had actually cost $32,000 per enemy killed.  The cost in American lives in Vietnam was:  58,178 killed, 153,452 wounded and 1,711 missing in action.  

Today I read that, not including the actual cost of the war being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is spending $80,000,000,000 (eighty billion dollars) a year on counter terrorism efforts.   Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.) who served as director of national intelligence for the Obama administration estimates that there are between 3,000 to 5,000 actual al-Qaeda members.   This means that we are spending between $16,000,000 and $27,000,000 (sixteen to twenty-seven million dollars) per year on each  al-Qaeda suspect.

My question is, why don’t we just contract out the wars?  We should hire mercenaries and pay them per head.  Hell, for a sixteen million dollar bounty you could count me in on the hunt. 

the Ol'Buzzard 

Thursday, December 15, 2011



I am trying to stay away from politics on this blog, because I feel like I am beating the same horse to death – over and over and over.   But, sometimes I just can’t ignore the blatant facts when they seem to fall into line to form an obvious conclusion.

As far back as I can remember, since Roosevelt, the Republican Party has always existed to pass preferential legislation to benefit the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations.    Since the time of Regan the party has stayed in office by manipulating the fundamentalist Christians and least informed in our society.  They have exploited racism, religious bigotry, and the red neck mentality to sustain a reliable voting block that they could count on, without actually having to represent them when elected to office.  Their cry has always been divisive; they use patriotism, the troops, gays, God, guns and people not like us as their firebrand catalyst to inflame this constituency and heard them to the voting booths.

Two years ago Republican think tanks found they could mobilize this “base” of their party to visibly disrupt Democratic town meetings and reelection campaigns.   Many Republican Congress persons actually aligned themselves with the movement (Tea-Party) and encourage near-violent dissent. 

The Republican’s aim was never to placate this base, but to use them to gain seats in the Congress and Senate and eventually take over the Presidency, in order to pass legislation to further benefit the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations, and with the aim of creating a Republican dynasty.

The 2010 election, where Tea-Party members defeated the Republican National Convention’s choices for election, set the rank and file Republican hierarchy back on their heals – and they are yet to recover.   

The Tea-Party took on a life of its own; financed and choreographed by wealthy individuals looking for a coup and take over of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has always placed partisan politics above concern for the people’s welfare, and they have governed by cementing a disciplined caucus.  Now, with Tea-Party Republicans in office they have lost that cohesiveness.

They have definitely created a Political Frankenstein Monster that they have no idea how to control.   It is a new era for the Republican rank and file; and we have yet to find out if the inmates will run the asylum. 

A butterfly flaps its wings in South America....

the Ol’Buzzard



My beautiful young wife and I have lived ‘off the grid’ for most of our married life.  We were married after I retired from the military, and moved into a 200 year old farmhouse without electricity, water or sewerage.  We carried our water from the stream behind the house,  read by lamp light, heated with wood, and supplemented our food with our garden; all while attending college for four years.
After our graduation we moved to Alaska and taught school in the remote Indian and Eskimo villages of the sub-arctic, arctic and south-west interior.    We now live in a small post-and-beam cabin (about 800 square feet) in north-western Maine.  We still heat with firewood and have gas lamps installed in the living room and kitchen as a back up for when we lose electricity – which often happens during winter snow storms.

During much of the time we have lived together we have made our own bread.  We now use a commercial bread machine (the Breadman Ultimate) and are completely pleased with it.     I was raised eating white bread (Wonder Bread) but I also ate spam, vienna sausage, lots of gravy and bought Old Crow whiskey by the gallon.   Wives tend to change a man’s habits.

To get on with it, our bread of choice is now a multi-grain.   I am including the recipe here for anyone that would like to try it.

Most of the ingredients for this bread will be available at a health food store 

  • 1 ½ Cups of water at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp of molasses: stirred in until dissolved
  • 1 1/3  Cups of wheat flour
  •  ¾ Cups of Rye flour
  • ¾ Cups of white bread flour
  • 1 ¾ Cups of six grain flour
  • 4 tbsp of six grain cereal
  • 2 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp gluten
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
Select the two pound wheat bread setting on the bread machine.

There is a secret to making good bread in a bread machine.   First of all you must measure ingredients carefully.   Second, after the mixing begins you should open the top and check the consistency of the mixture:  if you see flour in the bottom of the pan that is not combining you should add one tablespoon of water (one tablespoon is usually good - the tendency is to add too much water at this point.)   If you see the dough is wet and sticking to the side of the bread pan you should sprinkle one or two tablespoons of flour until the dough is spinning free off the sides of the bread pan. 

The cycle for most bread machines is: kneed – rise, kneed – rise, kneed rise, and then bake.  Check the time of the last kneed cycle and at that time remove the dough from the bread pan, extract the paddle, kneed the bread on a lightly floured surface for about fifteen seconds in order to close up the cavity left by removal of the paddle.  Then reshape the dough and place it back in the bread pan and put the pan back in the bread machine for the last rise cycle and bake cycle. 

You should get a good loaf.   Bread machines vary so some tweaking of the recipe will improve your bread.  

Bread should sit for cooling on a rack for about an hour before cutting – usually I can’t wait that long.  Hot bread slathered with butter is difficult to cut, but taste great.

The Ol’Buzzard

Friday, December 9, 2011



My wife and I work out at the gym at the University here in western Maine about three times a week.   After our work out we often grab a bite at the UM cafeteria.

It’s not ease-dropping but you can’t help overhearing some of the conversations, and they go like this:
Hi, like it’s been a long time since I have seen you, like weeks.   I told Jim, ‘Like, where has Joy been?   Like, I use to see her in class.’  He was like, ‘Wow I don’t know, like maybe she’s sick’.”

“I have been, like really sick for over a week.   Like, I could hardly get out of bed; like Ohhh, I’m dying.   My roommate was like, ‘I don’t even want to be in the room with you – like you should go home.   But, I’m like over it now. Like, not completely fine, but like able to go to class…

And the conversation continues.

I love the University and the kids that attend here are great, and a positive asset to the community. However, I couldn’t help but ask my wife, “What the hell kind of word is like?”   What part of speech is it? Being old school, I wonder how you would diagram it in a sentence; and if you could magically remove the word from English usage would these kids still be able to communicate?

Like, I know it’s not important.

But, like, I’m Just asking.

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, December 5, 2011



The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act, bars mortgage lenders from foreclosing on active-duty military personnel serving overseas. But in complete disregard for the law, there have been thousands of cases of military families facing foreclosure while a family member was serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Bank of America foreclosed on 2,400 service men during 1010 and 2011. Now that it has been made public and they are trying to quietly pay some restoration.

If you hold a credit card from Bank of America – refinance the son-of-a-bitch with a local credit union and close the account.

The Ol’Buzzard

Friday, December 2, 2011



Hoo hoo hoo
the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Legacy of the Supreme Court


Now that I have got your attention...

We often hear about a president’s legacy.   In reality, a president’s legacy may only last to the end of his or her term.   The next president, along with a supporting legislature has the ability to overturn and undo much of his predecessor’s accomplishments.   The only real and lasting legacy a president can leave (or in some cases inflict) is his or her choice of an appointment to the Supreme Court.

The basic purpose of the Supreme Court as designed by the founding fathers was to guard our basic human rights and to act as an arbiter against rash legislation.

However, the idea of impartial judges interpreting the law flies in the face of real politics.   At present, and not for the first time, our Court is divided by strict political party agendas.   Thanks to the appointments of George W. our court is leaning decisively conservative, and conservative courts tend to champion conservative legislation.

Franklin D. Roosevelt constantly fought a conservative court in the 1930’s.   That Court , under Chief Justice Charles Hughes, moved to invalidate much of Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act.   Their opposition included the right to form unions, the right of collective bargaining, minimum wage, child labor laws and social security.   One of the early court’s claims was that the National Recovery Act was an attempt to redistribute the wealth from one class to another. Does that sound familiar?

Soon our conservative leaning Court is scheduled to hear arguments against Obama’s Comprehensive Health Care Reform.   Conservative Republicans are claiming the Individual Mandate, requiring the purchase health insurance or payment of a fine, is unconstitutional.   Now one of the most important legislations in history will stand or fall by a decision from this divided assembly.

The question before the Court is whether Congress exceeded its authority, or whether the Mandate is legal, through the right of Congress to control interstate commerce.   The Obama administration justifies its Mandate on the findings in Wickard v. Filburn (1942.)   In this case the court upheld a penalty on a farmer that was paid, by the government, to limit his wheat crop production, but grew extra wheat for his on personal use.   The court found that if all farmers receiving subsidy grew extra crops for their own use it would affect the economy of interstate commerce.

If the Court overturns the Health Care Mandate it will bring into question literally hundreds of New Deal cases based on the authority to regulate commerce.   It would seem the common sense finding would be to uphold the Mandate; however, in a court with strong ideological leanings the Justices may very well vote their personal political prejudices.

This brings me to the conclusion of this post: The next elected president will most likely appoint one or perhaps two new Supreme Court Judges.   If a Republican is elected President it is likely that our Supreme Court will be skewed to the far right as represented by the current Republican Party.   We stand to see our country move backwards sixty years, to a time of corporate power and limited personal freedom. Ultimately we will see the undoing of Roe v. Wade and Gay rights; a supression of freedom of speech, a move to control the internet, a laxing of integration reforms, a crackdown on immigration; and a move toward a religious theocracy.

So be afraid, be very afraid: and get out and vote.

the Ol’Buzzard