Sunday, February 25, 2018


After the Revolutionary War the U.S was broke.  The government could not afford to pay, equip and maintain a large standing army.  

On December 15, 1791 the Congress addressed this issue by enacting the Second Amendment to the Constitution to federally mandate state militias.  
Five months later they passed the Military Act of 1792 conscripting all “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company.  

Where available men were to be issue a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets and a knapsack.   Men owning rifles were required to provide their own rifle, a powder horn, ¼ pound of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch and a knapsack. 

Congress declared that in times of imminent invasion or insurrection the President had authority to take command of the State militias.   This authority was used to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The purpose of the Second Amendment was to establish militias and defined the right of citizens to own guns as necessary to insure the militias were properly armed.

This Second Amendment right to bear arms has been totally taken out of context. 

Remember when Sarah Palin said that Paul Revere's ride was to inform the British that Americans would not give up their guns?   People believe what they want to believe.

The Second U.S. Congress did not enact the Second Amendment to insure some moronic would be able to take an assault weapon into McDonald’s to buy a hamburger. 


Seventeen kids killed in Florida in yet another school shooting.   The White House in confusion trying to cover for an infantile President.   Gun nuts raving in letters-to-the-editor in local newspapers.  Climate change regulations being undermined by deniers.  Nuclear war being threatened by both the United States and North Korea.    A ridiculous crisis unfolding every day.  

And I am thinking about posting a slow cooker recipe!

the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, February 22, 2018


1.     Stop the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons and all accessories and kits immediately.

2.    Enact a buy-back of assault weapon clips and large capacity clips for any weapon.  Limit gun makers to the production of civilian available clips holding a maximum of eight rounds.    Enact a $500 fine per clip for anyone found in possession of a large capacity magazine.

3.    Enact background checks and a waiting list as a requirement for the sell of any firearm – including gun shows and private sales.  Fund law enforcement agencies to include the ability to perform background checks. 

4.    Charge any gun owner as an assessor to any crime committed with his or her firearm – to receive a comparable sentence.

There was an assault weapons ban enacted in 1994; but George W Bush and Republicans allowed it to expire in 2004.  

All Republican law makers and some Democrats try to pretend that implementation of reasonable gun safety restrictions is too difficult, and that we must settle for more comprehensive background checks and mental health treatment – whatever that means. 

The will to pass gun safety laws is corroded by the money lawmakers accept from gun manufacturers and gun advocates.   Their jobs, there positions are more important to them then the gun carnage we face every single day in this country.   These lawmakers are complicit in every death that occurs from assault weapons and guns with large capacity clips. 

  the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, February 15, 2018



Seventeen high school children killed in Florida; or should we say, just another school shooting.

Canadian children and U.S. children are homogenous.  Some small percentage of Canadian children suffer ridicule, depression and bullying just like American kids.   Yet, Canadian children do not attend school every day in fear of carnage. 

The reason is obvious: Canada has strict gun control laws.

Any politician that talks publicly about background checks and mental health, to distract from the elephant in the room - guns, is complicit in the death of all the children that have died of gun violence over the past decade.    They may as well have stood at the scenes of the shootings and pass the clips to the shooters.

the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


This is the two hundredth anniversary of Mary Shell’s Frankenstein.  This story has been interpreted in so many different ways, and portrayed differently in dozens of movies, that we often lose the thread that this was written strictly as a horror story. 

Mary, her lover Percy Shelly and John Polidori, while visiting Lord Byron, decided to have a competition to see who could produce the best horror story.   Mary produced Frankenstein while John Polidori produced The Vampyre – the basis for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

In the book, ‘The monster’ is not some stumbling halfwit with a killer instinct, but an intelligent creature alone and out of place in a cruel and intolerant world.

Scholars continually dissect the story and try to attribute their own interpretation as the meaning that Mary Shelly intended (check out YouTube.)

Any story that has remained a popular icon for two hundred years has to be considered a classic.   The word Frankenstein in now in our lexicon and the story firmly rooted in our culture.    

The real depth to Mary’s story is that it illustrates so many human frailties, it can reach each of us on a personal level. 

There are many analogies that can be made to the story: a creation of man - that loses control of his creation and takes on a life of its own.

The Monster

My favorite representation of ‘the monster’ occurs in Penny Dreadful – available on Netflix. 

You might want to make this one of the books on your bucket list.
the Ol'Buzzard


My wife and I just saw the movie The Post: the story of the release of the Pentagon Papers by the Washington Post. 

The Pentagon Papers proved that from the start of the Vietnam war the government knew we could not win.   There was no strategy to win.

58,000 men died in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands came home wounded in body or mind.   I saw young men dead and stacked like cord wood on pallets waiting for the C-130.   Young men coming home with colostomy bags and arms and legs missing.   A young girl yelled at me, ‘How many babies did you kill?’ when I got off the plane in California on my way home. 

The reason we couldn’t win, in my opinion, was North Vietnam was being trained, supplied and supported by China.   There were Chinese regular troops in the North and an attack on the North would have brought China into the war. 

The whole reason we were there, I believe, was the U.S. saw China a future threat and wanted to have a nuclear capable airbase, within striking distance, on the southern border of China.   No one in the government gave a rat’s ass about South Vietnam. 

I have never understood why Vietnam vets celebrate the government.   We should all be mad as hell and understand that the government uses the military as pawns on the chess board, while the players sit in Washington safe with their deferments.  

Anyway, the movie was great – a must see.  It is applicable to what is happening today between the government and the news media.

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, February 12, 2018


MARK 16-18

I never go to church suppers, I am suspicious of the Kool-Aid. 
the Ol'Buzzard


During my lifetime I have owned 24 automobiles, eight of them trucks.   Of those eight trucks six of them were four-wheel drive.   I now own a little Toyota RAV-4.   

Those four-wheel drive trucks had bulk, high clearance, and powerful V-8 engines.   But none of those trucks handled as well on icy slick roads as this little RAV-4 with all-wheel drive.  

The wheels on this car drive independently.   If one wheel loses traction the other three immediately adjust to compensate.   I don’t have the bulk, the power or the clearance, and I only get 24 miles to the gallon; but this little car safely outperforms those four-wheel drives on our icy Maine roads. 

My car is a 2012 I bought new in 2013, along with the 10-year extended warranty.   We paid it off this year and I intend to keep it for at least another five years.   This year I am going to have to replace the front brake shoes; but otherwise it has been maintenance free.
If you are thinking about buying a vehicle you might want to consider a Toyota Rav-4.

I sure like mine.
the Ol’Buzzard

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Disregarding the story of the flood that would have mixed salt water and fresh water and killed practically all the fresh and saltwater fish species on earth; the story of creation also has so many inconsistencies as to be absurd. 

The Christian story of creation always supposes that God made man in his image: white and Homo Sapiens.   Yet, we know that Homo Sapiens originated in Africa which means that the original Eve was African.

And logically, if there were a creator of the human race it would have to be female

the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, February 4, 2018


I know that there are a lot of people that dislike the Patriots.   Any team that seems to hog up the winning spotlight usually has many detractors; but we in New England love our Patriots like Texans love the Cowboys (Jackiesue.) 

Regardless of you feelings toward the Patriots, if you are a football fan this could be a exciting game.  Both teams are tied at 13 - 3 and both teams have averaged 28.6 points per game.

The eagles have the best rushing team, but the Patriots may have the best play calling because Brady has seen it all before and can change the play at the line of scrimmage.   Both teams have and excellent passing game.

For Eagles
 Total Yards vs Opponents       790 to 614
Passing yards vs Opponents:    584 to 458
Rushing yards vs Opponents:   206 to 156

For Patriots
Total Yards vs Opponents:       782 to 641
Passing yards vs Opponents:    635 to 475
Rushing yards vs Opponents:    147 to 166

Should be a damn good game if both teams play to their capability.


Eugene Robinson is one of my favorite journalist.   He often appears on MSNBC and is syndicated in 262 newspapers.   In 2009 he was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his commentaries during The Barack Obama Presidential campaign. 

A few months ago, Robinson briefly commented about his experience growing in up the 1950’s in segregated South Carolina.   During that same time, I was a teenager in the Delta of Mississippi.   However, our experiences were quite different.

Eugene could only drink from the colored water fountain down town; he had to sit in the colored section of the bus station; he could not begin school in the white elementary school; he was not welcome in white restaurants.   The segregated culture of South Carolina tried to impress on him that his worth was not equal to the white children in the town. 

Besides his journalism acumen I have a great respect for Eugene Robinson as a man.

the Ol’Buzzard

Friday, February 2, 2018


This man is cruel, vengeful, capricious, jealous and wrathful

and he is made in this image

So why do so many people follow them?
the Ol'Buzzard


Let’s face it, there is something in each of us that someone dislikes.    Some people are more offensive than others; but we all have our own aggravating quirks.

This said, sometimes we find amazing abilities in even the most distasteful people; and we should be able to separate that distinction and accept their contribution on its own merit.

Gauguin was truly a self-centered despicable person; but his paintings are beautiful. 

van Gogh was a genius; but a sick genius.    I am sure he was a trying person to be around.

Mel Gibson’s Hamlet is outstanding.

Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven is one of the best westerns ever made.

Kevin Spacey in the Shipping News is only one among his contributions.

And then we have Donald Trump: a truly despicable person with no saving graces.   Some people are just worthless and live as a parasite on the earth.

the Ol'Buzzard


My wife and I eat out a lot.   Any time we leave the house there is an eatery somewhere in our plan for the day.

I refuse to be seated next to a table with children.  There should be an adult section where you don’t have to pay for a meal and eat it next to a misbehaving child. 

I hate people that sit in a public restaurant and carry on a conversation in a stage voice.   It is also annoying to sit next to a table where one person just won’t shut up – they hold court and drone on and on – I feel sorry for the other people at their table – I think, for god’s sake take a mouthful and give everyone a break of dead air.

Two days ago, my wife had an appointment in Brunswick (Maine.)    The sea food restaurant we usually go to was closed, so we road fourteen miles out onto the islands to another seafood restaurant – but it was closed. 

If you ever come to Maine Cook's restaurant on Bailey's Island it the place to eat; but it was closed.

We hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so we stopped at a mall before heading back home and found a cafĂ© that looked not fast food.   When we entered I knew we were making a mistake: Fox news was playing on the large TV over the bar.  We ordered off the sea food menu and settled in.  Shortly, a loud mouth came in and stated for all to hear that he voted for Trump.  Every comment after that was intended for the whole restaurant.  On top of that, the food was bad, and the bill came to fifty dollars.

Sometimes you just have to write off a day as bad news.

The Ol’Buzzard