Tuesday, April 30, 2019


The Democrats are split whether to bring impeachment charges against Trump.   Some say impeach and others say hold investigations, but let the election defeat Trump.

Argument for Impeach:
It is obvious that the House would vote to impeach, but the impeachment would never pass the Republican controlled Senate.   However, not to bring charges of impeachment would set a precedence for future Presidents to defy congress: to refuse subpoenas, circumvent the law, and behave outrageously.   Not to bring articles of impeachment for obvious Presidential corruption is a dereliction of duty.   Even though the Republican Senators would back the President; their individual vote could be touted to defeat them at their next election.   Lastly, there is no guarantee that Trump will not be reelected for a second term if allowed to run again.

Argument against impeachment:

The public is tired of the constant outrage against a President that according to Robert Mueller did not conspire with the Russians to corrupt the 2016 election.    To continue with attacks to remove the President would be seen as partisan and turn off many of the voting independents, possibly costing the Democrats the next election.  We are too close to the next election and since the impeachment would die in the Senate, the Republicans could run on the mantra that Trump was the object of a ‘witch hunt’ and that since Democrats could not impeached him, he is vindicated of all charges. 

My opinion:

Democrats are pussies.   Republicans would not hesitate to bring impeachment proceedings against a Democrat President on the flimsiest of charges, and would control every news cycle with their outrage. 
Democrats are always too concerned about ‘friends across the aisle,’ the perception of over reacting, political correctness and retaliation by Republicans; so they hesitate and hold hearing, and hope the situation resolves itself. 

Not to impeachment a President that has violated his oath of office numerous times and behaves outrageously, even though you know it will die in the Senate, is a dereliction of duty.   Not to hold this president accountable relinquishes oversight control of Congress to the Executive and invest the Executive branch with powers that move this country toward dictatorial government. 

The rule of law, that no one is above the law and our Constitutional government is at stake.

the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Often people who flaunt their desire to be seen as Buddhist talk about Karma.   Even Buddhist priest will bring up the subject of Karma.

In actuality Karma is a Judaeo/Christian concept: the idea that you will somehow be punished for your bad deeds.   Christian preachers tell you if you don't drink the cool-aid you are going to Hell – that’s Karma.   I use to have a high school English teacher who would, when I had committed some infraction, look me in the eye and say, ‘Be sure your sins will find you out.’   She believed in Karma.

In reality, life doesn’t work that way.  Good people suffer or die horribly every day, while evil villains often flourish.   It is more a matter of chaos: being in the right place or being in the wrong place at a particular time, and making some decision that results in a later outcome.   A good or bad outcome, retribution, has nothing to do with it.  There is no cosmic scale that balances good and evil.   We blunder through life and sometimes we get away with it and some time we do not.

Sometimes Karma is a bitch.
the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, April 25, 2019


I like Buttigieg, I like Bernie, I like many of the Democrats running for President in 2020; but Kamala Harris is a candidate can beat Trump and has the moxie to deal with Republican in the Congress.   She is a kick-ass, take no prisoners politician - and what this country needs for a President.  

Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.  It is time for idealism and liberal social attitudes to be put aside.  It is time to run a tough, down to earth, realistic candidate for the Democrat nominee. 

Tune into Kamala Harris.  This is a woman that can turn out the African American and Hispanic vote that was missing in the Hillary campaign.  

She is for doing away with privately run prisons, legalizing marijuana and legalizing prostitution: put that in your pipes snow flakes.  

She has everything.

Check her out.
the Ol'Buzzard



the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, April 21, 2019


There is so much emphasis on dieting and healthy eating as you start to age, but other than mention the need to exercise there is very little prescription.    Perhaps that is because we have to eat daily but we don’t have to exercise, so it is easy to just veg out in front of the computer or TV.

Some people try the gym; but that requires the effort to daily dress and travel, and a cost that is prohibitive - and very few make the gym a lifetime option for exercise.   Some people buy DVD or TV exercise programs – but most people won’t stick with these.

As an octogenarian, I’m in pretty good shape.  I have good upper body strength.  My arms don’t sag, I can tighten my pecks, and though I am somewhat overweight (205 lbs.  – I would like to be about 180) I can even crunch my stomach muscles.

I have posted about this before.    For about the last ten years I have (pretty much) daily worked out for 15 minutes on a Total Gym. 

About ten years ago I bough mine through Target.   I have the Total Gym 1400 that now cost about $250.  There is the Total Gym Optima that is just as good as the one I have that you can get online of $180 – there is no need to spend more than this. 


I have mine set up in the room with my computer and first thing in the morning I drink a small glass of orange juice to replace electrolytes and then spend 15 minutes on the TG and 5 min. meditating.    I do my exercises without a break in-between so there is an aerobic component in my program.

During the summer I mow the lawn and take care of post-winter maintenance; and during the winter I snowblow my drive, shovel where needed and haul firewood for the wood stove.   Sometimes I try to walk a couple of mines on the road in the summer time – but fine it boring after a while.    But the Total Gym is easy, available, quick and effective.

People that read my blog know I don’t advertise products, but when I find something I like (slow cooker, bread maker…) I post about it. 

Strength is so important as we age.    If you are retired, aging and sedentary you might consider a Total Gym for a daily fitness routine.

the Ol’Buzzard

Friday, April 19, 2019


The legend of Easter (Eostre) eggs dates back to the celebration of Ostara, the Goddess of Spring, who allowed her familiar, the rabbit, once a year, to bring colored eggs for the children in celebration of the new season. 

Christians co-opted the Pagan ritual for Easter: which makes no sense.

the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, April 18, 2019


The dog excitedly looks out the window at his returning master and says:

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, she’s coming home!  I love her so much.

The cat says:

There she is.  It’s about fucking time.  My food bowl is empty and my litter box needs cleaning.  

the Ol'Buzzard


The fire of Notre Dame Cathedral was a tragedy for Humanity.   Not because of the religious connotation.   

As a religious icon the Cathedral should bring to mind the viciousness of a religious state.  At the time of the building of Notre Dame the Catholic Church, which six hundred years prior had ushered in the Dark Ages, was instituting the Inquisition.   Thousands of people were consequently burned at the stake, or crushed, or tortured and murdered in the name of God, in the most diabolical ways imagined.

 The tragedy of the destruction of Notre Dame is that it stands as a monument to the marvelous evolution of mankind.   That architects, stone masons and carpenters in the twelfth century could construct such a magnificent edifice, with such primitive construction equipment, is astounding.

The beauty of the Notre Dame Cathedral, with its architecture, stone carvings, sculptures, stained glass, wood and textile artistry, speaks to the higher nature and achievements of our species, within a mere four million years from when the first bipedal ape walked across the plains of Africa.

We are truly a magnificent species, though our egocentricity and proclivity for violence will ultimately bring about our own demise. 

On another level, the fire of Notre Dame is a warning that nature can erase us and our achievements in a brief moment. 

the Ol’Buzzard


But He Can’t Win!

Buttigieg is young, extremely intelligent; a shoe in for the Liberal Democratic Party Primary.    But winning the primary in a progressive party does not represent a win for the Presidential election.

We just saw the tip of the iceberg in homophobic protest at Buttigieg’s last public appearance.  Can you imagine the vile posters and placards - the vehemently nasty protesters that will attend any appearance at a Buttigieg rally? 

When Maine proposed a gay rights amendment the Catholic church of Portland led the opposition.   They actually took up collections during services designated to defeat the amendment.  Fundamentalist Christians showed up at the State House screaming and shouting biblical versed with chants of ‘Abomination’ during hearings. 

The Baptist, Presbyterians, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seven Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses would eat their children before they would vote for a gay couple in the White House.

Whether we like it or not, the United States is a religious nation; and religious pedagogues hold sway over their congregations.

The most important object of the next election is to defeat Donald Trump and the far-right conservative party.

As much as it pains me, I feel that if the Democrat Party selects Buttigieg for the Democrat nominee, we will see four more years of Donald Trump as President. 

Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.

the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


The first time I ever saw a TV was in the late 1940’s in Chicago.   It had a round screen about eight inches in diameter and the picture was so snowy you could barely make out details. 


The next time I saw a TV was in the early 1950.   My uncle and his wife had one of the first TV in our little Mississippi Delta town.  It had a 16-inch screen, black and white.   My uncle had bought a plastic film that adhered to the TV screen: the film was blue on the top, yellow in the middle and green on the bottom; which gave a vague allusion to a color picture.  They could receive two channels with their outside antenna, but the picture was grainy and often became unfocused. 

I am sure that young people today would not understand what I am talking about when I say that both radios and TV’s of that era operated with vacuum tubes.

I could never have dreamt of living in a time of current technology.   What will technology be like when the young people of today reach my age? 

It is mind blowing
the Ol’Buzzard  

Saturday, April 13, 2019


Anne's blog The Gods are Bored, always a good read.  As a comment on one of my post she asked about books her students might enjoy.  The book I had posted of the Flavia de Luce series is more on and adult level and probably not appropriate for young children.

For my first six years teaching I taught in a multi-classroom school, grades three through six, and had complete autonomy on my class schedule.   I would read to my student every day for fifteen minutes before lunch, and in the afternoon I set aside a twenty minute for the students to read. 

There are so many great books it is hard to pick just a few; but even if you are not a teacher, the three books I mention here would be great gifts for young people.

If I had to pick a favorite author it would be Farley Mowat.  I have spent many years in the Arctic, and though I am now in Maine, I still have the Arctic in my soul.

Two great children’s books by Farley Mowat that would introduce young people to another culture and another environment, are Lost in the Barrens, and the follow up The Curse of the Viking Grave. 

In the first book a young white boy and an Athabaskan Indian boy become lost in the arctic barrens and survive for the winter before being found by Eskimo hunters.   The second book is a great adventure of the two friends.

Mowat did a wonderful arctic research book (The Siberians) which explored how Siberians dealt with the arctic environment: with food growing, architecture etc.  This was during the time of the Cold War, and as a result of his travel in Siberia he was banned from entering the United States.   What a disgrace – a perfect example of US ignorance.

Many years ago, my wife and I visited Plymouth Plantation.    At the Plymouth museum I bought a diary of a young girl that came to America on the Mayflowers: A Diary to the New World – the diary of Remember Patience Whipple.   I found it still available on Amazon.

I was teaching multi-classroom in a remote Alaskan village, and Mayflower history meant absolutely nothing to the Indian children – it was culturally foreign. 

On the exact day of the Mayflower departure I read the girl's first entry, and every day I started class with her entry for that day.  Soon the children were enthralled.   We went out and drew the exact dimensions of the Mayflower on the road and  crammed in as many of the other students that were available into that tight space, then my students realize how crowded the ship was on the long and arduous journey – it is almost unbelievable you could get that many people into such a small space and sail across the ocean. 

There are other great books, but these are three that come to mind.

Teaching is a burnout occupation.  There are difficult kids to contend with, and classrooms that are too large.  Parents are always critical and most often don’t understand that their little darling may be an asshole in class.  The School Board is made up of people who have never taught one day in a classroom and has its own political agenda.  Tenure is often tied to students passing ‘standardized test.’  Teachers are continually tested and are required to continue with their own education to stay certified.  Many teachers have higher degrees than the local bank president; but are paid blue collar wages.  

Still teachers teach.    The greatest respect to you Anne Johnson.

the Ol’Buzzard


Death exists in the past
Death exists in the future

Mankind’s effect on the environment is multitudinous. 

I cannot help but believe mankind as the future cause of the death of our environment, and mankind itself will be part of the pollution. 

There are over seven billion people on the face of the earth and before the next millennium those seven billion people will be dead.  

How to dispose of seven billion bodies?   Some will be cremated, and that is a sensible solution; but many are still electing to bury the dead.

What a waste of land that could be used in farming, housing or commerce.  

Fifty years after you are dead no one will remember you; and yet, if you are buried, you will be occupying space that could be better utilized – and to what purpose?

Walking through some of the old Maine cemeteries I find the stones interesting.  The death mask and epitaphs, the year born and died are a marker for a time in history.    Burying was practical back then; crematoriums were not available and the world had less than a billion people (1700’s estimated 700 million.)

Today, and into the future, burying the dead is pollution. 

Have a happy weekend
while you still can

the Ol’Buzzard

Friday, April 12, 2019


The tenth Flavia de Luce novel has just been released.  For those of you that have not met Alan Bradley’s twelve-year-old sleuth I would recommend you begin with the first of the series: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  

There is no better introduction to young Flavia than her own words:
I’d like to remark at the onset that I’m a girl with better than an average brain.   Just as some people are given the gift of a singular and often quite remarkable talent – such as Violet Cornish’s uncanny ability to break wind to the tune of “Joy to the World” – I myself, in much the same way, have been blessed with powers of logical thinking.  As Violet could easily confirm, it’s something you’re born with, and then improve by much practice.”

This is the beginning of volume ten: The Golden Tresses of the Dead.

I am not into children’s literature, or literature about children; I don’t particularly like children;  but I make the exception with the Flavia de Luce mysteries.  These are a damn good read.

I dare you to read the first one and then not continue with the series.

the Ol’Buzzard


I filed my federal income tax earlier because I wanted my refund; but I held off on my state income tax because I knew I would have to pay in.    I almost forgot to file state until I received a letter from my cousin and she mentioned she had to still file state tax.

so this is a reminder - in case anyone has forgotten.
the Ol'Buzzard

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019


Before, I have mentioned that we have four distinct seasons in Maine: Snow Season; Mud Season, Bug Season and Color Season.  

Now we are beginning Mud Season.  We still have about eighteen inches of standing snow with three-foot banks.  The snow melt has turned all non-paved roads to mud.

The poor cats still can't see out the back windows

And more snow to come tonight. 

We have a storm predicted for tonight and tomorrow that is suppose to lay down another four to eight inches of wet snow that will quickly melt making the roads even more unstable.  

Logging trucks are prohibited from driving on back roads this time of year, and small vehicles often disappear and aren’t recovered until the road is graded later in the summer; of course, the ones that aren’t recovered make for a more solid roadbed in later seasons.   This is also the time that some men try to send their mothers-in-law and even wives down the road to collect the mail, only to never see them again; because when they are reported missing it is considered an-act-of-God.   

Sometime in the far distant future archaeologist may dig up the remnants of Maine dirt roads and discover hundreds of years of human history perfectly preserved like the Terra Cotta Army of China.

the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, April 6, 2019



A farmer comes up to the Buddha asking advise:
Buddha, I am miserable.   I don’t think my wife is faithful, and my children don’t respect me.   We haven’t had rain and my crop is failing.  My dog growls at me when I come home and I am getting old and my bones ache.   Please tell me Buddha what I can do to free myself of my troubles?’

The Buddha answered. ‘Nothing.

The farmer becomes indignant, ‘You are the Buddha, you are suppose to have such great answers.  What do you mean, Nothing?

The Buddha lays his hand on the farmers shoulder and says, ‘We all have 99 problems.   When you solve the one at the top, another takes its place at the bottom.   We will still have 99 problems.’

The Four Noble Truths:

1.   We all have problems
2.    If we obsess with our problems we will live in discontent.
3.    If we accept our problems and move on we can avoid discontent.
4.   The Eight Fold Path is a way to move toward a more wholesome attitude, past discontent.  

the Ol'Buzzard


Thursday, April 4, 2019


This is an old drum that I have beat until the membrane is thin.    Controlling carbon emissions is the vaccine, because carbon emissions is not the root cause of climate change. 

It took two million years from the time Lucy walked across the savannas of Africa for the race of man to reach a population of one billion (circa 1804.)

In only 123 years (about 1927) we doubled the population to two billion.   

The move to three billion (1960) took only 34 years.  

To four billion (1974) was a 14-year span.   

Thirteen years later (1987) we added our fifth billion:  1999 (12 years) six billion; 2011 (twelve years) seven billion. 

The more people we have the more energy we require, the more natural resources we consume, the more devastating we are on the environment.

2 Million

The present world population at the beginning of 2019 is listed as 7.7 billion and growing steadily.

This is the elephant ignored in the Green New Deal.

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, April 1, 2019


The United States spent over a million dollars to develop a pen that could write in the zero gravity of space.   The Russians used a pencil.

Our orange, obese President with little hands and a hair comb-over just called a member of Congress ‘pencil neck.’   

Kids in primary school still may use pencils; but many schools are now using I-pads and computers to teach reading and writing.

How long has it been since you bought or used a pencil?   

Pencils are one of those things that are fast receding from our culture – going the way of the typewriter.    I believe at sometime in the future pencils will be an icon of the past, seen in museums by a population that dictate correspondence to their computers.  

the Ol’Buzzard