Wednesday, August 31, 2022



Two Republicans in Virginia filed a lawsuit to prevent Barnes and Noble bookstores from selling two books they consider not age-appropriate for children.

Fahrenheit 451 should be taught in high school and again in college.  Written in 1951, the story supposedly takes place in 2022.  Though the author missed with his technology prognostications about the future; his prediction about burning (banning) books, now seventy-one years later, is still relevant.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, August 27, 2022



Many fiction writers start from present conditions and extrapolate into the future.  Some of these forward-seeing narratives fall into the science fiction genre, some into spy novels, and some, like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, a warnings of a dystopian future.  The book 2034 is such a book.


James Stavridis is a retired Navy four-star admiral.  He was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, and the commander of the U.S. Southern Command, he commanded a Navy destroyer squadron and an aircraft carrier battle group in combat. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


2034 is a book about brinksmanship between the Chinese and U.S. Navys that escalates to a military confrontation; and the hawkish attitudes of a few men in power that lead to a nuclear exchange.


Stavridis brings in the geo-political involvement of Russia, Iran, and India.


There are numerous references to weapons systems that may only be familiar to men and women with knowledge of Naval warfare, but the story is riveting, realistic, and a real page-turner.


2034 is a Cassandra warning of the near future and the danger of nuclear weapons controlled by a few unstable men.


2034 is a must read

the Ol’Buzzard


Wednesday, August 24, 2022



My size fourteens

The Ol'Buzzard



There have been five extinction events in the history of the earth. Three of them took place over hundreds of thousands of years and were the result of changing climate, one resulted from a volcanic eruption, and one from an asteroid strike.


Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction documents the loss of birds, animals, and sea life taking place at an extreme rate.  


Kolbert argues that we are in the midst of an extinction event caused by climate change.   She only deals peripherally with the human causation resulting in climate change, instead documenting the extinction of life taking place across the globe.


Undoubtedly we are past the point of arresting climate change.  There was a time we could have prevented this, but we did not have the resolve.   We are now seeing only the earliest extreme weather events that are a roadmap of things to come.  


We are at a point where the climates change is self-sustaining.   As the Greenland ice cap and the arctic ice melt, tundra buried for millions of years is emerging and emitting carbon diode which adds to the greenhouse effect increasing global temperature, increasing the melting rate.  It is not beyond credulity that within the next one hundred years the human race could be a nocturnal species.


I am not worried about climate change, because creative scientists on the upper end of the IQ scale will drag the rest of us into a sustainable environment.   Though we may have a massive extinction event of plants and animals in our familiar environment, the human race will be ok.    


The elephant in the room is not climate.   Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads; the US 5,428; France 290; China 350; UK 225; Israel 90; Pakistan 165; India 160; North Kores 20.  

A total of 12,705 nuclear warheads, each one capable of mass destruction, exist in the hands, and at the whim of a few men. 


Think Donald Trump!

The sixth extinction 


The human race is not responsible enough to control this kind of apocalyptic power.  The term Mutually Assured Destruction is a prediction, not a deterrent.

Sunday, August 21, 2022




I have a cousin that is quite proud of her membership with the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution.)  She traced her lineage back through an obscure family name that is unfamiliar to this generation of our family.

A single generation of a family is considered to be twenty years or five generations in a century.    From the American Revolution in 1776 to 1876 to 1976 to 2022 would calculate as twelve generations.

One generation back you have two parents. Two generations back you have four grandparents. Three generations back you have eight great grandparents – 16-32-64-128…  The numbers double with each preceding generation

Twelve generations back you have 4096 hereditary grandparents; 2048 heredity grandmothers and 2048 heredity grandfathers.

As a DAR member, your claim to fame is that twelve generations back one of your 2048 hereditary grandmothers was present in America in 1776.

Most black and white Americans with more than three generations in this country can probably trace their lineage back to 1776.  


We are all sons and daughters of the American Revolution.

From the ridiculous to the absurd, people claiming a hereditary line to the Mayflower counting back twenty generations are picking one from a line of one million 1,000,000) heredity grandparents.


the Ol’Buzzard

Sunday, August 14, 2022




We marvel at the blatant ignorance of the Tea Party crowd, which later transformed into the MAGA cult.   These are the extremes, but all humans are ready to believe in anything that sparks their fancy.  


The God delusion is the perfect example.   From Homo heidelbergensis who buried their dead with implements for the afterworld, to Hale-Bopp comet worshipers committing mass suicide, the human race has been extremely gullible in the search for something to worship.   Each culture has had its superfluity of gods.   Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Israelites, Vikings, Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists and indigenous cultures in combination have invented and worshiped thousands of gods.  In reality, who you worship and how you worship is determined by the culture you are born into. Gods are an invention of mankind to deny the finality of death.   No religion holds up to logical scrutiny.


We are an intelligent species only because we declare ourselves such.  Yet, large portions of our population have believed in Yeti, Big Foot, fairies, angles, demons, the devil, vampires, shape-shifters, witches, gods, alien abductions, zombies, and a plethora of scary monsters; without a modicum of proof. 


Gullible people: No wonder a charismatic conman like Donald Trump can build a cult following.  


the Ol’Buzzard



Saturday, August 13, 2022


 I don’t believe I have ever been satisfied with any toaster I have ever owned.   Usually, the bread is toasted darker on one side than the other, or the bread is toasted unevenly, or one slot toasts differently than the other.   The settings are never quite right and sometimes you have to retoast a piece of toast.

For the last few years, I have owned a Cuisinart toaster.   It sells for about $60.   The Cuisinart has a stainless steel body and accepts two pieces of bread.  However, I am pretty sure the heating elements are made in China and are the same as any $20 toaster you can buy at Walmart.  Especially with homemade bread I never get even consistent toasting. 


After watching America’s Test Kitchen on YouTube I decided to order the Dash toaster.   It cost about the same as the Cuisinart.   I ordered it through the Walmart website and received it yesterday.   I am impressed by the different technology.   The heating element rods are at the bottom and top of the toast slot and the bread is toasted evenly.   You can see the browning of each piece through the glass window and can adjust your timing accordingly.   The toast I have made with this Dash toaster has come out evenly toasted, and the slot is wide enough to accept homemade bread.

This Dash may be the answer to my toasting discontent.   

(Through most of my younger adult days I fried my bread.  The best taste, but super unhealthy.) 

the Ol'Buzzard

Friday, August 12, 2022







Donald Trump


These terrorist planned and executed an assault on the United States. 

  The one still at large is the most dangerous.  

 bin-Laden and al-Zawahiri killed Americans.  

 Donald Trump stands to bring an end to 250 years of American democracy. 

the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, August 11, 2022


You are damn right.  

If there is evidence that a crime is being committed in your home, or that evidence of a crime is being destroyed, the FBI can go to a federal judge, present their evidence, and request a search warrant.   


Only if the evidence is compelling enough will the federal judge approve a search warrant stating exactly what areas the FBI is allowed to search and exactly what evidence the FBI is allowed to collect. 


It can happen to you.  A lawful search of your residence by the FBI can occur if there is compelling evidence of a crime.


If it can happen to you, why should a twice impeached, disgraced ex-president be beyond the law?

the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, August 3, 2022




We are experiencing unprecedented heat waves throughout most of the northern hemisphere.  The ten hottest years ever recorded in Maine have occurred over the past twelve years.    Heat waves in Europe have caused massive deaths and infrastructure failures. 


Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the world climate temperature has increased by two degrees.  


It is hard to understand how a two-degree increase in temperature can cause such climate extremes.  Even knowing that that two-degree increase is an average of temperatures across the globe, it is not until we realize that during the Ice Age when most of the northern hemisphere was covered by glaciers, the global temperature average was just eight degrees cooler than at the advent of the industrial revolution.    


Small changes in global average temperature can cause massive changes in the climate.  


Adding to the problem, arctic ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, uncovering tundra that has been buried for thousands of years.   This tundra is releasing carbon dioxide which further adds to global warming.   


Even decreasing carbon emissions now can only slow down the slide into a future climate that is unknowable in its relation to human habitability.



I often defer to Neil de Grasse Tyson when trying to understand difficult science concepts.

Stay cool

the Ol'Buzzard