Thursday, May 16, 2024



Yesterday in my car I was listening to Maine Public Radio’s discussion on Russia’s threat to use a nuclear weapon in the Ukraine war.   The consensus was that we are closer than we have ever been since Nagasaki to another nuclear weapon being used against a civilian population.

The question was posed, what would happen if Putin dropped a nuclear bomb in Ukraine in order to bring about immediate surrender and an end to Russia’s war?

The answer was unanimous: Nothing.  

The United States and other Nuclear nations would be afraid of escalating into an all-out nuclear holocaust.   There would be talks and sanctions and condemnation, but there would be no military response. 

Russia has the largest nuclear stockpile in the world, and the largest yield nuclear weapon: the Tsar thermonuclear bomb.  The United States has the second largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, but enough to bring about a mass extinction. 

When I read American Prometheus, the story of Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the first atomic bomb, a small paragraph stood out to me.  The mathematicians had decided that there was a small chance that the nuclear explosion could cause a chain reaction that would ignite the atmosphere rendering earth a dead planet.  When pressed for a statistic the answer was “not zero.”    Yet Oppenheimer and the scientist pressed ahead.  Just before the bomb was exploded the scientist were taking bets as to the yield, but Enrico Fermi, in a little graveyard humor, was taking bets the atmosphere would ignite. 

Where am I going with this?   Fucked if I know. 

But a Casandra warning: There are enough nuclear weapons stockpiled on this earth to bring about a mass extinction – many times over.   What could possibly go wrong?

The Ol’Buzzard


Wednesday, May 15, 2024



God damn, I’m old – but against the odds, I’m still here.   The avatar for old men is Homer Simson’s father - and that pretty much suits me. 


I have seen it all, and it all replays over and over again. 

War in the Middle East, so what’s fucking new?   The only other species that regularly make war and genocide against its kind are Chimpanzees, our first cousins in the animal kingdom. 

We share 98% of our DNA


In the United States, peace is just the interval between wars.   We spend more on our military than the next five major militarized countries combined, yet we haven’t won a war since World War Two.


We stalemated in Korea, and we lost in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and all the scrimmages in between produced nothing. 


The root of all wars can be summarized as: 

My God is better than your God, and my dick is bigger than your dick (women don’t start wars.)


I despise Donald Trump, especially because of his disrespect for the military.    Among other things, he called the dead at the Arlington National Cemetery losers.  But tangentially, these young men and women died, before they had a chance to live and love; meanwhile, politicians move us on to the next war, and the next, and the next…


I spent 22 years in the military, a Vietnam vet.  I have seen what the war shredder does to young men and women psyched on patriotism and glory.  I was one of them.   They too often die young and are mutilated physically and mentally.


Life is too precious.  We are here by chance and only go around one time.   Young people have a right to grow old, to have adventures, to love and be loved, and to bask in the beauty of nature.  Wars and the military can steal the right away.  No country and no God is worth dying for.

War! What is it good for?  Absolutely nothing. 

the Ol’Buzzard





Sunday, May 5, 2024




Protests have brought women the vote; protests have brought an end to segregation; protests have brought an end to wars…

When my tour ended in Vietnam one hundred and fifty of us were flown back to California on a civilian airline in an attempt to disguise our return and avoid protest.  

When we landed the airport there were young people protesting.  We were in our jungle fatigues and we were harassed.  There were dead military bodies aboard our flight.

I was furious but we had been ordered not to react.    For years I was resentful. 

But now I realize these protests, as distasteful as they were to me at the time, brought an end to an unjust war.   The government knew the war was not winnable but continued to send our military into the jaws of the war shredder.   After 58,479 deaths, hundreds of thousands of wounded, and hundreds captured, held prisoner, and tortured,  we surrendered Saigon to the North Vietnamese and retreated.    Nothing had been accomplished!

Those military deaths and wounded vets were for nothing but political chess.

This war would have gone on longer except for the outrage, mostly by college students.

High schools teach you information.  Colleges encourage you to think.  College classes encourage a diversity of thought and professors like to be challenged.

College students are most often young and naive - they haven’t been jaded by the adult world.  They see things in black and white and do not yet realize that the human world operates in shades of grey.

The Middle East is a complex place of religious fundamentalism, and the human race is a violent organism.   

The students want an end to war – a peaceful solution to what they feel is genocide.   I can’t fault them for that.

the Ol’Buzzard