Cash on the Barrelhead Gets You Anything

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different     from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.” […]

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Strutting Across the Stage of Wisdom

“To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.” Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher Americans of a particular political persuasion – at least the Americans who live mostly north of Mexico, south of Canada, and who now and then do something beside play […]

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Nice Guys Finish Last, Again

“Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell …”  “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson Sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, a man feels the need to gird his loins as best he can — preferably with Kevlar — and venture into the minefields of […]

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Taking on the Facebook Follies

“I want to be left alone.” – Greta Garbo, enigmatic screen star of the 1920s and 1930s People are often surprised to find that I am on Facebook. They assume that I am too cranky and crusty to get much joy out of something so social; they put me down as a curmudgeon who trolls […]

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Overpaid, Oversexed, Over Here

 “I against my brother, I and my brother against our cousin, I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbors, all of us against the foreigner.” – Bedouin proverb Some ideas should die at inception – Donald Trump’s comb-over, any Pamela Anderson movie, using large concrete balls to plug up a mud volcano – and it […]

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We All Get Down and Dirty

“Please don’t tell my folks I work in the oil patch. They still think I’m a piano player in a whorehouse.” –  Texas and Oklahoma bumper sticker The men and companies who help keep this old world   running – which it mostly does on coal, diesel, gasoline and jet fuel – aren’t having such a […]

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Tiger Doesn’t Owe Us a Thing

      “If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.” Dean Martin I am going to pick on a man I have never met. His name is Tim Dahlberg, a sports columnist for The Associated Press. He has a couple of books out, one about the American swimmer Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first […]

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Let It Be

“Essence may be taken as the very being of anything, whereby it is what it is.” “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”  (1690), John Locke, in what may be the earliest use of a phrase that was to become much over used in the early 21st century I have never been a glass half-full or glass […]

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Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Too Much

“Dear Lord, please send us another oil boom, and we promise that this time we won’t piss it away.” – Yet  another Texas and Oklahoma bumper sticker of the   oil bust of the 1980s The music didn’t stop until after 3 a.m. It never does. You’ve heard it, same as me, with that thumping […]

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Resurrection at the End of the Paper Trail

“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paper work, and the other is nostalgia.” Frank Zappa       Paperwork, what joy! Anyone who lives overseas gets their double-fill of forms and filing requirements, which  often seem to necessitate pulling up and retrieving documentation on […]

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