The Post, Not a Review

Studly Doright was out of town most of last week, and by noon on Wednesday I was bored. The best cure for boredom is a movie, so I took myself out to see The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I must say I’m an excellent date. I don’t order outrageously priced snacks and I don’t talk during the movie.

I’m not going to review this film other than to say “For the love of country, go see it!”

The acting is incredible and the story so timely it’ll make your heart hurt. There are journalists out there right this minute who are working their butts off to bring us the truth in the tradition of the courageous and tenacious men and women who prevailed during the Nixon years. Never forget that when trump starts calling their work “fake news.”

The film should be required viewing by every American. Peace, people.

Kind of a Big Deal

Several years ago during spring break a friend and I were visiting Nashville, Tennessee, for the first time. We’d gone on a bus tour of the city and sung karaoke in a downtown bar. We’d even checked out Coyote Ugly, which was a bit disappointing. Maybe if we’d been a couple of guys it would’ve been more fun.

One of the oddest occurrences from the trip was when an obviously drunk guy in a well-tailored grey suit stumbled across a crowded bar, weaving between tables as a singer belted out a Charlie Daniels cover from the stage. To our shock, the drunk approached our table, pulled out a chair and sat down.

With no preamble the first words out of his mouth were, “I’m kind of a big fu**ing deal.”

My friend and I exchanged looks, rose from our seats, and left the bar. Neither of us needed this guy’s line of b.s.

I feel like Donald Trump is the drunk at my table. He keeps telling me what a big deal he is, and I keep walking away. He keeps spewing b.s., but no one holds him accountable. When will the GOP controlled Congress say, “Enough!” and walk away from the table? Once Kim Jong Un hits the nuclear button, it’s gonna be way too late.

Sign of the Apocalypse?

Our cats never, and I mean NEVER, come this close to snuggling. I guess the early morning snow in Tallahassee, or perhaps the “My button is bigger than your button” tweet from trump to Kim Jung Un, has them believing it’s the end of the world as we know it. On the plus side, in either case, I don’t have to make my bed.

And I think we all know trump’s button isn’t bigger than anyone’s.

Peace, people.

Thank Heaven For Political Cartoonists

In the wake of the passage of the Republican tax scam, pardon me, tax bill, political cartoonists have been spot on. Here are just a few of the pieces of pure genius.

Not all of the talented pundits focused solely on the tax sham, though. Fortunately, Trump’s capacity for corrupt leadership is fertile ground for savvy artists:

All I want for Christmas is a compassionate, articulate, intelligent President. Is that too much to ask?

The Case of the Missing Mary

The Case of the Missing Mary

By Leslie Noyes

(Note: This first appeared on my blog two years ago, back in the good old days when Trump’s candidacy was merely a bad joke. Guess I should’ve thrown more darts.) 

I leaned back in my wooden chair and aimed a dart at the picture of Donald Trump I’d taped to the door of my cramped office. Bullseye, baby. Before I could launch another projectile at the human embodiment of evil there was a tentative rap at the door.

Quickly I stashed the darts, downed a shot of Glenlivet and hid the bottle under the desk.

“Come in,” I intoned with as much gravity as I could muster. I was new at this detective gig and badly needed a client. Throwing darts at Trump, no matter how satisfying, wasn’t paying the bills.

The man who walked through my door was a sight for hungry eyes. Tall, dark, and handsome, and apparently built like Thor if the bulges in his well-tailored suit were to be trusted.

“Excuse me,” he said. “I’m looking for Mr. Noyes, the private investigator…”

“It’s Ms. Noyes,” I smiled. “My receptionist just stepped out for a bit.” Little did he know my receptionist, Glenlivet, was hiding under the desk. I nudged the bottle with my foot for reassurance.

“Oh!” He was clearly flustered, so I rushed to reassure him. Rising from my chair I stepped closer, hoping to encourage him to stay.

“Don’t let my gender color your expectations,” I said. “I’m fully qualified to handle discreet investigations.”

I held my breath as I watched him wrestle with his thoughts. Finally he extended a hand, and I exhaled.

“My name is Joseph. Joseph Carpenter, and my wife has gone missing.”

I motioned for Joseph to have a seat and took my place on the other side of the desk. Pulling out a pen and notepad I asked Joseph for details.

“She was right beside me. We were watching over our newborn son and I turned away for just a second to greet a man, a foreigner of some distinction, who’d brought a baby gift. When I looked back, Mary was gone.”

Joseph’s rugged face collapsed in tears. It took all of my strength to maintain a professional distance. My maternal instincts were urging me to comfort this man, but he didn’t need a nursemaid, he needed a detective. And by God, that’s just what he’d get.

“Do you have a recent picture of your wife, sir?”

“No, we weren’t into pictures. But she was just a little thing. Maybe five feet two. Brown eyes. Dark brown hair. Olive skin. She was, is, beautiful. She has the most beatific smile.”

I tried my hand at sketching a picture of Mary.

“No, her nose is a bit larger,” Joseph said. “Yes, like that. And her lips fuller.”

Finally we had a sketch that Joseph approved.

“Joseph, did you notice any strange characters hanging around, let’s see, the manger on the night of your wife’s disappearance?”

“Well,” he began, “Besides the foreigner there were a couple of other visiting dignitaries. They looked fairly trustworthy; although, come to think of it I have no idea why they dropped by.”

“Ok, that’s a starting place. Anyone or anything else?”

Joseph snapped his fingers. “There was a shepherd there ranting about some star he followed. Could it be…?”

“I couldn’t say right now, Joseph, but I promise to do everything in my power to find your Mary.” I stood and indicated we were through.

“By the way, how’s the baby?” I asked offhandedly. “I know newborns can be a handful. Is it possible Mary just took off?”

Joseph’s temper flared. I could see I’d hit a nerve. “Absolutely not! You have no idea what Mary has gone through to have this child, why….”

I held up one hand. “I had to ask Mr. Carpenter. I believe you.”

I told him I’d need a retainer and I’d bill my services at a hundred dollars per hour. Then I assured him I’d get on the case immediately.

“Money’s no problem. One of those foreign dignitaries brought gold. For a baby!” He shook his head in amazement.

As he paused at the door, Joseph Carpenter turned, his face half in shadow.

“Ms. Noyes. Have you done anything like this before?”

“Yes,” I answered honestly. “Every December.”

Almost every year one piece of my nativity goes missing. One year it was the lamb. I found it nestled next to the Christmas snow globe. Another year it was a wise man, the one carrying myrrh. He didn’t turn up until I was putting decorations away. Apparently the myrrh king had been napping in a Target bag. This year it’s Mary. One can’t very well have a nativity scene without the mother of Jesus. I’ll keep looking. Until I find her I have a cut out Mary from a Christmas card to stand in for her:


The scale isn’t that bad, right?

What I’m Reading

I went in search of something to refresh my memory of, and to increase my understanding of, documents of importance to our country. It seems more important now than ever for citizens to be informed; otherwise, how can we hold our elected officials accountable?

I found this slim volume at Barnes and Nobel:

I like the way the book has side by side explanations of the documents. For example, pictured below is the first page of the Bill of Rights:

On the left are the unedited amendments, and on the right are simplified explanations. I think our current president might benefit from reading this book. Maybe I’ll buy him a copy. He might have to give up one round of golf to read it, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Peace, people.

Turning the Other Cheek

I heard him before I saw him

Loud pipes announced his impending arrival

As I angled into the left turn lane

He came up on my right side

Big truck with bigger tires

A veritable fortune invested in chrome

Two flags waving proudly from the truck’s bed

Two expressions of his rights

One flag displayed the Stars and Stripes, a noble symbol.

The other, the Gadsden Flag: “Don’t Tread on Me!”

The flag hoisted by the alt right.

What an overcompensating loser, I thought.

Mouth breathing, Neanderthal, I added for good measure.

But even in that moment I acknowledged his right to express his feelings.

Was he offensive? To me, most definitely.

But did he have the right to offend?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Protest should make us squirm.

Otherwise, it’s merely the status quo.

Wide Awake

I slept for forty years

My eyes closed to injustice

But I’m awake now

Patriotism

Might mean kneeling in protest

Soldiers bought that right

We might not condone

The paths these protesters trod

But their rights remain

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First Amendment Blues

First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I would ask every American to read the amendment. Take it in. Understand its ramifications. Then try to tell me that Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have the right to take a knee during the national anthem.

You might not like that he does it. You might believe he’s disrespecting the flag. But the truth is, Mr. Kaepernick is exercising his rights as a citizen under the First Amendment.

Now, our president has called Kaepernick and other athletes who have chosen to sit or kneel rather that stand at attention during the anthem “sons of bitches.” Trump did this at a rally of his followers in Alabama. No doubt there was much celebration when he chose those words: Sons of bitches. Not only has trump cast aspersions on these athletes, but on their mothers, as well.

Does the president also have the right to free speech? Indeed, he does. And what did he do with that right? He just insulted a good portion of the American populace and those of us who stand with them.

So, who is the real son of a bitch?