To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed. You could line up all the pols in the U.S. in a straight row and examine them head to toe and not find a single man or woman capable of admitting, never mind ending, the corruption of their vocation--Buddy Dooley

Saturday, April 30, 2016

RIP, Old Protester

In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm.

Of the action, Berrigan stated, "Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise."

According to a historian, it was "the single most powerful anti-war act in American history."

The draft was unfair and as corrupt as any other U.S. policy initiative of the era--the rich could get out of service, as could students. Strings were pulled and influence peddled.  Look at the entire coterie, with a few exceptions, of Iraq War criminals starting with Bush Jr., who served, until he was rousted out, in  the Texas Air Guard.  Didn't go near Vietnam.  Cheney claimed deferment after deferment.

Today, some people are clamoring for a new draft, or as it is often colored over--compulsory service to the nation.

Why people believe that financial elites, again with few exceptions, would ever allow their sons and daughter to be placed in harm's way is a curious conceit.

Anything compulsory and slightly dangerous, like say the military in an era of perpetual war (as is happening now), would soon be just as corrupted as the old draft.

A compulsory service might one day be in the cards, but it will never be clean.



Prince's guitar playing in this tribute to Harrison is both virtuosic and tasty without being altogether obnoxious.

The man could definitely play.


The Mysteries Continue...

A few months back I published two of what I jokingly called "found poems" here that I'd discovered on my computer's Notepad.

This work amounted to a couple of unfinished poems-in-progress. I was confused because I couldn't remember starting the poems.

I printed them here and facetiously asked if anyone knew the work, because they seemed completely alien to my style and voice.

I had, after a few moments studying them, realized they were likely something I'd written while blacked out, or at least mindlessly drunk. The point is they didn't sound like me.  Indeed, the little that was there had something uniquely vital and different than my usual work. They had, while rough, a mysterious energy, a taste of...what...I don't know...drunken grandeur.

I drink.  Not as much as I once did, but I do still drink.  Perhaps you can tell when I have been drinking simply by reading this blog, which I sometimes work on when I'm half in the bag.

Now is not one of those times.  I am stone-cold sober at the moment, and have been for the past two weeks because I'm broke.  I am, at this stage of my disease, the kind of alcoholic who can get along without a drink for long stretches, though I'd rather not.  I drink when I have the funds, otherwise I don't worry about it--well, put it this way, I don't get the DTs, and I don't rob banks and steal stereophonic equipment to coddle my addiction.

(Come to think of it, the reverse happens.  My bank robs me every month--long story.)

So there is one advantage to being a broke writer who hasn't sold much and never will. Death by drink--should that be my fate--will be slower than Dylan Thomas' or Jack Kerouac's, because I can't afford quantity.

I've outlived both of those  punks, by the way. Those moneyed hacks! They couldn't hold their damn liquor or write worth a damn!

Sorry, excuse me...

Anyway, this forgetting is sporadic for me.  It's happened before, but infrequently.  I'm usually pretty good about remembering not only the stuff I'm working on when I'm writing, but everything in general.  In fact, I remember plenty that I wish I could forget--plenty of bad stuff.

Maybe you've confronted some bad stuff of your own.

Anyway, I must have wrote the unrecognizable fragments in that dangerous time between midnight and the dawn, whence the monsters come into your room and feast on your brain.

To the point, then, finally.  Here is something else I don't recall writing and sending to the local newspaper.

However, I can imagine why I was moved to write it in April, 2010.  I was about to become homeless once again.

There's a story about how and why that happened, but I'll spare you for now.

Bad, bad stuff happens sometimes.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'm Withering

Spoof of Hillary's "I'm With Her" ads, by Dan Fogarty.

Withering is a good word for it, as everything moves inexorably towards death.  Or so it feels like at times.  The woman definitely can create a depression all by herself.

I wrote about Hillary's ads here a couple of days ago and then rewrote the piece for today's CounterPunch.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blazers: Are they any good?

The Blazers play the Clippers again tonight in L.A.  The Clips are down two superstars, both hurt in game four in Portland when the Blazers evened their playoff series at 2-2.

That's about $40m out of action for the rest of the playoffs for the Clippers.

Tragic, no?

How do I know this?  I looked it up.

Pro basketball is about the last resort for me.  I haven't watched a complete game all season.

Somewhere along the way my interest in pro ball collapsed, likely about the time the players' salaries went beyond the absurd.  If I wanted to go to a game, which I no longer do, I couldn't afford a ticket. And if I could afford a ticket, I wouldn't buy one--out of principle.

No biggie, just the way I see things. Even with the outrageous ticket prices, the NBA makes most of its money, like all big-time sport, from media deals.

I read a lot last night.  Edward Said.  Maybe I'll do that again.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Send in the Clowns

Man, Yahoo really knows how to piss off a progressive, doesn't it?

Full page ad on the sign-in page to email:  Hillary Clinton smiling that fucked-up phony smile she does so well.

"I'm With Her!" the copy reads. "Add My Name."

No fucking way!

Now that Charlie Koch has as much as admitted that his money could ride on Clinton with just a tweak here or there, I can only presume he paid for the Yahoo ad, which can't be cheap.

It covers the entire page with the Queen's incredibly ugly likeness.

The Donald himself is more likable than the Queen.  My theory is she doesn't have people fooled so much as people are simply happy with the status quo.

Actually this is borne out in some polls.  People are going to hold their noses and vote for her.  It's in their best interest to keep things the way they are.

Bernie isn't about to create a coalition with the Greens, as much as it makes sense to do so.  He'll throw his votes to Hillary after declaring himself victorious for some arcane reason that is not quite intelligible.

Because Hillary has said she might support a $12.00 minimum wage? Or rethink her cronyism? It's laughable.

I said it a long time ago.  Hillary could have saved everybody time and money simply by announcing her Republicanism.  The 1%  and their minions, the real money, can't stand the right-wing options available to them, including one of their own.  They're not into ideology and Jesus.  Hell, some of them support gay marriage because they are gay.  How many of them stay up at night worrying about the second amendment?  How many of them fly the confederate flag over corporate headquarters? Money and property, lots of it worldwide, interests them. Some fool yapping his lips about Mexican "bad guys" or "traditional values" gone haywire? Not really.

Four years ago they tolerated Romney because he was a useful idiot. The idiots running this year are loose cannons, thus not so useful.

Hillary sewed up their vote long ago, because she has been useful to the suprarich all along.

She's more useful to the right than Sanders is useful to the left at this stage.  She can deliver an imperial view that is in tune with their own.

Sanders can't get out of his own way.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Inside the Magazine

I'm told I have a poem in the latest hard copy issue of CounterPunch magazine.

So you should definitely buy it ASAP.

Funny gif by Don Hill.


Two Views

In Samuel Eliot Morison's "The Oxford History of the American People," there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman.

"An illiterate field hand, (Tubman) not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom."

Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in American history, save Washington, that pivotal figure between the Founding Fathers and the Civil War — Andrew Jackson.--PB

Poor scholarship as justification for racist ideology and the mind-numbing hubris of exceptionalism. Just what we need more of, evidently, as Buchanan hauls his "facts" out of the dustbin of history.

Alt-history guru Howard Zinn would not approve of such dimness, nor do I.  Nor should you.

Here is another, more educated perspective.

One of the academic myths I repeatedly confronted in my study of history early on--let's call it the pre-Zinnian view--is the worn-out trope of the "Great Man" theory of history, or something I refer to as the "great man in his own time" perspective of historical "Great Events."

The great man in his own time is central to the great events we call history because of the unalterable nature of the reality of his time.

You learned the events by heart as a kid, and unless you've taken it upon yourself to go deeper into the record, the course of events started and stopped with the Great Men, their entourages, and the realities of their time.

That was "History" for far too many when I was growing up, and it remains so for far too many today.  It's short sighted and lacks nuance and detail.

Dissent did not happen in Jackson's time says the shallow reading (and writing) of history. A slave revolt here or there was simply recklessness on the part of unknown people--well, with the exception of Harriet Tubman and a few ordinary others, who failed obviously until the great Abe Lincoln's proclamation.

She failed so profoundly she must be reduced to one sentence in the "factual" story.  The story that counts because it recognizes and extols the virtues of greatness.

What in fact the rabbles' dissonance amounted to was a minor obstruction of the Great Man's destiny.

Race did not count for anything because subjugation was the normative reality, thus individual struggle was discounted, ignored, and violently lost.  Fortunately for some, Abe came along then, right? He fixed everything, and now freedom for all reigns.

But such a view is not historical; it is pablum, and all too common. Witness the multitude who cannot wrap their brains around the idea that the U.S. was built on organized terror and remains today the greatest threat to peace and equality in the world.

However, to demonstrate that I am "unbiased" in my historicism, here is a counterpoint.  It speaks for itself.


Sunday, April 24, 2016


Stop praying so much and this kind of tragedy wouldn't happen so frequently.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

from The Talent Poems

RP Thomas photo

A Talent Day

As Big Mike turned an Allen wrench, he smelled
the stench of something rotting in the trunk
of a gray Olds towed in the day before,
while Rolo rolled 'round under the good old
bus.  Over at Tex’s Tavern, the wag Ted
said, “Lizzie, I’ll have another.”  Lizzie
shook her head, sending Ted into the men’s
room to piss and rethink his strategy.
In Noble Coffee, Carl Hicks was laying
it on thick, explaining the various
uses of metaphor in the Good Book.
Harry Reems frowned and shot Hicks a grim look.
Tired, Tex was upstairs in his office where
he now lived, writing three songs he deemed fair.


Every small town has a football star—
Talent is no different in that regard—
a kid who shines under the lights
on Friday nights, thrilling the home town
crowd of moms and dads who yield to this
sacred rite of passage, when 200 yards
rushing ensures the rightful purpose
of their lives—and the dad may drink or
be an insurance man, and the mom may
have a secret plan to escape the deadening
sameness of everything, having once
dreamed of something more.  Boomer’s
mother hadn’t a clue that her son was sporting
failure in school—that his head was filled with
schemes to steal things that weren’t his.
Thus one night after the big game, when Big
Mike and Rolo were away at Lizzie DeLay’s,
Boomer and his friend Ben Browner stole
into the junkyard after midnight, found the
mechanic’s stash and a few of his  meager
treasures, and trashed the bus in their anger.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Umpire Reviews: Boo! Boo! Boo!

I watched tonight's free game at  Oakland at Toronto.  It was an opportunity to watch two young infielders from the state of Oregon play on the same field--Darwin Barney and Jed Lowrie.

I try to occasionally check in on the Oregon players throughout the season.  Oregon doesn't have optimal baseball weather, so it's always interesting to see who emerges from our muddy prep fields and actually makes it to the big leagues--not an easy challenge, but not as rare as one might imagine.

Oregon State has a great college program and has for years. Coach Pat Casey is another Oregon guy who played briefly in the big leagues before turning to coaching. He regularly fields excellent teams and manages to get many of the best prep players out of our state as well as brave kids from warmer climes who want to play for a winner despite the spring rains.

Barney, 30, played for Casey at OSU, winning back-to-back College World Series in 2005-06. Lowrie is 32 and played his high school ball at North Salem before attending Stanford.  Jed got away from Casey--but it's Stanford for Christ's sake...

I've already watched damn near as many innings this young season as I watched all of last year.

It's not always easy for me to watch baseball.  I have to be in the right space spiritually and mentally; things have to be right in the moment when I start watching.  I like baseball, played the game as a kid and a year in college--but it is far from being a religion in my book.

It is the holy game to many.

I can go long stretches, months without paying attention.  I like baseball, but like just about everything else it's way over-hyped, and, like God, worshiped to a fault.

The players themselves are traded around like baseball cards once were, and perhaps still are. (Does Topps still make cards? I looked it up; they do.)

But, while watching more baseball than usual recently, I have a new bitch about the game.  I really dislike the use of instant replay to review umpires' calls in baseball now. Human error, when it happens, should be part of the game--from the shortstop kicking a grounder to a bang-bang play that the umpire may or may not call correctly.

I prefer the old style, the ambiguity in the game, the grit and spit and old-fashioned cussing.

I want to see the old arguments returned to the game, the manager kicking dirt at home plate, somebody carrying the third base bag off the field and throwing it into the stands.

I want to see discord and upheaval.  It's a game, not a damn murder trial. (O.K., billions are involved, so what?)

I don't want any more technology in my baseball world.

MLB needs to drop the replay/review habit.  It was a bad idea.


Second Career No-No

CL is a Cubs' fan, a former Chicagoan born and raised on the North Side, which automatically makes him long-suffering, like every Cubs' fan alive.

I've heard it every summer for the past thirty-nine years, which is how long I've been friends with the Northeast Portland artist.

There is hope (eternal) for this season, all the pundits and insiders say so, and this guy keeps pitching like a Nolan Ryan on steroids.  So it must be true.

The reigning NL Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta, pitched the second no-no of his young career yesterday as Chicago beat the Reds 16-0 in Cincy.

Sixteen runs?  Just the other day CL was lamenting about the Cubs not hitting yet.  I guess they broke out.

It's early and there's a long way to go, however.

Go Cubs!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

The View from Seattle

That’s why my organization, Socialist Alternative, and #Movement4Bernie are petitioning Bernie to continue running through November as an independent or on the Green Party ticket with Jill Stein, if he is blocked in the rigged primary process, and to call a conference to discuss launching a new party of the 99%...

On the other hand, if despite all their dirty tricks against him, Sanders remains loyal to the Democratic Party and backs Clinton in the general election, it would mean the demoralization and disorganization of much of our movement. Yes, we need a strategy to push back right-wing Republicans, but collapsing the anti-establishment movement behind Bernie into the Clinton campaign – a false unity with the candidate of Wall Street and the political establishment – would leave the field wide open for right-populists like Trump or Cruz to expand their base.

If Sanders chooses that path, continuing the political revolution will mean Sandernistas boldly moving beyond Bernie.--KS

Dynamic and detailed piece by Kshama Sawant, Seattle's socialist councilwoman.


RIP Prince, 57

One of those rare moments when a cover of a song transcends even the original artist's rendition.

So it was when Patti Smith covered Prince.


Not Yet

My "Open Letter to Bernie Sanders" was picked up by CounterPunch, which has a much larger readership (that's an understatement) than RBPD.

Writing the short missive, the futility of electoral politics as we know it settled in for me like it always does.  These are desperate times.

Take it from history. You could not beat Tammany Hall until the corrupt pols started to be dismissed out-of-hand, and in some cases lodged behind bars. So it must be on a national scale today, with all the "Boss" Tweeds of our corrupt system being held accountable.

Don't wait up for it.

By settling on one overriding issue and an increasingly canned speech about money, the billionaire class and Hillary's corruptness (a word he is too timid to use) Sanders is negating his own "revolt" and the best of what he has built.

It is a paper-thin approach, which disallows the notion that there is much, much more to talk about when canvassing the current array of problems in the U.S.

Even if the corporate media's narrative promoted it, Bernie isn't up to the task of talking about something beyond his decent but skeletal theme of inequality.

Like the climate, the problems are too hot for the supposed "radical" insider from Vermont, where the MIC contracts pile up like barrels of syrup amid the trees.

The soldiers must have their pancakes with real syrup, after all.  That is realpolitik. Unfortunately.

Economic justice is paramount, but so are many other ideals BS won't touch beyond his rhetorical parlays regarding Israeli/Palestinian relations.

Bernie dipped his toes in dissent when he should have dove in.  Even with the good health only a U.S. Senator can buy, he won't likely see someone young and vital finally take that swim.

None of us will.

As we said when we were kids fighting over the last cookie, "Too bad.  So sad."


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders

Bernie, your once-formidable insurgency is no longer about whether you’ll win the presidency.  You are toast.

After New York, Bernie, you and the Left are now about the future of America—not the present, sadly.

Off your New York defeat, a new coalition needs to rise from the ashes.  Clearly, Bernie, you are not palatable to the carriers of the neoliberal consensus.

You’re a menace, a gnat on the asses of the well-heeled in the Democratic Party.

As we thank you upon your exit, we remember you gave all of us something to think about, something to cheer for while hoping you will not automatically concede that your “political revolution” is dead.

Bernie, do not throw your support to the Queen.  Your supporters do not want that to happen, ever.

Now is the time for us to discover your true worth.  Tonight, you should create a radical coalition with Jill Stein and take the combined Greens and disgruntled Dems into a new realm.

This may not help us in 2016.  But beyond Hillary Clinton, our polity needs answers, adjustments, and a new democratic imperative.

Switch now!  Be loud!

We stand with you in solidarity.

Sincerely, Buddy Dooley.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Retiring Great

I've listened to Vin Scully call games twice this season, and hopefully I'll catch him a few more times in this, his 67th and final season announcing the Dodgers.

He started at age 22, in Brooklyn.

I heard him describe Madison Bumgarner's tale of the snake and rabbit last week.

Listen to him read the grocery list as well.

Oh, and if you have the cash, buy a Napoleon Grill.  They're great.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Song of the Day

CL dropped this one on me.  Very nice, Lucinda stylin' the John Hartford classic.


Beggars and Thieves

Some days the encampment under a bridge just south of downtown and just north of Chicago’s Chinatown has the feeling of a bedraggled back yard barbecue. Men from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala cook frozen shrimp or crab over a fire, drink beers, joke, and even sing. On this Saturday in February, however, the men are silent, and the fear and misery in the air are palpable. It is just too cold.

These men are homeless but they are not unemployed. They work at Chinese buffets, Japanese sushi bars and steakhouses, and other restaurants across the midwest, sent by Chinese employment agencies that are being investigated by the Illinois attorney general for alleged civil rights, human rights and labor law violations.

The dirty little secret of restaurant work.

Years ago I worked in a famous Portland restaurant that paid minimum wage and charged you for anything you ate.  The place had its entertainment value at times, however.  The owner was in the middle of an affair with his top hostess and the wife would come in frequently and pick a loud fight with her husband and the girlfriend.

So it had that going for it.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Long, Hot Summer of Discontent

The hundreds of arrest this past week have been largely ignored by a corporate media whose lobbyists, along with those of other corporations, are a familiar presence on Capitol Hill. The mass media’s blackout of the largest number of arrests at the Capitol in decades is one of innumerable examples of our corporate coup d’├ętat. And until corporate power is overthrown—and it will be overthrown only from the streets in sustained acts of civil disobedience—the nation will continue to devolve into an authoritarian police state. Corporations will continue to strip us of our remaining rights, carry out the deadly assault on the ecosystem, impoverish workers, make a mockery of our democracy and cannibalize what is left of the country. The system of corporate power is incapable of reform. It must be destroyed.--CH.

This won't end soon.  Pounce!

I'll be there if I can make it.  Long trip, but it would be worth it this summer.  My first arrest since calling a cop a "fucker" in 1970*.

Wouldn't that be cool for an old shit?

*Hush, my liberal friends, it was a worthy indictment.  If you only knew...

Everybody, go if you can.


Forbidden Love

Here is a question not frequently asked in the so-called "debates" among political candidates this year.  "What would you purpose to do with Edward Snowden?"

Imprison him or admit he is right?  Let him come home and move on?  Or scapegoat him?

Very simple questions.  Not one of the candidates, including the gold standard of soft social radicals, Bernie Sanders, will answer.  It is a question dare-not asked.

What a joke.

How sad.


How it Computes

I chipped this essay/book review on the history of word processing from CD's blog today.

The early stages of the tech revolt didn't interest me very much, though its effect was beyond my comprehension at the time.

Today I could give a damn about the refinements in word processing, except if you try to steal my laptop with Word installed I'll hunt you down and kill you dead.

Like several of the authors named in the article, I've found what I need in the computing world and I'm happy with it.  But it was a matter of luck, and I've fallen into something that works for me.

I don't own an iPhone and wouldn't have one unless somebody gave it to me and paid the monthly charges.  The gizmo is too small for my hands.

I want to type the old-fashioned way that I learned 50 years ago in high school. I'm not interested in the phone's other functions, including its internet capabilities. My texting dexterity is nil. My buddy TC shoots wonderful photos with his iPhone.  I prefer a cheap camera. Notebooks and the iPad are net-worthy but boring.

I simply want a decent-sized keyboard. To write.

Thirty-five years ago, I might have been through three sheets of wadded up paper by now and much more frustrated than I am at the moment.

The first time I ever confronted computing was in 1984.  I had a portable Corona typewriter at home at the time, which suited me fine.  The behemoth IBM computers (like the one pictured) I confronted for the first time in the offices of Good Samaritan Hospital where I went to work as a scriptwriter, were daunting at first, but hell, you could not deny some of their time-saving features.

I figured out the basics of the floppy system and gained a rudimentary understanding of DOS, but I never became fluent with it.

Out of my tech fallibility, I found myself using the same writing process I used with my portable typewriter, except I didn't have to throw away a mountain of crumpled paper each day.  I tried to organize my thoughts, and thus my scripts, in advance so I wouldn't have to make a lot of changes to the initial draft.  Even now I write without much alteration if I can get away with it.  I follow the commands for misspellings and sentence structure, and make corrections as I go.  I fill in paragraphs, rewrite, subtract and add.  I seldom move whole blocks of print, something I didn't learn how to do with DOS.

I live with the results of my current expertise, and you do too if you've read this far.

It ain't always pretty, fer sure.

I can do much more with Windows and Word than I could with DOS, of course. Every dummy can.  That was the genius of Microsoft; its eventual ease.  But again, bound to my old habits, I use few of the program's advanced functions. I had to learn some of it as I started publishing books, but I am not nearly as fluid as your average secretary who deals with a constant array of documents every work day.

The command of the story makes the writer.  The tech is a secondary concern.  Writing with clarity is important.  One true sentence after another, as Hem said.

The 75 words-a-minute office worker has become the know-it-all word processing savant these days. That's why he/she makes the big money.


Now we're back in 1984, and I'm doing my best to please everyone, and I'm having lunch with a group of co-workers from the hospital's Human Resources Department because I'm writing a slide show for them.  One of the HR managers asks me what kind of "PC" I planned to purchase.  I dropped my fork, not knowing what she meant.  I can still recall my innocence in the moment.

I recovered enough to say, " I don't know."  The group I was with started talking about the differences between Apple and Microsoft.  I didn't know what the letters "PC" stood for.  In other words, I hadn't at that time even considered buying a personal computer.

All I knew about Microsoft was that DOS was giving me a hard time.

Apple wasn't in my brain quite yet.

I think the people I was dealing with were talking about where they might sink their money; in which company's stock.  Had I known anything back then I might have chimed in, "Go with Nike."


I'll end this swiftly, mercifully.

A couple of years ago I read a piece about Woody Allen's writing method.  He still uses a typewriter, scissors and paste to mock up his scripts before copying them.

My favorite history prof at PSU in 2005, David Horowitz, didn't have an email account, or an office computer.

Even I was shocked by that happenstance just a decade ago.  But he was tenured, and his obsolescence could have been his "fuck you" to technology.



Philosopher, linguist, and social critic Noam Chomsky recently spoke about his experiences in campus activism and his vision of a just society to help inaugurate the Next System Project’s ambitious new teach-ins initiative taking place across the country. An initial signatory to the Next System statement, Chomsky explores the connections between culture, mass movements, and economic experiments—which in “mutually reinforcing” interaction, may build toward a next system more quickly than you may think.

The Next System Project talks with Noam Chomsky.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Cartoon Nation

Thanks to Kos.



Bernie to Green?

The more I think about it the more I like CD's suggestion today, that Sanders ought to come out of New York with a radical plan (not so radical, actually, but sensible) and throw his support to the Green Party. 

In fact, make Jill Stein his running mate.  Challenge Hillary's women, discard the false labels and abysmal narrative being created by the corporate media.  Bern the Democratic Party to the ground!

I think Bernie's kids would dig it.  Many of his old farts might as well.

Have Stein do all the talking, because she's better at it than Bernie, who can't debate worth shit.

I too believe now is the time, while a little momentum is available.

Good thinking, CD.


Read it All

With Jeb Bush as the Republicans’ presumptive nominee, the 2016 Presidential election promised to be unusually strange even before it got underway.

Jeb’s big brother, George W., was the most destructive and god awful American President in modern times. The enduring harm that blunderbuss laid on the United States and the world is incalculable. And yet his dopey little brother was the favorite candidate of the Republican wing of the American plutocracy. This is what our politics has come to!--AL

Your precious hours are gonna be filled to the last second with good reading when you go to CounterPunch over the weekend.  A veritable smorgasbord of opinion, polemic, clarity, and truth awaits you, so get real and read all of it. You're kidding yourself if you think you have something better or more important to do.

U.S. alt-culture never had it so good until this moment.

Questioning what our politics has come to is a big theme in perpetuity at CP, which is the way it ought to be.

I pitched in with all the contentiousness of an angry monk in Money, Gender Politics and Democratic Denial, a re-write of a piece I published here last week.

"Why did BS run as a Dem?" CD wrote to me after his reading.

In keeping with the theme, I commented, "Good question."

The strange is getting stranger, as Levine ably points out, and you, me, and everybody but the ostriches and loons knows it.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Magazines and Other Observations

I was once a committed magazine reader.  I liked holding magazines and turning their pages, the physicality of reading.

Since going permanently online in 2008, I haven't bothered to purchase a single magazine, I swear. Or I can't recall doing so at any rate. Before then, I subscribed to a few now and again and always enjoyed the experience of reading certain of them cover-to-cover.

I still read magazines, or the parts of them not behind a paywall, but I as much as anyone am responsible for the tough times magazines, like newspapers, are going through these days.  I go for the free content and leave it at that.  My money goes to my ISP, not the publishers.  This is unfortunate.

You may be using the same logic to avoid buying Round Bend Press Books.

Sometimes in the past I'd pick up a magazine I was unfamiliar with because a story I partially perused at the magazine rack seemed interesting and worthwhile.

If I discovered a new one, I'd sometimes give it a try.  I think I bought the first George, just to see what John Kennedy, Jr. could do.

George didn't last long, and neither did young Kennedy.

As a kid I bought the usual, starting with Boy's Life and Sports Illustrated, the hot rod magazines, comic books, boxing mags, music mags, Mad Magazine, etc., etc.

Later, I occasionally bought Playboy, for the stories of course, and the quasi-intellectual cultural journals like Atlantic, Harper's, The New Republic, Esquire, etc.

My bible for a long time was the 40th Anniversary issue of Esquire, devoted to the best original fiction and non-fiction the mag had published from its inception.  The magazine's heyday was its first forty years, when it published great work and paid real money to its contributors.  I first read two of my favorite short stories by Irwin Shaw there:  "The 80-Yard Run," about a former football star whose college glory has passed into a miserable middle-age.  And "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses," about a man who realizes during a walk along a Manhattan street with his wife that she knows more than he'd like her to know about his attraction to other women.

Ten years later, I bought the magazine's 50th Anniversary issue, but wasn't quite as taken by it for some reason. I had both of them stashed away until a decade ago, when I cut up the forty-year issue and put the stories in plastic sheaths and took them to my education class at Portland State to show the youngsters what a real magazine looked like in the old days.  The full-page black and white pictures of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, et. al, were impressive.  "These are my heroes," I told the young people in the class, all of whom were there, like me, because the course was mandatory for aspiring teachers.  They passed the delicate pages around the room as I played a recording of me reading a short story I'd written for the occasion. I was so old I could have been some of these youngsters' Grandpa. Well, maybe not that old...but my own daughter was their age.

I decided not to pursue teaching after giving it a brief try in a local high school; I'm not sure why, except the "credential" dance was too meaningless to me, I guess.  I discovered how difficult teaching would be for someone lacking the patience for it.  It became another thing I didn't care to suffer through in order to fail at it.  The kids scared the shit out of me.

Something else happened that was sort of depressing.  I always wore a shirt and tie and some of my most presentable pants and slightly tattered sports coats to class.  My host teacher, a lifer who taught history at the particular school I was visiting, pulled me aside one day and told me my tennis shoes needed to go.  Wear loafers, he said. Real shoes.

I didn't own a pair of shoes, and I didn't have the money to buy a pair either.

I recall looking at him and thinking, My God.  You get so many things wrong and twisted in your lectures, dish out so much crap to these poor rich kids that they'll never recover from your bullshit, not even if they live to be 100, and you're mentioning this?

I thought, you're an asshole commenting on my sartorial bliss!  I didn't say it, I didn't say it...

He also had no idea that I have problems with my feet and haven't felt comfortable in shoes since forever.  But he didn't need to know that.

I was already planning changes as he poured his fraudulent heart out.


One publication I never purchased and found intolerable was the National Review.  I'd pick one up occasionally without buying it and usually get pissed.  I wanted to tear it up, or set it afire. I disliked Bill Buckley and all conservatives in general. My family was crawling with them.  I was different.  I was the "artist."

I did however collect college football and basketball magazines for most of the '80s--Smith & Street, Athlon and other annuals.  Like the Esquire anniversary issues, I no longer have them but I can recall reading and re-reading them until the pages were tattered.  I read them in lieu of making art, pure escapism and avoidance. Sometimes I wanted to write sports stories, something I did--and not well at all--in high school.

Alas, I didn't give it much of a go, submitting one to the Willamette Week, which the paper wasn't interested in because it wasn't very good.  It was supposed to be about Mouse Davis' now famous "run and shoot" offense at PSU, one of the earliest versions of today's ubiquitous spread offenses. I don't remember what I wrote, but I doubt it was about Davis and his football genius at all, and I didn't bother to archive a copy.

I worked odd jobs to survive and forgot about sports writing.  Then about two years ago I finally published a short book about the Portland Beavers. A baseball story. That is all, my life's work as a sports writer.

I lost the sports magazine collection a long time ago during one move or another. I was tired of lugging them around.

So since going online it's been hit or miss with the discarded mags I find on the shelves at the senior center across the street from where I now live.  Sometimes I pick one up for the hell of it, as I did today when I spotted a copy of The New Yorker (Feb. 29, 2016).

Price $7.99.  Too steep for me.  Luckily this one is free, like the copies of The New Yorker my serial-reader, co-worker Suzanne once passed on to me while we were in the employ of a Northwest Portland restaurant in the '90s.  

My latest free New Yorker is on my desk, and I'm looking at the magazine's cover, which is a colored drawing of six forms that look half-human and half-like Oscar statues.  Red VIP rope is center-left in the picture.  The carpet is red. A redheaded man in shades, holding a clipboard and wired up with a communication device, appears to be checking the statues into or out of--it isn't clear which--some sort of controlled environment where a deliberate exclusivity is being managed.  The statues are larger than the checker, and in the foreground three of them are larger than life. Three others behind the rope are awaiting entrance/exit to a dream.

At the bottom left of the picture, a hint of what awaits the statues/guests is clear: photographers, paparazzi,  are represented by a small glimpse of their equipment, including a black lens with a patch of gray merging with black at the picture's edge.  On the gray area, small type reads, "Clowes '16."

Ah ha!  The artist's signature.


The back of the magazine features a Cadillac advertisement with the copy reading:


Below the picture of the Caddy, under the Cadillac logo there is this: DARE GREATLY.

Directly below the picture, which has only a hint of color in its dominant black and silver-gray motif, this, in smaller caps:


The first-ever CT 6 is a black beauty with shimmering silver wheels and an impressive form like a sleek whale beached on a cobblestone-street just off Pierce St. in NYC.

The car appears to need valet service, as it is in the middle of the narrow street unattended.  Perhaps the valet is already in the car, readying to drive it to the nearest parking lot.  The windows are blackened out, so how would you know? (Or perhaps the adman is a step ahead; we don't need no stinking valets!)

Near the car a handsome couple is walking on the sidewalk, likely headed for a nearby cafe or theatre outside the frame.  She has long, flowing black hair and a silver/gray shirt covered by an open, lightweight brown-leather jacket.  Her long, thin arms protrude out of the jacket too far, making her appear awkward as she is captured mid-stride. She is carrying a black purse on her right hip, held there by a thin shoulder strap. It is as if the jacket may be ill-fitted, like she's grown out of it.  Her hips are wide, but not too wide, in the fetching way some thin women's hips are; bony and pronounced in tight denims. Her left hand appears to be grazing her handsome companion's right hand, as if the camera caught the pair just before they joined hands in an expression of their mutual satisfaction with both the Caddy and each other. He has a shadow of a beard and could be a little older than the woman, maybe 40 to her 35. He too is in denims.  He is wearing a black jacket, also open in front, of indiscernible material. His left hand is slightly blurred in the image, as if it was moving as the photographer clicked his camera. The couple is looking at each other admiringly, confidently.  Their relationship and the car are both solid and their lives are good, you can tell. You can almost sense they are about to embrace because they are so happy.              

Unknowing "extras" carry on with their less distinctive business in the background across the street, walking in several directions.  In the foreground, just behind the car, a young man wearing white tennis shoes and a dark sweatshirt is crossing the street right to left.  He is carrying a gray pack strapped over his right shoulder.  The tote has settled on his lower back. His face is not shown. He is probably a student, but you never know. He could also be a terrorist.

Inside this issue of The New Yorker in the "Talk of the Town" is a commentary by Jeffrey Toobin, in which the author expresses his dislike of the recently deceased Antonin Scalia.

What Toobin says is mostly right.  I read the piece because a conservative did not write it.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Trump is Right About Something

“I tell you, it's unfair even from the Democrats' side. Every time I turn on the television, Bernie wins, Bernie wins — for weeks — Bernie wins, Bernie wins, Bernie wins. And then I watch the commentators and they say, 'Bernie can't win.' How do you win every single week, every single state and you can't win? You know why? Because it's a corrupt system. It's corrupt there, and it's more corrupt on the Republican side,” he said.

I take it this is the Donald's endorsement of Bernie for prez.


I joke, but I think he might prefer Sanders over all the others after this race is done with.  He'll know that his personal wealth won't be touched, and more importantly his ego-maniacal sense of affliction will fade away without much drama over time.  His penthouse and foxy wife await him back in NYC.

Personally, I don't understand why HC doesn't just  admit she's a Republican and get it over with. What do the rich movers and shakers and their minions fear about her?  Nothing, she's one of them and will plate the status quo in front of them like a waitress--a veritable feast of insider corruption.

I imagine a long line of elite capitalists and unrepentant Republicans are all in for HC now.  These are people who could give a fuck about the Tea Party and Jesus.

They don't like Cruz and find Trump foolish.

Business as usual.


The Slow Bern

But by the time Krugman’s column hit the newsstands, Bernie was already reversing course. In an interview with the talk show host and Council of Foreign Relations member Charlie Rose broadcast on CBS News on Thursday evening, Sanders refused to call Mrs. Clinton unqualified and added that “We should not get into this tit for tat. We should be debating the issues facing the American people.”

And that wasn’t all, unfortunately. The CFR’s Rose noted Sanders’ criticism of Clinton for her October 2002 U.S. vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq and asked, “is that going too far to say she bears responsibility for Iraqi war deaths?'” Sanders actually said the following in response: “Of course she doesn’t bear responsibility. She voted for the war in Iraq. That was a very bad vote, in my view. Do I hold her accountable? No.”

It was a remarkable and, for any serious left progressive, sickening comment. Just like that, Saint Bernard, “hero of the Left” (in dominant media coverage and commentary) went from principled criticism of his Democratic rival to mind-numbing, jaw-dropping exoneration of her abject, mass-murderous, and imperialist evil. How’s this for a campaign slogan: “Hold Democrats Accountable for Criminal Wars? Of Course Not!”

I agree with Paul Street's take on the week that was in this long, highly detailed and nuanced commentary at CP.

This is by far the best take I've read on what happened and why it's so evocative of our present quandary.

Here is a related view of Krugman's sellout, also at CP.

And while we are on topic, there is this.

And that is the week that was...


Monday, April 11, 2016

Doc of the Day

A bio of William Lindesay.


Some Story

DENVER -- Rumor has it he made his bat out of a tree felled by lightning in his boyhood home in Texas. Others say he learned to play in a magical corn field in Iowa. Whatever the truth is, rookie Trevor Story has had a first week that is the stuff of legend, rewriting the record book as he's collected over a half-mile of homers in his first half-dozen games in the big leagues.

The "raw" rookie is off to an amazing, unprecedented start.


What's Going On?

Oh, nothing.  Just a little pro-democracy rally in Paris yesterday.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Baseball Gripes

Hate to see an Eastern Oregon boy raked over the coals like this.

But if he isn't hitting and fielding like a superstar, what can you say?

Pick it up, man.  Earn your money.

Here is the list.


Right On! A Real Woman Spurns HC

“I would never fucking vote for her,” said Nicole Lawrence, 33.

Millions find her intolerable.  Some Republican asshole will win the election and the liberals will ask, "What the fuck just happened?"

That's fine with me.

Bernie in Brooklyn.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Money, Money, Money

When you press Democrats on their uninspiring deeds—their lousy free trade deals, for example, or their flaccid response to Wall Street misbehavior—when you press them on any of these things, they automatically reply that this is the best anyone could have done. After all, they had to deal with those awful Republicans, and those awful Republicans wouldn’t let the really good stuff get through. They filibustered in the Senate. They gerrymandered the congressional districts. And besides, change takes a long time. Surely you don’t think the tepid-to-lukewarm things Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have done in Washington really represent the fiery Democratic soul.--Thomas Frank

One thing is abundantly clear.  Hillary's supporters are a loud and obnoxious group of crybabies, but that is almost understandable given that most of them are comfortably ensconced in lives of privilege and denial.

As a group they could give a fuck about the poor and underprivileged, as Thomas Frank notes in his article.

When Bernie Sanders said Hillary was "unqualified" yesterday, he threatened the little bubble of comfort that surrounds the failed ex-Secretary of State and embittered loser to Obama in 2008.

Bernie did a great, honest thing.  If he is walking it back now, that is unfortunate.

The push back yesterday and today from the media and Hillary's women and eunuchs came in the form of the worst kind of gender politics--the hue and cry of those angrily opposed to anyone who would state with conviction, including poor young women and the working poor, that putting a woman in office at this time shouldn't be paramount.

Hillary is the wrong woman, you stupid louts.  She's a Republican in a pantsuit.

Talk about shortsightedness.  Yep, gender politics and a cult of personality have currently hijacked the DP.

HC was given a good job in Obama's new administration; she held her nose and took it in order to remain close to the halls of power, to stay in the game, and to immediately begin planning for her next run at the top job.  Obama held his nose in a silly attempt to create unity in the country.  That was just one of his stunningly efficient series of bad moves early on.

The naive women and emasculated men who cheer for old Hillary to finally achieve her lust for power--always a quid pro quo pact with her cheating hubby, I presume--are misinformed nincompoops who couldn't care less about the struggles vast swaths of Americans are facing under the thumb of neoliberalism--everybody's best girlfriend's forte.

They haven't a clue about how Madam Secretary fucked up in the Middle East by engaging with her elite friends--a tiny number--and allies in Libya to produce regime change and oust Qaddafi, leaving a vacuum in that failed-state that exists to this day and is spreading like a bad disease.

One thing neoliberals can't seem to understand is that they can no longer use the patronage of a nation's elites to get the majority of oppressed to love them.  You see, that is why colonialism ultimately failed.  Iraq was a failed attempt at neocolonialism, as Tariq Ali has argued.  None of the Bush crew had an historical understanding of Iraq's deeply ingrained cultural imperatives.  Pure hubris guided them.  The arrogant don't have time for history, which is why they're so destructive and prone to war.

They haven't a clue, or they don't care because  destabilization doesn't concern them until a bomb goes off in Boston.

They've shrugged off Hillary's Iraq vote as a senator because they too were hoodwinked by Bush and Cheney.  That's how much sense they have. While people with brains who knew what was going on marched in the streets, Clintonites marched across the aisle and kissed "the decider's" butt.

All of this gave rise to ISIS, and Clinton's hands are bloody with it. But the Clintonites don't care. They're too wrapped up in careerism and the pursuit of wealth and gender politics and the cult of personality. Geopolitics is not just the bane of Trumpeters. Overwhelming numbers of Dems don't get it either, and they're likely Clinonites.

As far as the bloated speech fees and the Wall Street support of her campaign that Bernie referenced yesterday,  it is fairly clear that Clintonites cheer the fact that she can make a lot of money. These people love money, and they don't have time for anyone who doesn't. There's nothing wrong with being rich, they exclaim, just learn to launder it properly.

Money envy has replaced penis envy with this crowd.

Oh least the dictator is dead, ha, ha!

Yep, Bernie rattled some liberals' cages yesterday.  I'd like to hear him deepen his attack, broaden it, fight on.  If he doesn't, he'll not only lose the election resoundingly, he'll disappoint millions of his followers who have donated time and money to his campaign.

Many of those people won't vote for Hillary, and will stay home on election day.

Then America can have its Trump.  That'll be as funny as killing Qaddafi.


Status Report

The damaged nerves in my jaw feel like they're loosening up, giving me faint hope of recovery from the paralysis I've been living with since my bout with shingles early last month. However, my right ear hasn't improved much at all.  It doesn't hurt as much as my jaw and the interior of my mouth and tongue, but its deadness and the associated loss of hearing is really annoying.  As you can see in the illustration, the main mass or root of the system is near the ear.

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, because that isn't warranted.  I'm still a mess, have difficulties chewing and tasting food, etc.  You don't realize how much you like to eat, never mind its necessity, until you're laced with TN.

Trigeminal neuralgia is beastly, and many (or most) people can't shake it and are destined to suffer the chronic pain and discomfort that accompanies it for the rest of their lives.  If you believe the clinicians and the data...

What it really amounts to, from a realist's POV, is that the darkness is closer than you imagine sometimes, an early-warning or wakeup call. Old people are stricken by this most often, and I fall into the normative range of its victims.

It's not fatal, but I've already felt how it changes your quality of life for the worse.  It's no fun at all.

Maybe I'll be one of the lucky one and recover?

This has been an update for any of my readers who know me personally and find me too interesting to resist.

Woe is me...


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Good Debate

Here in Portland major corporations have grabbed land in the suburbs and tax abatements like cookies from Grandma's unguarded jar.

It's globalism, folks.  If Nike didn't get the breaks they'd move the whole shebang to Monrovia.



A little hard-core tit-for-tat seems to have upset the Democratic elite.

Hillary said Bernie was unqualified yesterday.  Today in Philly he righteously pointed out that the U.S. Mama is herself unqualified.

He may have been speaking to her disasters as Secretary of State. Oh, and her snuggling with thieves.

Who knows?  Her warmongering tendencies?

Fight on, Bern.  She's a fraud and a witch.


Blue Nation My Ass

A prominent website bent on Hillary, with a dip-stick feminist editor.

It's a bigger joke than whatever Jeff Weaver proclaims.


Reading the Women

10 women writers you should read if you're a man and can read and understand English.

I'll admit I've read few of these, but there are many male writers as well that I should read and have not.

Actually, I'm reading Hannah Arendt these days.


The Voice

A personal favorite from among many.

Merle could be too sentimental for my taste at times.  But I lived by this one way longer than I should have.

You could call it an inverted sentimentality for its recklessness.  The guitars here--wow!

And it inevitably came to this, occasionally forgetting my lyrics:


RIP, Merle Haggard

Country giant Merle Haggard, who celebrated outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as Okie From Muskogee and Sing Me Back Home, died Wednesday at 79, on his birthday.

Haggard’s manager, Frank Mull, said the country icon died of pneumonia in Palo Cedro, California.

A masterful guitarist, fiddler and songwriter as well as singer, the Country Music Hall of Famer recorded for more than 40 years, releasing dozens of albums and No 1 hits.

Saw Haggard in concert at the Oregon Zoo two summers ago. Masterful show, too.

RIP, Merle.


My View at CP

I was a baby when Social Security saved me and my siblings from starvation and kept a roof over our heads. Believe me, we did not live in a welfare castle or contrive to hoodwink the system. Or become social pariahs or fake out the rich, or overturn the government. Or attack the Rockefellers or the big banks. Or make a nuisance of ourselves or deny our Americanism.

What FDR did of course was introduce a form of socialism to the body politic, giving our nation Social Security and other elements of the Second New Deal (1935), including a powerful mandate to put artists and writers to work.

His administration worked against all odds. He was successful because the power elite feared a massive revolt was near and that the only way to save capitalism was to acquiesce to a new social reality that said Americans needed security—or else.--TS

One of the best political journals on the planet, CounterPunch, picked up another of my stories today.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Today's Primary Electoral News

Trump is still an idiot.

Cruz is on cruise control amid the conservative clown colony.

Bernie got a haircut.

I much prefer the the wild-haired Bernie who didn't give a damn about sartorial grace.

Maybe he spent the money I sent to his campaign for a visit to his barber?


I'd Rather Be a French Existentialist

I can't get over how much Cruz looks like an evangelical, like one of those sleazy, greasy preachers back in the day who were busted for their affairs and million dollar empires built on their corrupt fleecing of the flock. Their awful "sins."  Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard and Jimmy Bakker come to mind.

Actually, Cruz looks a little like Tammy Bakker.  And must you have a double-consonant in your surname to be a fraud?

I understand he, Cruzz, is quite the Jesus-loving hound dog, if you can believe the equally sleazy celebrity press and rumor manufacturers.

My, my the U.S. is a lovely place these days.

A laughing stock, but lovely.


From Sextant Books

CD's wife, Harriet, reads his latest memoir, or his "reflections on the personal roots of narrative."

Whole Cloth: The Quilt of Literature is a fine addition to CD's canon, a book detailed in the telling of his writing process, and how the writer has, over the course of a long career as playwright, novelist, short-story writer and educator, shaped meaning, wonder and substance from living.

Read it.  I did, and enjoyed it immensely.

CD's trio of short plays about "family life" will appear here at RBP this summer.


Bouncing Bernie

Here’s the reality: Sanders is shooting up in the polls, and Hillary is trending down. The gap between the two has all but disappeared at the halfway point of the primary season. Sanders main opponent isn’t Hillary Clinton, however, it's the combination of time and an Establishment media the steadfastly refuses to cover the movement that is feeding his ascendancy

An optimistic view.

And another.

I think Sanders would have to pull the remainder of the states, not likely unfortunately.  The first Wisconsin returns are scheduled for a 6:15 (PT) release.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Villanova Beats North Carolina

If you did not watch the NCAAMB championship game tonight you missed out.

Villanova wins its 2nd championship, the first since 1985, with 85 year-old Rollie Massimino in the audience.

Rollie coached the 1985 team to its only other title.

Great game.  After a disappointing Final Four, this was a classic.



Mixed Bag

The NCAAMB championship game starts in a couple of hours.  Don't know whom to pick, and don't really care.  Should be a good game, though.

I watched San Francisco crush Milwaukee earlier today.  A big crowd for opening day in what looked like miserable weather, though it didn't rain.

The Giants hit back-to-back-to back home runs off some poor loser named Pena. He wasn't too happy with himself when the manager yanked him after he gave up a couple of more hits in the inning.

Three homers in a row doesn't happen a lot, so the game had that going for it.

Alas some games were rained out elsewhere.  Dammit, I say, they start the season too early and end it too late.  It's all about the money.  Google the Giants' payroll some time.  The numbers those guys earn is shocking and obscene.

Buster Posey hit a home run today, one of the trio.  Buster Posey is a very rich catcher.  As in $167 million in his latest contract.  BTW, the greatest Giant, Willie Mays, never came close to that figure, even in fifties and sixties dollars.

I like baseball in the summer best, and that can't get here soon enough by my reckoning.

My face hurts.  For some reason the neuralgia is a little worse today. It is very difficult to stay focused...what was I just saying?

I may have to try a Mary Jane therapy here shortly.  I don't normally have pot around and rarely indulge.  That may change.

I want the pills if I can get a medical card.  I've never been much of a pot smoker, but a friend once gave me a few of the pills and I liked those.

Very mellow.  I'm sort of running out of options with my condition. I'll try anything short of heroin.

I had some whiskey over the weekend.  The problems with whiskey come the next morning after the delusions of grandeur you have while drinking it.

Speaking of the money in baseball--here is John Oliver riffing on the absurd stuffiness of the Yankees:


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ho Hum...


The Final Four.  I'm not as enthusiastic about it without my team, but I'll make an effort to watch at least some of it.

You've got to be very good to make it this far, and Oregon just didn't have enough.  I think Coach K got in Dillon Brooks' head a little after the Ducks beat Duke in the Sweet 16.  Well, maybe not, but Brooks had one of his poorest game against the Okies...

Maybe the Sooners had something to do with that, I admit grudgingly.

I'll root for Syracuse, a team that proved the critics wrong when many of them argued the 13-loss Orangemen didn't belong in the tourney.

The last team to win it all with so many regular season losses might just be the late Jimmy Valvano's N.C. State team of the early eighties.

Anyway, it starts at 3 here in the west.

Something to do, which beats not doing something.