• Spring, Like a Lion

    (Unfortunately, wanderings like these are impossible in this wholly abnormal spring, when we’ve had to postpone a camping and hiking trip to the Southwest from fear of state border closures and being locked out of Wyoming when we attempt to reenter it.–author’s note.) It’s 145 road miles from Belen to Gallup, New Mexico, a railroad… Read More

  • Huxley and Orwell

    Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1931) remains a brilliant shot at a future that is ours today.  Its only rival here is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).  Debate between the admirers of these classics continues down to the present—Huxley thought that the future would be rather more like his version than Orwell’s—and my slight preference… Read More

  • Insupportable

    Secretary Mnuchin’s announcement this morning that the federal government is looking to restart the economy in regions of the country where the Covid virus has not taken a strong hold is politically wise, and in fact critically important. The Western public has so far cooperated, for the most part willingly, with the shutdowns, shutouts, lockups,… Read More

  • Hag-Ridden in the House

    Photographs of Nancy Pelosi show a woman looking increasingly hag-ridden, as in fact she is. The hag  is Madam Speaker herself. She has recently turned eighty, and looks every makeup-plastered wrinkle and crease of it. Her public demeanor—her grimaces and her speech in her particular—suggest the Wicked Witch of the North. This is a presidential… Read More

  • Brother Putin

      As I write a Russian military transport plane the size of a small cruise ship and laden with medical supplies and equipment is jetting across the Atlantic  toward a stricken Third World country immediately north of the Rio Grande. The relief follows shortly after President Putin sent medical aid to Italy and Iran, two… Read More

  • A Return to ‘Normal’ Life?

    RETURN TO ‘NORMAL LIFE’ MAY BE SIX MONTHS AWAY.  That is the Daily Telegraph‘s headline for March 29th.  Until lately, the Telegraph was  taken seriously as a solid right-wing organ that has regularly published words of good sense.  It has now abandoned reason and become a cheerleader for whatever policies the Johnson Government proclaims.  This… Read More

  • The “Experts”

        A expert is one who disagrees with other experts.  In the law courts, an expert witness is paid to cast severe doubt on the evidence of another expert.  The Government has placed its faith, and the way the nation deals with COVID-19, with the two top medicos whose lugubrious features and message appear… Read More

  • Notes on the Present Crisis (cont.)

    1. Overnight, two of the most commonly used words in the English language are “distance” and “distancing.” As in “distance learning,” which people seem to imagine is a wholly new human invention inspired by the coronavirus pandemic and one that is made possible only by the digital technology from which Skype was developed. The truth… Read More

  • The Second Phony War

        ‘Any man’s death diminishes me’ said John Donne.  Frankly, not all that much now that I learn about that proportion of Britons that is subject to Covid-19.  It turns out that the average age of those admitted to intensive care units is 63, and 70% are obese or over-weight.  In other words, Britain… Read More

  • Notes on the Present Crisis

    1. So far as I can discover, opposition parties in the European countries (and elsewhere) are cooperating with the leadership of the party in power by acquiescing in its policies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the Conservative government of Great Britain is considering inviting representatives of the Labour Party (excluding Jeremy Corbyn)… Read More