Hot Air

Historic Take

Have you heard historian Ken Burns take the gloves off re: Donald Trump yet? You simply have to. Burns was speaking at the Stanford U. graduation ceremony. Here’s one line that wraps Trump up in newspaper so he can be tossed into the garbage can:

[Trump] is against lots of things but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements. A person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter.A person who’s never demonstrating any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment.

Listen to more from Burns. And remember to vote!


Then again, maybe Trump is a perfect candidate inasmuch as he represents so much that has defined America through the decades…, hell, through the centuries:

  • Greed & acquisitiveness
  • Flamboyant demonstrations of wealth
  • Extreme self-interest
  • Fear of foreigners
  • Wealth as evidence of success in life
  • A loose grasp on truth and reality
  • Remarkable ability to sell snake oil

I could go on and on but you get the picture. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe the United States of America also represents many beautiful and admirable facets of human nature, but Trump seems to be the poster boy for all those things that have created in our nation the current state wherein corporate profit is king and the welfare of the individual is merely an annoyance.

He is, in other words, the paragon of all that is the worst about us.


This America?

Maybe we need him to run for president at this key juncture in our history, Maybe this year we decide whether we want to be a nation of smug, insulting, showoff braggarts or one of smart, caring, innovative, inclusive, decent souls.


I have little to say about the Orlando massacre that hasn’t been said dozens of times by hundreds and thousands of other commentators.

I only have one statement to make:

In America today there are, by one estimate, some 357 million firearms. America’s population, acc’d’g to the US Census Bureau,  is approaching 324 million. Do the math.


June 13th Birthdays

Charles the Bald (823 AD) & Charles the Fat (839 AD) — A couple of Roman emperors, brothers born on the same date, about whom I have nothing to say; I just wanted to share their monikers.

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Bald (L) & Fat

James Clerk Maxwell (pronounced Clark) — Next to Newton and Einstein, perhaps the most important theorist in the realm of the electromagnetic spectrum which is, essentially, all that there is.

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Paul Lynde — Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the fabled center square occupant on Hollywood Squares. Go here for a rundown of his most famous quips from that game show.


Christo & Jeanne-Claude — Husband and wife visual artist team known for creating “environmental” works. He, born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, and Jeanne-Claude (nee Denat) have wrapped countless natural and human-made landmarks in fabric. They were born on the same day in 1935.

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Audrey Niffenegger — Author of The Time Traveller’s Wife and Fearful Symmetry as well as the graphic novels Three Incestuous Sisters and The Night Bookmobile.

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