Monday, May 30, 2016

Nobody Apologized - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Nobody Apologized

From reading the popular press the naïve among us might infer that in August of 1945 the world was in a happy state of peace and repose, and that President Truman, with nothing much else to do, ordered an atomic bomb to be dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. For no reason. No reason at all.

Last week the President of the United States visited Japan, and was expected to apologize. Although he did say a few fatuous things about some nebulous concept called evolving morality (what, really, does that mean?), he did not apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Better individuals than I have studied everything dispassionately and concluded that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was bad. Others, also better than I, studied the same primary sources and concluded that dropping the bombs ended the war more quickly than was otherwise possible, and in doing so saved the lives of millions of Japanese as well as free-world allies. So, I don’t know. I am thankful never to have been any part of that.

Last week the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, also did not apologize. He did not apologize for Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, French Indo-China, China, Dutch East Indies, Hong Kong, Borneo, Burma, Nanjing, Malaya, New Guinea, Singapore, Korea, Manchuria, Balalae Island, Andaman Islands, hundreds of death camps, forced labor, starvation, torture, the murder of civilian prisoners, the murder of military prisoners, Unit 731 and numerous other units for experimenting on live prisoners, dissection of living American prisoners at Kyushu Imperial University (but, hey, how ‘bout their football team, eh?), the Three Alls Policy, poison gas attacks, biological attacks, Alexandra Hospital massacre, Banka Island massacre, Balikpapan massacre, Laha Airfield massacre, Manila massacre, Pantingan River massacre, Sandankan massacre, Parit Sulong massacre, Suaid massacres and cannibalism, SS Behar massacre, I-8 massacres, Akikaze massacre, Attu aid station massacre, Sook Ching massacre, Sulug Island massacre, Tol Plantation massacre, Banka Island massacre, Nauru Island massacre, Wake Island massacre, Manila massacre, Bataan Death March, Burma Railway, hell ships, Panjiayu, Sandakan Death Marches, Changteh chemical weapon attack, Kaimingye germ weapons attack, and on and on and on.

There is not a dull word in the survivors’ accounts.

The same old complaint about “Why don’t they teach this in schools?” just won’t do - when the Soviets launched the first Sputnik in 1957 the concept of a broad education for all was jettisoned by the will of the people in favor of technical training. It’s mostly Chinese-made gadgets now. But you can pull up on the computer (usually made in China by a Japanese-owned company) any of the death-camp narratives, put your kid in front of it, and tell him “Boy, you read this before you complain about what a rough life you have.” You could start with the Alexandra Hospital massacre (

One purpose of studying history – one of those purportedly fuzzy liberal arts so despised now - is that a young man or woman might question why the government his parents and elders elected should expect him to die next year protecting Japan from China.

Yes, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. All. And that suggests humility for all.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spring Thunderstorm II - poem

Lawrence Hall

Spring Thunderstorm II

“I am well rebuked.” – St. Thomas More in A Man for all Seasons

An underpass is no good in a storm
You cuddle up with a half-pint of plonk
Hiding it from those who are meaner than you
But they will probably find it anyway

The young have hopes that someday this will end
Humiliation, degradation, fear
The old have only memories of hope
And die in dreams of happiness long ago

Since if you wrap yourself in an underpass
You still have nothing but cold rain and death

Spring Thunderstorm I - poem

Lawrence Hall

Spring Thunderstorm I

A house is like a blanket; in a storm
You cuddle up with cozy walls, and pull
The roof over your head against the rain
As lightning flashes through the window pane

And thunder is a bully, all full of himself
He tries to interrupt you as you read
Or sew or listen to the radio -
How tiresome the rain, lightning, thunder, and wind!

But if you wrap the house around yourself
It’s like your favorite blanket, safe and warm

The First Supper - poem

Lawrence Hall

The First Supper

For all who wait tables

Who sets the table for the Passover Seder
In a rented room? Hoping that the guests
Won’t pinch too many salt cellars or knives
Or stay too late while the poor waiters yawn

And hope for a generous gratuity
For having to work so late on a holiday
Muttering sourly among themselves
“Why is this night longer than other nights?”

And will they want the bill split twelve ways?
Who sets the table for the Passover Seder?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Is Your Chakra Unbalanced? - poem

Lawrence Hall

Is Your Chakra Unbalanced?

You haven’t adjusted your chakra yet?
You’d better make an appointment with the vet!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You Can't Squeeze a Turnip out of Blood - poem

Lawrence Hall

You Can’t Squeeze a Turnip Out of Blood

A ship deserting a sinking rat
An envelope pushing anything else
A committee thinking inside a box
Or being reinvented by a wheel

A woman picking up the jaw she dropped
And shelves flying onto the product
A minor motion picture, unpacked jam
Something about a girl with bathroom eyes

The more change things the change more things
For the hamster turning though the wheel is dead

Estate Sale - Books $2 - poem

Lawrence Hall

Estate Sale – Books $2

Saint Joseph Sunday missals on a shelf
Four small ribboned missals, one for each child
“Introibo ad altare Dei
Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.”

Fifty years later, the same little books
Still in a row on the same little shelf
Waiting for the little hands that never again
Will reach for them while Dad honks the truck horn

And Mom fusses with the slow-cooker stew
On a Sunday that God remembers with joy

Sitting on the Porch - poem

Lawrence Hall

When I was a boy I didn’t understand why in the evenings old people liked to sit on the porch with a pipe or a cup of coffee, doing nothing:

Sitting on the Porch

Sitting on the porch, not thinking at all
About the rain dripping off the eaves
The old bird-dog dog dozing on the planks
The yapping puppy annoying the cats

Sharpening a pocketknife, not thinking at all
About boyhood, the war, marriage, children
That last letter from far away, the funeral
And has the coffee finished percolating

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord…” -
Sitting on the porch, not thinking at all

An Extended Family - poem

Lawrence Hall

An Extended Family

A recluse is always uncomfortable
Billeted in a crowded and noisy house
Roommates who simply will not get along
Arguing about the cheesecake in the reefer

And whose turn is it to wash the dishes
That radio is entirely too loud
Didn’t anyone pay the electric bill
And will you ever learn to wipe your feet

A big old House upon its Seven Hills -
A recluse is always uncomfortable

Monday, May 23, 2016

Undeclared War is Good Business - Invest Your Daughter - column

Mack Hall, HSG
22 May 2016

Undeclared War is Good Business – Invest Your Daughter

Mr. Donald Trump’s butler is said to have said ill-mannered things about the President. I don’t understand this – my butler never speaks inappropriately.

+ + +

Prime Minister Trudeau got into an almost Long Branch Saloon tussle on the floor in Parliament last week, strong-arming one MP, elbowing another, and pushing others aside, like the new sheriff coming in to clean up Wild West Ottawa. A helpful video explains the dust-up employing not cowboy metaphors but sports terminology:

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Nicholas Clairmont, who writes for The Atlantic, not only opines that the un-American practice of conscription should be restored but that it should include women. Really. Nicholas Clairmont is a grown man who wants your daughter or granddaughter to be captured by press gangs, shipped out, and shot for the greater glory of Nicholas Clairmont. What a mensch, eh.

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Freedom from the Freedom from Religion Foundation – now that is a freedom much to be desired.

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Australians are experimenting with robot ranchers. These machines wander about to monitor crops and cattle while sending computer analysis to (for the present) humans. One imagines the robotic remake of Red River. Or perhaps C3PO as Matt Dillon, not in Gunsmoke but in Vague Chirpy Phaser Noises.

+ + +

Candidates for elected office are chosen by popular vote. The exception is this year’s presidential election in which the voter is expected to vote for the least unpopular. Not even prom king and queen are elected on such a goofy basis.

+ + +

The President, without bothering with Congress, has decided to sell (translation – you’ll pay) weapons to The Glorious Working People’s Peace-Loving Communist Republic of Viet-Nam and to send ships to protect them from the increasingly aggressive Glorious Working People’s Peace-Loving Republic of China. Sounds like 1963 all over again.

Viet-Nam doesn’t like us.

China doesn’t like us.

The Philippine government doesn’t like us.

Japan doesn’t like us.

They just use us against each other.

Maybe the USA could take the Switzerland option and stay out of the coming war in Asia. We could send gung-ho Nicholas Clairmont instead.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

If the Universe is Mechanical - poem

Lawrence Hall

If the Universe is Mechanical

If the universe is mechanical
Then it is badly out of tune and time
Clattering erratically around our souls
A clockwork badly needing winding up

Whoever held the key has lost it, though
And a bent thought won’t make it go again
As it tock-ticks in the back of a shop
Of cosmic pawns there accumulating dust

From stars remaindered from a holiday sale -
If the universe is mechanical

Pick up Your Brass - poem

Lawrence Hall

Pick up Your Brass

The rubrics of the firing range are clear
And most importantly, pick up your brass -
In learning to shoot, tidiness is most dear
And empty casings chap the sergeant’s…soul

Duck and Cover - poem

Lawrence Hall

Duck and Cover

The duck and cover drill was never frightening
Not like arithmetic, or the teacher’s stare
For if the rockets fell, no more homework
Or switch-inducing notes to Mom and Dad

“Mack is a smart boy but needs to work harder.”
We crouched beside our desks and giggled
About old Kruschev bombing Kirbyville
Any American could whip three Commies

We had John Wayne and President Eisenhower

And so

The duck and cover drill was never frightening

Night Prayer - poem

Lawrence Hall

Night Prayer

Tobacco smoke rises from the bowl of a pipe
Like incense or thoughts, or dreams drifting up
Into the gathering dusk, the compline hour
A liturgy at the end of the day

That celebration of needful solitude
With the philosopher’s tools of light and shade
The evening lawn, an open book unread
A dog perhaps, in somnolent repose

Surely thinking how wonderful you are -
Tranquility rises from the bowl of a pipe

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

About this Life Thing... - poem

Lawrence Hall

About this Life Thing…

“What we mean to establish is a school for the Lord’s service”

- St. Benedict

For Cody

Your final exams are not final, you know
They’re only markings on a calendar
A cluster of large numbers and small grids
Shapelets that have no meaning in themselves

For Shakespeare will push rhyme beyond all time
And Euclid charts his pi without a date
Caesar does not count days before he writes
“Omnis Gallia in partes tres divisa est”


Schedules are useful things, but life itself
Is a joyful study without an end

Following a Path Worn by Pilgrims - poem

Lawrence Hall

Following a Path Worn by Pilgrims

Doctor Zhivago, p. 75

No one is first along a pilgrim road
Other footsteps began our journey for us -
To Bethlehem, Emmaus, Damascus –
Wherever the heart is centered in hope

Someone has stepped on this cactus before
And sat on that rock to pull out the spines
And muttered about the indignity
Of a holy man pestered with stickers

But humility is part of the search


No one is last along a pilgrim road

A House Without a Dog - poem

Lawrence Hall

A House without a Dog

Socks will not disappear
Shoes will not be chewed
Christmas ornaments will not be eaten
The floor will remain clean

But socks do not look at you with love
Shoes don’t cuddle
Christmas ornaments don’t kiss your nose
And floors don’t chase their tails

A Candidacy of Unreferenced Pronouns - poem

Lawrence Hall

A Candidacy of Unreferenced Pronouns

“At least he tells it like it is” – hear, now,
That unsourced “it” which centers every fear
And every diffuse anger and frustration
Capitalized by a plastic baseball cap

And prefaced by that poor excuse – “at least”
Which really is the least that can be said
(This side of throwing in an “actually”) -
To plead the so-sad sibilant “at least”

Is an evasive slither that must end
As Milton’s dismal, universal hiss

Event Staff - poem

Lawrence Hall

Event Staff

What if we are never the stars of our lives
Or even the audience for our show
But always staff, dutiful event staff
Important, but not as much as we think

Moving chairs for others to sit upon
Selling tickets at the parish-hall door
Spaghetti supper for the Something-Youth
And their yearly convention in Houston

And finding Mrs. Grumpy’s misplaced purse –
Event staff – we are our own autographs

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chakras in the Underground - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Chakras in the Underground

About that restroom edict – why are people constantly surprised at having the government for which they voted?

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The democratically-elected leaders of this nation are obsessed with telling other nations what to do and how to live, but, unsurprisingly, can’t even run a short railroad.

The D.C. subway is reported to be a mess, with poor design, inadequate maintenance, fatal fires and smoke, breakdowns, delays, and questionable accounting practices. When a subway train breaks down – or begins burning – you’re trapped in a tunnel and can’t get out and walk away.

Subways are illogical. Humans are by nature surface-dwellers, not burrowers. Given that D.C. reposes uneasily upon a swamp, tunnels there are not a good idea. And even in stable rock, packing humans, machinery, fuel, and electricity into a sealed environment is a patently unsafe practice.

But perhaps the maintenance funding was routed via Iraq, Afghanistan, and the China Seas.

+ + +

The most realistic greeting card slogan for graduation might be: Congratulations! Now you’re just another unemployed American.”

+ + +

Bernie Sanders has the endorsement of the witch community in Oregon:

…she prepared to lead them in the “amplification of positive energy of Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement.”

They gathered around a small rug with four candles, flowers and an imitation ballot box adorned with Bernie stickers. Each person was handed a replica ballot and took turns declaring what they would like to see changed…

Then they circled the candles together, chanting “be the Bern, be the Bern, be the Bern…”

When they were finished, they passed around cherries and ginger lemonade. (

At the once-Catholic University of Notre Dame this event might be confused with Sunday morning Mass.

+ + +

A current shopping-mall theology advises us that we are composed of chakras and must spend time and money balancing them. Well, hey, we mustn’t go around with unbalanced chakras.

Do you get the idea that valley-speakers who are obsessed with their chakras and reikis and gluten-free auras are the sort of people who take selfies?

+ + +

The chakras seem to have been unbalanced at a political convention in Nevada last Saturday. Things got so rough that delegate Aunt Pittypat pleaded for her smelling salts, a cup of organic rose-hip tea, Yoo-Toob time, and a lawyer.

Purse-swinging was averted only by some bored-looking deputies standing in front of the dais and asking the attendees to leave. They said “please.” And the attendees, raising their me-phones in a princess-power salute, left.

Still, that the long-obedient proletariat finally refused to be good comrades and obey the program imposed by The Party gives one hope for democracy.


The Eternal Complaint of the Elderly - poem

Lawrence Hall

The Eternal Complaint of the Elderly

Old men don’t seem to recognize the world
Its shifting cultural expectations,
Unstable tectonics in music and art
The vaporous now in the confident young

Confusion and speed, meanings without words
Words without meanings, opaque cues and codes
Mutual unintended inattention
And the sense of being invisible

Old man, the world doesn’t even see you -
And it’s all probably better that way

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Goodcomradechant and Goodcomradewear - two poems

Lawrence Hall


“Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho!
(Insert this week’s Orwellian Goldstein figure without any regard for meter)
Has got to go!”


Good comrades uniformed in baggy knee-pants
And hoodies adorned with bloody old Che
Designer haircuts to enhance the chance
Of viraling on the gossipnet today

Because the Dragon Never Forgets - poem

Lawrence Hall

Because the Dragon Never Forgets

St. George, who fights our daily dragons for us
With golden prayers, and silver sword aloft -
Shall we neglect him on his festal day
Dismissing him as a Perseus myth?

Oh, no – for any man is more a myth
Than any saint, whose glory is in God
And not in his calendar reputation
Or in the vaporous memories of men

Even unremembered, he is our shield -
St. George, who fights our daily dragons for us

The DNA of Creation - a Variant - poem

Lawrence Hall

The DNA of Creation – a Variant

Creation’s DNA appears to us
As blood and water flowing from a wound
Down, down into the dust all serpentine
Where sins lie hidden, rotting in the dark

Creation’s DNA appears to us
As wine and water mingled in a cup
Seldom spilling onto the carpeting
In an air-conditioned sanctuary

But nevertheless real for all of that:
Creation’s DNA is given to us

The DNA of Creation - poem

Lawrence Hall

The DNA of Creation

The DNA of Creation appears
As blood and water flowing from a wound,
Flowing down flesh and wood, into the ground
Blood-sodden through repeated sacrifice

Scapehumans executed by the state
Some for murder, some for thinking bad thoughts
Others for love, for living happily
For helping tend and guard the Garden of life

But this one is far different, for in Him
The DNA of Creation appears

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Oh, the Places You Won't Go! - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Oh, the Places You Won’t Go!

A wrecker driver is reported – it was on the InterGossip, so it must be true, right? - to have abandoned a woman whose car was broken down. The reason given was that he didn’t approve of the political bumper sticker on the car.

He also credited a higher power for his decision: "Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave” (

But let’s be fair – the cad didn’t say which lord.

You know, not even John Wayne was John Wayne – as a perfectly healthy young man he somehow managed to dodge his military obligation, just like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and never served in other ways, such as a volunteer firefighter, auxiliary police officer, or in some other civil defense capacity. Even so, a man is obligated, in spite of all ideologies and fashions and bumper stickers, to be protective of women and children. If the story is true, the wrecker driver left a woman alone in a disabled car on a rural highway.

That man’s momma needs to have a talk with him. He should listen to her - and to a different Lord.

+ + +

Every election cycle famous people threaten to deprive the Republic of their special wonderfulness and go to Canada if Candidate X is elected. Alas that they never go.

But then there is this: has Canada invited them? Threatening to emigrate to another nation as an expression of hissy-fit-ness is like a child threatening to go live with the neighbors if he doesn’t get a Wham-O Nuclear Missile Playset for Christmas.

Canada, unlike some nations, has border controls. If Canada doesn’t want you, you don’t go there. When you approach the border a nice man or woman chit-chats with you while scanning your passport, and if the computer reports any crimes, including even a DWI from forty years ago (, the border services will nicely advise you that you are permitted to view Niagara Falls from the American side.

Our border agency, sadly, allowed Canadian Justin Bieber in. Well, maybe J.B. doesn’t like the new prime minister. Or he could be a refugee.

+ + +

Imagine how much happier the world would be if there were no graduation speakers other than the valedictorian and salutatorian. And they would be denied their diplomas if they talked for more than five minutes.

During graduation speeches all guests should be given a pencil and a checklist of clichés, maybe as a Bingo card:

“Education is the key that unlocks…”

“We are the future.”

“My Webster’s defines ‘commencement’ as…”

“This is not the end; this is the beginning.”

“Follow your dreams.”

“Follow your passion.”

“Make a difference.”

“As we stand on the threshold of…”

“As we go forth…”

“The torch has been passed…”

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it…”

“Education is not a destination but a journey.”

“We’ve been through some amazing times together.”

Whoever checks off the most cliches’ wins a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Harriet, Meet Andy; Andy, Meet Harriet - column

Mack Hall, HSG

Harriet, Meet Andy; Andy, Meet Harriet

This nation will again feature a woman on its currency, a woman who, as many have observed, was a gun-owning Republican. Harriet Tubman was a Deborah, a Joan of Arc, leading her people – and, by extension, all people - to freedom, and eminently worthy of national honor.

However, given the popular cultures most people choose to follow, one wonders if this week there will be an intergossip meme demanding that Prince replace Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar-bill even before she is pictured there. Last month the demand might have been for David Bowie, and before him Michael Jackson, and before him Elvis Presley.

The popularity of the eponymous Broadway musical is said to have saved Hamilton’s wiggie image on the ten, reflecting the democracy of the box office cash flow. What could be more American? So, hey, The Khardassians on the fiver, anyone? Hanna Montana twerkin’ to the Disney oldies?

Old Hickory had a long run on the twenty, though my First Nations cousins have never had any more reason to honor him than they do George Custer. A century hence a fashionable crowd will chant that Harriet Tubman was not open to multi-sex restrooms, or perhaps was too human species-ist, and she will be replaced by someone else, or maybe by a porpoise.

Civilization seems to be pretty much an Oxymandias thing – we build up nations and set up statues to ourselves and our values, and within a century our constructs are as irrelevant as a statue of Cecil Rhodes in a city park in Harare. Jackson Square in New Orleans may within a decade be renamed Place de la Good Comrades, and the gilded equestrienne statue of St. Joan of Arc by the Mississippi River might be pulled down in favor of automated figures of Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa giving each other dirty looks. Fame and reputation are as fleeting as smoke from the riverboats.

Many nations place their current leaders on their money. North Korean banknotes have a picture of Little Tubby and a tiny sound machine that sings “Ding, Dong, the East is Red,” while Russia’s have a picture of Vladimir Putin, shirtless, wrestling a polar bear.

No, not really.

The Canadian dollar coin features a portrait of the Queen on one side and a loon – meaning the waterfowl, not the previous premier of Newfoundland – on the other, which seems suspiciously levelling.

Canadian banknotes again offer the Queen on the front but on the back a series of stern Canadian statesmen, most of whom seem to look like Benjamin Disraeli on a bad starched-collar day. If Canada ever becomes a republic they could replace the Queen on their currency with a populist Air Canada cabin attendant democratically snarling “No, we don’t have any coffee! We ran out back at Row 30! Eh!”

One does not imagine George Washington being replaced on our dollar with a FEMA functionary, or maybe one of those octopus-tentacled guys who fondles you at the airport. We continue to be honored by heroes on our currency. Harriet Tubman wanted freedom for all, not campus safe spaces, and took a pistol with her on her raids to free the oppressed. She would not have wept and wrung her hands upon seeing “Trump 2016” chalked on a sidewalk, nor would she have seen a therapist about any feelings of inadequacy.

I don’t know that she or Andy Jackson ever played the guitar, though.


“Gentlemen! You Can’t Fight in Here – This is the Institute of Peace!” - Column

Mack Hall, HSG

“Gentlemen! You Can’t Fight in Here – This is the Institute of Peace!”

Daniel Berrigan has died, which will mean little to most people under fifty, who never heard of him and so didn’t know he was alive. Fr. Berrigan was a fashionable 1960s the-church-of-what’s-happen’-now priest who became famous for being against things. And in many of those things, including conscription and the undeclared war in Viet-Nam, he was right. Conscription is antithetical to the concept of a free nation, and Section 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution clearly states that only Congress is empowered to declare war. So is it fair, then, to wonder at Fr. Berrigan’s motives?

St. Thomas More wisely reminds us that we do not have a window to look into another man’s soul. Even so, Fr. Berrigan often seemed to be more anti-American than pro-justice, and appears to have ignored the deaths and sufferings of his fellow human beings under the various Communist regimes. Thousands of priests and millions of lay Christians died before Communist firing squads, on Communist scaffolds, and in Communist death camps, and one wonders if Father Berrigan, busy with his teach-ins and protests and all the other look-at-me-nesses of the 1960s, sympathized or was even aware.

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Folks living in rural Newfoundland had better read about Father Berrigan while they can. The provincial government is closing 54 of 95 public libraries in that island, and adding another 10% provincial tax on books. Books are already taxed at 5% by the federal government, so now15% of the price of a book will be in taxes. This is part of a scheme called The Harmonized Sales Tax. It doesn’t seem especially harmonious.

The closing of libraries and setting a punitive tax on books are in a province where approximately 30% of the residents never finished high school. It almost seems that the government of Newfoundland does not want literacy among its subjects, um, citizens. If people start reading and writing, they might start thinking for themselves.

Beyond that, rural libraries also serve as community centers where local meetings can be held, information exchanged, and notices posted. With the closing of 54 libraries, 54 communities, who have already lost their schools and their post offices, will continue to erode, losing their histories and cultures, and becoming little more than road signs.

One commentator defending the library closings said that people could just as easily access books via the intergossip.

That’s true for only a few. Newfoundland has never been a land of milk and honey, except for the factors who controlled the fishing industry and more recently the oil. The province is one of the poorest in Canada, and the internet is both slow and expensive. Many people make a visit to the library a part of their infrequent shopping trips to town so they access to the wifi as well as books. Now the unemployed, who cannot afford the ‘net, will lose two significant contacts with the outside world.

+ + +

Without access to the intergossip, how can people in Newfoundland learn that Warren Buffet, an 85-year-old America gazillionaire, credits his long life to drinking five cans of Coca-Cola every day and eating a diet rich in fudge and peanut brittle?

+ + +

A certain famous retail chain is said to be considering using robot employees. Perhaps the idea is that the robots will be able to hide from customers even more efficiently than its human employees do.

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The Reverend Al Sharpton avers that elements of the recent White House Journalists’ Dinner were in “poor taste.” And you know, who is more authoritative in matters of taste?

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After the correspondents’ dinner a couple of correspondents got into a fight at an MSNBC party at the U.S. Institute of peace. A fight. At the U. S. Institute of Peace.

Oh, Stanley Kubrick, thou should’st be living at this hour!