Pundit Wire

Voice of…Reason

vintage-radiosThere wasn’t much to do in Brazzaville in 1980. The little People’s Republic of the Congo faces the immense Zaire (the other, capitalist “Congo”), its capital Kinshasa visible in the distance
across the mighty Congo River.

I was supposed to be teaching English at the Université Marien Ngouabi, which disdainful expats called “Le Lycée…”

Read More »
Posted in History, International, National Security, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slim Twice Good for Enhanced Health

red-cross-29930_640In the quest to control American medical costs, slim is in from several perspectives.

Lowering our obesity rate would make us healthier and reduce anticipated medical expenses and suffering  — and we seem to be progressing toward that goal.

Read More »
Posted in Health, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My Three Weapons

amt_hardballer_by_dalttt-d6ku6uoIt went like this:  a smile, a business card, and a camera. With these three WMDs we faced down an armed police squad and ran them off a property they had invaded.

Yaoundé, 2006.  Jim (not his real name) had picked Cameroon off the internet and came on a one-way trip to perform a religious mission.

Read More »
Posted in International, National Security | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_3_(cropped)The American Heritage Dictionary defines “trumpery” as follows:
1. Showy but worthless finery; bric-a-brac.
2. Nonsense; rubbish.
3. Deception; trickery; fraud.

In all, not a bad word to describe Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

Read More »
Posted in Campaigns & Elections, General, Political Rhetoric, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Republicans have the best bullies

mk_trump_72015_539_332_c1It’s too soon to know how badly Donald Trump damaged himself by belittling John McCain’s war record on July 18 in Iowa. After all, George W. Bush wasn’t hurt in the 2000 South Carolina primary when his operatives rumored that McCain had an illegitimate black child, nor was W hurt in the 2004 election when his Swift Boat surrogates defamed John Kerry’s war record, nor was McCain’s campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination derailed by his reputation as a bully and hothead.

Trump himself has until now been helped, not harmed, by insulting his GOP rivals as losers, clowns, dummies and lightweights. But his McCain slam gives other candidates an opening to mime indignation. For them, it can’t come a moment too soon, because Trump was on the verge of owning the machismo brand.
Photo by L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via Reuters

Read More »
Posted in Campaigns & Elections, Political Rhetoric, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Have you no decency, sir?

Donald_Trump_March_2015So Donald Trump says that Sen. John McCain, who was a POW for over five years during the Vietnam War, who was tortured horribly during his confinement and who refused an offer of early release is “not a war hero.”

I am reminded of what a lawyer named Joseph Welch said over 60 years ago to another blustering bombastic bully who, to the shame of the GOP, was also a Republican: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Read More »
Posted in Campaigns & Elections, General, Political Rhetoric, Politics, Religion, U.S. | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


unnamed-2Houston’s beloved Gilbert and Sullivan Society is giving six performances of The Pirates of Penzance this month.

Houstonians will once again have the chance to tap their toes to Sullivan’s rollicking tunes and to chuckle over Gilbert’s satirical gags, which can still hit the mark even after 136 years.

Read More »
Posted in Culture, General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The quantum theory of presidential politics

martycol_539_332_c1Future events decide what happens in the past.

That’s not science fiction. It’s science. Quantum physics, to be precise.

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Read More »
Posted in Campaigns & Elections, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment