Late Lunch

plaza de colon We were running our press shop at the U.S. Embassy, riding on cascades of resources finagled by Charles Wick of USIA, and Madrid’s good fortune of being rid of a dictatorship (1975) and well on its way to catching up with other Western European democracies. Washington pushed resources at us, and we knew better than to question these gifts.

Wick had spawned a clunky communication system, WORLDNET (always spelled out in caps, although they never explained why.) It allowed for one-way video on rented satellite time ($10,000 per hour) and gave live interviews for very select audiences overseas.

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Donald Trump vs. The Bill of Rights

Trump (1)Republicans reluctant to support the candidacy of Donald Trump are being bludgeoned with the argument that the next president could appoint as many as three Supreme Court justices. If Donald doesn’t pick them, Hillary will.

So Republicans should rally to Trump for that reason alone.

Pardon me, but I’m not buying that argument.

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Let Trump be #NeverTrump

loserThe irrelevance of facts is part of what observers mean when they say that the normal rules of politics don’t apply to Trump. What’s also abnormal is his obliterating the boundary between campaigning and reality TV, an absorption of politics by entertainment that is abetted, and profited from, by the media. This transformation of the election into a soft-core S&M reality show is also where Trump’s greatest vulnerability lies.

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Local Boy Triumphs In Jock Opera

unnamedFor its current production of Siegfried, Houston Grand Opera was fortunate enough to secure the services of one of these rare talents—native Texan Jay Hunter Morris. Morris grew up in Paris, Texas, singing in the choir of the local Baptist Church and with local rock bands. He never heard an opera in his life until he moved to Dallas and caught a production of La Traviata. It was an epiphany. He said to himself, “I want to see if I can sing like that.” Continue reading Local Boy Triumphs In Jock Opera

Barack, Boris and Brexit

unnamedLondon mayor Boris Johnson’s criticisms of Mr. Obama’s column advocating against Brexit were intemperate. They were also rather ironic given the views he himself expressed a couple of years ago in a masterly biography of Winston Churchill. Continue reading Barack, Boris and Brexit