Category Archives: Short piece

On Tolerance III

You have to be a grown-up to be able to hear opposing view while remaining calm and granting these views a dispassionate analysis. Such behavior is beyond the capacity of most people – certainly those with strongly held beliefs. There are many people with such beliefs who feel compelled to insert them into ordinary conversations…


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On Tolerance II

As threatened last year, here is the continuation of my exegesis on tolerance. Our country’s founding document refers to”unalienable rights.” While only three were stated, it clearly indicated that there were more. In the almost quarter of a millennium since Jefferson’s Declaration the number of rights claimed by many has undergone an exponential expansion. Note…


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A Christmas Message

You may think the title of this article presumptuous as I’m not a Christian. Nevertheless, most of the country still observes Christmas is some form. Jews have taken an obscure holiday, Hanukkah, and packaged it into Xmas Lite so they can partake of the holiday fun. Pagans had a holiday centered on the winter solstice….


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Groucho’s Gender Dysphoria

A  little more than six years ago I wrote about my yellow-naped amazon parrot Groucho. In passing, I mentioned that after more than 30 years of thinking Groucho a boy, it turned out that he was a girl. I explained that this species was sexually monomorphic to human eyes, but not to those of parrots…


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The End of Right Thinking

Last night Verdi’s Macbeth was performed at the Met without Placido Domingo in the title role as originally scheduled. Domingo is the latest casualty in the ongoing culture war against naughty or really bad behavior depending on your vantage point. More about vantage points later. Fifty one years at the Met and the tenor instantly…


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A Government of Necessary Klutzes

A couple of days ago a team of city workers got together to put in a new traffic light. This project was in the vicinity of a relatively new shopping center anchored by Costco. They had barely begun when they severed the main fiber optic line that supplied AT&T’s tv, internet, and phone service to…


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Opera As A Village During the Vietnam War and Other Atrocities

A recent article in the Washington Post says, “But to really save opera — and classical music in general — we have to let it die.” In a semi-coherent way it’s on to something. Without new works that the public wants to hear, the opera house will become a museum. Many people like museums. I…


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Threnody for a Mortally Maimed Nest

Those with a tragic view of life are rarely disappointed. Life is full of atrocities both large and small; sometimes their scale is so tiny that they go unnoticed. If life is a veil of tears, the one that follows is less than a droplet – but it’s moving to a sympathetic observer. Several times…


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Cats Can’t Count and Only Centenarians Should Vote

Cats, like many other species, can’t count. Our feline acquaintances have come up with an interesting work-around to deal with their deficient numeracy. When a mother cat decides, for whatever reason, to move her kittens she takes one by the scruff of the neck to its new location. Since she can’t count she doesn’t know…


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Russian Doll and American Divorce

The Russian Doll in the title refers to the Netflix show not to the Matryoshka doll familiar to Westerners. I’ll come back to the program in a bit. But first, imagine a country divided into two halves – say Lemmings and Ostriches. The Lemmings think the Ostriches are stupid, while the Ostriches believe the Lemmings…


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