C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sunday Drive: The Stars and Stripes Forever

Who knew our grand old march had words?

The Dallas quartet Acoustix performs it somewhere in England, 1995.


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Vitruvian Men

Call it a summer fling. 



Friday, June 28, 2024

Biden Must Go

This is all I saw of last night's presidential debate, and all I needed to see:


I haven't blogged much about politics these last few years, and for good reason:  it's not safe to speak freely in America anymore.  And the vicious madness of current politics is not good for my mental equanimity.

But I will say that for the good of the country, Biden ought to decline the nomination at the Democratic Convention next month and let some other Democrat run for election this November.

Who that would be, I haven't the faintest idea.  Pete Buttigieg is the only politician I know of who is smart enough and good enough to be the leader of the free world.  He's sharp as a tack, he's got heart, and he's got balls.  But Pete is still a bit too young, and needs more experience at the top of the ladder.

What about Kamala, you say.  Well, what about her?  She seemed like a woman who would really make a mark on Washington when she was elected Veep - but since then has largely faded into the woodwork.  My impression is that Biden has kept her on the bench all this long time, and she's dutifully kept her mouth shut about it.  She's a cypher to me - an unknown quantity.  A fearless, outspoken woman who came out swinging just might energize the the party faithful and capture many voters' attention.  But who knows.

However -- and remember, I told you Biden was too old five years ago! -- the choice before us now is to vote for a bad man who would be an incompetent president (to put it very mildly) -- or to vote for a good man who would also be an incompetent president.  Both are unfit for office, albeit for very different reasons.

A terrible choice.  Whichever way it turns out, we lose, and the world loses.  Big time.

The stakes are too high to be indifferent about this election.  God bless Joe Biden, who deserves our thanks and respect for doing all he could do -- but he should now yield the scepter to a younger and more vigorous man or woman.  Someone who can pick up the baton and win the race, if there is anyone.  It's not just about parties - it's about the continuation of democracy, or the hell of dictatorship.  It's about the lives of millions of people all around the world.  It's about Good versus Evil, and that's no joke.

There, I've said it.  That's my good deed for today.  Make of it what you will.

P. S. --  The more I think about it, a Harris-Kinzinger "unity" ticket might be a real humdinger.  Hmm.

Update, 6/28, 11:30 p.m.:  It's cold comfort, but I see the Editorial Board of the New York Times agrees with me:

“The president appeared on Thursday night as the shadow of a great public servant. He struggled to explain what he would accomplish in a second term. He struggled to respond to Mr. Trump’s provocations. He struggled to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his lies, his failures and his chilling plans. More than once, he struggled to make it to the end of a sentence,” the board wrote in an opinion piece published Friday.

“The greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election. As it stands, the president is engaged in a reckless gamble. There are Democratic leaders better equipped to present clear, compelling and energetic alternatives to a second Trump presidency. There is no reason for the party to risk the stability and security of the country by forcing voters to choose between Mr. Trump’s deficiencies and those of Mr. Biden. It’s too big a bet to simply hope Americans will overlook or discount Mr. Biden’s age and infirmity that they see with their own eyes,” the Times also said.

Biden is manifestly unfit for the highest job in the world, and the most demanding.  To ignore what is right in front of our eyes is utterly foolish; that's exactly what we reproach the Republicans for doing in the face of all Trump's wickedness, isn't it?  It would be disloyalty to our country to pretend all is well, nothing to worry about. Do you care more about your party or your country?

The board went on to say it would still support Biden as its “unequivocal pick” if the choice remains between him and former President Donald Trump.

Well, yes - if the choice is between Hitler and Pee-wee Herman, you have to go with the latter.  But that's a damn rotten shame.  

Roge Karma summarizes the current state of play in the Atlantic:

As of last night, there are no plausible theories left of how Biden could win the election. Last night was the test of whether Biden was up for the job of campaigning, and he failed it. This wasn’t just a weak performance, like Ronald Reagan’s first debate in 1984 and Barack Obama’s in 2012. The man could hardly speak. To believe that things will somehow turn around come September, when the next debate is scheduled, would be delusional.

The alternative to a Biden candidacy is for the president to voluntarily drop out of the race and either handpick his preferred successor or leave it entirely up to Democratic National Convention delegates to select a new candidate in August. Both come with significant risks; neither has a high probability of working. Vice President Kamala Harris, the most natural choice, may be even less popular than Biden, and other options, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, are totally unproven at the national level. But the notion that a younger, more energetic, more articulate candidate could defeat Trump is at least plausible. Biden turning things around is not.

Your Head Trucker says, without a new quarterback and smart, dramatic, honest game plan to turn things around, we're fucked.  And I mean all of us:  the country, the world, the whole human race.  Remember you heard it here first.

As Elizabeth Bruenig writes, also in the Atlantic:

The candidates said some factual things and some false things, but only one message came across as true: Our nation is shambling along the road to hell, and there doesn’t appear to be an off-ramp. “We are living in a rat’s nest,” Trump said, right for the wrong reasons. “We’re like a bunch of stupid people,” he went on; “we’re a failing nation.” Absolutely, but not because of migrants or the Chinese or the Russians: This mess is made in America, and all of us are going to suffer for it.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Kinzinger Endorses Biden

Adam Kinzinger is a true patriot and a real man.  I admire him.


Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mano a Mano

Two studly gymnasts act out a love affair.  Wow.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Friday, June 21, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Come on in, make yourself comfortable.


Thursday, June 20, 2024


Last week, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg spoke to CBS Sunday Morning about the experience of raising their son and daughter. 


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday Drive: Delibes, Flower Duet

The lovely duet from Lakmé, as performed at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2023 by Nadine Sierra and Pretty Yende; this piece is a great favorite of M.P.'s, who is much more au fait with grand opera than your Head Trucker.


A recent video about Ms. Yende's remarkable journey from a childhood in apartheid-era South Africa to the heights of the operatic world:

And here is a 2017 interview with the American-born Ms. Sierra on French television (in English):


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trooping the Colour, 2024

Nobody does it better:  the annual review of troops by His Majesty the King for his Official Birthday, to be followed by a fly-past of the Royal Air Force and the appearance of the King and the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The ceremony on Horse Guards Parade commences with the arrival of the King at precisely 11 a.m., London time (6 a.m. in New York), with the fly-past due around 1 p.m.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

Caution:  Slippery when wet.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Importance of Being Lazy

Your Head Trucker has been preaching and living this splendid truth all his life.  Now the rest of the world is catching on, it seems. 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Drive: Nightingale Serenade, Toselli

As performed by Andre Rieu and His Orchestra:


Friday, June 7, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend


Thursday, June 6, 2024

D-Day Plus 80

Eighty years ago on this date, Allied land, sea, and air forces invaded Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Hitler's evil empire.  Four years earlier, the Nazi blitzkrieg had overrun the free states of Europe, and only Britain was left to defy him.  But the forces of darkness would not enjoy their triumph long.  After careful preparation, the tables were turned on June 6, 1944, as the greatest assemblage of armed forces in the history of the world breached the supposedly impenetrable walls of Hitler's Fortress Europe, leading to his utter defeat the following year, and Japan's too.

After the Fall of France in June 1940, Winston Churchill. in courageous words that echo down the halls of history, steeled his countrymen for what was to come next:
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”
We who were born after the war have lived our whole lives in those "broad, sunlit uplands," however hilly or rocky they may have seemed in part; in the Western world at least, we have lived in times of peace and plenty, blessed with a panoply of comforts and conveniences undreamed of by any previous generation, and available to all but the most abjectly poor.  

Antibiotics, vaccinations, and ingenious new treatments for all sorts of bodily ills and injuries have allowed us, collectively, to live longer, healthier, and consequently happier lives than any generation who came before us.  How very lucky we were, how blessed, to have lived in the second half of the twentieth century, and into the first quarter of the twenty-first.  In material terms, the human race never had it so good.

And yet, times change.  Mr. Starmer. who in all likelihood will shortly be the next prime minister of Great Britain, said just the other day, "The post-war era is over and a new age of insecurity has begun."  He might be putting it mildly.  I think all halfway intelligent people must view the current trend of things as very alarming - frightening - horrifying, even.  

But today I will say only that I am mindful of and deeply grateful for the sacrifices made by those soldiers, sailors, and airmen in 1944, who died so that my generation could grow up in peace and prosperity and freedom.  May they rest in peace and rise in glory.  


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Waitin' for the Weekend

June is here - the beach is open!


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