Monday, October 09, 2017


Regarding the genuflecting football players, I don't see where lies the disrespect. Having been raised Catholic, I've always known that to be an act not only of respect but worship. If there is offense it might be found in the appropriating of it for the NFL which should be worshiped legs up on a couch with a fistful of pretzels and a can of Schlitz.

As far as the national anthem is concerned, we're supposed to worship that with human sacrifice. And we do. I just fail to see how any of this is unpatriotic. Perhaps inquiring minds should be wondering why Americans are inundated in patriotic songs at every televised sports event. Will an even greater sacrifice soon be required of us?

Thursday, October 05, 2017

last excerpt from Last Opus

...We don't kill defenseless women and children, do we Jim? Do we?' HIs hands are shaking.
Again Jim orders him back on course, cocking his gun. An infinite calm pervades the pilot like a balmy breeze through the soul of a man with no doubts, who knows for the first time what he must do. He refuses again and the co-pilot shoots him in the chest.and the mission is back on and the pattern continues - governments resolving their differences by killing each others' tax payers. On an ever grander scale.
'Who'd have guessed Paul for a traitor?' the co-pilot says to one of the crew as Hiroshima comes into range."
"He's not a traitor," Doreen Rampi yelled.
"He is so," yelled Ronnie, "and I'm glad he got shot.".....

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

continued from previous episode -

And then the line went dead and suppose he got mulling over that last call and as the plane approached Japan a greater allegiance started disturbing him – an allegiance to all of mankind, an allegiance to his parents who raised him to be kind. An allegiance to God who surely had not sanctioned such horror borne into the sky and who likely would damn him to Hell for releasing it. Maybe he would get thinking about the insidious insanity of war and how, once begun it is infectious, leading more and more people into insane, immoral acts. And suppose he realizes that if dropping this bomb on these people is what it takes to reach a goal, then that goal must not be reached. And then he knows that no president and no government has the right to ask any one man to wipe out a city of families.”
“But didn't that end the war and save lots of Americans?” Doreen Rampi asked.
“If we're trading the lives of Japanese civilians for American soldiers, then shouldn't the man making that decision be the one to do it? Wouldn't that be the manly way? If Harry Truman thinks... be continued

Monday, October 02, 2017

For a good time...

October schedule for Defiant Worm Books, starring Tom Levine

7 -8 - Vero Beach Riverside Park Art & Craft Show

13 -15 - St. Augustine Greek festival

21-22 - Thornebrook Art Show, Gainesville

27-29 - Johns Pass Seafood Festival

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Excerpt from my latest novel, The Last Opus of Hector Berlioz, 2016, more timely by the day: the scene is chapter 17, Peace Camp.

Let us stand with hands over hearts and not say the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead I want you kids to think how amazing life really is on our planet and how great that we get to live it. Think about how fun it is that tomorrow comes and the day after and the day after. And how we get one chance to experience it and what an outrageous opportunity that is.”
Ronnie Vogel belched. Hector Berlioz cringed, then told the tittering campers to calm back down.
“Have you heard about the nuclear bombing of Japan to end world War 2?” he asked thirty indifferent peace campers sitting cross legged and sprawling on the grass.
All nodded their heads hypnotically. Ronnie said, “The Japs had it comin'.”
“They did not,” Doreen Rampi retorted.
“This is what Admiral Leahy, chief of staff to President Truman said about it:
"'It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. In being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.'
“Were the barbarians of the Dark Ages Good Guys?”
Most of the campers shook their heads. “That's why we call it the Dark Ages, isn't it? It's something we are told we have emerged from into the light of humanity, so we can see our advancement.”
They nodded automatically.
“Well then, how could this guy be right? We're the good guys. The ones everybody is always glad to see.”
“I'll bet he was a spy,” Ronnie asserted.
“Even so, what if,” Berlioz posed, “the residents of Hiroshima had known what was coming and they were able to call the pilot of the Enola Gay over the radio?”
A few campers returned to giggling. “What's that?” Ronnie blurted. “A queer lizard?”
“He didn't say a gay anole,” Doreen chided.”
“Well then, what...”
“It's the plane that flew over a Japanese city called Hiroshima into which the people in the plane dropped an atom bomb. You ever been next to a tiny firecracker when it goes off? Imagine being next to an atom bomb. Soon city officials would be rescued from boring issues like a storm drain blockage or a down telephone line.”
“Cool,” Ronnie said.
Hector tried not to hate Ronnie, maybe his parents just a little. “Don't you think they were entitled to a telephone call? A chance to argue for not being arbitrarily disintegrated?”
Being children, they recognized sense in what Berlioz was saying and to their surprise, became interested.
“Heck, in this country we get to contest a twenty dollar parking ticket. Suppose Hiroshima residents were lined up, each with a minute to talk to the pilot on a phone that could translate their words into English. Women telling about the stupid but lovable things their husbands do, men speaking proudly, hopefully of their children, children telling what they plan to do when they grow up, grandparents speaking of their legacy. Suppose this went on and on as the plane flew thirteen hours toward its target. What would the pilot say to them? That they were wrong? That the bomb he carried was for a military target and they could go on with their lives? What if they convinced him of how bad it would be? Would he try to tell each caller why it was alright that he would end their lives soon, take away their trip to the country, their next family vacation parents had worked toward all year, render obsolete the good grades students had worked hard to achieve, make a joke of Mom's recent visit to the grocery, blow to Kingdom Come all their emotions; and it wasn't really his fault because his country had told him to do it and he had pledged allegiance to that country all his life so he had no choice? That his allegiance to his country had entitled him to kill them and stop all their hopes and dreams, all their love for life and one another? What if one of the callers said, 'but your country doesn't tell you to do this. Only your government does. Have you pledged allegiance to the government? You do this not because you are forced to but because you agreed to. When you stand before God he may ask you who told you you could drop that bomb and what a poor excuse will be your government then.'
“And then the line went dead. Suppose the pilot got thinking about that last call and be continued