Hero or Coward?

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I’ll be honest. I’m conflicted. The anonymous op-ed section piece in yesterday’s New York Times has caused quite a brouhaha. It was allegedly written by a “senior official in the Trump administration.” And the Times took the unusual step of publishing it anonymously because the author’s “job would be jeopardized by the disclosure” of his or her name.

The first thing that I found a little strange was the timing of its publication — right in the middle of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Trump’s highly controversial nominee for the judicial vacancy on the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Was the timing intended to distract attention from the extremely important hearings that could have significant ramifications on America’s fabric for decades?

The second thing that struck me was that there was nothing in the essay that we didn’t already know. Between Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, published earlier this year, Omarosa Manigault’s insider tell-it-all, Unhinged, and Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, Fear, there seemed little “new news” revealed.

What was the end game of the article’s authors? Was it to reassure Americans that, despite the fact that there is an amoral, childish idiot in the Oval Office, that he (or she), along with other White House insiders, are the “adults in the room” who “are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t”?

Or was it to try to persuade Americans that, despite working in a senior role with an amoral, childish idiot of a president, he/she is really a good person who is trying to do right for the people by admitting to working against the President from the inside. And if this senior official feels so strongly about the damage Trump is doing, why doesn’t he/she resign and go public?

So was the op-ed piece in the Times a crucial public service announcement? Was it a distraction designed to turn eyes away from the Kavanaugh hearing and other Trump doings? Or was it a self-serving attempt by someone working for Trump to ask for forgiveness for working for an unhinged, unfit, unqualified moron filling the highest office in the land?

As I said at the beginning of this post, I am conflicted. I can’t decide if the person who wrote the essay is a hero or a coward.

What about you? what do you think?

On a lighter note…DAB55986-D722-4474-BF40-24B56990BBDA

#writephoto — Extreme

3CECBC09-B523-41C7-9170-E1D3FDC785FC“There it is,” Brian said, barely able to contain his excitement. “Virgin snow!”

Bob looked across to the other side of the valley, where Brian was looking. “Are you sure about this?” he asked. “How do we even get to the top?”

“We hike,” Brian said. “The slope to the right of the summit is gradual. It will take a few hours to hike to the summit, but once we get there, you’ll see that it will all have been worth it.”

Brian had convinced Bob that there was nothing more thrilling than extreme skiing. “Skiing down a slope of virgin snow that no one has yet been down is the greatest skiing experience of all,” he told Bob.

“Aren’t extreme skiers usually flown to the summit in a helicopter?” Bob asked.

“That’s one approach for those who have tons of money,” Brian said. “But regular guys like us, we hike.”

Bob was already tired and they easily had another few hours just to get to the base of the mountain. Brian said that once they got there they would pitch their tents, camp there for the night, and then start hiking to the summit first thing the next morning. Bob was tempted to head back to his car and drive home, but he knew Brian would be pissed, so when Brian picked up his gear and started toward the mountain, Bob did the same.

The sun was starting to set when they reached the campsite, so they quickly pitched their tents and ate some beef jerky and protein bars before turning in for the night.

The next morning, as Brian had said they would, the two men rose early, ate some more jerky and a few energy bars, and then started hiking up toward the summit.

Bob was exhausted when they finally reached the summit, but Brian was totally energized. “Just look at this amazing view,” he said to Bob. “It’s truly breathtaking.”

“I need to rest here for a while,” Bob said. “You go on ahead and I’ll meet you at the bottom.”

Brian had already changed into his ski boots and put on his skis. “Sounds like a plan, buddy,” he said. “See you at the bottom.” Brian virtually flung himself off the summit and started flying down the hill. He let out a loud primal scream as the adrenaline surged through his body.

And that’s when the avalanche began.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

He Almost Bit My Head Off

A2610A27-4F4A-4BF3-8582-4298793211DF“Can I ask you a question?” my daughter asked.

First of all,” I said, “it’s may I ask you a question. And secondly, of course you may.

“Why do you get so angry whenever you hear the dog next door bark?” she asked. “Why do you let his barking torment you?”

“It’s not just the incessant barking,” I answered. “That dog is vicious. It has already attacked and bitten other dogs in the neighborhood and, while I’m not one to create controversy, I’m seriously tempted to call animal control and authorize them to come out and haul that monster dog away.”

“Before you do that,” my daughter suggested, “you should try talking to him.”

“I did try, but he almost bit my head off,” I said.

“Dad,” my daughter said, shaking her head, “I’m talking about talking to your neighbor, the dog’s owner, not to the dog.”


Written for these prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (question), Ragtag Daily Prompt (bark), Your Daily Word Prompt (authorize), Word of the Day Challenge (torment), Scotts Daily Prompt (first), and Daily Addictions (controversy).

Throwback Thursday — A Man of Mystery

IMG_2374I originally published this post on June 29th of last year. I thought that, since most of you were not readers of my blog back then, I’d repost it as part of what I’m dubbing “Throwback Thursday.” Enjoy.


 What, exactly, is a man of mystery?

I’ve heard that, for many women, a man with an air of mystery is quite alluring. They find him fascinating. They are intrigued, and perhaps even a little excited, by a man who seems to have something dark and hidden deep within him.

Something mysterious lurking just below the surface. Something a little dangerous. Something remarkably magnetic.

If you’re truly a man of mystery, women are challenged to figure out who you really are. Why you are so secretive, so aloof. What you are hiding. What deep, dark secrets are lurking within you.

Their curiosity piqued, they can’t help but gravitate toward you. They think about you, wonder about you. They find you hard to predict. They don’t know or understand your motivations. They want to know what makes you tick.

And it drives them nuts. Which makes you virtually irresistible to them. You become a real chick magnet.

I have never been mysterious, much less a chick magnet. I’m a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of a guy. I’m not hesitant to say what I’m thinking or feeling. I’m open and forthcoming about who I am: the good, the bad, and the occasionally indifferent.

But I was curious — you know, just for my own edification — how a man can achieve that mysterious air.

I tried to find an explanation, or at least a good description, of what it is that gives a man an air of mystery. I couldn’t find anything formal, but I did come across some rather amusing steps, which I’ve compiled below, that a man should follow if he wishes to become a man of mystery:

  1. Wear sunglasses at all times, even at night.
  2. Wear a fedora hat and a trench coat, preferably with the collar turned up.
  3. Carry dry ice around in your car so that whenever the situation presents itself you can appear out of a thick mist.
  4. Call your voicemail and mutter secretively about “the deal going down” and “Code Red.”
  5. Whenever you leave, say you’ve got to meet your “connection” and walk off in a random direction.
  6. If your name is spoken out loud in a public place, grab the offender and say, urgently, “Shhh, not here!”
  7. Instead of having your friends pick you up at your place, make them get you at the airport or bus station.
  8. Be sure to look around frequently, as if you may be being followed.
  9. Every few hours, shake your head and say, “Crazy life, man, crazy life.”

Okay, so based upon these simple-to-follow steps, all I have to do to cloak myself with an air of mystery is to dress the part and act really weird and paranoid.

I think I’ll pass.

50 Word Thursday — Naughty or Nice

0930ADE7-9D59-4DFA-8870-17C978A8C973The old man stopped to look keenly at my attentive and wondering face; and then said: “Did you carve those initials — KK — in the sand?”

“Yes, I did,” I responded. “Why? Are those your initials?”

“Yes, they are, young lady,” he said. “I’m Kris Kringle. Are you naughty or nice?”

(50 words)


Written for Deb Whittam’s 50 Word Thursday prompt. Deb presents us with a photo and a random phrase that she has taken from the current book she is reading. We must write a post in multiples of 50 words — maximum of 250 words — using either the photo, the phrase, or both.