Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

A message from the grave.

In Clint Eastwood, Thank you Veteran on May 31, 2011 at 5:52 AM

May 31, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 31 is … National Macaroon Day

Men relate to him, women’s hearts skip a beat. He’s the strong, silent type. He’s Clint Eastwood, Jr., born, probably complete with leathered face, on this day in San Francisco in 1930. He made his mother’s day, no doubt. Critics panned the 6’4″ tall actor. Most thought he couldn’t deliver a line. He would have agreed with them back in 1954 when he took his first screen test. But instead, he ended up laughing all the way to the bank.

As movies changed, Clint matured with them. He learned to whisper his lines in a loud voice while squinting his eyes. He learned his art and became an accomplished, Academy Award-winning director and producer (Unforgiven in 1992). Eastwood actually made his directing debut with the 1971 film, Play Misty for Me. His work ethic, developed when he was just a young boy, helped him finish the movie on time and in budget; a habit he continued as director of High Plains Drifter, The Eiger Sanction, The Outlaw Josey Wales and Bronco Billy among others.

Whether actor, director, producer (made his producer debut in the 1982 film, Firefox), stunt man (does his own stunts), or politician (was the mayor of Carmel, California), Clint Eastwood, as Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, “…absorbed the years and turned them into guts and grit.” Canby was writing about Eastwood’s performance in Heartbreak Ridge, but it could have been a comment on his life’s work.

Whether you picture him as the young cattle driver, Rowdy, in the seven-year-long television series, Rawhide; the silent, man with no name in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly); the fatally attractive DJ in Play Misty for Me; the death-defying rock-hard cop, Dirty Harry; or the sexy, mature photographer who stole the heart of an Iowa farm-wife in The Bridges of Madison County, Clint Eastwood has somewhere, sometime, made your day.

I received this email from a friend and my wife. I did not write this but thought it is worth passing along. Many of you may have also received this or seen it before. Take a minute and read it. It might help if you are alone. I should have published this on Memorial Day but that column was already partially written when I received this.


They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie,
as I looked at him lying in his pen..  The shelter was
clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly.
I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere
I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open.   
Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to
settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog
couldn’t hurt.  Give me someone to talk to.
And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local
news.  The shelter said they had received numerous
calls right after, but they said the people who had come
down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab
people,” whatever that meant.  They must’ve thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, 
which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis
balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner.  See, Reggie and I didn’t really hit it off
when we got home.  We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home).  Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.   
Maybe we were too much alike.

For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls — he wouldn’t go anywhere without two stuffed in
his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes.   
I guess I didn’t really think he’d need all his old stuff, that I’d get him new things once he
settled in.  But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn’t going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like “sit” and “stay” and
“come” and “heel,” and he’d follow them – when he felt like it. 
He never really seemed to listen when I called his name — sure, he’d look in my
direction after the fourth or fifth time I said it, but then he’d just go back to doing whatever.   
When I’d ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn’t going to work.  He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes.   
I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.
The friction got so bad that I couldn’t wait for th e two
weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search
mode for my cell phone amid all of my unpacked stuff.  I
remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest
room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the
“damn dog probably hid it on me.”

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the
shelter’s number, I also found his pad and other toys
from the shelter…I tossed the pad in Reggie’s
direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most
enthusiasm I’d seen since bringing him home.  But
then I called, “Hey, Reggie, you like that?  Come
here and I’ll give you a treat.”  Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction — maybe “glared”
is more accurate — and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down …. with his back to me.

Well, that’s not going to do it either, I thought.  And I punched the shelter phone number.

But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. 
I had completely forgotten about that, too. 
“Okay, Reggie,”  I said out loud, 
“let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”

____________ _________ _________ _________

Whoever Gets My Dog: 
Well, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter
could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner.
I’m not even happy writing it.  If you’re reading this,
it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab
after dropping him off at the shelter.
He knew something was different.
I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip,
but this time… it’s like he knew something was wrong.
And something is wrong…which is why I have
to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it 
will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls.
The more the merrier.  Sometimes I think he’s part
squirrel, the way he hordes them.  He usually always
has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in
there.  Hasn’t done it yet.  Doesn’t
matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after it, so be
careful – really don’t do it by any roads.  I made
that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands.  Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I’ll go over them
again:  Reggie knows the obvious ones —
“sit,”  “stay,”  “come,” “heel.”   
He knows hand signals:
“back” to turn around and go back when you put
your hand straight up; and “over” if you put your
hand out right or left.  “Shake” for shaking
water off, and “paw” for a high-five.  He
does “down” when he feels like lying down — I bet
you could work on that with him some more.  He knows
“ball” and “food” and “bone”
and “treat” like  nobody’s business.

I trained Reggie with small food treats.   
Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule:  twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in
the evening.   Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter
has the brand.

He’s up on his shots.
Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with
yours; they’ll make sure to send you reminders for when
he’s due.  Be forewarned:  Reggie hates the vet.   
Good luck getting him in the car.
I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time.
I’ve never been married, so it’s only been Reggie
and me for his whole life.  He’s gone everywhere
with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if
you can.  He sits well in the backseat, and he
doesn’t bark or complain.  He just loves to be
around people, and me most especially.

Which means that this transition is
going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that’s why I need to share
one more bit of info with you….

His name’s not Reggie.

I don’t know what made me do it, but 
when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them
his name was Reggie. 
He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it
and will respond to it, of that I have no
doubt.  But I just couldn’t bear to give them his
real name.  For me to do that, it seemed so final, that
handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting
that I’d never see him again.  And if I end up
coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it
means everything’s fine.  But if someone else is
reading it, well … well it means that his new owner should
know his real name.  It’ll help you bond with
him.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even notice a change
in his demeanor if he’s been giving you problems.

His real name is “Tank”.

Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you’re reading this
and you’re from the area, maybe my name has been on the
news.  I told the shelter that they couldn’t make
“Reggie” available for adoption until they
received word from my company commander.  See, my
parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve
left Tank with … and it was my only real request of the
Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone..
call the shelter … in the “event” … to tell
them that Tank could be put up for adoption.  Luckily,
my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon
was headed.  He said he’d do it
personally.  And if you’re reading this, then
he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting downright depressing, 
even though, frankly, I’m just
writing it for my dog.  I couldn’t imagine if I was
writing it for a wife and kids and family … but still,
Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as
long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you
make him part of your family and that he will adjust and
come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog
is what I take with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do
something selfless, to protect innocent people from those
who would do terrible things … and to keep those terrible
people from coming over here.  If I have to give up Tank
in order to do it, I am glad to have done so.  He is
my example of service and of love.  I hope I honored
him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that’s enough.
I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at
the shelter.  I don’t think I’ll say another
good-bye to Tank, though.  I cried too much the first
time.  Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he
finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank.  Give him a good home, 
and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you,   
Paul Mallory

____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. 
Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even
new people like me.  Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star 
when he gave his life to save three buddies.   
Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

“Hey, Tank,” I said quietly.

The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

“C’mere boy.”

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on
the hardwood floor.  He sat in front of me, his head
tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months.

“Tank,” I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each
time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture
relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood
him.  I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried
my face into his scruff and hugged him.

“It’s me now, Tank, just you and me.
Your old pal gave you to me.”  Tank reached up and
licked my cheek.  “So whatdaya say we play some ball?”   
His ears perked again.
“Yeah?  Ball?  You like that?  Ball?”   
Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth. 

Pretty neat, huh?

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

  “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”



In celebration, Respect for the Military, Thank you Veteran on May 30, 2011 at 6:06 AM

May 30, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 30 is … My Bucket’s Got A Hole in It Day, bummer.


Memorial Day bought and paid for by the United States Military since 1776. Thank a Veteran today.

Memorial Day, it should be more important than it is. It has become the unofficial beginning of summer, a day for picnics, baseball, and golf and parties unless you are in the military stationed at Arlington National Cemetery. In a stirring tribute to mark Memorial Day each year, all available soldiers of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry (known as The Old Guard) gather at Arlington National Cemetery to perform a special task. Just before the Memorial Day weekend, they place American flags, one foot and centered, in front of the gravestones and columbarium niches of every service member buried or inurned at Arlington Cemetery.

This tradition of honor, known as Flags-in, has taken place ever since 1948 when The Old Guard was appointed as the ceremonial unit for the U.S. Army. During the Memorial Day weekend, members of The Old Guard patrol the cemetery to make sure each gravesite remains decorated and honored with a flag. In addition, sentinels for the Tomb of the Unknowns place flags at each of the unknown servicemen graves.

The flags are removed after the three-day weekend.

Today, please remember the Minutemen; the Militia; the Army; the Cavalry; the Navy; the Marines;; the Merchant Marines; the Color Guard; the Civil War soldier; the World War I soldier; the Air Force; the World War II soldier; the Korean War soldier; the Vietnam soldier, like my cousin, Paul Woolford from Streator, IL who was killed in Vietnam on November 10, 1969 at the age of 23. He left a young widow. Remember the soldiers in the Cold War; Grenada; the first Gulf War; the Battle of Mogadishu; the current Gulf War; Afghanistan and every other place or conflict an American has died being an American. 

If you know someone that died in Vietnam or just want to look up names, go to;

Go here for some inspiration and patriotic pride.

This web site gives everything to you. It is spiritual but not in your face.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights, the Luminaria Program. In 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to “Taps.”

Reprinted from Arlington National Cemetery site:

On any weekday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, a military ritual occurs that is both familiar and moving. An escort of honor comes to attention and presents arms. A firing party then fires three volleys. After the briefest of moments, a bugler sounds the twenty-four notes we know of as Taps. The flag, held by members of the military honor guard, is then folded into a triangle reminiscent of the cocked hat from the American Revolution. This ceremony is performed almost twenty times daily during the many funerals held at Arlington. This ritual is also used for the thousands of Memorial Day ceremonies held throughout the United States during events held to remember those Americans who have served our country. As one travels through Arlington the history of our country can literally be read on the quarter million stones.

Arlington and the tradition of Memorial Day were born out of ironies perhaps we might even consider them as tragic or dramatic as in a Greek or Shakespearean irony.

Irony-The famous home at Arlington was located on the land of a Confederate General whose wife’s grandfather served as president of the United States.

Irony-The land was ordered for military use by a general who so hated that Confederate general that he ordered graves dug in the rose garden so that house could no longer be habitable.

Irony-The tradition of decorations on graves started in the south, then considered an enemy country.

And it is a bitter irony that the day of remembrance has almost faded into a weekend of picnics, shopping sprees, and beach vacations. Too many don’t know what the day stands for.

Between 1861 and 1865 our country sorted out whether it could survive as one or two separate nations. It took the tragedy of a Civil War to make us truly a “United” States.

In the spring of 1864 after some of the bloodiest battles of the war and with the Confederacy in its last desperate months, the need for more military cemeteries became a paramount issue in Washington D.C. In the days before refrigeration, and especially in the humidity of the District of Columbia, bodies had to be buried as quickly as possible.

In May 1864 Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs was ordered by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to find new and suitable burial grounds for the mounting dead. Without hesitation, Meigs ordered the grounds of the Custis-Lee mansion be turned into a cemetery.

The mansion, which had belonged to Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, was under the control of Union forces. Meigs (a Georgia man by birth) picked the grounds not only because he felt Lee had betrayed his country by leaving it to serve the south but also because he blamed him for the death of his son who had been killed by Confederate soldiers, supposedly murdered. The interment of Union soldiers began in May. Ironically the first burial in the Union cemetery was a Confederate soldier. The grounds would go on to become Arlington National Cemetery our nations’ most hallowed ground.

No one can trace with any certainty the origin of the Memorial Day; it is well believed that the day was born with those who decorated the graves of civil war dead.

Many towns (Waterloo NY being the most prominent) have laid claim to the origin of the tradition. It may have started with women in the South. Originally it was known as Decoration Day. Towns held parades honoring the fallen, the parade routes often times ending at a local cemetery, where Decoration Day speeches were then given. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those that fell in service to their country.

In May 1868 General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation calling for the decoration of graves.

“Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”– General Logan – May 5, 1868

In 1882 the day was changed to Memorial Day and to be observed May 30th.In 1971 it was moved to the last Monday in May. Ironically there are some in the south that observe the day on a different day.

Another tradition of Memorial Day is that of giving speeches, addresses or orations at gatherings. The most famous memorial oratory was the one given by Abraham Lincoln and although he gave it on November 19, 1863 it sets the model for speeches and orations of the type. The irony is that the address was not the main oration to be given that day nor expected to be a long speech. According to Gary Wills, author of “Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America,” the address uses the form of the oratory of the Greek Revival and of the funereal addresses of ancient Athens, the imagery of the nineteenth-century rural cemetery movement, the Transcendentalist thought of Unitarian minister and abolitionist Theodore Parker, and the constitutional arguments of Daniel Webster. That he did this in some 242 words is a masterpiece of our American literature.” His words are quoted every Memorial Day:

“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion: that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; and that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

In the 145 years since the Civil War, our nation has healed its wounds and every Memorial Day pauses to remember the war dead. In that time Arlington National Cemetery and the traditions of Memorial Day have gone hand in hand. In 1912 the country was truly reunited when the Confederate monument was dedicated at Arlington and a special section was set for those who served in the Confederate Army. The cemetery which was set to honor Americans ironically today holds the remains of many foreign nationals including a German soldier from WWII.

In 1958, the Unknowns from World War II and the Korean Conflict were laid to rest on Memorial Day and in 1984 the Vietnam Unknown joined them in honored rest. Another irony is that the Unknown was identified and reburied in Missouri.

Ironically, over the years the meaning of Memorial Day has faded too much from the public consciousness. From a solemn day of mourning, remembrance, and honor to our departed loved ones, it has turned into a weekend of Bar B Q’s, shopping bargains and beaches where only token nods toward our honored dead is given, if at all.

I think Oliver Wendell Holmes, chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Civil War Veteran said it best:

“So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly”-Oliver Wendell Holmes Memorial Day address May 30, 1884

The final tradition is the bugle call

Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to stir our emotions than the haunting and eloquent melody of Taps. The call is unique to the United States military. Taps is used at U.S. bases around the world as the final call of the day. It has given a sense of safety and security to U.S. soldiers from the Civil War on, signaling to our men and women in uniform that another day in service to their country is done and all is well.

There is a wonderful myth about the origin of Taps. During the Civil War, it says, there was a young soldier who was killed while fighting for the Confederacy. His father, a captain in the Union Army, came upon his son’s body on the battlefield. In the pocket of his son’s uniform, he found the notes for Taps. Ironically, this story will be repeated on Memorial Day.

This is a great story but it’s just that a story.

In 1862, Union General Daniel Butterfield and his brigade bugler, Oliver Willcox Norton, revised an earlier bugle call to create the 24 notes we know today as Taps. The new call quickly spread throughout the Union army and was soon used even by Confederates to signal the end of the day.

Later that same year at a battlefield funeral, Captain John Tidball chose to forgo firing the customary volleys over the grave for fear that he might rouse the enemy. The Captain chose the sounding of Taps as the most appropriate substitute.

Today, sounding Taps at ceremonies is the most sacred duty a bugler can perform. When I sound Taps at a funeral, I’m sometimes approached by family members who wish to thank me for being part of the service. To answer “You’re welcome” seems inappropriate. Instead, I always reply, “It is my honor.”

So traditions born of Irony are celebrated every Memorial Day


Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

The Springfield Zoo, a/k/a, The Illinois Legislature.

In Dirty politicians!, disgraced public figures, Sports on May 29, 2011 at 5:21 AM

May 29, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 29 is … End of the Middle Ages Day

Now we are in the Old Ages. That is why the world has been treaty us so badly. It is telling us to get off her lawn.

The Illinois legislature is ready to end the spring session. Our state is bankrupt. The state pension system has been the object of mismanagement, lies, theft and deception; it is the worst in the nation. The answer the nuthouse in Springfield comes up with is let’s take more money from the people in the system even though they joined under certain terms and now Springfield wants to change the rules. In January, our state increased income taxes by 67% and more. As the session winds down, what are our elected monkeys doing? They are trying to outlaw trans-fats. They are redrawing district lines to ensure self preservation. They are discussing more gambling and a casino for Chicago, a concept they bring up every year and have since 1991 but never take any action on. They want to tax our soft drinks and bottled water. They want to consolidate school districts but never will.

It is time for another Constitutional Convention and term limits. I believe a union our retired workers group should file a lawsuit for theft, mismanagement, deceptive practices and negligence against every state legislator, current and former, from 1972 to today. Every state executive in an elected position must also be named in the suit. This can be one against corporate officials, stockbrokers and money managers. The defense will be state immunity but immunity does not apply in intentional conduct situations. That would force all the politicians to deny it was intentional conduct meaning they were too stupid and incompetent to see what everyone else saw and told them about.

Not everything in Illinois is going to hell in a hand basket. The University of Illinois won the regular season Big Ten crown in the in baseball this year. Last night they won the Big Ten baseball tournament. That gives the Illini the automatic bid into the NCAA baseball tournament which culminates with the College World Series in Omaha. Congratulations and good luck to the Illini. Will Strack of Sycamore, IL is a pitcher on the Illini team.

It is Sunday but the megachurch that produces the “Hour of Power” weekly TV service is not having a good day and has not had many good days for several years. The Southern California megachurch founded by one of the nation’s pioneering televangelists, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, on Friday filed a bankruptcy plan that would pull the Crystal Cathedral out of crushing debt by selling its sprawling campus and famous, glass-spired sanctuary to a local real estate investment group for $47 million. The plan would allow the ministry to lease the church buildings back for a guaranteed 15-year period, with the additional option of buying the core campus back at a fixed price within four years, said Marc Winthrop, the church’s bankruptcy attorney.

The deal would erase the cathedral’s $36 million mortgage and wipe out almost all of the $10 million in unsecured debt — including $7.5 million owed to vendors — that has plagued the Crystal Cathedral for several years after a disastrous leadership transition and a devastating slump in donations.

The charismatic Schuller got his start in Southern California preaching about the “power of positive thinking” from the roof of a concession stand at a drive-in theater as the car culture began to boom in the post-World War II era. He was considered a theological radical at the time, but people were soon driving from all over the Los Angeles area to sit in their cars and listen to Schuller preach through the movie loudspeakers that hooked to their windows.

Schuller, now 84, soon turned his humble pulpit into one of the nation’s first megachurches, beaming his weekly Sunday service into 1 million homes worldwide through the “Hour of Power” TV show, which went on the air in 1970. Schuller became a familiar presence on television, a smiling figure in flowing robes, with snowy white hair and wire-rimmed aviator glasses.

In 1980, he opened the Crystal Cathedral, a 2,900-seat see-through church made of 10,664 panes of glass. A $20 million architectural marvel designed by the acclaimed Philip Johnson, it became a major Southern California landmark and a tourist attraction that drew people from all over the world. Schuller soon added a K-12 school and a tourist center. But his religious empire began to collapse after a disastrous attempt in 2006 to hand over the leadership to his son, Robert A. Schuller. The much-heralded changeover alienated older “Hour of Power” viewers and ended in a bitter and very public family spat, with the younger Schuller disappearing from the broadcasts and abruptly leaving the church altogether in 2008, less than three years after he assumed his father’s mantle. The elder Schuller’s daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, was eventually named senior pastor, a position she continues to hold.

A plummeting economy also took its toll, and viewer donations declined by as much as 24 percent in 2009, the year before the church declared bankruptcy. Its local congregation now stands at fewer than 5,000 people, although new Spanish-language and Arabic-language services draw about 2,000 and 400 worshippers respectively.

Robert Schuller survived longer than most of his contemporaries. He has never been embarrassed by a sex scandal but like most of these types of TV evangelists, greed takes hold of their ambitions and thinking. I am sure he is a true believer in God and Christ but the Bible speaks of the meek inheriting the world and that it is harder for a rich man to get thru the eye of a needle than to get into heaven. None of these TV preachers speak of these biblical passages. It is convenience preaching designed to make the messenger wealthy and if some help occurs along the way, so be it.

Notable birthdays on May 29th throughout history:

1736 Patrick Henry US, patriot “Give me liberty or give me death”

1826 Ebenezer Butterick inventor (tissue paper dress pattern)

1903 Bob Hope [Leslie Townes] Kent England, entertainer/comedian (famous profile). Simply the best ever. One of the greatest Americans ever and he was not born in America.

1917 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Brookline MA, (Senator-D-MA), 35th President (1961-1963)

1939 Al Unser auto racer (Indianapolis 500-1970, 71). Did he win it on his birthday?

Notable deaths on May 29th:

1892 Baha’u’llah [Mirza HA Noeri] Persian founder (Bahá’í), dies at 74. Founded the Baha’i Faith. Check out Baha’i Temple in Wilmette.

1978 Bob Crane actor (Donna Reed Show, Hogan-Hogan’s Heroes), dies at 49. This guy did stuff I wouldn’t do and I’ll try anything.

Notable events on May 29th;

1990 Dow Jones average hits a record 2,870.49
1990 New York Mets fire manager Davey Johnson & hire Bud Harrelson
1990 Rickey Henderson steals record 893rd base, breaking Ty Cobb’s record


Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“I have always suspected that too much knowledge is a dangerous thing. It is a boon to people who don’t have deep feelings; their pleasure comes from what they know about things, and their pride from showing off what they know. But this only emphasizes the difference between the artist and the scholar.” – Margaret Anderson

Ma’am, move them things.

In American business, legal on May 28, 2011 at 6:51 AM


May 28, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 28 is … National Hamburger Day. You can pay for it Tuesday.

You gotta love a lawyer always thinking. A lawyer must “zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law.” I think this guy is doing just that. Be careful what you pray for, however, you might just get it. A Chicago lawyer is being accused of sexism after requesting that a “large breasted woman” seated at the opposing council’s table be moved as to not distract the jury.

Attorney Thomas Gooch, who is representing a Rolling Meadows car dealership in a small claims case, filed a motion last week asking Cook County Circuit Judge Anita Rivkin-Carothers to order his opposing council’s paralegal to sit in the gallery with other spectators, according to the Associated Press. Gooch claims that the woman sitting next to the plaintiff’s lawyer has no legal experience and was placed there to “draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings.”

MOTION IN LIMINE (Presence of Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Companion at Counsel’s Table at Trial).

Now Comes your Defendant, Exotic Motors, by and through their attorneys, Gauthier & Gooch, and as for their Motion as aforesaid states to the Court as follows:

1. That Defendant’s counsel is anecdotally familiar with the tactics and theatrics of Plaintiff’s counsel, [redacted]. Such behavior includes having a large breasted woman sit next to him at counsel’s table during the course of the trial. There is no evidence whatsoever that this woman has any legal training whatsoever, and the sole purpose of her presence at Plaintiff’s Counsel’s table is to draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings before this court, obviously prejudicing the Defendant’s in this or any other cause. Until it is shown that this woman has any sort of legal background, she should be required to sit in the gallery with the rest of the spectators and be barred from sitting at counsel’s table during the course of this trial.

Dmitry N. Feofanov is representing a couple that purchased an automobile from Exotic Motors, and was told it was under warranty. When the vehicle broke “almost immediately” after purchase, the dealership allegedly would not repair it.

Feofanov told Jezebel the motion involving his paralegal, Daniella Atencia, was without merit: Plantiffs’ paralegal is clearly qualified for the work she performs before and during trials, and there is no reason to believe that her appearance at Plaintiffs’ table will have any detrimental effect on Defendants’ presentation of its case to a jury; and b) Defendant’s motion does not cite any existing law or make any good-faith legal argument for the proposition that a woman may be barred from a counsel’s table at a jury trial because she is “large breasted.” Gooch, who told the Chicago Sun Times that he likes “large breasts,” does not believe that Atencia is a paralegal and apparently has a problem with the way she dresses in the courtroom. Several law blogs–and Jezebel–have a problem with Gooch’s motion.

The Above the Law blog said his motion was “dripping” with sexism.

“Why does she have to provide you with evidence of legal training? Isn’t sitting there silently what most counsel do during a trial? Based on this motion, I’m thinking you are the one who should need to provide some kind of proof of legal knowledge,” Above the Law’s Elie Mystal wrote.

Jezebel called the motion the “strangest — and possibly most sexist — legal endeavors” they ever heard of. They have apparently been living in a cave or none of them ever go to Court as a lawyer.

Everybody is entitled to an opinion. The one that counts is the attorney’s client’s opinion. This also managed to get the auto dealer some free publicity. In the publicity game, you don’t care what they say just spell the name correctly.

The case goes to trial on June 2.

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“The earthly paradise is where I am.” – Voltaire

For the Bulls, it is wait until next Jordan

In Bulls, Hitler on May 27, 2011 at 5:57 AM


May 27, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 27 is … Body Painting Arts Festival

The Chicago Bulls choked on national TV; before the nation and the home town fans. Derrick Rose has lost most of his petals. A Rose by any other name, like Pansy, would not have stunk as bad as he did. The Bulls are in a thorny position now. What do you do with this team?

Updating old news; Disney has withdrawn its Trademark Application for the term “Navy Seal Six” Last week the Navy filed a similar Trademark Application. Disney said in a press release they were withdrawing their application “out of respect for the Navy.” Disney did, however, request permission from the Navy to use the term for video games, movies and TV shows.


For some reason, this does not bother me. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature or screw with the United States of America. I hope they like Tequila in Iran. From a hillside, Kamal Saadat looked forlornly at hundreds of potential customers, knowing he could not take them for trips in his boat to enjoy a spring weekend on picturesque Oroumieh Lake, the third largest saltwater lake on earth.

“Look, the boat is stuck… It cannot move anymore,” said Saadat, gesturing to where it lay encased by solidifying salt and lamenting that he could not understand why the lake was fading away. The long popular lake, home to migrating flamingos, pelicans and gulls, has shrunken by 60 percent and could disappear entirely in just a few years, experts say – drained by drought, misguided irrigation policies, development and the damming of rivers that feed it.

Until two years ago, Saadat supplemented his income from almond- and grape-growing by taking tourists on boat tours. But as the lake receded and its salinity rose, he found he had to stop the boat every 10 minutes to unfoul the propeller – and finally, he had to give up this second job that he’d used to support a five-member family. “The visitors were not enjoying such a boring trip,” he said, noting they had to cross hundreds of meters of salty lakebed just to reach the boat from the wharf.

Other boatmen, too, have parked their vessels by their houses, where they stand as sad reminders of the deep-water days. And the lake’s ebbing affects an ever-widening circle. In April, authorities stopped activities at the nearby jetty in Golmankhaneh harbor, due to lack of water in the lake, now only two meters deep at its deepest. Jetties in Sharafkhaneh and Eslami harbors faced the same fate.

The receding water has also weakened hotel business and tourism activities in the area, and planned hotel projects remain idle since investors are reluctant to continue. Beyond tourism, the salt-saturated lake threatens agriculture nearby in northwest Iran, as storms sometimes carry the salt far afield. Many farmers worry about the future of their lands, which for centuries have been famous for apples, grapes, walnuts, almonds, onions, potatoes, as well as aromatic herbal drinks, candies and tasty sweet pastes. I guess they will have to start making jerky or potato chips. There is a story in the Bible about people disobeying God turning to salt. Lot’s wife looked where she was told not to and turned into a pillar of salt.

For some reason, this does bother me. Hitler, after turning half a race into monsters moved on to the world of dogs. Hitler may be on the short list of despicable dictators most undeserving of a dog’s unconditional love, but that didn’t stop him from trying to talk them.

According to a new book titled “Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities,” Nazi specialists attempted — apparently with some success — to train a fleet of “intelligent” dogs to read, write and speak.

The research comes from Cardiff University associate professor Dr. Jan Bonderson, who found that the Nazis collected pups from across Germany and put them through intense training during the 1930s at the Tier-Sprechschule ASRA (School for Dog-Human Communication) in the town of Leutenberg.

“The Nazis were sentimental enthusiasts who were really fond of animals and liked the idea that dogs were intelligent and could communicate with people,” Bondeson told AOL Weird news. Under trainer Margarethe Schmitt’s direction, the institute trained dogs such as Rolf the Airedale terrier, which was said to be able to discuss religion, contemplate complex mathematics and communicate with humans by tapping out an alphabet code using his paw. Another dog, Kurwenal, supposedly cracked jokes like a comedian and was a symbol of the educated canines of Germany.

But Hitler’s presumable pick of the litter was a pooch named Don, who apparently barked  “Mein Fuhrer” when asked who Adolf Hitler was.


Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

The most original authors are not so because they advance what is new, but because they put what they have to say as if it had never been said before.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goe


For New York City, “greed is good.”

In Crime and Punishment!, current events, Government not working again., Greed in our world on May 26, 2011 at 6:38 AM


May 26, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 26 is … Grey Day. It’s good to be old.


This morning, I slowly, slowly, slowly opened my eyes as I awoke, not sure what, if anything I would see. I tentatively, tentatively, tentatively spun my feet from the bed praying they would find the floor or some type of solid resistance for their placement. My muscles ached as I stretched, breaking the evening’s bone settlement, forcing the bones back to where they belong or at least are used to being.

I could see the normal surrounding I wake-up to most days. My body, balanced on my feet, was erect and moving, moving, moving at a snail’s pace but it was moving. For a brief moment I encouraged myself to think the way we were is the way we are. Today was the first day of the world without Oprah and is feels very, very, very good.

This is the waste of air and space Patrick Kennedy wants us to feel sorry for. I feel sorry for his victims and his family; I would feel delighted if he were dead. The man accused of gunning down Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six is mentally incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday after U.S. Marshals dragged the man out of the courtroom because of an angry outburst. Even an incompetent lawyer would suggest to this client to up in Court. Perhaps he should be given an Oscar rather than a break.

As survivors of the deadly January attack looked on, Jared Lee Loughner lowered his head, raised it and said what sounded like “Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me.” His words were loud but mumbled, and it wasn’t clear who he was talking about. He wore a khaki prison suit and sported bushy, reddish sideburns. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns’ decision means the 21-year-old will be sent to a federal facility for up to four months in a bid to restore his competency. The ruling came after Loughner spent five weeks in March and April at a federal facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was examined by two court-appointed mental health professionals. The two were asked to determine whether Loughner understands the consequences of the case against him.

The competency reports by psychologist Christina Pietz and psychiatrist Matthew Carroll haven’t been publicly released.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting at a meet-and-greet event that wounded Giffords and 12 others and killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge. After the outburst, two marshals standing behind Loughner’s chair grabbed him by each arm and led him from the courtroom. Loughner’s father, sitting a few rows behind his son, lowered his eyes and huddled with two women seated next to him.

This is just a little email war fun. I did not write this and do not vouch for its accuracy but it sure sounds accurate. The author is unknown.

What is the difference between Bernie Madoff and Congress when it comes to the Ponzi scheme called Social Security? We should rename it Social Unsecurity or Social Insecurity. Regardless of the name it is a Ponzi scheme that is illegal for everyone but the government. The State of Illinois is also involved in a Ponzi scheme with the State’s Pension system.


Takes money from investors with the promise that the money will be invested and made available to them later.

Takes money from wage earners with the promise that the money will be invested in a “Trust Fund” (Lock Box) and made available later.

Instead of investing the money Madoff spends it on nice homes in the Hamptons and yachts.

Instead of depositing money in a Trust Fund the politicians  transfer it to the General Revenue Fund and use it for general spending and vote buying.

When the time comes to pay the investors back Madoff simply uses some of the new funds from newer investors to pay back the older investors.

When benefits for older investors become due the politicians pay them with money taken from younger and newer wage earners to pay the older geezers.

When Madoff’s scheme is discovered all hell breaks loose.  New investors won’t give him any more cash.

When Social Security runs out of money the politicians try to force the taxpayers to send them some more; or they cancel S/S to all those who paid into it.

Bernie Madoff is in jail.

Politicians remain in  Washington .. With fat medical and retirement benefits.


‘The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”

Big brother just got bigger in the Big Apple. The wolf has great big eyes; all the better to watch us with. The city’s controversial outdoor smoking ban starts Monday, with cigarettes now barred at city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas, including Times Square. Violators will be met with $50 fines.

I do not smoke but this is getting overbearing. I do not recall millions of people dying from second-hand smoke in my 56 years. If we are going to get serious and truly go after harmful air pollution, we must outlaw gasoline engines, the burning of coal and oil fired furnaces. We are America; when a problem develops we find a solution. Trampling on individual rights is not the solution.

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“The wretchedness of being rich is that you live with rich people…. To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and stay sober.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

According to Justice Kennedy, California must release over 30,000 prisoners because of over-crowding; send them to Mexico to live.

In Abe Lincoln, Supreme Court on May 25, 2011 at 5:57 AM

May 25, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 25 is … National Tap Dance Day

The Bulls are not officially eliminated but their chances of advancement are minimal at best. It appears the big three were worth it after all.

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert,

in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”    

Milton Friedman.

I am a day late on this item. The brief story was sent to me by my brother, a Lincoln Scholar. May 24, 2011 is the sesquicentennial of the death of Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth.  Ellsworth was the first notable death and the first officer to die in the US Civil War.

Ellsworth was born in New York in 1837 and later lived in Rockford, Illinois and Chicago.  He moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1860 where he clerked in the Lincoln-Herndon law office and served as an aide to Lincoln during the fall campaign for the presidency.  Lincoln became very fond of Ellsworth who traveled with the Lincolns to Washington in February 1861 aboard the presidential train.  With Robert Lincoln away at Harvard, Ellsworth became like an older brother to the two younger Lincoln boys, even contracting measles from them.

Ellsworth studied military sciences during his spare time and had helped train militia units in Rockford (the Rockford Greys), Milwaukee and Madison.  Later in Chicago he helped drill National Guard cadets.  Ellsworth had admired the French Zouave soldiers and modeled his troops after them.

When the Civil War broke out, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops and Ellsworth helped recruit.  He traveled to his home state of New York and raised the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of New York firemen.  Returning to Washington on April 29, 1861, Ellsworth paraded his disciplined troops up Pennsylvania Avenue.  The unit was outfitted in colorful Zouave-style uniforms and they became a nationally known drill team.

After Virginia seceded from the Union, a large Confederate flag mounted on top of the Marshall House hotel across the river in Alexandria was visible from the White House.  Ellsworth led the 11th New York across the Potomac uncontested and secured the local telegraph office to prevent communication to the South. Ellsworth himself went to the top of the hotel and took down the Confederate flag.  As he was coming back down the stairs, he was met by the hotel proprietor who shot and killed him instantly with a shotgun blast to the chest.   Cpl. F.E. Brownell immediately killed the hotel keeper.  Brownell became known as “Ellsworth’s Avenger.”

Ellsworth’s death became national news and he was mourned across the North.  Lincoln ordered Ellsworth’s body lay in state in the East Room of the White House.  Just at the moment Lincoln was told the news of Ellsworth’s death, two visitors entered the room.  Lincoln, stunned and grieved, turned to the visitors, extended his hand, and said “Excuse me, but I cannot talk.”  On the day before Ellsworth’s funeral, Lincoln, consumed in grief, wrote to his parents, “In the untimely loss of your noble son, our affliction here is scarcely less than your own . . . In hope that it may be no intrusion upon the sacredness of your sorrow, I have ventured to address this tribute to your brave and early fallen child.  May God give you that consolation which is beyond all earthly power.”

Throughout the North, Ellsworth became known as a symbol of courageous young men willing to sacrifice their lives for the Union.  “Remember Ellsworth” became a patriotic slogan.  In death, Ellsworth became a hero and relics associated with his death became souvenirs.

Speaking of tap dancing, a Kennedy thinks we need to show sympathy for Gabby Gifford’s shooter as much as we show for Gifford. He apparently does not understand Gifford was innocent while the shooter made a decision to shoot and kill people. In an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) argued that Jared Loughner deserves sympathy for his apparent mental problems. Loughner is the 22-year-old man charged in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. that killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) with a traumatic brain injury.

“It’s an irony,” Kennedy told Gupta, “but we think no stigma towards Gabby and her brain injury, but [Loughner] has a brain injury as well, because clearly his brain was not working properly when he picked up that gun and shot all those people.”

“We failed as a society,” he added, “because every time we see someone who’s — and we use the pejorative words — ‘crazy,’ ‘psycho,’ ‘nuts,’ we look the other way.”

The interview focused on Kennedy’s own battles with depression and substance abuse, his campaign to destigmatize chemical dependency and mental illness; and on his ambitious mission, inspired by his struggles, to ramp up funding for brain research. Kennedy made his first trip to rehab in 1985, for cocaine abuse, when he was a 17-year-old high school senior in Andover, Mass. Around that time he also received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, although he now says he suffers from a different, unspecified mental disorder.

In 1995 Kennedy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and held the seat until 2011. During that time, several incidents signaled his continuing struggle: he was caught shoving a security guard at Los Angeles International Airport and got in a fight on a yacht that attracted the attention of the Coast Guard. In May 2006 he crashed a green Mustang convertible into a concrete barrier just blocks from the U.S. Capitol shortly after 2:30 a.m. Blaming the crash on sleeping pills, he announced that he would seek rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Two months before his father’s death from brain cancer, Patrick Kennedy checked into rehab again; the stress of his father’s illness had renewed his depression and substance dependency. The elder Kennedy died in August 2009. Six months later, Patrick Kennedy announced that he would not seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives. He left office in January 2011, having spent more than half his life in public office.

This guy is a nut and not in touch with reality or the average American. Because of liberals like the Kennedys, criminals are not put to death but are coddled and told it is not their fault because dad drank too much and mom did not hug you enough. Give me a break.

Pat Kennedy needs a drink and a reality check.

Speaking of liberals, the Supreme Court entered another decision that amounts to an unfunded mandate on States. The Supreme Court on Monday narrowly endorsed reducing California’s cramped prison population by more than 30,000 inmates to fix sometimes deadly problems in medical care, ruling that federal judges retain enormous power to oversee troubled state prisons.

The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity. There were more than 143,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons as of May 11, meaning roughly 33,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California native, wrote the majority opinion, in which he included photos of severe overcrowding. The court’s four Democratic appointees joined with Kennedy. “The violations have persisted for years. They remain uncorrected,” Kennedy said. The lawsuit challenging the provision of mental health care was filed in 1990.

Justice Antonin Scalia said in dissent that the court order is “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.” Scalia, reading his dissent aloud Monday, said it would require the release of “the staggering number of 46,000 convicted felons.” Scalia’s number, cited in legal filings, comes from a period in which the prison population was even higher.

Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia’s opinion, while Justice Samuel Alito wrote a separate dissent for himself and Chief Justice John Roberts.

The Supreme Court is once again making law from the bench without any concern for reality and the money needed to implement its decision. He Supreme Court does not a member that was elected nationally or even locally. All of the Supremes making this decision are Democrats.

Just a couple of thoughts I had.



DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“It is the weakness and danger of republics that the vices as well as virtues of the people are represented in their legislation.” – Helen Hunt Jackson

Is she a Mormon?

In American business, Books, Natural disasters, News, writing on May 24, 2011 at 4:59 AM

May 24, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 24 is … National Escargot Day, it could be a slow day.

It appears Oprah is moving at a snail’s pace. Her last show was to be recorded Monday but at 7:00 a. m. it was switched to Tuesday. Doesn’t it seem like Oprah has been doing her last show for over a year? Do the show, broadcast it and go to California. I, for one, will not miss you. This celebration of Oprah retiring has consumed half of her career. Get over yourself, already.

President Obama is in Ireland, a bastion for African-Irish citizens. He is visiting a small town where his great-great grandfather allegedly lived. I assume this was on his mother’s side. Why are we paying for this vacation? He has a few bucks, he could afford to pay for this trip himself. Hopefully he will be free in late January of 2013 to vacation all he and the Mrs. Want to. Shouldn’t our President be in this country showing concern and respect for the Joplin, Missouri tornado victims?

What a world we live in. A Salt Lake City woman has been charged with offering her 11-year-old daughter’s virginity to a man in exchange for $10,000. The woman was charged Monday in Utah’s 3rd District Court with two counts of aggravated sex abuse and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. KTVX Channel 4, of Salt Lake City, reports that court documents claim she made the offer after the man asked about oral sex with the girl.

Oscar De La Hoya is looking for the biggest knockout of his life. Addiction may be the toughest fight Oscar De La Hoya has seen — the boxing legend is currently seeking help for substance abuse at a California rehab facility. “Stop finding excuses not to live,” he tweeted. “Life is controlled by what you make of it and not of what it makes of you.” De La Hoya reportedly entered the facility several weeks ago to battle his demons.

This story is reprinted from Aol Small Business, written by Tamara Schweitzer Raben. This is good news for authors like me.  Sales of electronic books for Amazon’s Kindle have now officially surpassed the sale of print books — hardcover and paperback combined – the e-commerce site announced Thursday. To date in 2011, Amazon has sold more than three times as many Kindle books as it did during this same period last year, the company reported in a statement. Overall, Amazon is seeing the fastest year-over-year growth rate for book sales in all formats — print and digital — than it has in the past 10 years.

Amazon’s first indication that e-book sales were taking off was in July 2010, when Kindle book sales surpassed hardcover book sales on the site, just shy of the 3-year mark of the Kindle’s release.

According to a report released in late 2010 by Forrester Research, the e-book market is now a $1 billion industry, with sales expected to reach $2.81 billion by 2015. Small-business owners have had an opportunity to capture a slice of that market through Kindle’s Direct Publishing program, which allows anyone to self-publish a book through the Amazon Kindle Store without requiring the backing of a publishing house.

The U.S. Kindle Store currently has more than 950,000 books for sale, and a search turns up more than 5,000 small-business titles. A good portion of the titles listed in the Kindle Store include the work of indie writers like 26-year-old Amanda Hocking, who began self-publishing her work on Amazon and is now one of the top-selling independent authors on Amazon. Hocking, who sells about 100,000 copies of her books a month, charges between 99 cents and $3, and through Amazon’s royalty program, she brings in 70 percent of those sales.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is divorced by Maria Shriver, it could cost the former governor and action-movie star millions. It is estimated that he could have to pay up to $200 million dollars for the privilege of not living with Maria anymore. Kennedy women have a history of coming out on top in these types of situations. It might be worth it for some women but not Shriver. Arnold has the hope any prenup is valid but the length of the marriage, number and age of the children and the way the marriage collapsed might invalidate any prenup and that hope. He better pin his hopes on her Catholic background preventing a divorce but many Kennedys have divorced over the years. Money trumps religious doctrine every time.

Buy an ebook today, start with one of mine. Let’s see if I can dethrone Amanda Hocking.

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Storms across America, in nature, politics and Arnoldland.

In current events, Dirty politicians!, Natural disasters, News on May 23, 2011 at 5:24 AM

May 23, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 23 is … Penny Day. What a thought.


Tornados ravaged Missouri, killed in Minnesota and damaging storms were reported in Oklahoma, Illinois and Wisconsin and points in between. Cleanup is coming with the breaking dawn.

These volcano eruptions in Iceland are becoming annoying. This is going to be used by the airline industry as an excuse to raise fares that will not go down when the volcano’s impact is passed. I can see a “Volcano Impact Fee” in our future.

David Gregory did it again on Sunday on Meet The Press. This time he ambushed Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. He was asking Ryan about the ignorant and party splitting comments by Newton Leroy Gingrich from last week when Gingrich threw Ryan under the bus and sounded more Democrat than Republican. Ryan answered the questions but Gregory would not accept the answers and kept pushing him. Ryan did not back down. I know politicians rarely answer questions directly but rather give the answer to a question they wanted asked or start their answer by saying, “The real question that needs to be answered is…” When Gregory has a Democrat on the show, he accepts the answers and shills for the Democrats but not Republicans. NBC needs to get this biased liberal off the air for the upcoming campaign or change their call letters to DNBC, Democratic National Broadcasting Company. At least FOX News is honest and upfront about their allegiance.

President Obama sat in our White House and was lectured by the Israeli leader, the leader of a country that would not exist if we did not support them. Obama should have stood up, said “This meeting is over.” and left the room. Why do we owe the Jews so much? We surely do not need them coming to our White House, hat in hand and lecturing our President.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said he will not seek the Republican Presidential nomination. He never would have won. Trading someone from Illinois for someone from Indiana would not play in most of the other 48 states.

This leaves the door wide open for Rick Perry from Texas to change his mind, Chris Christie from New Jersey to change his mind or Paul Ryan to change his mind. It is also a big boost for Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota but I think Minnesota has too liberal of a reputation to overcome.

Christie is young enough to wait until 2016 as is Paul Ryan. Perry should jump in now. Mitt Romney is not electable nationally as a Mormon. None of the other candidates or potential candidates has a legitimate chance at victory nationally and the Republican Party has a history of not nominating unelectable candidates. Obviously they do not all win but they all have a chance at winning.

With Obama all but running unopposed, I believe he will run a Rose Garden Campaign. I do not see why he would agree to any debates. He has a bully pulpit and will use it. Money does not seem to be an issue for Obama with his history of rewarding large contributors with lucrative positions or appointments. People flock to the great black hope if for no other reason than to look enlightened and anti-racist.

Jane Seymour, apparently an actress that was once a bond girl, says she is aware of two more bastards Arnold Schwarzenegger he fathered during his marriage to Maria Shriver. How or why she would know this information is unclear.

Sarah Palin has chimed in with her opinion, saying she feels sorry for the children and that the whole affair “It speaks to his character. It is sad.”  That is from the mother of a girl who gave birth to a bastard in her early teens. Her daughter broke the law to get pregnant, had a tabloid relationship with the alleged father, appeared on TV scantily dressed on a dancing show, prostituting her fifteen minutes, has had reconstructive surgery before she turned twenty and never seems to be involved in the raising of her child. This speaks to the daughter’s character and the character of the daughter’s parents.

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Happy Birthday Patty, No Triple Crown Winner this year.

In Fun, history, Preakness on May 22, 2011 at 6:32 AM

May 22, 2011


The news as I see it and the views as I want them.

May 22 is … Buy-A-Musical-Instrument Day


I think I’ll buy a horn and toot it for my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Patty.

My horse finished fifth in the Preakness. Shackelford won meaning no Triple Crown Winner again this year; it has been 33 years since a horse won the Triple Crown, clearly making it one of the hardest things to do in professional sports unless you are the Chicago Cubs. A hprse ran in the Preakness Saturday that was blind in its right eye. This happens now and again but these horses cannot run in Australia or Ireland and a few other places that run the races clockwise. A horse blind in its right eye can see the rail running counter-clockwise, like we run in America but it could not see the rail running clockwise. This also prevents the horse from seeing the crowd in the seats and the railbirds thus not spooking it.

Birthdays – May 22
1813 – Wilhelm Richard Wagner (composer: Tristan, Isolde, Lohengrin; died Feb 13, 1883)

1844 – Mary Cassatt (artist: The Bath; died June 14, 1926)

1859 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (physician; writer: Sherlock Holmes: 56 short stories, 3 novels: The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Valley of Fear; died July 7, 1930)

1907 – Sir Laurence (Kerr) Olivier (Academy Award-winning actor: Hamlet [1948]; War Requiem, The Boys from Brazil, Brideshead Revisited, Carrie, The Jazz Singer, Peter the Great, Richard III, Spartacus, The Merchant of Venice, Marathon Man, Khartoum; Emmy Award-winning actor: The Moon and Sixpence [1960], A Long Day’s Journey into Night [1973], Love Among the Ruins [1975], Brideshead Revisited, King Lear [1984]; died July 11, 1989)

1914 – Vance Packard (writer: The Hidden Persuaders; died Dec 12, 1996)

1914 – Sun Ra (Herman Blount) (jazz musician: piano, organ, synthesizer; died May 30, 1993)

1922 – Judith Crist (Klein) (TV critic: TV Guide, Saturday Review, Today Show)

1924 – Charles Aznavour (Shahnour Varenagh Aznavurjian) (actor: Edith & Marcel, The Tin Drum, Twist, Ten Little Indians, Candy, Shoot the Piano Player; singer, songwriter)

1926 – Elaine Leighton (drummer: played w/Billie Holiday)

1927 – Michael Constantine (Constantine Joanides) (Emmy Award-winning actor: Room 222 [1969-70]; Sirota’s Court, Hey Landlord, The Hustler)

1928 – Jackie (Jacqueline) Cain (singer: duo: Jackie & Roy [Kral]: Flamingo, Over the Rainbow, Euphoria, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles)

1931 – Kenny Ball (musician: trumpet: bandleader: Midnight in Moscow)

1934 – Al Brown (entertainer: group: Al Brown & The Tunetoppers: LP: The Madison Dance Party)

1934 – Peter Nero (Nierow) (pianist: Theme from the Summer of ’42)

1938 – Richard Benjamin (actor: Goodbye Columbus, Diary of a Mad Housewife, He and She, Portnoy’s Complaint, Love at First Bite, The Sunshine Boys, Westworld; director: The Money Pit, Little Nikita, Made in America, Milk Money)

1938 – Frank Converse (actor: Brother Future, Tales of the Unexpected, Home at Last, Cruise into Terror, N.Y.P.D., Movin’ On, The Family Tree, Coronet Blue, Dolphin Cove)

1938 – Susan Strasberg (actress: The Marriage, Toma, Picnic, Rollercoaster, Delta Force; died Jan 21, 1999)

1939 – Larry Siegfried (basketball: Boston Celtics)

1939 – Paul Winfield (actor: Tyson, Breathing Lessons, Carbon Copy, Cliffhanger, Dennis the Menace, Presumed Innocent, Sounder, The Terminator, Star Trek 2; died Mar 7, 2004)

1940 – Michael Sarrazin (actor: Lena’s Holiday, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, The Flim Flam Man, For Pete’s Sake, Mascara, The Seduction)

1940 – Mick Tingelhoff (football: Minnesota Vikings center: All-Pro team [1964, 65, 66, 67, 68, 68])

1942 – Barbara Parkins (actress: Peyton Place, Captains and the Kings, Valley of the Dolls, Calendar Girl Murders, The Deadly Trap)

1943 – Tommy (Thomas Edward) John (baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox [all-star: 1968], LA Dodgers [World Series: 1977, 1978/all-star: 1978], NY Yankees [all-star: 1979, 1980/World Series: 1981], California Angels, Oakland Athletics)

1950 – Bernie Taupin (lyricist: Your Song, Friends, Rocket Man, Honkey Cat, Crocodile Rock, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me; Elton John’s lyricist)

1951 – Patricia Brennan born in Streator, IL

1955 – Iva Davies (musician: guitar, singer: group: Icehouse)

1959 – Morrissey (Stephen Morrissey) (singer: group: The Smiths: Hand in Glove, This Charming Man, What Difference Does It Make, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, William It Was Really Nothing, Reel Around the Fountain, Suffer Little Children, Bigmouth Strikes Again, That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore, Shakespeare’s Sister, Boy with the Thorn in His Side, The Queen is Dead, Frankly Mr. Shankly, Cemetry Gates)

1970 – Naomi Campbell (model; writer: Swan; actress: Miami Rhapsody)

Other important events on this date throughout history:

1906 Wright Brothers patent an aero plane
1909 1st San Francisco fireboat, David Scannell, launched
1911 Braves pitcher, Cliff Curtis, loses his 23rd game in a row
1915 Local train collides with troop train killing 226 (Gretna Scotland)
1916 French troops occupy parts of Fort Douaumont Verdun
1923 Stanley Baldwin succeeds Andrew Bonar Law as British premier
1924 In Chicago, Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb kidnap Robert Franks
1926 “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” by Gene Austin hits #1
1926 Chiang Kai-shek replaces communists in Guomindang China
1927 8.3 earthquake strikes Nan-Shan China, 200,000 killed
1927 Dodgers beat Phillies, 20-4
1928 US Congress accept Jones-White Merchant Naval Act
1930 Ruth hits 3 consecutive homeruns (8th-10th of 60 in 1930)
1930 Yankee “Bronx Bombers” hit 14 homeruns in a game
1931 Canned rattlesnake meat 1st goes on sale in Florida
1933 Loch Ness Monster is 1st reportedly sighted by John Mackay
1933 World Trade Day/National Maritime Day 1st celebrated
1938 Dodgers announce contracts to install lights at Ebbets Field
1939 Hitler & Mussolini sign “Pact of Steel”
1940 Dutch Premier De Geer begins working with Nazis
1940 Prime Minister Winston Churchill flies to Paris
1941 British troops attack Baghdad
1942 México declares war on Nazi-Germany & Japan
1943 1st jet fighter is tested
1943 RAF scatters 1st copies of “The Flying Hollander”
1943 Stalin disbands Komintern
1945 6th Marine division reaches suburbs of Naha Okinawa
1945 NSB-Führer Rost van Tonningen attempts & fails at suicide
1946 Yankees turn triple-play & defeat Tigers’ 5-3
1947 “Truman Doctrine” goes into effect, aiding Turkey & Greece
1947 1st US ballistic missile fired
1950 Celal Bayar elected president of Turkey
1950 Dutch poet Gerrit Achterberg wins PC Hooft prize
1950 Richard Strauss’ “4 Last Songs” (4 letzte Lieder) in London

1951 Patricia Lynn Brennan born in Streator, Illinois
1953 President Eisenhower signs Offshore Oil Bill
1953 Yankee Irv Noren hits into a triple-play, Yankees beat Washington 12-4
1954 80th Preakness: Johnny Adams aboard Hasty Road wins in 1:57.4
1954 KREX TV channel 5 in Grand Junction CO (CBS) begins broadcasting
1954 Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan is Bar Mitzvahed
1955 Oldest man to drive in the Grand Prix (aged 55) finishes 6th
1956 “Bob Hope Show” last airs on NBC-TV
1956 KRIS TV channel 6 in Corpus Christi TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
1957 KBTX TV channel 3 in Bryan TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
1957 Red Sox set American League record by smashing 4 homeruns in 6th inning in 11-0 win
1957 South Africa Government approves race separation in universities
1959 Benjamin O Davis Jr becomes 1st black general-major in USAF
1960 Virtually all coastal towns between 37th & 44th parallels severely damaged by tsunami that strikes Hilo HI at 01:04 AM
1961 “Mother-In-Law” by Ernie K-Doe hits #1
1961 “Touchables In Brooklyn” by Dickie Goodman hits #42
1961 1st revolving restaurant (Top Of The Space Needle in Seattle), opens
1962 14th Emmy Awards: Bob Newhart Show, E G Marshall & Shirley Booth
1962 Netherlands telephone net becomes completely automated
1962 Robert A Rushworth, USAF major, takes X-15 to 30,600 meters
1962 Roger Maris walks 5 times (record 4 intentionally) in a 9 inning game
1963 Mickey Mantle hits a ball off Yankee Stadium’s facade
1964 LBJ presents “Great Society”
1965 “Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious” hits #66
1965 Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” single goes #1
1966 18th Emmy Awards: Fugitive, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore
1967 “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuts on NET (now PBS)
1967 Egyptian president Nasser closes Straits of Tiran to Israel
1967 Fire at L’Innovation department store kills 322 (Brussels, Belgium)
1968 Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell hits 3 homeruns, a double & a single
1969 Stafford & Cernan pilot Apollo 10 LEM 9.4 miles (15km) above lunar surface
1970 Arab terrorists kill 9 children & 3 adults on a school bus
1970 Mel Stottlemyre sets record by walking 11, but wins 2-0
1972 US President Nixon begins visit Moscow
1973 Emmy News & Documentaries Award presentation
1973 President Nixon confesses his role in Watergate cover-up
1974 Ruffian begins her racing career as a filly & dies 14 months later
1974 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1975 8th ABA Championship: Kentucky Colonels beat Indiana Pacers, 4 games to 1
1976 NASA launches space vehicle S-179
1976 St Louis Cardinal Reggie Smith hits 3 homeruns
1977 Final European scheduled run of the Orient Express (94 years)
1977 Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Coca-Cola Golf Classic
1977 Red Sox (6) & Brewers (5) tie single game homerun record of 11
1979 Canadians elect conservatives, Joseph Clark replaces Pierre Trudeau
1980 Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue marry
1981 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth
1983 Toronto Blue Jay Cliff Johnson hits record 18th pinch hit homerun
1985 Pete Rose 2,108th run passes Hank Aaron as National League run scoring leader
1985 US sailor Michael L Walker arrested for spying for USSR
1987 30 killed in a Texas tornado
1990 Andre Dawson sets record being intentionally walked 5 times
1990 Dow Jones average hits a record 2,852.23
1990 Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
1991 NFL Owners agree to add 2 teams in 1994
1992 California Angels are involved in a bus crash in New Jersey
1992 Johnny Carson’s final appearance as host of the Tonight Show
1993 Riddick Bowe TKOs Jesse Ferguson in 2 for heavyweight boxing title
1994 Toronto NBA franchise unveils name “Raptors” & logo
1995 Laverne & Shirley 20th anniversary reunion special, televised
1996 Emmy 23rd Daytime Award presentation – Susan Lucci loses for 16th time

Just a couple of thoughts I had.


DEKALB, IL 60115




Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming. (Do search by my name or book Title) (do a quick search, Title, my name) Do a Title or author search.

Book Titles:

Holmes the Ripper


A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” – Eleanor Roosevelt