Feb 112019
 

There a widespread, often repeated observation among grandparents that personalities and talents seem to skip generations. Perhaps this is just the wishful thinking of elderly people disappointed in how their children turned out, but in the case of my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski and his son, Hank Jr., it definitely seems to possess some credence. Having had an opportunity to meet Hank’s father on several occasions, I’d say his grandson is much more like him than Hank is. Both grandfather Palikowski and Hank Jr. are pragmatic, successful and highly intelligent individuals, while frankly, my brother-in-law has proven to be a damned fool and a pretty gullible one at that. As regular readers of this Web log will readily recall, Hank Jr. […]

Jan 272019
 

Since eight hundred thousand federal employees and God knows how many federal contractors have either been subject to involuntary servitude or had nothing to do for the last month, it stands to reason that many of this Web log’s readers may wonder if the historic Border Wall Shutdown affected my business. After all, it certainly affected plenty of others – practically every enterprise in the Washington DC metropolitan area, from pizza parlors, car washes, nail salons, dry cleaners, supermarkets and department stores to call girls, wine bars, dog walkers, spas, five star restaurants and recreational drug dealers felt the bite of a decline in demand for their goods and services. But the fact is, during that epic game of Chicken […]

Dec 312018
 

Okay, first of all, I want to say that IMHO, the word “unprecedented” should be retired from the English language because it has been used so much since June 16, 2015 that it has been worn out. That date, of course, is the day when Donald John Trump rode down a golden escalator and told the world he was running for President of the United States of America. That’s when the word “unprecedented” went from a fairly ordinary, quotidian, average, run-of-the-mill English adjective to an utterance so common as to rank right up there with “ohmigod,” “thank you, next,” “oh no, you did-nt,” “gimme a high five,” “cray-cray,” “squad goal,” “adulting,” “turnt,” “on fleek,” “keep it one hundred,” “suh,” “that […]

Nov 242018
 

Well, it’s been two years since the last US national election, and, as the Constitution prescribes, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate stood for re-election or replacement by the American voters. And since the Constitution also says the President gets elected every four years, we’re still stuck with Donald J. Trump, and I might add, also still stuck with an increasingly divided and querulous American public. It’s pretty clear now, that despite the passage of one hundred and fifty-three years and a complete reversal of the respective positions of the Republican and Democratic parties on racial and civil rights issues, the Civil War never actually ended. No, instead, like a case of herpes, it has […]

Oct 312018
 

This morning, it finally happened. Gretchen called from the reception area and told me, “Ahmed is here, and I’m taking the rest of today and all of tomorrow off. I’ll call from home and cancel your remaining appointments through noon. You can cancel the rest through six tonight yourself.” Then she hung up. And no, I’m not going to fire her, and regular readers of this Web log would be quick to apprehend why. “Ahmed,” as he calls himself, isn’t supposed to just show up like that, and this was the first time he simply walked in without warning. Darting into my desk drawer for a double dose of pathologist’s camphor, I fortified my nostrils for the shock and walked […]