EVERYDAY IS MEMORIAL DAY: Today is Sgt. Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr.

EVERYDAY IS MEMORIAL DAY when one reaches my age and this morning, with things heating up even more on the Korean Peninsula, my thoughts turned to U.S. Army Sergeant Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient, for whom Camp Red Cloud near the Korean DMZ is named. You won’t hear much about Sgt. Red Cloud from the Steve Bannon-alt-right-white nationalist crowd but every soldier in the Second Infantry Division stationed along the DMZ in Korea knows who he was.

Sgt. Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. Camp Red Cloud is named in his honor.


I often find enjoyment in watching films or television episodes about fiction writers, especially mystery writers. So when I came across the premiere episode to the Columbo television detective series starring Peter Falk, I was immediately drawn to it.

Peter Falk as television’s Lieutenant Colombo

The 1971 episode, Murder by the Book, is particularly interesting to me because it has a rare sub-sub genre plot involving a team of mystery writers. In real life, attempts at collaboration between mystery writers all too often end in failure. One exception has been the Ken Bruen-Jason Starr team which has produced several decent noir efforts; the latest is Pimp (2016). But they are truly an exception.

“Creeping Jesus” and the plot to kidnap Éamon deValera

The recent allegation by former CIA Director James Woolsey that he overheard President Trump’s disgraced national security advisor Mike Flynn discussing with high Turkish officials the idea of kidnapping a Turkish opposition leader here in the U.S. and returning him to Turkey where he would face sure execution will not go away. The story is sure to resurface again and again as the FBI investigation into Flynn’s conduct with Russia, Turkey and possibly other nations not friendly to the U.S. deepens.

The well-earned joys of a ten-mile run

The older one gets, at least in my case, the more one enjoys the after-run bon repas and libation.

Stan Trybulski recovering at D’Vine Restaurant after a ten-mile run

That is not to say that my training runs are not enjoyable for not only do I choose courses that run along the shoreline or veer inland through gentle verdant hills, marshes and sun-sparkled ponds teeming with wild fowl and wild life, but during the longer mileage I am also able to find a zone where I am completely within myself.

PARANOIA ÜBER ALLES: Lies, spies, Trump and Nazi Germany

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”-John 8:32

President Trump excoriates the news media while standing in front of the stars of honor on the north wall of CIA headquarters in Langley, VA.   As he attacked the news media, he received choreographed applause from his entourage.

The love-hate relationship between America’s journalists and its intelligence community may have grown a little more dramatic after the venomous attitude President Donald J. Trump  displayed recently toward both professions, going as far as to wrongly accuse the CIA and its former director John Brennan of deliberately leaking to the press the “Golden Showers” dossier, an action he called akin to that of Nazi Germany of the 1930s.

Of Things To Come: David Morrell’s TESTAMENT is more relevant than ever.


The books in my personal library are like old friends. I visit some more than others. Coming inside after a hard four-mile run I searched for something to read while recovering from the exertion.   The numerous vile and vicious acts of racial and religious bigotry that erupted after the Trump victory are disturbing and my mind had taken itself in a direction that I preferred not to go yet was impelled to travel.

If the news media won’t stand up for itself, how can it stand up for us?

There has been much hand-wringing and soul-searching by the U.S. news media over the past several days over the failure to predict the triumph of Donald Trump in the presidential election. This self-flagellation would better serve America and western democracy if instead it targets its failure to excoriate Mr. Trump for singling out for attack the journalists covering his rallies.

Since the election, we have witnessed a sinister spike in racist and anti-Semitic graffiti across the U.S.   We should not be surprised as the Trump campaign rallies exposed clear manifestations of these ugly prejudices, malevolent manifestations that should have been easily recognizable to the news media as during the rallies, the media, itself, was the target.  And with a frightening passivity, it seemed to accept this hate as the normal course of the news business.

The James Joyce Ramble: When a writer runs

1461597399117Fresh off my January 5k race in Key West, haunt of the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, I began searching for another race that was connected with a great writer. It didn’t take me long to discover this past weekend’s 33rd James Joyce Ramble 10k in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The Ramble has often been associated with promotion of human rights and a free press.   This year, the race focused on the plight of the five Hong Kong booksellers who suddenly disappeared from their homes only to remerge as “guests of the People’s Republic of China.”  Now, I had two reasons to run.20160424_084114

Delicious Villainy: Donald Pleasance remembered

Donald Pleasance“My father was Italian; he provided the wine. My mother was English; she provided the breeding.”   These delicious lines were murmured by that wonderful British actor Donald Pleasance (1919-1995) in “Any Old Port in a Storm”, a 1973 episode of the Colombo television series.

Moments later, Pleasance’s character (California wine grower Adrian Carsini) bashes in the head of his wastrel brother Rick (actor Gary Conway), leaving viewers to speculate from which side of the family this bit of violence arose. Pleasance (Carsini) then leaves the body in his study while he polishes off a bottle of rare Bordeaux with a group of fellow wine enthusiasts.

Running in the footsteps of Hemingway

It seems that everyone and his or her brother or sister has written an article or book about walking in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

So I decided to kick it up a notch. Literally.