Category Archives: The View from the Tower

General Observational and (Hopefully) Humorous Essays and/or cartoons, occasionally with some editorial opinon or political content.

One Week Later

Okay, so we’re back in business!…

And there’s no shortage of graphic art to be posted!…

I’ve been looking and downloading and uploading. Everything except posting!

Of course, it’s nice to be in demand, but there’s something to be said for time off as well…

I’m sure the time may come when this humble blog will return to political topics, but not just yet…

Until next time, please know every visit is appreciated, as is every time you make use of the “like,” “share” and/or “comment” buttons below!


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Annnnnnnnnnd I’m out.

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Three Months Later

Dude, where HAVE you been?

As usual, I’ve been commandeered by that original social media platform, Life.

Someday, I may write more about this pause in my posts, but for now, I’m just pleased to be back. I’m also learning to use the WordPress app that I’ve just installed on my tablet.

You may wish to check that your seatbelt is fastened and that the safety lap bar is locked in the down position…


So now that I’m back, let’s make up for some lost time with good ol’ Rick Stevens!…


At this point, let’s see what else I’ve been salting away for an eventual return…

I know, it’s a little dated. But let’s be clear, in this country, at this time, nothing has much of a shelf life, except for human nature. For a while, at least, I want to see if I can keep this humble blog a little less political. That would make for a lot less wear and tear on your humble blogger…

There’s plenty more to come in the days and weeks ahead! Please be patient and thanks for coming back!


Annnnnnd I’m out… 

What Year Is It, Anyway?

In 1973, I was transitioning between my sophomore and junior years in college.

Like so many young men and women at Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, I followed the story of the Watergate break-in and the growing evidence that the Nixon White House was involved.

When Brent Snowcroft acknowledged to the Justice Department that President Richard Nixon routinely tape recorded conversations in the Oval Office, the nation was stunned. But now, at least, we could get to the bottom of this mess. All we needed to do was listen to the recordings.

Once we could obtain them, that is.

I remember all this clearly and easily. I was between 19 and 20 years of age at the time. The 45th President of the United States was between 26 and 27 years old back then. It seems incredible he couldn’t or wouldn’t remember anything about those singularly historic developments.

And yet, within the last two days, the President has tweeted to former Director of the FBI James Comey and threatened to release certain recorded conversations if Comey testifies in the (as of this writing) ongoing Congressional probes of possible collusion between the Trump Presidential Campaign/Administration and Russia.

Philosopher Georg Hegel once opined that if you don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past, you have to know history. To ignore the lessons we can learn from the past means we are doomed to recreate them.

And President Trump (just like your humble blogger) has had the opportunity to know these lessons first hand. But it would seem he wasn’t paying attention. His threat to Comey strongly implies that Trump has made such recordings.

Be prepared to hear him attempt to walk the threat back (“I never said I had any recordings, I merely suggested he should hope I didn’t. Actually, I don’t make recordings; they’re so much trouble, so much trouble… But it would have been a terrific idea if I had.”)

So now we have to go round and round the mulberry bush to try and obtain copies of these supposed recordings.  And so it goes.

For those too young to remember, eventually Richard Nixon’s recordings were obtained and, once heard, his fate was sealed.

Let us pray that, thanks to Donald Trump’s own monumental ignorance of recent American Political History, the demise of this administration will be just as inevitable.

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Annnnnnd I’m out……

1,461 Days Later…

Hi there, boys and girls! Do you know what today is? That’s right campers, it’s the FOURTH ANNIVERSARY of this blog!

(Insert pause here to allow for the thunderous applause, whooping and whistling to die down and give everybody a chance to take their seats again.)

Yes, it was back in the dim dark days of 2013. Mitt Romney was still coming to grips with his own election defeat. President Barack Obama was considering arming Syrian rebels. The U-S was telling Mexico any trade deal would have to be tied to immigration reform. Any of this sound eerily familiar?

And a temporarily unemployed former radio announcer from Pittsburgh set out to kill a little of his extra free time by trying his hand at blogging.

We were living in a much simpler era. Humorous signs that used to be confined to cubicles in the office have since taken on much more sinister meanings.

For example:

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…is now the unofficial motto of both the White House and Congress. Whereas:

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…is now the unofficial motto of the US Departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security.

Four years ago, if I wanted to treat my online followers to dinner, all I’d have needed was a single booth at the local diner. Today, I’d probably need to book something at Chuck E Cheese, assuming we didn’t mind sharing the place simultaneously with a few children’s birthday parties.

But it’s been worth every penny.

I’ve had the chance to stretch my writing talent (and, occasionally, to sprain it,) to become acquainted with new people all over the world (some of whom live in the most unexpected places,) and just generally acquire my sea legs in an emerging medium. And I haven’t done it alone.

Some very talented people have contributed to this effort. I try to always make it clear that the cartoonists get credit for their unique gifts; folks like Rick Stevens, Arianna Stefannini (“Kotopopi,”) Jen Sorensen, Matt Lubchansky, Matt Bors, Rob Rogers and, of course, Tom Tomorrow.

My wife and daughter get credit for tolerating this obsession.

But it is the support and encouragement of my fellow bloggers which has proven to be so important. They have set an example and given me more than a little idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my thanks to the President of the United States.

Every artist must have a muse.

Over the past two years #EmperorDonaldTheLast has been a fertile source of ideas such as I would never have imagined four years ago when I set out on this project.

His singular level of absurdity, audacity, lack of grace and mind-boggling sheer stupidity make this exercise an unalloyed pleasure.

Donald, I couldn’t have done it without you!

And now we return to our regular programming…

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Please help me to celebrate this anniversary bigly by liking, sharing and commenting, via the handy-dandy widget buttons below… So important…

Annnnnnd I’m out.

April Showers

Hello! Let’s waste no time!…

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Say, do you know what? That’s okay, neither do I. I hear that’s pretty common nowadays…

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When people start to question your judgement, that’s when you need to reframe the question to your own advantage!..

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How often do you contemplate the nature of existence?

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Why not sit back and try to take the long view?..

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Whatever the future may hold, hopefully it won’t be a cynical rehash of the past!

 Wherever you are on the planet, please know your visit(s) to this humble blog are always welcomed and appreciated!

Thanks to all the artists whose work appears here, including Tom Tomorrow and Rick Stevens, to name but a few.

If you’ve enjoyed your visit, please use one of the buttons below to “like,” “share” or “comment.”

Annnnnnd I’m out.

Tax Day + Earth Day = Tearthax Day

It’s all about transparency and accountability.

For the first time in more than two generations, the United States is governed by a President whose financial life remains stubbornly shrouded in secrecy.

His environmental policy harkens back to the rapacious avarice of the so-called “robber barons” of the 19th century.

And a significant number of Americans seem to be okay with that.

Or at least they will be until their own finances are in ruins and almost everything they eat, drink or breathe is toxic.

Of course, in the end, the irony is that the ultra-wealthy will end up trapped by their own heedless avarice, imprisoned in a tightly circumscribed bubble that becomes their permanent and eternal habitat.

Of course, eventually the walls are breached, their sole comfort being that they will be the last to go. There will be none left to mourn or bury or remember them.

But they will have lasted the longest.

Well, THAT was certainly depressing! Time for some comic relief, I think!

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Okaaayy, let’s try again shall we?…

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Many thank yous to all who take time out their own days and nights to visit this humble blog! Please share, like comment or whatever using the assorted widgets below!

Do you know for the longest time I thought a “widget” was what happened when Gidget got mixed up in Necromancy!…

Shows you how much I know!…

Annnnnnd I’m out!

No Cartoons This Time.

Think of it as an experiment…

As this humble blog goes careening across the Weird World Web (that is what those three ‘Ws stand for, right?), we will soon be approaching its fourth anniversary.

There’s still so much I do not understand.

Specifically, why am I inundated with offers of webinars, books and classes to help me drive more traffic to my blog?

Listen up, everyone, I don’t want a lot of traffic!

This, this right here, is simply a harmless outlet for my own little essays, frequently peppered with some carefully selected cartoons from artists who largely publish online and see no harm in my reposting the selections of their stuff that I personally enjoy, in their own private dreams of the world beating a digital path to their own online doors.

It goes without saying – up until this dependent clause – that the last thing I ever expect to see is the world beating a digital path to my online door.

Had I ever truly thought it would, I’d be selling my stuff for some Real Money by now and this little diatribe would never have seen the light of your screen.

Believe me, I spent 20 years in American Radio, almost 10 years in TV, and almost every second was steeped in a blind desire to generate the largest audience possible. And in the end, it made no difference how well I had achieved that goal. That career came to a close.

Trust me, large audiences are overrated… and they can be so constricting as to make a python blush.

No, what really baffles me about blogging is the seeming irrelevance of the locations from which my blog is read.

Don’t get it twisted, if anybody at all reads these posts, I figure I’m waaaaaay ahead of the game.

But the assortment of countries often puzzles me.

Since English is my native language, I’m not surprised to see the United States and Canada as the top two countries that read my stuff. But then come Germany and France… Followed by the United Kingdom (for as long as that lasts…) Considerably further down the list come Australia and New Zealand.

Unless you’re seeing this blog for the first time, you know I take an almost unhealthy interest in American Politics.

I suppose many other people are at least as baffled as I am about, you know, that person in the White House.

You know, the one who tweets. A lot.

Sorry, folks, all out of profound insights on that one! Your guess is as good as mine. I got nothin’.

I’ve never thought of my self as racist or sexist. Is there such a thing as “hemispherism”? Almost all of this blog’s readers live north of the equator.

Do my posts somehow subtly signal that I’ve never spotted the Southern Cross in the night sky, or that when I flush a toilet, the water flows counterclockwise?

For the first half of last year, I was seeing a tremendous amount of traffic out of Brazil. I have absolutely no idea why. I’d like to think I briefly benefited from a fleeting craze during which sun-bronzed nubile 17-year-old girls followed my every word while tanning themselves and listening to sambas along the beaches of Rio.

It’s the romantic in me.

It seems I do not appeal to Scandinavian tastes at all. That’s okay; apart from Ibsen, Ingrid Bergman and smoked pickled herring, I can’t claim to admire much there. I don’t even care for IKEA. They can keep their meatballs. If I want to eat something bland, there’s no shortage of American cheese over here.

Also, while I appear to be generally well tolerated on the European continent, nobody in Spain reads my blog. Again, I have absolutely no idea why. I mean, if people in France and Portugal find me acceptable, why should the Spanish shun me? I can’t recall having ever expressed anything even remotely insulting to such a revered culture.

What am I to make of this seemingly arbitrary trivia?

Of course, I am nothing if not mercurial, so that could change at any time. In other words, if you happen to know anyone in Madrid or Barcelona, you may want to tell them to get with the program while I still currently revere them.

The absences of certain other locations I completely understand.

For example, I fully comprehend why nobody reads this in Russia, China, Cuba or the Philippines. On the other hand, I appear to draw a small but devoted readership in Malaysia. Don’t ask me why; no idea.

However, where are the readers in places like Chad, Peru or Sierra Leone?

Oh, Iceland, are you out there?

Come in, Latvia, all is forgiven!

Maybe it’s better this way. Maybe the whole low profile thing keeps me out of harm’s way. Quite possibly there’s a hidden benefit to being too small to be considered worth bothering with?

I think I just invented Humble Narcissism.

Too bad there isn’t a market for it…

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Ode to an Odd Spring

It’s been practically two months since the Trump inauguration. The standing of the United States has dropped steeply and swiftly.

The news has been filled with details of a White House in chaos and a President whose lack of engagement rivals that of Louis the XVI.

He has wasted no time betraying the desperate working poor who helped to elect him and his administration spends most of its time denying reality.

Appointees are selected seemingly without concern for their backgrounds or their fitness or their competency.

Can you tell I’m a little depressed over this?

Let’s cheer ourselves up with Tom Tomorrow

Of course, when it comes to escapism via mayhem, Rick Stevens is usually a trustworthy refuge…

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Let’s hear from Matt Lubchansky, who comments on the current U-S Attorney General, Jeff Sessions…

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Okay, I admit it, I’m still pretty bummed out here.

But the world is not without hope!

Children are still being born and still being loved and still love. The days are now longer than the nights and will continue that way for about 6 more months.

And with every misguided and misanthropic step he takes, the 45th President of the United States cements his destiny as a one-term president.

Once his political base wakes up to their harsh new reality, his fate is sealed.

Now, could we please lighten up the mood a little around here?…

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That’s more like it!  

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As always, I thank the artists whose work appears in this humble blog.

Also, thanks to you, gentle visitor!

Please know that your humble blogger thrives on your approval, so please make my day by liking, sharing, commenting, etc., below.

Please return soon!

 

RSDS: Cats Can Be Stubborn!

And so can people!

First up, Rick Stevens and “Diesel Sweeties”:

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Of course, there’s a reason both species have a reputation for being stubborn:

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Okay, so much for felines and their companions, let’s move on to something almost as universal, courtesy of contributor Matt Lubchansky:

Some of the folks who actually return to this humble blog voluntarily may be wondering why we haven’t gotten around to something by Tom Tomorrow..

Well, to them I say:

And, in closing, please return soon!

Remember, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the RCMP, the White House, MI-5, #10 Downing Street, the Kremlin and probably the Salvation Army as well already know you’ve visited this humble (and inoffensive) blog.

Good luck!

(And don’t get too smart in front of your Samsung smart TV…)

 

Such a Lovely Time!

Where so much is wonderful that when it comes to the “Diesel Sweeties,” artist Rick Stevens has nothing to write about…

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Anything that appears to touch on contemporary reality is, I am sure, merely a matter of coincidence!

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Should it be necessary, self-help methodologies are standing by to remedy whatever may trouble you:

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To any of you who regularly frequent this humble blog, topics touching on American Politics are our regular bread and butter. One of our more frequent contributors, Kotopopi, takes a swing at the topic in the latest installment of her series, “Millennials”:

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It’s come to my attention there’s a grassroots effort underway in her home country (France) to draft Barack Obama as a candidate for President. Of France.

Gee, I wonder if America could persuade some other country to take the current office holder off our hands?

We’d be willing to take a loss on the deal.

And he comes completely equipped with a family and cabinet (Supreme Court Justices not included.)

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Your assurance of quality… pretty much…