Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Lovely Send-Off

I'm in the midst of a happy task -- assembling family geneaology records for a cousin in Maryland.  Her grandmother is Rosalie "Podie" Sasscer, my father's sister and my late aunt.  Faithful readers may recall a recent post mentioning a small bust of Robert E. Lee given to me by Aunt Podie.  That's what prompted my cousin to ask if I could send her a copy of my dad's rather voluminous documentation.  I'm glad to do it.  It's been a pleasant experience for me to revisit the pages of our family history.

While photocopying and scanning this and that, I came across a hand-written note from Podie to my father, sent shortly before her death in 1994.  It's her instructions for her funeral, and it's a classic.  Sounds like a lovely send-off, and I share it here for the record:

Dear Jerry,

I am sending you this; also, I am attaching a copy to my will.

A synopsis of my funeral:  25 people at my house.  God and life-after-death are not to be mentioned.  A string quartet will play two beautiful pieces; someone will read something from Keats.  That's it!  Total time:  20 minutes.

Then cocktails with great hors-d'oeuvres; luncheon with Crab Imperial, old ham, etc.  A great day!  I'm really sorry I will have to miss it.

If you all do not carry out my wishes pre-cise-ly, ex-act-ly, you are going to be haunted by green goblins and things that go bump in the night.

Happy Days!



Trump Is Trump Is Trump

Don't be misled -- transient make-nice moments with "Chuck and Nancy" are not to be trusted and don't mean a thing.  His rare moments of moral decency are immediately and overwhelmingly offset by his usual contradiction, prevarication, ignorance, ugliness and corruption.  He's like a horrible prom date -- we try in vain to find something good about it, but he is who he is and we're stuck with him until the dance is over.

Trump is our Idiot Amin -- gold-plated trailer trash without an honest bone in his bloated body.

Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean (1825-1903) was a real-life Texas character who ran a saloon, was a Justice of the Peace, and called himself "The Law West of the Pecos."

In the 1972 movie "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," he was memorably potrayed by Paul Newman as an amusing, eccentric scoundrel.

"I know the law, having spent the better part of my life in its flagrant disregard."

"This will become a good place to live, with law and order.  And peace -- especially peace, and I don't care who I have to kill to get it."

In reality, Bean was a crude drunk, a liar, a bigot, a con man, an opportunist, and a publicity hound.  Rather reminiscent of our fake president, I'd say.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Advice To The Cleveland Indians From Crash Davis: "Respect The Streak!"

"A player on a streak has to respect the streak. Because they don't happen very often.  If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are!"

Crash Davis, from the movie Bull Durham

Go Windians!  Respect the streak!

Five Easy Memes For A Lazy Friday (F-Bomb Warning!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


In 2012 and 2013, he was the next big thing, the NFL's hottest and most exciting young QB.  For those two seasons, he led his 49ers to the Super Bowl and the NFC championship game.  With the Niners last year, in a silent protest, he took a knee during the anthem.

Today, at age 29, Colin Kaepernick is an unsigned free agent, effectively black-balled by the league's owners.  The owners, of course, deny this.

The link is to a story in the NY Times sports section, detailing Kaepernick's shooting-star journey of self-discovery, from naive biracial adopted kid, to football hero, to principled outcast reviled by small minds.  Like Muhammad Ali, Tommy Smith and John Carlos before him, he is paying a heavy price for being an athlete with a social conscience.

Some excerpts follow the link.


The NFL and its 32 franchise owners, none of them African-American, may be the most conservative fraternity of leaders in major American sports.  They bathe their games in overtly patriotic ceremonies and discourage players, mostly hidden behind masks and uniforms of armor, from individual acts of showmanship.  At least seven donated $1 million or more to Trump's inaugural committee, far more than any other sport's owners.

The NFL's 32 teams each carry at least two quarterbacks, some three.

"It's really tough to make an argument that he's not one of the best 64." -- NBC analyst Chris Collinsworth.

"To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.  There are bodies in the street, and people are getting paid leave and getting away with murder."  -- Colin Kaepernick.

"I am not looking for approval.  If they take football away, take my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right." -- Kaepernick.

"The larger conversation is what he is protesting about.  The fact that so many don't want to have that specific conversation speaks to the fact that they know what is happening in America is beyond tragic." -- Wade Davis, former NFL player and activist.

Kaepernick has donated $100,000 to charities every month since last October with little notice.  The beneficiaries are usually small, relatively unknown, and surprised.

"He is the Muhammad Ali of this generation." -- longtime civil rights/sports activist Harry Edwards.

These days, there's a lot to take a knee for.  Rumble, young man, rumble!


"A Staffing Issue"

Or maybe he just had an issue with his -- ahem -- "staff."  He-he!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Perceptive Vince Lombardi

In May 1970, three months before he died, the great football coach Vince Lombardi was interviewed by sportswriter Paul Zimmerman.  Zimmerman asked Lombardi for his thoughts on the cultural upheaval of that time -- war protests, campus unrest, Black Power, hippies, women's liberation, etc.  Lombardi's surprisingly perceptive answer still applies to this day:

"They're showing an awareness of things.  They're making themselves heard.  They have a right to say what they want, and it behooves us to listen.  I don't know . . . my own lack of awareness . . . In my own little sphere, maybe I didn't see things I should have.  My kids tell me things, and sometimes I have trouble understanding them.  Well, I've got to learn."

Faced With A Barrage Of Lies, How Can We Defend The Truth?

Excerpted from the 9/4/17 column by Charles M. Blow in the New York Times

How is one supposed to debate policy with someone who almost never tells the truth?  How can a liar negotiate treaties or navigate international disputes?  Without truth, everything falls apart, or more precisely, nothing can be established.

I vacillate between rage and sorrow that our country has come to such a pass.  And yet, what is done is done.  America made a colossal mistake, and it cannot be easily undone.

Trump And The Alt-Right

When Rolling Stone's great Matt Taibbi rips somebody a new one, it's a thing of beauty.  This time, it's Trump and his "base."



The president seemed paralyzed by the fact that some of the Charlottesville protesters wore MAGA hats, an indemnifying variable in Trump-math:  "They like me, therefore they are me.  And me can't be all bad -- even if me is a Nazi."

White supremacist nitwits may be the only thing Trump has left resembling a base of support.  Similar to his financial empire, every other part of his political coalition was borrowed, temporary, inherited or acquired by fraud.  And the notes are all coming due.

Trump's presidency has been reduced to a Gilligan's Island of family members, in-laws, white-power Rasputins, hired help like John Kelly, and whatever soon-to-be-disbarred lawyers they've been able to find to rack up billable hours stalling the boss's multitudinous criminal and civil messes.

Was he smart enough to play heel and statesman in the same breath as a strategic ploy, or was that a disorganized brain doing its natural tumble?  Trump hyped this question like the reality star he was:  Tune in next week to find out just how dangerous or insane I really am!

Life in the Trump era is like the president's favorite medium, Twitter:  an endless scroll of half-connected little anger Chiclets rapidly spinning us all into madness and conflict, with no end in sight.

Trump has shown that his power to bring out the worst in people is limitless.  And we should know by now that he's never finished, never beaten.  Historically, he's at his most dangerous when he's at his lowest.  And he's never been lower than now.  

Cartoon Cavalcade

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

DACA -- Not Funny, But . . .

There's nothing funny about Trump's decision to dismantle DACA, but if you've lost your sense of humor, you've lost it all.

Hope it's not too soon.


Repealing DACA in order to MAGA is a load of CACA.

Eight Hundred Thousand People With Dreams To Be Deported By One With Delusions
by Andy Borowitz for The New Yorker

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) -- Eight hundred thousand people with dreams will be deported by one person with delusions, sources confirmed on Tuesday.

According to reports, U.S. residents who have obtained advanced degrees, served in the military, and saved people from Hurricane Harvey will be kicked out of the country by a man who believes his microwave is spying on him.

"Under this decision, if you have worked hard, gone to school, and contributed to the country, you face immediate deportation," one legal expert said.  "On the other hand, if you can prove that you have a glaring personality disorder and a flimsy grasp on reality, you can decide the fate of those other people."

The delusional man defended his controversial decision late Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by several key voices in his head.

"The people I am deporting are parasites who have exploited our economy," the man, who has declared bankruptcy six times, said.

Don The Bankrupt Builder Tears Down DACA, Then Punts

(Sometimes I think I should rename this blog "What the Hell Has the Orange-Tufted Lunatic Done Now?")

Yesterday our fake president catered once again to his small but loyal moron base by rescinding DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, instituted in 2012 by executive order from President Obama.  DACA stopped deportations of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and allowed them to legally live and work in this country for renewable two-year periods.  Tweetle Dumb gave Congress six months to come up with an actual law, or DACA renewals will cease, meaning 800,000 people would then face deportation.

Killing DACA is an alt-right, white-wing ideological litmus test.  The idea makes the Breitbart crowd pop wood.  It's no coincidence Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was trotted out to give us the news.  The Racist Jughead has made a career of being anti-immigration -- he hates not just undocumented immigrants, but all immigrants.  Sessions has always been an uncompromising, deport 'em all asshole.  He led the successful fight against a 2007 George W. Bush immigration bill which would have given legal status and a path to citizenship for our 12 million undocumented immigrants.  The white nationalists have adored Sessions ever since, so the Bigoted Cookie Elf was a natural choice to make yesterday's announcement.

Beauregard enjoyed his moment at the podium, but there is overwhelming bipartisan opposition to ending DACA.  That's because doing so is cruel, unnecessary, and economically harmful to the country.  The potential deportees are working, attending school, purchasing homes, starting businesses, buying goodas and services and paying taxes.

Trump punted to Congress, giving them a slim chance to do something legislatively.  But Obama acted by executive order because it was the only thing available to him -- Republican leaders have for years refused to support any major immigration laws.  The bipartisan DREAM Act would have offered permanent legal residency to the undocumented.  It was first introduced in 2001, and has gone nowhere.  Dubya's 2007 bill was scuttled by Sessions-led R's.  What are the chances Congress will now get it done in six months?

We are better than this.  Can the same be said of today's Congressional Republicans?  We're about to find out.  A clean DREAM Act not tied to the stupid wall or any other crackpot conserva-tard impulse would be ideal.

Failing that, we toss the bastards out in the 2018 mid-terms, then get rid of Trump in the 2020 general, if he's not already in jail by then.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day

As you enjoy your cookout on your day off, don't forget who brought you this holiday and why it exists:

The first Labor Day in 1882 was hardly a national holiday.  To participate, workers had to strike and miss a day's pay.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Essential Trump Pie Charts

Walter Becker

I don't think one ought to have literal, singular favorites -- you know, a one and only favorite food, song, movie, book, place, etc.  There's so much good stuff out there.  Why limit yourself to one, when there are so many?

Yet whenever I'm asked for my favorite band/musical group, without hesitation I always say "Steely Dan."  True, I do have plenty of musical favorites of many eras and genres.  But if I had to pick one, the Dan will do for me.  Led by old college buddies Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, and backed by an ever-changing collection of stellar jazz, rock and soul musicians, Steely Dan launched in 1972, writing and performing some of the tastiest tracks ever recorded -- catchy, unusual tunes with complex harmonies and obscure, referential lyrics alternating between darkness and humor.  I have every Steely Dan studio album ever released.

Co-founder Walter Becker, guitarist and bassist, died today at age 67.  Too soon.  Farewell, Walter.

Can't pick just one favorite Steely Dan song.  Let's just try this one -- Pretzel Logic, from the album of the same name, 1974:

I stepped upon the platform,
The man gave me the news.
He said, "You must be joking, son.
"Where did you get those shoes?"

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Joel Osteen Helps Out

Joel Osteen Introduces Silver-, Gold-, Platinum-Level Shelter for Hurricane Harvey Victims

by Manny Schewitz, for TheRedShtick.com

After taking a ton of heat on social media for not initially opening his 16,000-plus-seat Lakewood Church to house victims of the historic flooding produced by Hurricane Harvey ("Hey, nobody asked me!"), Houston millionaire televangelist and "Prosperity Gospel*" preacher Joel Osteen has agreed to host area residents displaced by the inundation with various levels of accommodations depending on their generosity.
In an announcement from his $10.5 million mansion, Osteen relented to public pressure, offering a three-level premium sheltering plan for those wishing to use his megachurch as a refuge.
Those donating $20,000 to his church would receive “Priority Platinum” accommodations in the VIP clubhouse boxes at the top of the church, away from floodwaters. Platinum-level flood victims also would receive an autographed copy of Osteen’s latest book and Wi-Fi access.
With a contribution of $10,000, “Gold Level” evacuees get a seat in the lower portion of the former sports arena. They also will receive a basic Lakewood Church 90-day membership and a free digital download of Osteen’s e-book on Amazon.
“Silver Level” sheltering is available for $5,000. Flood victims in this lowest tier can lie down in a restroom of the church, or in whatever space they can find. The silver package also comes with one free meal of Ramen noodles or a bologna sandwich from the church cafeteria each day.
Remaining victims who cannot afford to pay for one of the three premium shelter plans earn basic accommodations (a broom closet with 20 other people) by cleaning the facilities and selling copies of Your Best Life Now to fellow evacuees.
Pressed for further comments, Osteen replied, “Jesus said the poor would always be with us. He was right. I can’t get the smell of the poor out of these Persian rugs.”
*As preached by Osteen, Joyce Meyer and other religious charlatans, the "Prosperity Gospel" teaches that your personal wealth is a sign of god's blessing.  Put another way, if you're not rich, it means god doesn't like you very much.