I looked up the history of the acronym GOP as a shorthand for the Republican Party. The Wikipedia page on the Republican Party says this:

“The term “Grand Old Party” is a traditional nickname for the Republican Party and the abbreviation “GOP” is a commonly used designation. The term originated in 1875 in the Congressional Record, referring to the party associated with the successful military defense of the Union as “this gallant old party”.

I’d always thought it stood for Grand Old Party, which is just as lame. But these days, the Republican Party is anything but Grand or Gallant…

Running the gauntlet: To run the gauntlet is to take part in a form of corporal punishment in which the party judged guilty is forced to run between two rows of soldiers, who strike out and attack him.

While visiting a nearby medical center for a followup appointment on an issue unrelated to the Coronavirus pandemic, I noticed a particular sensitivity to social distancing among the people walking through the parking lot and inside the building. At the entrance, there was a thermography device in the hallway to detect fever. Everyone wore masks, of course.

On the way back out…

The claim going into the Trump presidency is that he was an agent of change, set to combat corruption, and “drain the swamp” to Make America Great Again. What we’ve gotten instead is a series of corrupt actions and emergent evidence of fraud and graft the likes of which the nation has never seen from a single President.

These include violations regarding emoluments, newly revealed evidence of tax evasion, genuine fraud convictions on both Trump University and the Trump Foundation, campaign finance regulations, impeached attempts at coercing foreign governments to aid in his re-election, secret payments to porn stars, serial…

The book cover for American Oz, a chronicle of life in carnivals by Michael Sean Comerford.

I once hitchhiked from Madison, Wisconsin to Decorah, Iowa, a distance of just over one hundred miles. That trip seemed daring at the time. I was in love and wanted to see that woman, so I stuck out a thumb and won a series of rides between farming communities until a woman that had seen me by the road several times took pity on me and stopped to ask where I was going.

I explained my goal and she said, “Hop in, I’ll take you there.”

That favor took her a bit out of her way, but my tale of…

The town of Crystal River, Florida sits at the mouth of its namesake ninety miles north of Tampa. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico where its mouth widens into a brackish bay rimmed with marinas, waterside homes, and canals reaching back toward land. These channels have long attracted sea cows, these days known as manatees.

The local economy of Crystal River feeds off the presence of these large, water-going mammals. …

“God loves irony.”

That’s what I wrote on a Facebook post in a group calling itself Christians Against Trump. A person in the group was objecting to people crowing about the passing of the conservative businessman and politician, Herman Cain, who died from Covid-19 after attending a Trump rally. He’d boasted about the refusal to wear a mask on his Twitter account.

Cain was making the bold claim that PEOPLE ARE FED UP with wearing masks, yet he’s now dead from the contraction of the Coronavirus. One cannot be sure that he caught the deadly bug while sitting in the…

Yesterday’s news was dominated by the fact that the State of Florida broke the record for the most cases of Coronavirus in a single day. That outcome was the result of hundreds of thousands of people flooding back to beaches and crowding into other public places.

The pent up desire to break free from protection measures related to the disease is responsible for much of the pandemic’s spread in Florida and other states across the country. But the results have been devastating as the disease spiked and hospitals experienced an influx of Covid-19 cases pushing them near to capacity.


I’m white-skinned.

The first time I was made emphatically aware of that fact was at six years old. I was playing with two kids that I’d gotten to know. We were running around a school ground next to the baseball field where my brother played games in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Every week I’d meet up with two kids, a pair of twins actually, that was a bit younger than me. They loved to play tag and wrestle around.

Struck down

But one day I was chasing one of them and he came to a sudden stop. I was a bony, skinny kid…

With police playing both ends of the game as protests and demonstrations broke out across the nation after the choking death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a section of lyrics from the Rolling Stones song Sympathy for the Devil came to mind.

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all you sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
’Cause I’m in need of some restraint

Here’s both the beauty and the problem with a song such as Sympathy for the Devil. It is a masterpiece of rock satire, rich with insight into the motivations and corruptions…

Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Christopher Cudworth

Recently a long-ago classmate from high school showed up on Facebook. He Friended me and began complimenting bird photos that I posted to my wall. The connection for the first few weeks seemed genuine. He’d never been a nature guy to my knowledge but had lived next to a forest preserve back in the day. Perhaps his upbringing near the wilds had emerged as a deeper interest in his retirement.

He posted photos of his own, images of birds and such around his property. Then one day a cryptic post appeared on his wall. …

Christopher Cudworth

I'm an artist, writer, competitive athlete and naturalist who believes in social justice and equality.

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