Don's Blog: December 2012

Clay Shaw/Man of a Million Fragments: The True Story of Clay Shaw/Dueling Voices/I Lost It at the Beginning/101 Reasons Not To Murder The Entire Saudi Royal Family/He Knew Where He Was Going (?)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Clay Shaw Biography Update

The Clay Shaw biography is getting very close to completion! I have a completed and edited manuscript, a title, a cover image, and a good collection of photos.

I am tweaking now, and will be for a couple of months.

Even while I am finishing up, I am still gaining access to information. I heard from yet another World War II veteran who served with Shaw, and came across the written recollections of another.

Someone sent me a transcript of a 1972 interview with Shaw about his knowledge of writer William March. No telling what is buried out there somewhere--and who knows what is in various collections around the world.

June 30 is my absolute deadline.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Congressman Jim Cooper Introduces Controversial Marijuana Legislation

In the world of science today, scientists studying life at the bottom of the ocean report that creatures who dwell there are less likely to belly laugh at funny TV shows, for fear of bursting, than fish that swim near the surface. The experiment actually placed old twelve-inch black-and-white television sets at different ocean depths to provoke the reactions.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN), long known for a history of controversial stands on issues (he recently predicted that the law of gravity would continue to operate as it has always done), introduced legislation in the wake of the passage of laws in Washington state and Colorado decriminalizing marijuana. Cooper's bill would set up a Federal Commission to study the interrelationship between Federal and state law enforcement officials in enforcing the laws prohibiting marijuana usage. "It's going to look at their "joint" efforts," Cooper cracked at a news conference announcing the move.

A young reporter from the Nashville Tennessean, John Seigenthaler 3.5, asked Cooper if he was taking a stand on the "virtues or perils" of marijuana legalization. "No, and this panel won't do that, either," Cooper replied. "It will study how the different enforcement agencies have interacted in the past, so we can determine if they should interact in the same way in the future." Asked if he expected the legislation to be controversial, Cooper smiled and said, "Of course. I introduced it, didn't I? That alone makes it controversial. Have you forgotten my long history"

The bill calls for the committee, which has no authority to write or recommend future legislation, to report no later than December 31, 2049.

Back to the world of biology, scientists who study other scientists say that those who study birds in flight and those who study snakes in the grass both tend to develop cricks in their necks, but in different locations...


Sunday, December 2, 2012


I am getting very close to completing the first draft of a new novel, entitled Lanny. I have been working on it for the last twenty months or so, even as I was working to complete the biography of Clay Shaw.

Very simply, it is the story of a young boy in the 1960's, and his association with a grown man, his next-door neighbor, and the slow disintegration of the family unit around him. It is a complex story in some ways, but narrated in a simple style by the boy.

I hope to have it out during the first half of next year.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

At First Post-Election Meeting, Obama, Romney Secretly Discuss Using "Nuclear Option" On Dixville Notch

President Obama and Mitt Romney met recently for the first time since the election. Among other things, the two apparently expressed their strong mutual displeasure with the town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire and its longtime voting traditions. The small town in northern New Hampshire votes at midnight as election day begins every four years, kicking off the long day, and its results are widely reported.

"Thank God we ended in a tie there, Governor," the President was quoted as saying by an aide who requested not to be identified. "I thought you were going to eke it out, and people in the rest of the country were going to be influenced by that."

"Yes, I thought the same thing," Romney is said to have replied. "I got so damned angry--if you can forgive me one indiscretion, Mr. President. Why do those people have to get up at midnight, just to have a little publicity? Why don't they just hold some kind of maple syrup festival or something, and do it during daylight hours? This kind of thing could skew the whole friggin' election."

"You're indiscressing all over the place, Governor. By the way, Vermont is where they make the syrup, not New Hampshire....The solution is not to get angry or overly excited. You tended to do that in debates, and I think it cost you. What is you think needs to be done?"

"Have you thought of using the nuclear option?"

At that point, the aide, who was born in Nagasaki, Japan, chose to exit the room, so it is unclear what Romney meant by the comment. However, in ancient Mormon documents from the first half of the 19th century, the word "nuclear" was sometimes used as term that meant taking an additional spouse, or several, as a means of relieving the tension that has built up within a man due to his inability to quickly or privately solve an issue of great frustration.

Whether coincidental or not, a supply of supershort-range nuclear weapons, among the very smallest in the nation's arsenal, were seen, a few hours after the meeting, being positioned for testing along the northern Vermont-New Hampshire border.