Oct 242020
 

Monday, October 12 marked Columbus Day 2020, since it was on October 12, 1492, as recorded by the Julian Calendar, that his misguided expedition to find the silks, spices, gold and jewels of the Orient bumped into the Caribbean island of Guanahani, which he promptly dubbed “San Salvador,” and which, today, hosts the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Of course, this totally ignores the fact that Pope Gregory XIII changed the Christian calendar in 1582 in order to avert celebration of Easter drifting away from the pagan holidays of the vernal equinox upon which it is based. That involved taking ten days out of the month of October so that Thursday, October 4, 1582 was followed by Friday, […]

Sep 132020
 

As I have noted many times in the past, this Web log is read globally – in more than one hundred countries, as a matter of fact – as well as in the United States. My domestic readers, therefore, will forgive me for explaining various thing that they already know (or in many cases, I suspect, should already know, anyway) about the historical influences that have resulted in the current state of affairs in the US, including, in particular, the burgeoning notion that some kind of civil war is about to break out here. In defense of presenting such an exposition, I would remind them that explorational, colonial and post-independence US history, spanning, at most, some four or five hundred […]

Oct 152019
 

As regular readers of this Web log know, I’m an Italian-American – my full name is Tom Collins Martini, and my father, now long retired, was a bartender at a Manhattan society hotel. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he invented a number of modern martini cocktails and named his children after the ones of which he was particularly proud. All of this explains why my brother, Rob Roy Martini, brought his wife and son over to my home in Great Falls, Virginia on Monday, October 14 for dinner – to celebrate Columbus Day, an American holiday celebrated by Italian-Americans since 1792 and made an official federal holiday in 1971. Now, I would be the first to admit that we Italian-Americans […]

Feb 112019
 

There a widespread, often repeated observation among grandparents that personalities and talents seem to skip generations. Perhaps this is just the wishful thinking of elderly people disappointed in how their children turned out, but in the case of my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski and his son, Hank Jr., it definitely seems to possess some credence. Having had an opportunity to meet Hank’s father on several occasions, I’d say his grandson is much more like him than Hank is. Both grandfather Palikowski and Hank Jr. are pragmatic, successful and highly intelligent individuals, while frankly, my brother-in-law has proven to be a damned fool and a pretty gullible one at that. As regular readers of this Web log will readily recall, Hank Jr. […]

Aug 242018
 

Regular readers of this Web log would probably not be surprised to learn that I know Q. Actually, it would be surprising if they were surprised to learn that I know Q. In fact, I’ve known Q for years, and there are a couple of common misconceptions about him that I feel I should correct, right up front. First of all, Q isn’t a committee, a cell or a cabal – Q is a single individual. Secondly, although he’s not currently a high-ranking military officer (as many claim), it is definitely true that he used to be one – a major general – but he’s retired now. His present position is serving as the Assistant Administrator of the Directorate on […]