In the United States the term “deep state” is used…to describe a conspiracy theory of influential decision-making bodies believed to be within government who are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations. — Wikipedia

WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) — An Israeli company’s spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations published on Sunday...

DEEP-STATE MUSINGS

Maybe I am the only one seeing a connection between the Wikipedia entry above and the Reuters news…


Who ever believed I’d live this long? I vividly recall the hippie maxim: “never trust anyone over thirty.” When I was twenty-nine the odds seemed even whether I would make it to untrustworthy.

Chapter 6: Brushes with mortality

The month before I turned twenty-nine I found myself in an Allentown motel beside a small burbling trout stream, thinking deep thoughts about mortality and funerals. Seven months previously, I had been rear-ended. A month later the old man died in Georgia. Doctors said no flying due to my head injury from the wreck. I was too banged-up to drive. So I missed his funeral.

Ironic in a way: when I worked in Georgia, he designated me his official representative at his sister’s funeral when he was too ill to come from Florida. Chloe still had a letter I wrote…


FROM A SHORT STORY COLLECTION

IT HADN’T RAINED in weeks. The humidity was awful. We needed one of those apocalyptic Georgia thunderstorms from my childhood rolling down the Savannah River, thunder shaking the low red hills and terrifying bolts of lightning stabbing the earth. I was back in the red clay hills of home. But I had never felt so far from home in my life.

Across the highway, like a midday mirage from a parallel universe, a barbecue shack lay in deep shadow beneath dense oak trees. Bright neon beer signs twinkled in the shade. A thread of country music drifted on the hot…


Chapter Twenty

In far too short a time Michael was back at his work bench in the arms room, cleaning and oiling the disassembled bits of three Army .45s. The captain and two of the platoon lieutenants had fired for qualification, and in the 308th MPs, captains and lieutenants didn’t clean their own weapons. He enjoyed the oily snick of the parts as they went back together, simple and efficient. He wasn’t aware he was whistling until Swadley complained.

“There’s nothing more disgusting than a GI who has spent an entire three-day pass getting tightened up,” Swadley announced in disgust.

“Tightened up?”…


Chapter Fourteen

For the last hundred kilometers, the railroad tracks developed a bad habit of running through tunnels where Slattery couldn’t see the land, and long forested gullies. The express from Heidelberg took the defiles with a galloping click of the wheels and Slattery nearly dozed. The afternoon had turned, and winter sunlight leaned down the Western sky, bathing the empty harvested fields, where he could see them, in a buttery glow.

From time to time he glanced at the people around him in the quiet car. Germans, all of them, or Europeans anyway. No American tourists or GIs — tourists were…


Presented with hopes of catching the reader’s fancy and perhaps dollars

Dedication: To All the Girls I Loved Before

I love the song To All the Girls I Loved Before as rendered in duet by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. Iglesias’ suave, exotically accented tones evoke night trains to Paris and the haunting echo of high heels on cobblestones. Nelson’s hard-living whiskey and smoke-roughened voice recalls roadhouse sex, long American road trips and tangled sheets in cheap motels. The song is a true anthem for a ramblin’ man, his longings, and his gratitude for restless women.

Long before I heard…


Suddenly Medium isn’t offering the icon permitting import of photos.

Anybody know why?


50th Anniversary Edition

I was twenty years old and wordy. Here’s a chapter:

Chapter Four

The township of Baxter slept peacefully in the slanting rays of the late afternoon sun. Everything was quiet; nothing moved in the stillness save a questing breeze with the nip of winter in its breath.

Rierson stopped the Catamount midway between the city limits and the precisely centered shopping area, rested big hands on the steering wheel and looked around carefully, noticing details.

He was on a two lane street bordered by well kept verges and clean sidewalks. Beyond the sidewalks each in its neat little lot were…


Flag of Arizona Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

The City in The Valley of The Sun

A story in one of my short-story collections was about a road trip to Phoenix that had its strange moments. I called it:

Getting to Phoenix

I always liked that song “By the time I get to Phoenix” by Glenn Campbell, because the road trip he sang about seemed to originate in the city of angels and head east to Phoenix and Albuquerque and Oklahoma. It was the exact route — in reverse — that I had taken west before turning north for Washington State.

The leave-takings and lost love at which Campbell’s song hinted — well, perhaps the song spoke to me because I had my own version of that story all bound up in my California memories.

After a sojourn in the Pacific Northwest, I found myself, on October 30, 1976, on the way to…

Bill Burkett

Professional writer, Pacific Northwest. 20 Books: “Sleeping Planet” 1964 to “Venus Mons Iliad” 2018–19. Most on Amazon for sale. Il faut d’abord durer.

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