Posts in category "history"

The Purple Reign of Elizabeth II

  Here’s to the nonagenarian Queen Whose reign is the longest her country has seen. Whom age neither withers nor custom gnarls. I can’t say the same  for Prince Charles.  

Are we watching Trump do in the GOP?

  Some say the Republican Party is dying. And Trump has it gasping for breath. It cannot believe what its base now is buying. Like taking political meth. And now in a panic, it’s wherefore-and-whying, While Democrats wait for its death.          

Hillary, Alexander Hamilton would sympathize with you about those Republican probes

  I’ve been reading Ron Chernow’s brilliant biography of Alexander Hamilton.  My wife gave it to me for Christmas.  I hinted I might like it after we saw a 60 Minute piece on the Broadway musical”Hamilton” by another brilliant guy, Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Miranda said in the piece that his musical was inspired by the book.... Read more »
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A fan bids farewell to Downton Abbey

  “Will Carson and Mrs. Hughes make it down the aisle? Will Branson find happiness in America? Will Mary snap up the affections of the “snappy chariot” driver? Downton Abbey Season 6 premieres January 3, 2016, 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS! Together, let’s plan to make the coming year a celebration of Downton Abbey as... Read more »

George W. Bush honors the wounded vets by taking their treasure

  For a one-hundred-thousand-dollar fee Bush spoke to the veterans recently. They paid with their blood, so why couldn’t  he Square their  accounts by doing  it free?  

Epistolary wisdom from Thomas Jefferson to mark the 4th of July

  To Patrick Henry, March 27, 1779: “But is an enemy so execrable, that, though in captivity, his wishes and comforts are to be disregarded and even crossed? I think not. It is for the benefit of mankind to mitigate the horrors of war as much as possible.” To Peter Carr, August 19, 1785: “It... Read more »
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A plague on Matt Lauer

  I’m not a fan of Matt Lauer.  I watch him on the Today Show in the interests of marital harmony. Out of habit, or loyalty (or is it some sort of pop culture neurosis?),  she likes to have it on while we emerge from the cocoon of sleep and take off with the day.... Read more »

Mount Everest: The Highest Lavatory in the World

Author’s note:  Last week on MSNBC I caught Ed Schultz’s interview of two mountain climbers, a father and son;  the subject was  the increasing health hazard  of  human excrement on Mount Everest. It got me thinking about the Sir Edmund Hillary. On May 29, 1953, Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay were the first... Read more »

Henry Wallace Could Have Been Speaking of the Koch Brothers

Many Americans have never  heard of Henry Wallace.  But he deserves to be remembered.  He was like Jefferson in that he respected the agrarian way of life and had faith in the power and destiny of the common man. He was Secretary of Agriculture in the  darkest days of the Great  Depression. Few at the... Read more »
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Presidential words to live by

During my years in the classroom, I had my students keep journals of daily quotations.  Here is a collection of inspiring (or at least intriguing) words from the Oval Office. 1. “We are citizens of the world; and the tragedy of our times is that we do not know this.” [Woodrow Wilson] 2. “Gambling is... Read more »