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Yelling at my TV

From time to time there are things on the news that make me yell at my television because they are so outrageous or because the media have so spun the wrong narrative that it is brainwashing the public. Cases in point:

In a photo op I watched on CBS news Trump was  handing out sandwiches or something to hurricane victims when a middle aged white man contrasted Trump’s behavior in coming out to help with Obama’s who was golfing during the last hurricane. This of course is keeping with the internet memes which show a picture of Trump helping compared with

Faith and Epistemology

Out of the blue my friend asked me “What do you think of faith and epistemology?” He was an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years and we were having a pleasant lunch together. In his youth he had earned a master’s degree in philosophy before turning to a 35 year career as a middle and high school teacher. We were both seeking to exercise our intellectual chops as we hadn’t done so for a while. By faith he meant belief system and by epistemology he meant an investigation of our knowledge of what is true or false.

MLK Day 2017

To be honest I have always been ambivalent about Martin Luther King Day. It’s not because I didn’t think he was a great man. If anyone in my lifetime deserves an American holiday it is surely this man. There are two things though that bother me about the holiday. First, it reduces the civil rights movement to the actions of one man when it really wasn’t. This is of course in line with the American myth that it is only great people who move American history. The civil rights struggle, as probably every other event in American history, was very

Soul Man

Keep in mind that I am an historian not a fortune teller and I am writing this before the final primaries and the convention. Maybe one of the Republicans wild punches will land and Hillary will be disqualified as a candidate;  maybe Bernie’s followers’ fantasy of the superdelegates becoming convinced that only Bernie can beat Trump, comes true. However,  Hillary’s march to the nomination seems to me the most likely scenario. I believe Bernie will ultimately endorse Hillary when she wins the nomination and I am not afraid of him dividing the party with a third party run. His followers are a different

Rubio’s 25 second talking point

There has been so much internet talk about the fact that at last Saturday’s GOP debate in New Hampshire Sen. Marco Rubio repeated himself four times, but there hasn’t been enough talk about what he actually said. Here is what he said:

But I would add this. Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don’t want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the

New Year’s Eve in Front of the TV

As one ages New Year’s Eve rituals get more and more constricted.  At first you get tired of spending your New Year’s Eve in public places among strangers so you restrict yourself to private parties with friends. Eventually you wind up spending it at home among family and eventually just in front of the television. You end up realizing that time zones are artificial inventions so you don’t have to stay up until midnight. Whenever you go to bed it has become a new year somewhere and upon awaking you will find it has become one for you. This is

Defunding Planned Parenthood Does Nothing to Stop Abortions

Although the Senate has rebuffed the first attempt to fast track defunding Planned Parenthood, there will be more attempts.  The Republican controlled New Hampshire state government has already done so. There is more sound than light in the recent opposition of anti-abortion advocates to the edited secret tapes of Planned Parenthood officials. I would no more accept those tapes as proof that PP was responsible for wrongdoing than I would accept Jurassic World as proof that dinosaurs exist. Let’s try to clear up the issues.

Defunding PP will not stop abortions. The information that PP provides about abortion is freely available

The Scariest Thing I’ve Read This Week

In an interview with a New Hampshire newspaper Jeb Bush, Republican candidate for president, criticized Obama’s foreign policy for taking a “nuanced approach – where it’s all kind of so sophisticated it makes no sense, you know what I’m saying? Big-syllable words and lots of fancy conferences and meetings – but we’re not leading, that creates chaos, it creates a more dangerous world.” This anti-intellectualism is of course a pose.  Bush went to that most fancy and intellectual prep school Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and is a college graduate. Yet he feels that he must dumb himself down (and that is

Tragedy in Brooklyn

The news: Two police officers were shot to death by a black man claiming it was in retaliation for the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This is a tragedy clear and simple and my heart goes out to the families of the two police officers.  However it is not the media nor President Obama nor the mayor of New York that is to blame as the Police Benevolent Society official and probably many police officers claim. It is the fault of one insane man who wanted to go out by making a splash.  The issue of police

Books That Were Important to Me 2

In response to the Facebook challenge to list ten books that were important to me I want to briefly add some to the list of those I have already mentioned

Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon.  It turned me around on the psychological effects of colonialism and made me realize how much like African colonialism the situation of African Americans was.

“Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” …“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America