The last article in the December, 1911 issue of The National Geographic Magazine is a piece written by William Howard Taft, then President of the United States. It concerned The Arbitration Treaties, treaties that would bind the United States to arbitration with their co-signers instead of proceeding directly to war. Read more about Mr. Republican Pere
Media memes are all the rage these days. We see them everywhere. Paul Ryan pumping iron. Hillary Clinton on a plane. Invisible Obama. Romney and the 47%.
But they're nothing new. The two I remember best are Carter's sweaters and Reagan's Great Communicator. The latter is still remembered as a reality. There exist books and memoirs, astute political essays, that give him the title, The Great Communicator. Read more about The Great Communicator - NOT!
Is there anything more suitable than the last couple of weeks of October and the first week of November for the final battles of the election season?
Glorious Indian Summer (is it still okay to say that?) alive with bright promises under cerulean blue skies, crispy morning air, and the earthy odor of fresh pumpkin rising from the first cut for the Jack-o-Lantern. The year never looks so promising as when it's drawing to a close. Read more about Election Weather
In advance of the debate tonight, I would like to make some corrections to Obama's debate responses from last Thursday. Just gonna pretend that he's in my writers' group, and do a little critique.
Jim Lehrer asked: What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs?
Cut the 1st and 3rd paragraphs entirely, and don't start sentences with "I think."
Years and years ago, when the Phil Donahue Show still came out of Cleveland, Ohio, there was an episode featuring a group of American citizens who had decided to rebel against the "consumer society."
They had decided, they said, to think carefully about their purchases. Did they need it? Would they use it? So - if they bought skis, they would also take skiing lessons. Skis and ski gear would not be allowed to pile up unused in the basement or garage. They would, indeed, ski. Read more about Citizen Consumers
Setting aside the percentages of the now infamous 47% who, like me, are on Social Security, veterans' benefits, Pell grants or Medicaid for conditions that inhibit independence, there does persist a percentage of those who are, otherwise, poor. This is for them. Read more about Poor 'r' Us
Put a sock in it.
That's what I'm advising any and all out there who feel compelled to instruct us all on the evils of Islam. It being a religion, I'm sure it contains its fair share of what some folks might construe as evil - at least as much as any other ol' time religion. I don't think I need to mention proving one's allegiance by knocking off one's son or stoning this, that and the other guy for this, that and the other thing. And then there's that little incident of blaming the Jews for what was obviously a public relations ploy that got out of hand. Read more about Put a Sock In It
Met my next door neighbor last night at the mail boxes. (We're in the city, but our neighborhood still has remnants of the time when it was a rural outskirt - our mailboxes are clustered together at the curb.)
"Watching the Republican Convention?" he asked.
And I had to confess. I just don't have the stomach for it.
I used to watch everything. I don't remember having to leave the room when Richard Nixon came on the air. I wasn't much interested in what he had to say and disagreed with most if not all of it, but he didn't actually make me feel a little queasy. Read more about Cowering in the Kitchen
I remember a commercial for an evangelical christian college that ran sometime in the 70's claiming to "send your children back to you exactly as they were when you entrusted them to us."
I read that as a promise from the college to refrain from educating your children at all. My mother-in-law du temps, visiting at the time, sighed audibly and said, "Oh, I wish I had sent Barry there." Read more about We Don't Need No Education