Monthly Archive: September 2012

8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed–III


Picking up from Monday:  Shameful Thing Five.   Neither were women equal to men. Other than not being shot at or flogged on an organized and purposeful basis, women as a class weren’t any better off than Native Americans or slaves when the gavel fell in the City of Brotherly Love.  And they still aren’t …

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Dr. Barry–In the House


Here’s another offering from my pal, Dr. Barry Pascal.  It was originally published in the North Valley Community Connection in August.  You can find his humorous works for sale here.–EGF   NEWS RECOVERY By Barry Pascal, Pharm.D. I need to go into rehab …. news rehab!  I have no idea what will happen to me when …

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8 Shameful Things our Founders Believed–II

Picking up from last Friday: Shameful Things 3 and 4.   Kidnapped Africans were property—bought, sold, and claimable—defined as “three-fifths”  human, but only for census purposes. In describing the “real (and it was a very exciting) controversy was in regard to slaves, whether they should be included in the enumeration,” Joseph Story noted that, as …

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8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed–I


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. U.S. Declaration of Independence—July 4, 1776 That sentence, from the document recognized universally as laying the foundation for the construction …

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Our Flabby Language VIII


Picking up from where we left off in Monday’s post, more minor outrages from yours truly: ”Résumé.”  When did that first diacritical mark (presumably, for emphasis) sneak into the word?  Everybody still pronounces it “Reh-zoo-MAY,” rather than “RAY-zoo-MAY,” yes?  The original is French in derivation, from the past participle of résumer, to summarize, in turn …

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Our Flabby Language VII


As my man Mark Twain observed in an 1888 letter: The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. These days, I’d settle for words that are close in public discourse, as long as they’re susceptible to some kind …

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The Canary is Coughing


Mike Lofgren was mad as Hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore. So, after almost 30 years staffing congressional Republicans as a budget, defense, and national security expert, he quit the party and his job and posted his reasons on Truthout. That was a little over a year ago; now he’s written a book: …

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Remembering Lisa & Stephen


Today, I remember my friend and colleague, Lisa J. Raines, and her husband, Stephen Push, who survives her. Lisa was one of 59 passengers and crew aboard American Airlines Flight 77 who were murdered when five al Qaeda hijackers deliberately crashed that airliner into the Pentagon at 9:37 AM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  Inside …

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29 Tools to Get & Vote Smart


Picking up from last Friday’s post: How does one become an informed and engaged citizen-voter? Here are the rules I try to follow myself when gathering information: Read widely, especially outside your own opinion/belief comfort zone. When making information-based judgments, don’t take anyone else’s word for it.  (This will vary, depending on the degree of …

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Xenodu: End of the Republic?

Will the outcome of the November 7 election foreordain the end of our Republic? In 2008, someone in my writers’ group dared me to do something “fantastical.”  (Like my hero, Mark  Twain, I believe the best stories are in the here and now.)  So, I did–I finished Xenodu just four years ago.  I’ve made just …

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And, Here We Go


It’s on. The national party conventions are over; the true believers are energized.  Unleash Death by 30-Second Slanders to win enough votes from the 30% of “independent” registered voters who gag on politics to get to 270 in the Electoral College. It’s a time-honored American tradition to poke fun at our elected officials: Suppose you …

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Eugene & Barbara: Of, By & For the People


Being a student of American affairs, I had much to choose from in fashioning a suitable Labor Day remembrance—one that pays heed to both the history of and hope for working people, the skeleton, muscle, and sinew of our forward march. I came up with two speeches thematic of both, delivered 68 years apart. “I …

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