Category Archives: History

More “times that try men’s souls”

As Thomas Paine wrote in The American Crisis in 1776: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” And women’s and children’s souls as well, he might have added. Those of us whose souls will be tried are a cross-section … Continue reading

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Is the United States a failed country?

Is the United States a failed country? That term “failed state” (I prefer “country”*) is often tossed around in news reports to describe other countries, the most dramatic of which are predominantly Muslim countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and … Continue reading

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Who will govern the government?

“Physician, heal thyself,” the saying goes. That’s not an easy order, the self-cure. I recall hearing about an explorer who performed an appendectomy on himself, but that doesn’t seem like a practical solution for most of us. “Government, govern thyself” … Continue reading

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Anarchism / barbarism / terrorism: ISIS and Europe

To me, it is impossible not to look at the horrors of the past few weeks as history. As soon as they happen, they join a long train of horrors stretching back to the beginning of recorded history. It is … Continue reading

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What else Bernie could have said about capitalism

In Chester County, in Pennsylvania and the whole country, we’re all capitalists. Even those who live in their log cabin on a remote western mountain are capitalists, because they own, or think they own, their house and land, and any … Continue reading

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Greece / Germany / Europe

American expatriate poet T. S. Eliot wrote that “It is the final perfection, the consummation of an American, to become not, an Englishman, but a European—something which no born European, no person of any European nationality, can become.” The European … Continue reading

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George Houser, civil rights veteran, is 99

Anyone reading this knows who Bayard Rustin was. In case you missed the 2012 exhibit on his life and local roots at the Chester County Historical Society, see my observations here. I wrote an earlier series on Rustin, which included … Continue reading

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