Category Archives: History

First they came for the…

A reference to this famed quotation with “children” in the blank came to me today, a reference to the Trump administration’s announced intent to confine undocumented immigrant families indefinitely, thus reneging on the prior agreement that, in a 2015 court … Continue reading

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Moby-Dick and American democracy

Way back in high school, I had English teachers who were as obsessed with Moby-Dick as was Captain Ahab with the great white whale. Rereading it now, I see a lot of things I missed before, like Herman Melville’s rhetorical … Continue reading

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H. G. Wells and the long view of history

This week I found, put out for the taking with a bunch of old crockery, a copy of H. G. Wells’ “The Outline of History,” started in the last year of World War I and updated off and on till … Continue reading

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Nixon, Haig, Trump, and the 25th Amendment

There comes a point when you need to stop making excuses for the unfortunate behavior of a relative who is starting to lose it. And then you take measures to minimize the damage and keep the family safe and assure … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Constitution, History | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Constitution, History, Politics | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

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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