Tag Archives: war

Happy Birthday, Lord Byron

Lord Byron’s epitaph to his dog: One who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man, without his vices. This praise would be unmeaning flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but … Continue reading

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2014 Books Read

2014 was a good reading year. I re-read a lot of favorites, including Rebecca West’s 1200 page Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. There was a fun mix of re-reads and new stuff, of fiction and non-fiction. My year of being … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India on December 30, 1865. “I woshipped Kipling at 13, loathed him at 17, enjoyed him at 20, despised him at 25, and now again rather admire him.” – George Orwell, 1936 Michael Schmidt, … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

Dame Rebecca West is the grand dame on my very short list of “intellectual idols”. It is her birthday today. It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their … Continue reading

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On This Day: “December 7, 1941 – A Date Which Will Live In Infamy.”

Here is a cool fact about my home state, little Rhode Island: There are only a handful of newspapers in the United States that come out on Sunday afternoon, (as opposed to Sunday morning) and one of them is the … Continue reading

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On This Day: October 25, 1415: “We Few, We Happy Few.”

Today is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, cobblers by trade (and patron saints thereof, although Vatican II nixed them from the calendar), fierce warriors of their faith, and martyred in 286. The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 … Continue reading

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Today In History: October 19, 1781

The surrender at Yorktown, which ended the American Revolutionary War. Day before: General Lord Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington, October 18, 1781 I agree to open a treaty of capitulation upon the basis of the garrisons of York and … Continue reading

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Watchers of the Sky (2014)

A powerful documentary about genocide. It’s unbelievable how much ground they cover, and how well it’s put together. Packs an enormous punch. I gave it four stars. Hell of an accomplishment. My review of Watchers of the Sky is now … Continue reading

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June 28, 1914: “But if ever a man went anywhere of his own free will, Franz Ferdinand went to Sarajevo.”

June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie – setting out in their motorcade in Sarajevo that fateful morning, as the assassins, unseen, move into position. Here are two excerpts from Rebecca West’s towering Black Lamb and Grey … Continue reading

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“The Catechism of the Ithaca Episode Really Helped Me Over There in Iraq.”

Marine and veteran of the war in Iraq reading from ULYSSES at Bloomsday celebration in downtown Manhattan, 2012. He said that while in Iraq he would read the Proteus episode over and over again. He said it helped give him … Continue reading

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