Tag Archives: politics

“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

It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt to her. Robert Kaplan is the most open about it (his Balkan Ghosts, which launched his career, has him … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ida Tarbell, Mother of Muckraking

“Rockefeller and his associates did not build the Standard Oil Co. in the board rooms of Wall Street banks. They fought their way to control by rebate and drawback, bribe and blackmail, espionage and price cutting, by ruthless efficiency of … Continue reading

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Today, the Sheila Variations is old enough to drink.

The above pic of me – taken by Michael – graced the top of my original blog, when I set it up 21 years ago today. I never should have put my picture up – it led to a lot … Continue reading

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“Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now. Pure Gonzo journalism.” — Hunter S. Thompson

One of my favorite writers of all time. It’s his birthday today. Here he is on his favorite meal of the day: “I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Dubravka Ugrešić

I return to her The Museum of Unconditional Surrender again and again. A classic in the canon of books dealing with being forced to live in exile. But there are so many other books: Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, Culture … Continue reading

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Travis Bickle? Is that you?

Farmers listening to Senator Hubert Humphrey during the 1960 primary campaign in Wisconsin (detailed in Robert Drew’s groundbreaking documentary Primary). The guy at the top looks like shit’s about to go DOWN. Maybe he’s just tired. Maybe he’s bored out … Continue reading

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“Would not these pointed Rods probably draw the Electrical Fire silently out of a Cloud before it came nigh enough to strike, and thereby secure us from that most sudden and terrible Mischief!” — Benjamin Franklin

A re-post for Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, born in Massachusetts on this day in 1706. My grandmother had a big illustrated copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac, which I had practically memorized by the time I was 6 years old. The illustrations … Continue reading

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2022 Books Read

Some re-reads this year, but a lot of new-to-me authors as well. New novels written by faves. Been a year of upheaval and transitions. I’ve managed to keep up my regular reading schedule. I just don’t feel right if I’m … Continue reading

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On This Day: December 16, 1773: “This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid, and inflexible, and it must have important Consequences, and so lasting, that I can’t but consider it as an Epocha in History.” – John Adams

On November 28, 1773, the Dartmouth sailed into Boston’s port. The ship was full of tea. There had already been trouble in Philadelphia when the ship had tried to unload its cargo. A ship had been blown away from the … Continue reading

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The past is present

In England in 1788, an impeachment trial began against Warren Hastings, governor general of the notorious East India Company – accusing him of corruption, cruelty, crimes against humanity (in modern language), and of wielding the worst of the worst – … Continue reading

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