Writers and other artists have a reputation for drinking a lot. Maybe the artistic culture has more drunkards or maybe its members just write more about it. Szilvia Molnar, a publishing professional, wrote about the importance of drinking within the writing/publishing world. ( “On Book Publishing’s Drinking Culture,” Literary Hub, 6 December 2017) Though Molnar… Read More »
How Many Pieces of the Economic Pie Do You Get?
Among rich nations of the world, “The top 1 percent in the U.S. own a much larger share of the country’s wealth than the 1 percent elsewhere.” Christopher Ingraham quoted that statistic in a Washington Post article. (“Wealth gap widens between rich, everyone else,” reprinted in The Seattle Times, 10 Dec 2017.) To aid our… Read More »
War on Newspapers
Can Americans be led to doubt responsible journalism? One group’s aim is to make it as hard as possible for traditional newspapers to do their job. James O’Keefe is the founder of Project Veritas. The organization’s purpose appears to be the decapitation of mainstream news media through feeding them false stories and hoping they will… Read More »
Play Nice with Dictators
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary has veered in the direction of dictators, including those in the former Soviet Union. Taking a page from their books, he has attempted to control Hungary’s independent news media. When an official of the United States embassy in Hungary, David Kostelancik, criticized such actions, a former Florida congressman, Connie… Read More »
Capturing Time; Freeing Time
“A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.” —Annie Dillard, The Writing Life We walk a fine line, some of us do, between wasting time and constricting time. A properly scheduled… Read More »
Taxes: It’s Complicated
My economic training is limited to one basic economics course I took in college. I think it was part of the core curriculum, like Algebra I and World Lit. I, like many Americans, struggle to understand our economic system. How do we collect the taxes we need for supporting our military, and protecting us from… Read More »
Chills from Prague Winter: a Story of Nazi and Soviet Takeovers
Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, is a memoir by Madeleine Albright. She chronicles the atrocities of Hitler’s rise to power in Europe, followed later by the Soviet takeover of her birth country. She reminds readers of the need for constant vigilance against demagogues. Albright is the daughter of a former… Read More »
Vacations by the Inch
My husband and I once took an Alaskan cruise. We felt like gilded age tycoons. We could relax on the deck or in sheltered salons with ocean views. Feasts were provided, all kinds of food, in myriad settings: buffet, sit down, café. Art sales. A library. We decided this type of vacation, besides being too… Read More »
Convinced Against Our Will
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” –old saying, used by Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People The newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts explored a few fake news items of the recent past (“Truth, sadly, is not something we all value,” The Seattle Times, Oct 8, 2017).… Read More »
Iran Is Persian, not Arab
For many Americans, Iran is barely on the radar screen. They confuse Iran with its neighbor, Iraq, and they tend to think of Iran as an Arab country. In fact, Iran is not an Arab nation. Iran is the descendant of ancient Persia. The official language of Iran is not Arabic but modern Persian, also… Read More »
How Many Pulitzer Prizes Has Twitter Won?
Facebook, Google, and Twitter face scrutiny over Russian infiltration of social media to influence the 2016 U.S. elections. Do we actually depend on Facebook, Google, and Twitter for news and analysis? If so, we deserve the less than stellar candidates recently elected to public office. I connect with friends on Facebook, use search engines to… Read More »
Opioid Plague: Searching for Spiritual Answers?
Dr. Thomas Andrew, at age 60, is changing his profession from medical examiner to that of minister. As medical examiner for New Hampshire, he’s appalled by the mushrooming number of deaths from drug overdoses for which he’s had to perform autopsies. He’s planning to enter the ministry as a chaplain under the United Methodist Church.… Read More »