Culture Views and Politics

CULTURE VIEWS

The Essence of the Thing

“Set aside all the muddle of your fears and desires, your resentment, your self-opinion, your politics, whatever. Look at that child. That was you, that was me.” Dr. Anthony Esolen, “Let the Beautiful Creature Live.” I’ve been busy writing letters to the editors of various local newspapers about the outcry over the first draft of the Dobbs decision written by Justice Samuel Alito after the leak caused such a trembling in the fabric of social media. I…

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Uncontrolled

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” Nuke LaLooch (played by Tim Robbins) in Ron Shelton’s screenplay for “Bull Durham”  Kim Crocker, a volunteer at the Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge   near us, reported a tale that reminded me of the rule of fang and   claw, talon, and blood. After an absence last year of any   overwintering snowy owl at the refuge, this year we have two   visitors, neither of them yet fully mature, but hardy…

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Well Scripted Redux

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited Journalists are not the only group wittingly or unwittingly conditioning our thinking. Nor are they the only group…

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Pardon Gray

“What’s in a name? a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare Fashion in naming our children is whimsical and changes often. Reusing names from family history is a perennial favorite. When I was young, saints were in vogue and still maintain a small, but avid, following. In the sixties and seventies, there was a wave of inventiveness. I knew children named Morning Star, Apple (the record company, not…

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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Well Scripted

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World[i] Back in the mists of the early seventies for about a year I was a correspondent for a regional daily paper in Boston. I remember well the cigarettes smoldering in our ashtrays and cold coffee and typewriters at eleven at night trying to beat a deadline with coverage of a local town’s selectmen or planning committee meeting…

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Swine, Double Speak, and Bringing Home the Bacon

“It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt.” Thomas Paine [i] Recently I read an article about a bacon crisis looming in California. [ii] Sad is the plight of the owner of a small breakfast diner who survived the pandemic restaurant crisis but may be put out of business because her staple, bacon, eggs, and home fries, might soon be missing…

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Maximum Benefit, Minimum Wage (Part Two)

“Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.” Abraham Lincoln There is no substitute for what we learn in our early jobs. In 1968, minimum wage was set by the government at $1.60 per hour. The $15 an hour minimum wage proponent today claims that $22 or even $24 an hour is necessary just to remain even with inflation since then. But is that true? I did a quick…

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Slow Loris

“I love inventing names, but I also collect unusual names, so that I can look through my notebook and choose one that suits a new character.”  — J. K. Rowling I like the sound of words, especially names, and they make me curious. The slow loris is a genus of nocturnal, slow moving, slow reproducing mammals, mostly in Southeast Asia and the nearby islands[i]. All the identified species are listed as “vulnerable” or…

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