A piece about grandchildren and the power of stories....
Well, a few days late on this one. For various reasons--a death in the family and some various work obligations--I have neglected posting here in a while. I have a backlog of pieces to put up and will try to do so.
Here's one from Intellectual Takeout:
Please copy and paste.
Happy belated birthday, America!
So here's a question: You need an organ transplant to survive. In the United States, you will spend months on a waiting list until your turn arrives and a suitable donor is found. But then you discover that China is in the organ donor business too--big-time. Only one problem: many of these organs may come from prisoners executed for their political beliefs and for their organs.
So what do you do?
The article below appeared in Intellectual Takeout last week. Please cut and paste.
Okay, I'm early. The Fourth of July is still two weeks away.
But here's a reason to celebrate.
The article below recently appeared at intellectualtakeout.com.
This is a wonderful history of America.
"In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifetime across the scary present and get us past that idiot delusion of the exceptional. Now that blocks good thinking. That is why, in times like ours, when old institutions are caving in and being replaced by new institutions not necessarily in accord with most men’s preconceived hopes, political thought has to look backwards as well as forwards."
– John Dos Passos, quoted in "Land of Hope"
Some American politicians and organizations are now pushing an agenda they call democratic socialism.
Many of them regard the Constitution as antiquated and unfit for our modern age and call for limits on free speech and an end to the Electoral College. Some consider America itself a deeply flawed nation, a swamp of bigotry and prejudice with few redeeming virtues.
These bitter critiques and raucous demands for change raise a question. If the United States is such a bastion of oppression and misery, then why are so many immigrants, legal and illegal, trying to come here? If democratic socialism is the way to go, then why aren’t immigrants storming the borders of North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela?
University of Oklahoma professor Wilfred M. McClay has the answer.
The article below appeared earlier this month on Intellectual Takeout. (intellectualtakeout.com)
Dear Members of the House of Representatives:
I hope this letter finds you in fine fettle.
This is a first for me. I’ve never written an open letter. Usually celebrities, politicians, and academics compose and deliver these missives, often brickbats of denunciation and self-defense, to be printed in the media. For an ordinary guy like me, writing an “open letter” seems a bit pretentious. It makes me want to slip into a silk bathrobe, pop an American Spirit Light into a long-stemmed holder, dandle a glass of Korbel Brut in the other hand, and stroll about a rose garden dictating my words to a secretary who looks like Juliette Binoche.
Instead, here I sit in a McDonald’s six hours from home, sipping coffee, listening to tunes on the sound system from the fifties and sixties, and glancing now and then at a table of five old-timers nibbling their Egg McMuffins and discussing aircraft and the Wright Brothers.
Well, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.
The piece below appeared this week in intellectualtakeout.com.
Google “America’s best institutions for learning,” and all sorts of websites leap to the screen. There’s “America’s Top College List” from Forbes. “America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners” is another. “Best Universities in the United States” is a third option. And finally, “The 20 Best Conservative Colleges in America.” If asked which is the best institution for learning beyond high school, most of us might answer Harvard or Yale, Stanford or MIT, Princeton or Berkeley.
We’d be wrong.
The best, the greatest, the most far-reaching institution of learning beyond high school is the American military: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines.
Think about it.
The following piece appeared recently on intellectualtakeout. com.
Some time ago, my life collapsed like a building under a wrecking ball, a device of my own creation. As I sifted through the debris of those ruins, my sustenance came from the love of some family members, the comfort of two loyal friends, and the remnants of a battered faith.
And from the solace of words.
Sometimes when we are at rock bottom, dead to the joys of the world, filled with agonizing regrets for the past and fearful of the future, we forget the strength and hope we can take from words. We hear that “actions speak louder than words,” that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” or that “words are cheap.” Facta, non verba, goes the old Latin tag, “deeds not words,” and so we fail to consider the restorative powers of language.
The above photograph and the text below recently appeared on intellectualtakeout.com.
Recently my son and his family traveled to the beach, so I came into town to keep an eye on their house, cat, and dog. Finding the key, I opened the basement door and went inside. On the opposite wall the large dry-erase board proclaimed “WELCOME GRANDPA! We love you!”
A note of five words, and yet it lit a candle in my heart.
Most of us know the power of the note, although, if you are like me, you often neglect the opportunity to practice that power.
A note is short and to the point, a quick hug, a pat on the back, a burst of applause from the stands.
On Friday, June 7, the Smoky Mountain News celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The parking lot beside the building was equipped with tents, the rain held off until the tag end of the party, beer, wine, and sandwiches were served, and those who attended, both the staff and the people from the town, enjoyed the pleasure of reminiscing about those two decades and meeting some new friends.
In the article below, I remember my twenty years of writing reviews and calculate that I have put out over 600,000 words doing so. At the party, attorney and long-time acquaintance Frank Queen approached me and said, "So, 600,000 words, eh? Just think how many millions of words you've read!"
What a great point. I wish I'd thought to include that in the review.
Anyway, an ongoing pleasure for the reasons listed in this link. Copy and past, please.
Two years ago, I fell into David Hewson's Nic Costa novels, a series of police suspense novels set in Rome and other parts of Italy. Hewson has an incredible ability to capture a place, as can be seen in his latest tale, Devil's Fjord. Here we travel far from Rome up into the far reaches of Northern Europe.