The Decline and Fall of an American Empire

By: Tuesday January 15, 2013 6:10 pm

The American Empire was not like other historical empires, for from the very first it has been made up of various different ethnic and cultural groups. Initially French and Spanish. Then Dutch and British. With other nationalities coming later. Irish and German and Russian and (in my case) Finnish.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Leigh Ann Wheeler, How Sex Became a Civil Liberty

By: Sunday January 13, 2013 1:59 pm

Do you believe that the government should stay out of your private sex life? Let me guess… What I love about How Sex Became a Civil Liberty, by Leigh Ann Wheeler, is how she forces us to reexamine our assumptions.

Wheeler, a historian at Binghamton University and the co-editor of the Journal of Women’s History, sets out to unearth the history of a phenomenon most of us probably see as natural—that we possess, in Wheeler’s apt phrase, “sexual civil liberties.”

Disposable America

By: Thursday January 10, 2013 5:36 pm

Before the industrial revolution everything you got was made by hand one at a time. There very likely were apprentices and helpers involved but it was one at a time. Each unique in some way from the the others. made by craftsman an artisans who learned and honed their skills and trade over the years.

Then the industrial revolution got underway big time.

America’s White Male Pathology

By: Monday January 7, 2013 4:09 pm

We have seen it time and again. A small group of people in congress spewing out the most outrageous garbage and crap. Dog whistling about small government and states rights and religious freedom and what not. The same fine folks who began spewing out about the country’s lack of morals and permissiveness. Law and order and patriotism. Respect for authority.

The Show So Far ………

By: Sunday December 30, 2012 7:00 pm

Working toward the kind of society we envision is never a lost cause. And passing on this vision – even in the family structure – is what will bring about any real and lasting change. And put a halt to this sick, dark comedy we have been living for the last few thousand years. Where teachers and guides replace leaders, and wisdom and enlightenment and virtue and altruism are cherished and valued.

And they lived happily ever after to the end of their days…………

By: Saturday October 27, 2012 4:00 pm

It’s in the very fabric of the American myth and culture. It has permeated it form the beginning. Our art and entertainment. From the early novels to the show girls. This fantasy land vision that that anyone can make it here.

It has drawn people from cultures far and near. People who left their countries behind to see a fresh start. All believing that they could make a much better life over here. Reflected in film and radio and television and on the stage.

With heroes and heroins too numerous to name. Played by John Wayne and Randolf Scott and Irene Dunn and James Stewart and Ginger Rogers and Linda Darnell. The beautiful people and the flappers of the 1920s. That all it takes is hard work and imagination and you too can live the Horatio Alger story. All the heroes wore white hats and were white christian protestant males. That if you were poor and could not make it, it was your choice. Your fault. After all this is the land of opportunity.

Late Night: Early Readers

By: Monday October 8, 2012 8:00 pm

I can’t tell you how important it is to be able to write. Not from an artistic perspective, but from a practical one when searching for jobs or doing those jobs. If your e-mail is entirely AOL kiddiespeak, or misuses words, you don’t get to the next stage of the interview. If you can’t fill out a form in plain language, or read a paragraph to understand insurance benefits or a doctor’s instructions, or write a request letter, it stymies you in ways that go far beyond just the inconvenience of not expressing your thoughts clearly.

Part of solving this is equalizing the opportunity for exposure: better funding for libraries and musuems, especially in economically disadvantaged communities. Part of this is also making sure we close the digital divide; there are whole libraries online and I know the joke is that today’s technologically connected kids don’t read but reading on a screen is still reading.

Seventeen Noteworthy Musical Performances for the Occupy Movement

By: Monday September 17, 2012 6:30 pm

From its inception, the Occupy movement has had music, with drum circles and occupiers with guitars livening up protest scenes. It has well-known musicians come to Zuccotti Park to play music or sing or rap for occupiers.

Occupy Musicians rallied support for the movement in the first months. It managed to convince a long list of musicians from around the world to sign a pledge of support.

Labor Day Weekend, 2012 Economic Report

By: Friday August 31, 2012 7:09 pm

Well, here we are once again. Labor Day weekend has rolled around; the time when all the politicians extol the virtues of the working man and woman. But as I pointed out last year, once a year praise by Beltway Village Idiots Politicians and Pundits or the local equivalent of same, does not actually make someone a friend of workers.

Military-Entertainment-Industrial Complex Reinforces Warrior Culture

By: Tuesday August 14, 2012 1:20 pm

The Pentagon has a well-documented history of seeking to influence entertainment that Hollywood produces so that negative portrayals of the United State military are not produced, but the NBC show “Stars Earn Stripes” takes the propagandistic efforts of the military-entertainment industrial complex to the next level.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
Chat with Mark Ebner about his new book. Hosted by Beth Karas.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War
Chat with John White about his new book. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah J. Nelson.


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