My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys . . . and Judges . . . and Teachers . . . and Writers . . . and Carpenters

By: Sunday November 24, 2013 4:00 pm

All four of my grandparents were teachers. Grandma C., my maternal grandmother, died in 2012, a few weeks after reaching the age of 100. In the late 1950s, she thought it was important to teach both English and Latin to the elementary schoolchildren in my tiny hometown in Nevada. In the 1960s, Grandma C. taught the children of California migrant workers in the Central Valley, spending weekdays and weeknights in a school that was located in the fields and only returning home on weekends. Grandma C. taught me all kinds of things, including how to be a lady and how to make macaroni art. I’m still pretty accomplished at the latter.

America Stinks of Heroes

By: Sunday July 28, 2013 4:00 pm

All nations and cultures have their heroes, but, most of the time, they’re dead and celebrated in a sort of mythical fashion to promote the values of that nation or culture. America is certainly no exception. When I was growing up, there was a small pantheon of heroes we all learned about–George Washington, Paul Revere, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, John Paul Jones, Jean Lafitte, Lewis & Clark, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and maybe a few hundred more, some of whom were heroes to some and villains to others. Cincinnati, Ohio, is named for Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer who took up arms to prevent invaders from crossing a bridge in order to save the Roman Republic, and who subsequently returned to his plow.

In other words, a hero is someone who does something extraordinary to either advance or defend the values and principles of his or her society and culture.

Congressional Staffers Upset Legistorm Publishes Public Information

By: Friday April 5, 2013 1:59 pm

Irony thy name is Congress. As the federal government conducts political surveillance on all Americans, the preening apparatchiks/future lobbyists of Capitol Hill are furious that a transparency group, Legistorm, is publishing publicly available information. Seriously.

Late Night: Go and Build No More

By: Saturday August 25, 2012 8:00 pm

My earliest and most vivid memories of elementary school were when we would gather together in a single classroom and watch a rocket take off with a man aboard. I grew up with the Mercury Seven Astronauts, the Gemini program and eventually the Apollo Missions that culminated on July 20 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped off a ladder onto the moon.

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Poison Candy: The Murderous Madam: Inside Dalia Dippolito’s Plot to Kill
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