Giuliani’s Old Elementary Teacher is Not Happy With Him

By: Saturday February 21, 2015 10:00 am

If only I could get regular mail. Instead, I get anonymous phone calls.

This time it pointed me to an old schoolhouse near Kansas City. “Go behind the south wing, and you’ll see where there used to be a garden. Walk past it, and when you find an old compost pile, look for an envelope. I think you’ll be very interested in what’s inside.”

Curious, I pushed back a bit. “Lots of things might interest me. What’s in that envelope that’s so special that I should go looking for a pile of compost?”

The voice on the phone paused, then said “It’s a letter from one of my grandparents to Rudy Giuliani.”

“Why can’t your grandparent simply put it in the mail?” I asked.

“Two reasons. First, you need a mailing address, and we don’t have one. Second, though, and more important, is privacy. You see, my grandparent was Rudy Giuliani’s elementary school teacher. Go find that letter, please.”

I did . . .

 

Agent of Change

By: Tuesday July 29, 2014 1:30 am

I did not realize the reinstitution of slavery was considered a positive social development.

And now let this be on your conscience…add it to the tab

By: Wednesday June 11, 2014 1:30 am

I have to admit over the years I have bought a lot of large shrimp from CostCo without giving much thought to the process of how they were obtained.

Jim DeMint Makes Odd Claims About History of Slavery

By: Thursday April 10, 2014 11:34 am

Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, now head of the Heritage Foundation, has an interesting version of the history of slavery in America or least how it ended. According to DeMint the federal government played no role in ending slavery. DeMint claimed the “move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government.”

For DeMint, the ending of slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation amidst the American Civil War was somehow a cultural victory for limited government and Christian conservatives.

“12 Years a Slave” and the Tangled History of the Slavery Film

By: Wednesday October 16, 2013 5:40 pm

The obvious comparison for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, given their similar Oscar-bait pedigrees and chronological proximity, is to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Both tackle the subject of slavery, both return the national gaze to our most tragic and indefensible moment, and both emphasize, in particular, the horrors of the lash of involuntary servitude. And yet, the differences between Tarantino and McQueen’s films illustrate the particular nature of McQueen’s triumph.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Marcus Rediker, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom

By: Sunday January 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Marcus Rediker’s new book, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, revisits one of the most stirring episodes in American history: the revolt aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad in July 1839, during which a small group of enslaved Africans seized control of the vessel and tried to sail home. Tricked by one of their former captors, whom they had relied upon to steer the ship, they drifted northwards instead of eastwards – all the way to Long Island, where they were apprehended by the U.S. Navy at the end of August. The Africans were taken to a jail in Connecticut and spent the next year-and-a-half challenging the U.S. legal system to secure their freedom – and at last to win their passage home.

Does Anyone in DC Remember *All* of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural?

By: Saturday January 19, 2013 9:05 am

On the eve of President Obama’s second inaugural address, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s, delivered on the eve of both the end of the Civil War and his own assassination. Lincoln packed more into four paragraphs than others can deliver in forty pages, and every president since him dreams of trying to get even close to his eloquence. The last paragraph of that speech gets enormous attention — as it should — but if one doesn’t see what Lincoln does in the first three, that last immortal paragraph is robbed of its full power, and the powerful vision of the future he paints remains just that: a vision of the future.

Rev. Irene Monroe: Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

By: Wednesday January 2, 2013 1:50 pm

The original purpose for the document core to President Abraham Lincoln’s presidency may have been to free slaves; or it may have been solely a strategic move to decimate the Confederate troops stronghold in the South and win the Civil War. Its purpose was probably a little bit of both. Regardless of Lincoln’s intent, my ancestors named the day of Lincoln’s signing of this historic document Jubilee Day. Many African Americans continue to celebrate Jubilee Day with a New Year’s Eve church service called “Watch Night Service.”

Morals as a Tool for Ideologues

By: Sunday December 23, 2012 11:00 am

The problem is that the demands of conservatives are out of control. They utterly reject the power of the mind to reason to a plausible understanding of moral values and their application to complex circumstances. Conservatives only use reason to extend by remorseless logic the demands of their primal moral feelings. They do not see that their views, when pushed to their logical limits, are incoherent.

The Newtown murders are a perfect demonstration of that incoherence.

The Danger of Analogizing About Politics and Compromise from “Lincoln”

By: Monday November 26, 2012 1:23 pm

And now, here’s my entry in the “Why the movie Lincoln is not a plausible model for political debates of the recent past and future.”

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