Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks

February 4, 2018

With all respect and gratitude.



Thoughts for the Day, from Adam Smith

February 3, 2018

He wasn’t just about “the invisible hand of the marketplace;” he was also a moral thinker, particularly about the roles of business and government:

“[P]eople of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices . . .”

” . . . the mean rapacity, the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers, who neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind . . .”

“The government of an exclusive company of merchants is, perhaps, the worst of all governments for any country whatever.”

The Wealth of Nations


Langston Hughes

February 1, 2018

My soul has grown deep like the rivers . . .

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset….


Happy 230th Birthday, Lord Byron!

January 22, 2018

May you sing forever . . .


I Found a Brilliant Holiday Read

December 26, 2017

Okay, acknowledging many of you might be ahead of me on this, which came out in 1999,

I am writing to HIGHLY recommend “Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.” (Why do academics ALWAYS have colons/subtitles?) By David Kennedy, it’s part of the Oxford History of the U.S. series, and not for nothing did it win the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. I’m working my way through it, and it’s brilliant. It also has important lessons for contemporaries, particularly my former colleagues in the Fourth Estate, who – obviously not students of history, even recent – keep trying to figure out why millions of people support the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania.

If you haven’t read this already Dr. Kennedy notes the distinct differences between people who live in rural and urban areas, the differences between “working” and “business” classes, the long (and I mean “long”) running resentment of middle and working class whites, the effective campaign by business to divide workers by encouraging racism, and the deft manipulation of these deep social and cultural current by politicians.


Thanks, Mark Thoma, for Posting ” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”

December 25, 2017



Darlene Love Has Become an Essential Part of My Holidays

December 23, 2017