Baseball and the Literati: Runyon, Lardner and Farrell

Mark Richardson —     We are all aware of Ernest Hemingway’s expression of affection for Joe DiMaggio in The Old Man and the Sea, of Phillip Roth’s extensive and extended baseball metaphors in The Great American Novel, and of Bernard Malamud’s employment of the national pastime as a conveyance for his morality play The Natural, but baseball’s appeal to the literati predates these classics by decades. Before he was America’s … Continue reading Baseball and the Literati: Runyon, Lardner and Farrell

Snapshot of Jon Feucht smiling as he faces the camera, in his wheelchair

Overcoming Discomfort with Disability

Ron Berger, with David Travis and Jon Feucht — Most of the students in Professor David Travis’s physical geography course were there to fulfill a general science elective requirement. David is a popular professor, known nationally for his work in meteorology, and the small room in which he taught was filled to capacity. It was an intimate setting, and though David had had other students … Continue reading Overcoming Discomfort with Disability

Why I Do Not Like Tipping

Charles Cottle — I do not like tipping waitresses, waiters, hotel bell boys, car wash attendants, or any other employees who depend upon tips for their wages. I am not a tightwad, indeed much to the contrary. I tip generously, but I do not like tipping because it is a form of exploitation. It allows the employers to exploit workers, to place workers in a … Continue reading Why I Do Not Like Tipping

For the Love of the Game

Ron Berger — I share Mark Richardson’s interest in nonfiction baseball books (see Wise Guys, February 17, 2016) and thought I’d take the opportunity to also share a few that I’ve read over the last 14 years. But first some personal background. My bonding with baseball began in 1959, when I was eight years old. The year before the Brooklyn Dodgers had moved to my … Continue reading For the Love of the Game

Baseball in America: Two Books

  Mark Richardson — The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, a riveting history of the early days of professional baseball,  tells the story of the American Association, an early league, founded in 1883, which came to be called The Beer and Whiskey League as a result of the daring policy adopted by the club owners of being the first league ever to allow the sale of … Continue reading Baseball in America: Two Books

Photograph of Antonin Scalia

The Constitutional Interpretation of Antonin Scalia: In His Own Words

John Kozlowicz — As we mourn the passing of Justice Scalia, it is interesting to know what was his philosophy of constitutional interpretation.   Who better to tell us than Justice Scalia himself?  Below is a speech he gave a little over a decade ago.  It clearly indicates his view on how to interpret the Constitution. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the following remarks at the Woodrow … Continue reading The Constitutional Interpretation of Antonin Scalia: In His Own Words

It’s a Reality Show

J. David Gillespie — For a long time politicians have tried to make politics entertaining to the masses.  Roman rulers offered the plebs “bread and circuses.”  U.S. political scientists have for years written about presidential campaigns like they were horse races.  I am convinced now that what we are seeing in presidential contests is a reality show. Maybe, sensing the value of reality shows, media, … Continue reading It’s a Reality Show

Wise Guys on Wisdom

Ron Berger, with a little help from my friends — A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my son and 10-year-old granddaughter. I was giving them some advice and my son told my granddaughter that I was “smart.” I said I thought there was a difference between being “smart” and having “wisdom,” although I did not have a good explanation of what … Continue reading Wise Guys on Wisdom

Explaining Voting Machines to Space Aliens

Karen McKim — When I see nutty behavior—things like entering toddlers in beauty pageants, maintaining a national system of employer-funded health insurance, or legalizing switchblades—I practice empathy for my silly fellow humans by imagining how I would explain their conduct to space aliens. You see, I don’t want the Haggunenons to get the impression my species is irredeemably stupid, so the exercise forces me to … Continue reading Explaining Voting Machines to Space Aliens