1968: The Year That Changed U.S. Politics, and Our Lives

Ron Berger — For people of my generation, the baby boomers, Lawrence O’Donnell’s Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics (Penguin Press, 2017), is a trip down memory lane. It was not only a year that changed U.S. politics, but our very lives. For starters, there were the traumatic assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. There … Continue reading 1968: The Year That Changed U.S. Politics, and Our Lives

Forty-Eight Hours in Budapest: A Photographic Essay

Charles Cottle and James Cottle — In May 2017 my brother Jim and I traveled on a tour of central Europe. The major cities on the tour included Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin. The first city on the tour was Budapest, Hungary. Featured here are my brother’s photos of the major architectural sites that one can visit in only two days in Budapest. I have … Continue reading Forty-Eight Hours in Budapest: A Photographic Essay

Picking Up a Prisoner at Dachau

Warren R. Johnson — Though it is not a particularly well-known fact, the “bunker” of the former concentration camp at Dachau was used after World War II as an American stockade. Until 1970, soldiers either awaiting trial or sentenced to less than a year’s confinement were imprisoned there. The “bunker,” a series of cells, is directly behind the former administration building that is now the … Continue reading Picking Up a Prisoner at Dachau

Photo of Jordan Chambers with five children, four of which appear to be white

The White Slave Jordan Chambers

Dave Gillespie and Judi F. Gillespie — Surprising though it may be, it is true. Through most of the long global history of slavery, race or “blood” was largely unconnected to which side of the slave-free line of demarcation a human creature of God fell. Slavery was the fruit of war and conquest and, regardless of skin color, slaves were people who or whose ancestors … Continue reading The White Slave Jordan Chambers

American Fighter Pilot: A Tribute to a Veteran and Gentleman

Bob Bates — Toward the end of World War II in the turbulent skies over France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, thousands of rounds of German ground artillery exploded around American P-47s of the 406th Fighter Group’s 514th Squadron. Flying close support in a grouping of twelve surrounding an American B-26 heavy bomber, Lieutenant Warren Webster in his red-nosed P-47 Thunderbolt often found himself and his … Continue reading American Fighter Pilot: A Tribute to a Veteran and Gentleman

The Retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy

John Kozlowicz — With the retirement of US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy there is considerable speculation about what effect this will have on future Supreme Court decisions. In the larger area of Supreme Court decisions, 5-4 decisions are the most infrequent ones, with unanimous decisions being the most frequent. The interest in Justice Kennedy comes from his role in close decisions affecting individual rights. … Continue reading The Retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy

Surviving the Digital Maelstrom

Larry Lancit — I received an email this morning from my friend Karl, who had a question. He said, “Well, I’ve gotten this far, what do I do now?” The back-story is that I am a video producer and our company had just finished a video for a large healthcare provider in Southwest Florida. It was a video designed to encourage persons of civic responsibility … Continue reading Surviving the Digital Maelstrom

Elegant Old Men

Warren R. Johnson — When our son Michael was very young, he had a very old friend. Everyone called his old friend Baba Levi. Not mister, not sir, but Baba. Baba is Persian for father, or even grandfather. He was so old that he remembered driving trucks from Baghdad to Tehran, before the First World War when trucks on the main roads joining the two … Continue reading Elegant Old Men

California Dreamin’: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Houses

Jeff Berger — Why do people choose to remain in California in spite of its problems? Some people do it because they don’t want to leave their friends and family. Others love the climate, the environment, and the culture. Nature is readily accessible to everyone 365 days out of the year, even to those living in the heart of a big city. But, Californians pay … Continue reading California Dreamin’: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Houses

Remembering the U.S. Torture Regime

Ron Berger — In the spring of 2004, during the early years of the Iraq War launched by the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, reports of widespread abuse, humiliation, and outright torture of Iraqi prisoners held by US intelligence operatives, military personnel, and private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq hit the news. Some of the interrogators had taken photos … Continue reading Remembering the U.S. Torture Regime

A Difficult Learning Curve: Starbucks in Context

Bob Bates — During the morning of April 12, 2018, in a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for trespassing while awaiting the arrival of a business acquaintance. They had not been there long and the shop was not crowded, but they had not made a purchase. The Starbucks manager called 911 to summon police to remove the two 23-year … Continue reading A Difficult Learning Curve: Starbucks in Context

The Ear is Quicker than the Eye: A Hospital Story

Warren R. Johnson — Having lived in Germany for many years, I’ve had the opportunity to get acquainted with hospitals from Landstuhl, the military’s largest hospital outside the United States, to Bad Aibling, where there never was a military hospital, only a civilian one. To outsiders, hospitals are almost always odd places. Patients themselves only get used to them because hospitals run on schedule. In the hospital … Continue reading The Ear is Quicker than the Eye: A Hospital Story

Baseball and Murder Mysteries

Mark Richardson — Mickey Rawlings is a baseball player. He’s also a sleuth. He does not solve murders because he has a yen to be a detective. Rather, he has murders thrust upon him–murders which neither the police nor anyone else seems to want solved. And that leaves Mickey to solve them. Rawlings is a major league utility infielder whose skills are good enough to … Continue reading Baseball and Murder Mysteries

Do Tips Belong to the Employees Who Receive Them?

Charles Cottle — It appears, thanks to a Trump administration initiative, that the lives of many tipped employees in restaurants may soon get much worse. On December 5, 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor filed a request to rescind several regulations imposed on employers by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under an executive order issued during the Obama administration, businesses with tipped employees (restaurants, … Continue reading Do Tips Belong to the Employees Who Receive Them?

Labyrinth of Enigmas: The JFK Assassination

Bob Bates — When Jack Ruby died in prison on January 3, 1967, barely three years after he ended Lee Harvey Oswald’s life with one fatal shot to his gut, any information Ruby had on a JFK assassination plot went to the grave with him. The Warren Commission, operative between December 1963 and September 1964, had attempted to interview Ruby early on in their information … Continue reading Labyrinth of Enigmas: The JFK Assassination

Young immigrants protesting for DACA

The Dream Deferred: The Assault on DACA

Larry Lancit — When I was in High School in the mid 1960s, I was a tenor in the A Cappella Choir. One of the most inspiring pieces of music we did was a rendition of “Give Me Your Tired Your Poor,” originally composed by Irving Berlin and, of course, written by Emma Lazarus. Lazarus’s words are inscribed on the base of the Statue of … Continue reading The Dream Deferred: The Assault on DACA

The Physicist and the Preacher

Warren R. Johnson — In 1949 Albert Einstein asserted, “The abstract concept ‘society’ means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations.” Reasoning likewise, Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1963 Letter From Birmingham Jail, argued that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He went on … Continue reading The Physicist and the Preacher

Let’s All Move to Norway

Jeff Berger — Last January Donald Trump tweeted that immigrants to America should not be allowed to come from “shithole countries” like Haiti and nations in Africa. Instead, he said, he preferred people from countries like Norway. People on Twitter, including some who are actually from Norway, were quick to remark that, for many Norwegians, America may seem to be the shithole. Of course, Donald … Continue reading Let’s All Move to Norway

Collective Memories of Death Camps and Complicity in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Ron Berger — The Polish government recently passed a law making it illegal in Poland to accuse the nation of complicity in the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in Polish territory during World War II, and from using the term “Polish death camps” to describe the concentration camps that were established and operated by the Nazis. The legislation, signed into law by president Andrzej Duda … Continue reading Collective Memories of Death Camps and Complicity in Nazi-Occupied Poland