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Lance Mannion
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Posted late Sunday night, August 12, 2018. For some reason I have never been able to fathom, this passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Jailbird” cracked Pop Mannion up… I had a whimsical idea: I thought of calling the secretary of the treasury, Kermit Winkler, a man who had graduated from Harvard two years after me, and saying this to him: “I just tried out to of your dimes on Times Square and they worked like a dream. It looks like another great day for the coinage!” Interestingly, another of Pop’s favorite novels was “Herzog” by Saul Bellow, which is about man... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, August 12, 2018. One of Pop Mannion’s favorite authors, Graham Greene. Even though they were both Catholic, Pop didn’t share Greene’s brand of guilt-ridden Catholicism, still Greene was one of the few writers whose books Pop read through to the end. Photo via the Paris Review. I inherited very little of Pop Mannion’s brains and almost none of his gifts. I did inherit a bunch of his foibles, flaws, weaknesses, quirks, and enthusiasms. Among them: his taste for sweets; his love of baseball; and his habit of acquiring books he was never going to read or if... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday, August 11, 2018. Members of the Wedding: Pop Mannion, his new beloved daughter-in-law, the brand-new Mrs M, some guy in a rented tux, and Mom Mannion. May 28, 1988. Mrs M has been home from the hospital three weeks now, and in those three weeks she’s made excellent progress in her recovery. Physically. She’s been regaining her strength. Walking more and farther and standing longer. Her coordination’s improving. She’s still wobbly on her pins. Her balance isn’t what it needs to be. Her left arm and left leg are still showing signs of neglect and are much weaker... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, August 10, 2018. President Jimmy Carter signing the federal budget into law as budget director Bert Lance looks on. 1977 AP photo by Harvey Georges via the Washington Post. Another trouble with delivering benefits in the form of tax credits is that average taxpayers tend to see tax laws as written to benefit the rich and penalize them. They’re not wrong. So tell them there’s a benefit right there in their tax form and they’re likely to respond, “What’s the catch?” In 1976, one of Jimmy Carter’s campaign themes was that the tax code was “a disgrace... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Wednesday, August 1, 2018. Posted Thursday morning, August 5. “CUT TAXES NOT DEALS”: Screen shot of Alternet tweet linking to an article with the headline Here’s Why Americans Hate Big Government---Even When They Benefit From It. Image is an undated and uncredited photo of a Tea Party rally. Headline on this Salon interview with political scientist Suzanne Mettler by Paul Rosenberg, reposted at Alternet, is “Here's Why Americans Hate Big Government — Even When They Benefit From It”. Of course headlines exaggerate and the interview doesn’t come close to fully explaining why Americans hate big government... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, August 6, 2018. Flags at the Niskayuna town hall flew at half-mast for former supervisor Ed Reilly who died this past Wednesday and is being buried today. Most of you know that Ed was known on the blog as Pop Mannion. He was known in the real world as a great man. This story in one of the local papers doesn’t even get at the half of it… "There is no one in recent memory who has had a greater impact on the town of Niskayuna than former supervisor Ed Reilly," said Denise Murphy McGraw, a member... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, July 31, 2018. A “startling election result”? I wonder which election result Greenblatt’s thinking of… Shakespeare understood…something that in our own time is revealed when a major event---the fall of the Soviet Union the collapse of the housing market, a startling election result---manages to throw a garish light on an unnerving fact: even those at the center of the innermost centers of power very often have no idea what is about to happen. Notwithstanding their desks piled high with calculations and estimates, their costly network of spies, their armies of well-paid experts, they remain almost completely in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 30, 2018. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, soon to be representing New York’s 14th Congressional district in Washington, already representing a future in which Trump voters can’t imagine having a place for themselves. Image courtesy of CNN. Ana Navarro, the conservative commentator, Republican strategist, and vehemently anti-Trumper, tweeted the other day her bafflement at what she’s noticed is a new obsession of Right Wingers: Why so much crazy against A. Ocasio-Cortez & “Democratic Socialism”, whatever the hell that is? I don’t get the Right’s [eerie] obsession w/her. She worked awful hard. She beat a guy who took his eye... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, July 29, 2018. “Why Trump Is Right to Question the E.U.’s Fine Against Google”---Headline on an article by James B. Stewart in the Business Day section of the New York Times, Friday, July 27, 2018. It’s just the headline, and it’s a mistake to take the headline for the story, but no, Trump isn't right about this. He’s not right for the same reason he's not right about anything. It may be right to question the fine, and this article in the New York Times by James B. Stewart goes on to make that case. But that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Saturday afternoon, July 14, 2018. Posted Saturday morning, July 28. A store full of temptations: For some people the temptation is to go in for a gallon of milk and come out with cigarettes and beer. For others the temptation is to go in for a gallon of milk and come out with a candy bar or cookies. For someone we all know in the latter category, the temptation is also to go in for a gallon of milk and make unearned and hypocritical moral judgments while he’s at it. One of our local convenience stores.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday evening, July 25, 2018. The Filling Station Burger Works, West Haverstraw, New York. Tuesday, just after the lunch rush, July 17, 2018. Last Tuesday, the Mannion guys had a training session at the rehab hospital with Mrs M’s physical therapist so they could learn to help her get around safely when she was discharged. Before their session we stopped for lunch at The Filling Station before their training session at the rehab hospital. The Filling Station---TFS as its roof sign and menus say---is a burger joint inside an old re-converted gas station. Unfortunately it was pouring and the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Posted Wednesday, July 25. Click on the image or follow the link to Erica Warner’s story, House GOP plan would cut Medicare, Medicaid to balance budget, at the Washington Post. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post: Most Republicans aren’t rich. The GOP is the party of the rich. The rich own it after all. But still most Republicans aren’t rich, for the same reason most Democrats aren’t rich. There just aren’t that many rich people to go around. The relatively few there are---they’re not called the 1% because... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Friday, July 20, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, July 25. You can hardly see his lips move: Vladimir Putin (right) and his ventriloquist’s dummy at the Helsinki summit, supposed President of the United States and leader of the free world, Donald Trump. Photo by Kevin Lemarque/Reuters via the Nation. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post: Polls are showing that Republicans are accepting Trump’s “I meant wouldn’t, honest” explanation and view the whole Russia mess---the Russians’ meddling, the Trump campaign’s eager acceptance of the help, Robert Mueller’s investigation, the increasing evidence of a conspiracy... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday morning, July 24, 2018. Silent Cal liked to go fishing more than he liked to president, which is why he’s the ideal Republican president even if Republicans don’t know it. President Calvin Coolidge with his catch of the day, courtesy of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post: The federal government is designed to function without a President. It’s designed to function in spite of the President. This is a good thing because at the moment, effectively, don’t have a President. We have somebody who holds the office but... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 23, 2018. Stewart Eizenstat was one of Jimmy Carter’s top aides and closest advisors in the White House and was and still is one of his most steadfast admirers. His memoir of Carter’s presidency is an extended argument that Carter was a successful President, although, pointedly, not a great one or even a very good one. And Eizenstat regularly comes back to the fact that Jimmy Carter “the stern moralist” was at serious odds with Jimmy Carter the politician and that inner conflict worked to prevent him from being appreciated for the successful President Eizenstat sincerely... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Friday, June 29, 2018. Posted Sunday morning, July 22. Behold! The Underminer thwarted! The Parr family, aka the Incredibles---Elastigirl, Jack-Jack, Violet, Mr Incredible, and Dash---combine their powers and abilities in what turns out to be an unsuccessful attempt to foil a villain’s evil plan at the beginning of “Incredibles 2” leading to the Parr’s exile from the community they want more than anything to serve. Well, almost more than anything, which is the heart of their moral dilemma and why “Incredbiles 2” isn’t an Ayn Randian fantasy, as much as some conservatives would like it to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, June 29, 2018. Posted July 22. Champion of mediocrities Elastigirl discovers the objectivist hero Screenslaver’s secret plan to create a libertarian utopia in Pixar’s Ayn Rand manifesto “Incredibles 2”, at least, that’s one way of looking at it. Image courtesy of Disney and Pixar via imdb.com. [Editor’s note. I’m beginning my mission to catch up on my blogging by emptying my notebooks into my laptop. I’m not going to be methodical about it. Whatever page I open a notebook to, that’ll be the day’s post. So things aren’t going to appear in chronological order as a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, July 21, 2018. Sign on the road leading into the Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center. Stony Point, New York. Monday, July 16, 2018. In case you can’t read it off the photo, the sign says: Marian Shrine A Roman Catholic Center of Prayer and Pilgrimage Please respect this sacred environment for religious pilgrims & retreatants NO: Pets, inline skating, bicycles, recreational vehicles, unauthorized sports or picnics, radios, etc. THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY I see the point. No religious pilgrim travels a thousand miles or even one mile to be bowled over by an unleashed happy... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Posted Friday morning, July 20. “Isn’t that right, Vlad, old buddy?”: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at their press conference after the Helsinki summit, Monday, July 16, 2018. AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko via Newser. Here’s how I understand Trump and Putin. I’m not saying how it is with them, because like I would know. And I’m not suggesting it’s how you should understand it. Besides its being the case that I don’t know and have no way of knowing, it’s the case with everything---you probably know more than me. Even if you don’t,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday afternoon, July 16, 2018. Posted Tuesday morning, July 17. Altar and sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians Chapel, Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center, Stony Point, New York. Photo by Lance Mannion’s inner altar boy. July 16, 2018. Very near to the hospital is the Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center. I pass it every day on my way to see Mrs M and every night on my way home. I’d been meaning to stop in. Mainly out of curiosity but I have to admit I’d been feeling pulled by my inner altar... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, July 16, 2018. My Facebook “memories to look back on” today included this post from last summer that I thought was cute and funny at the time. It’s not so cute and funny to me anymore… July 16, 2017. Mrs M has been feeling poorly again. Thinking to cheer her up and earn some extra good husband points, I bought her some flowers when I was at the grocery store this morning. I put them in a vase and set them at her usual place at the kitchen table before calling to her to come have the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Posted Monday, July 16, 2018. “The Battle of Concord: Engagement at North Bridge”. Essentially a wall-sized .gif based on a 1775 engraving by Amos Doolittle at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Sorry I can’t show it to you inaction. The gun smoke rises from the muskets. The sky lights up with reflected musket fire. The soldiers on both sides march back and forth across the bridge. It’s really cool. Photo by Oliver Mannion. Taken December 27, 2017. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post: We’re always... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Posted Monday, July 16. Photo of now former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt by Jonathan Ernst courtesy of Reuters via the Atlantic. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post: There’s not much that separates Main Street from Wall Street except the limits of criminal opportunity. Who’s the more American type? The Wall Street bankster or hedge fund manager making millions off his clients’ losses or the guy in the suit from Men’s Warehouse on the phone at his rented desk in the office park boiler room? Scott Pruitt is an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks and adapted from the Twitter feed, Sunday morning, July 8, 2018. Posted Sunday morning, July 15. As far as I’m concerned, there is only one essential Doctor and that’s the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, and all the other Doctors are various incarnations of him. There is no essential President. Each one has been essentially himself, and that’s especially true of the current one. The President isn’t a separate entity from the person who holds the office. He isn’t like the Doctor. It isn’t the case that with every regeneration he gets a new body but remains... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, July 14, 2018. Mrs M didn't need my company today. She had visitors all day. Her aunt and uncle stopped by in the morning and her mother and brother and sister in law came in the afternoon and stayed until closing time. So I thought I'd take advantage and stay home, relax a bit, and start getting the house in shape for her homecoming Thursday. Of course I didn't relax and the house is still a disaster. I spent the day feeling guilty and fighting the urge to get in the car and rush down there. Oliver... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2018 at Lance Mannion