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Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, April 20, 2018. “Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (left) and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (right) hold a joint media availability at the site of the World Trade Center disaster in lower Manhattan” November 14, 2001. Photo by Robert D. Ward via Wikipedia. Giuliani hasn’t been brought on board for his legal skills and acumen. Obviously. He’s been signed up for his celebrity. Trump and Rudy go way back. They were cohorts in a scheme of fooling the City of New York into thinking it was home to the greatest mayor and the greatest businessman there ever... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, April 20, 2018. Rudolph Giuliani at a rally at San Diego State University in August 2007 when polls showed him as the front-runner for the Republican party's presidential nomination. Photo by and courtesy of user 1DmkIIN at Wikipedia. Once upon a time the political media was in love with this creep. Even before they proclaimed him America's Mayor they sang his praises to the skies. He made New York City livable again, after all. Never mind that they were giving him credit for the work done by Ed Koch and David Dinkins. Never mind that his “Broken... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday night, April 15, 2018. Five years ago today. April 15, 2013. “A bomb explodes in the crowd as runners cross the finish line during the 117th Boston Marathon.” Photo Tom Green, Zuma Press, via NBC News. I am absolutely in sympathy with those who suffered the bombing in Boston and with their loved ones. They have been singled out by a violence that was general in its intent, not aimed particularly at anybody. The oddity, they mystery, of a particular hurt from a general violence---the necessity to ask, “Why me? Why my loved ones?”---must compound the suffering. What... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Thursday, April 5, 2018. Posted Monday morning, April 16. “In this March 26, 2018 photo, pigs belonging to Jeff Rehder stand in their shed, in Hawarden, Iowa. Rehder stands to lose potential revenue on his hogs after China responded to Trump's announced plans to impose tariffs on products including Chinese steel, with a threat to tag U.S. products, including pork, with an equal 25-percent charge.” AP Photo by Nati Harnik via the Des Moines Register. The market’s up. It’s down. It’s down, it’s up. It’s up some more. It’s down again. It’s down by a lot.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday night, April 15, 2018. Flowers and remembrances for the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing at a roadblock at the end of the marathon route. April 2013 photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman, courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor. On the second day after the catastrophe in Boston, Thomas L. Friedman announced in the Times that “the right reaction is: Wash the sidewalk, wipe away the blood, and let whoever did it know that…they have left on trace of our society or way of life.” We should, said Mr Friedman, “let there be no reminder whatsoever.” And he asserted,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday afternoon, April 13, 2018. Determined to be themselves in circumstances that punish them for that: a scene from a 2011 production of Michael Frayn’s farce “Noises Off” at the Old Vic. Photo by Tristram Kenton for the Guardian. Back when we were all engaged in armchair psychoanalysis of Our Mr President Trump and the term pathological narcissist was bouncing around the internet the way obstruction of justice and impeachment are now, I wrote that Trump didn’t actually have to be crazy to be crazy---that is, to be acting crazily. He’s so thoroughly unfit for the job---intellectually, professionally, temperamentally,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2018 at Lance Mannion
Charles, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! How did I mess that up? Thanks for catching it. I made the correction. Please don't tell Sister Mary Carmel. (I think she's still with us, God bless her.)
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2018 on Un-losing my religion at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday afternoon, April 12, 2018. “David Hogg, a student and shooting survivor from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, addresses the conclusion of the “March for Our Lives” event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018.” Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters via Houston Public Media. If money is speech, as our dominant politicians believe, then we may say all our little speeches have been effectively answered by big money…Wendell Berry, “Our Only World”. Well. See… Laura Ingraham is back from her “Easter break”. She’s still smarting from losing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, April 11. Why do I suspect one of these books is not like the others and probably won’t do my soul any favors? I’ve been saying that if Pope Francis gets me going back to church, I’ll never forgive him. Apparently Ross Douthat has written a book arguing that Francis’ doing the things that are making lapsed Catholics like me re-think our lapses is creating a crisis within the Holy Mother Church. Going by Paul Elie’s review of “To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday, April 8, 2018. “PB Boulangerie general manager Kathleen Morris explains the bakery’s new self-service cash register system to customer Jim Carey of Boston.” Photo by Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times. This makes sense for a small bakery that can’t afford to hire regular cashiers and extra counter help, but it feels like one more step on our way to living inside Me-Sized bubbles in which we don’t need to interact with other human beings. SOUTH WELLFLEET [MA] — The staff at PB Boulangerie Bistro have their hands buried deep in dough every day making the bakery’s delectable pastries, breads... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, April 7, 2018. Gary Cooper and my third favorite Bridges, Jeff and Beau’s father Lloyd, as Marshall Will Kane and his unreliable, opportunistic, and rivalrous deputy just before they begin their epic fistfight in “High Noon”,” a scene they would have to film twice, thanks to seven-year-old Beau. Ken and I are listening to Glenn Frankel’s “High Noon:The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic”. It’s a pretty grim book which isn’t a surprise, considering it’s centered on on one of the most shameful periods in post World War II American history. But it’s not... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, April 7, 2018. By the time I finish typing the next sentence---the next word, even---Scott Pruitt might already have been fired. Pruitt’s job as head of the EPA is in serious danger. But not because he’s corrupt. He is corrupt---And, boy, is he!---but that’s not his trouble. Not in this Administration. He’s in trouble because he’s obvious. Pruitt may be the most competent member of Trump’s cabinet---by Trumpian standards. By Trumpian standards, he’s been the most effective in perverting his agency to serve the interests of the rich and greedy while using it to enrich himself and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, April 6, 2018. Been reading a lot of history lately. You might have noticed. Not a new practice for me. Not finding comfort in it. Not that I read history for comfort. Not much comfort to be found, except for the fatalistic kind of comfort to be found in re-readings of the Book of Ecclesiastes, my favorite book in the bible, by the way. History and the Preacher deliver the same message: “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity and seeking after wind.” The great historian Barbara Tuchman aptly named her classic collection of essays on the time immemorial... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, April 4, 2018. The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, and Bishop Julian Smith, left, flank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (center) as he marches with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, March 28, 1968. AP photo by Jack Thornell via CBS News. Conservatives who try to claim Martin Luther King was a Republican need to ask themselves what King was doing in Memphis the day he was murdered. In the late winter of 1968, Memphis sanitation workers went on strike over poverty-level pay and murderous working---literally killing conditions. Two workers had been crushed to death in the back... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday evening, April 4, 2014. “Martin Luther King [second from left] stands with other civil rights leaders [including Jesse Jackson, on King’s left] on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., a day before he was assassinated in April 1968.” AP Photo via the Christian Science Monitor. April 8, 1968. Around six p.m. The Cadillac was still idling below, and the various members of the party were edging toward their cars. King did not move from his perch on the balcony---he seemed transfixed by the evening, enchanted by the scene in the courtyard. Andy Young was shadowboxing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted April 4 2018. The entrance to Bessie Brewer’s rooming house in Memphis, Tennessee as it appeared to the escaped convict who called himself Eric Galt in April of 1968. The view from the second floor bathroom window is what attracted Galt to the place. Undated and uncredited photo via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Galt had to make a lightning-fast decision. He might never get a chance like this again. He ran to the communal bathroom to check the view. Charlie Stephens, the sickly drunk across the hall in 6B, could hear the new roomer’s footsteps as he clomped down the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday night, April 2, 2018. A tool of Wall Street playing on his yacht, as some of his ultra-liberal critics saw him. Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Photo via the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum. This sounds familiar. Can’t think why: The Townsendites [followers of Dr Francis Townsend, a physician turned political activist, who devised and advocated an extremely generous national pension plan to be paid for with a national sales tax] considered Roosevelt to be too tied up with conservative interests ever to bring them to heel. As one complained, “If only [FDR] would spend as much time... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Lance Mannion
Monday. 8:15 a.m. 29 degrees. Snow coming straight down, steady, heavy, and wet. Prediction is it’ll end at 11 with less than an inch on the ground. Up since 6:30. Sitting in the living room watching it fall. On my fourth cup of coffee. No writing today. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. Oliver Mannion took part in a campus-wide Easter Egg hunt at school last week. He was after the egg that contained a golden ticket---not for a trip to the chocolate factory. Finder of the ticket won a Nintendo Switch. He wasn't the finder. One of the eggs he collected did win him this basket though. Pretty good haul I'd say. Oddly, it contained no jelly beans. Happy Easter from Oliver and all of us here in Mannionville! Hope you got all the jelly beans you wanted… Photo by Oliver Mannion. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, March 31, 2018. Cartoon by Clifford Berryman. 1924. Courtesy of the Granger Collection via Britannica Kids. Sometimes I think one of political media’s big problems in trying to cover Trump is that they can’t believe that such a miserable specimen of human being got himself elected President of the United States. It can’t be that the job once held by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt is now held by Donald Trump! It can’t be that the American people would elect this piece of trash to the highest office of the land! They wouldn’t have! They... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2018 at Lance Mannion
Posted Saturday evening, March 31, 2018. A prerequisite for a successful scientific career is an enthusiastic willingness to pore through the minutiae of subjects 99.9 percent of Earth’s population find screamingly dull. ---from “The Wizard and the Prophet” by Charles C. Mann. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2018 at Lance Mannion
Friday. 5 a.m. on the dot. A lone robin somewhere out fronts starts fussing as if startled awake and not at all happy about it. No daylight yet. It’s raining lightly but I can’t see it. I hear it. Soft but annoying drumming on the back deck. Now other robins in the distance have started cheeping all at once. Maybe the first robin is their bugler. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, March 29, 2018. Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) makes the wrong call in a scene from the upcoming film “Chappaquiddick”. I was a kid when it happened. Back then, to me Ted was not a person in his own right but an avatar of his brothers and I expected that one day soon he would be President in their stead and save the country from Richard Nixon. And then…I knew. I knew him as himself and I knew he would never be President. Not only would he never be President but he didn’t deserve to be and I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, March 29, 2018. “What a mouse! WHAT A MOUSE!” I was only planning on making it to seventy-five, but the way things are going it’s looking like I have to last until at least I’m a hundred and twelve. So this article by Sharon Begley in STAT got my hopes up… In the latest advance, biologists reported on Thursday that a molecule already sold by supplement makers (even as scientists scramble to understand it) restored youthfulness to blood vessels in 20-month-old mice, an age comparable to 70 years in people. The research supports the idea that boosting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday morning, March 28, 2018. Ain’t he grand? It’s not Trump. He’s objectively, demonstrably the worst human being elected President since James Buchanan. Andrew Johnson was never elected and Richard Nixon had to actually be President for a couple of years to be worse. He’s objectively, demonstrably the most incompetent man to hold the office. A bigger dope than Harding. A more persistent bumbler than George W. Bush. He clearly knows nothing a President needs to know and yet thinks he knows everything worth knowing. He’s corrupt, mendacious, vain about his worst qualities---he’s proud of being a liar and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at Lance Mannion