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Lance Mannion
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Latkes for dinner at our friends and neighbors’. We lit only one of the four menorahs on the table. Still pretty bright, huh? Imagine what it would have looked like if we’d lit the other eighteen candles. (Actually, it would have been twenty-one. Who can tell me why, class?) We hope all of you who are celebrating are having a Happy Hanukkah! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Image courtesy of MoveOn.org. Click on the picture or here to watch the video. Warning: it’s also a link to MoveOn’s donation page. I understand the argument behind getting Elizabeth Warren to run for President. It would be good for the party and, actually, good for Hillary, and not just because it might drag her to the left on economic issues. (She doesn’t need to be dragged to the left on other issues. She’s already there. As for the one big other she does, Warren wouldn’t be doing much campaigning on foreign policy). The worst thing a front runner like... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Yours is in here somewhere… …unless it’s already in the mail or unless I don’t have your address. Send me an email with it if you’d like a card and name your household holiday(s) so I can be seasons greetings-appropriate. I’m not kidding. Somebody’s got to save the Post Office. The Mannion kitchen table. Seven o’clock, Saturday morning. December 20, 2014. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Revised and corrected Saturday evening, December 20, after an editorial consultation with Oliver Mannion.</> A marriage and a revolutionary theory of time begin together in a discussion between Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) and Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) about the phosphorescents in a brand of laundry detergent in the real life love story The Theory of Everything. ______________________ Serious spoiler warning: If you’re even broadly familiar with the life and work of Stephen Hawking and the story of his marriage to Jane Wilde, nothing below will count as a spoiler. If you don’t know any of that, I’m jealous, because then... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
William Butler Yeats’ Theory of Everything: The woods of Arcady are dead, And over is their antique joy; Of old the world on dreaming fed; Grey Truth is now her painted toy; Yet still she turns her restless head: But O, sick children of the world, Of all the many changing things In dreary dancing past us whirled, To the cracked tune that Chronos sings, Words alone are certain good. Where are now the warring kings, Word be-mockers? - By the Rood, Where are now the warring kings? An idle word is now their glory, By the stammering schoolboy said,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
Took the Mannion guys to Barnes & Noble this afternoon so they could do a little Christmas shopping, and naturally, after they’d bought their presents, we lingered in the cafe and while we were there lingering an announcement came over the intercom. Over in the children’s section was a special visitor to the store. The author of Monsters Do Not Know Tae Kwon Do was going to be act out the story with the help of any kids who wanted to join in. This meant those kids would get a free lesson in tae kwon do and Ken Mannion hurried... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
Monday, December 15. New posts below. But please read this before scrolling down. As I mentioned last week, while our good news is very good news indeed, it's going to take a while to climb out of the hole the last year put us in and getting through to the end of this month is going to be very tricky. So if you like what goes on around here and you can swing it, please consider making a donation. It'll be a real help and much appreciated. Thanks again to all who have donated. Thanks to all of you for... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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On her train ride home the other night, Mrs M found herself seated---stuck---across the aisle from a guy she described as a typical conservative loudmouth sounding off to a companion on various Fox News-approved Right Wing angers and resentments as if going down a list and checking off boxes. His running theme was that somebody, somewhere was getting way with something at his expense. Teachers! (For instance.) They make over a hundred and twenty grand while working only nine months out of the year! The guy was in his mid-fifties, which I’ve noticed is about the age when men begin... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Keep in mind these are the words of a writer setting us up for a conversion and redemption narrative: There was one last thing to take care of before starting the journey: I had to take time off from work. The big climbing expeditions, like Everest with its long approach and narrow opportunities for summiting due to weather, would require my being gone at least eight weeks during the spring. One of my jobs is with the American Physical Society, the professional association of physicists, where I do public affairs work. As it turned out, they were okay with my... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Ok, I’ll keep at it too, for a while longer anyway. Not that I was seriously considering walking away from my keyboard. As a company, we are getting back to blogging. It’s the only truly new media in the age of the web. It is ours. Blogging is the essential act of journalism in an interactive and conversational age. Our bloggers surface buried information, whether it’s in an orphaned paragraph in a newspaper article, or in the government archives. And we can give the story further energy by tapping readers for information, for the next installment of the story, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at Lance Mannion
It was not my train because, one it was too expensive: it would have cost me around $9,000, one way, from Paris to Istanbul. Reason two: luxury is the enemy of observation, a costly indulgence that induces such a good feeling that you notice nothing. Luxury spoils and infantilizes you and prevents you from knowing the world. That is its purpose, the reason why luxury cruises and great hotels are full of fatheads who, when they express an opinion, seem as though they are from another planet. It was also my experience that one of the worst aspects of traveling... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Sunday morning. December 7, 2014. Seems all my encounters with wildlife are taking place in the middle of the road lately. A few nights ago it was deer. This morning, vultures. Black vultures. A pair of them, picking at something flat and bloody. Since vultures routinely lift and carry whole dead deer many yards off to the side of the road in order to feast undisturbed by traffic, I had to figure that these two knew what they were doing by dining right there. They wanted to cause trouble for approaching cars. Black vultures are foul, ugly, ill-tempered birds but... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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This is Part Two. Part One is here. I am descended from a hero cop. My great-grandfather, Mom Mannion’s grandfather, took on violent and armed criminals by himself with his bare hands and hauled them off to jail. He jumped into the icy river to save a man from drowning. He was tough, brave, and smart. He was a detective although that was a job description not an actual job title: at least for the first part of his career his department didn’t have a detective division. A detective was just whichever officer on duty the chief thought could handle... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Lance Mannion
…as if more than three hundred years of slave-owning, Klan rule, Jim Crow, lynching, segregation, and violent opposition to Civil Rights left no mark on the collective white psyche. Generation upon generation taught their children that African Americans were to be despised, loathed, and feared, and had to be kept down and kept under control by force, but all that disappeared in November 2008 when every white person said, “Well, that’s over. What a relief.” Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Updated below. Wednesday morning. December 10, 2014. Weren’t we sour-grapesing like this after 2004? Letting the South go is how we let the South go. And while Mary Landrieu is no loss in and of herself, she did not serve in the Senate in and of herself. She added to the majority and the majority decides committee chairs and committee chairs control Congress. And, yes, it’s true, the Democrats don’t need the South to win the Presidency, but it’s also true that there are still more Red States than Blue States and every state still gets two Senators. Letting the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Park Street, Newburgh, New York, looking east at the Hudson River and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. This morning. 8:45. Monday, December 8, 2014. When I was pulled over at the side of the road, leaning out the car window to take this photo, a man came jogging up the street and passed me on the driver’s side. When he saw he was in my way, he apologized. He was about 70, trim, with thin but neatly combed short gray hair that stayed flat to his head while he ran. His face was weathered but youthful and handsome, his long jawline firm.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Lots needs to change. Lots of fixing to be done. Politically, socially, economically, culturally. But the country could reconfigure itself politically exactly as you and I know it needs to, cultural issues could be settled exactly as we’ve argued they should be, the economy could be shaken up and sorted out to what we know will be to the most benefit to the most people, and this is how it would be: you’d still be you and I’d still be me and we’d both still have to live with ourselves and each other. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Lance Mannion
This is the first of what will be a three-part post. If your first reflex in response to any story involving a confrontation between cops and citizens is to side with the cops you are either a cop, related to a cop, have watched too many episodes of Bluebloods, or you have never had any run-ins with cops yourself. I guess there are people who haven’t. It’s not my experience. Every adult man I know and quite a few women have at least been pulled over at one time or another by a cop who was clearly looking for an... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Good on those St Louis Rams players. Good on those members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Joe Scarborough doesn’t agree. Scarborough believes they’re perpetuating a proven falsehood and they know it. Scarborough insists it’s a lie that Michael Brown was trying to surrender when Darren Wilson shot him dead in the street for the crime of scaring Darren Wilson out of his wits. I’m not sure how he knows it’s a lie. Same way a lot of racists know it, maybe. They know the black guy must have been dangerous and doing something wrong, something that warranted an on... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Long, tiring drive home last night. Six and a half hours through the snow and sleet and freezing rain and fog. But I made it and at least I didn’t hit a deer. Read that again. I didn’t hit a deer. Or either of the other two standing with him in the middle of the road as I came around a bend. Pests! There are too darn many of them. And not just out here in the sticks. The deer population is also taking off in the Bronx, where the animals wander in from Westchester County’s woods. Park officials will... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Wednesday, December 10. New posts below. But please read this before scrolling down. While our good news is very good news indeed, it's going to take a while to climb out of the hole the last year put us in. Getting through to the end of the month is going to be very tricky. So if you like what goes on around here and you can swing it, please consider making a donation. It'll be a real help and much appreciated. Thanks again to all who have donated. Thanks to all of you for reading the blog. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Took this last Wednesday after I dropped Mrs M off at the ferry in Newburgh. The ferry took her to the train station. The train took her to Grand Central where she caught the subway. The subway took her to Union Square. From Union Square she walked to her building where she rode the elevator up to her office. Car to ferry to train to subway to elevator. Hour and a half. A bit of a commute but… It’s a job! A new job! Mrs M has a new job! A new good job! After nearly a year of heartbreak... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Lance Mannion