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Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, September 24, 2017. President Lyndon Johnson (center) with his Secretary of State Dean Rusk (left) and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (right) in a Cabinet meeting, February 9, 1968. LBJ Presidential Library via Wikimedia Commons. “We just had hell [with] these college students...I’ve had Hoover in after them... They marched here, and we arrested 600 of them, and we gave 29 of them pretty rough times. We found most of them were mentally diseased. Hoover’s taken 256 that turned in supposedly their draft cards...So you’re dealing with mental problems...I think we talk too damn much about civil... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, September 23, 2017. Why Chief Joseph turned down the government’s offer to build his band of Nez Perce a schoolhouse: Joseph did little to restore [General] Howard’s favor when he and his retinue entered the church. The setting gave the chief no comfort. Churches, to him, were monuments to disruption, places where Indians were exhorted to see the world in new and damaging ways. Asked by a fact-finding commission in 1873 if he would like the government to build a schoolhouse for his people in the Wallowa Valley, Joseph declined the offer because a school “will teach... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday night, September 22, 2017. We finished The Defenders tonight. Enjoyed it well enough but I wish it had included more of the spirit of this video and that their Iron Fist had been more like this Iron Fist. Tip of the hat to Oliver Mannion! Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, September 21, 2017. Something about this photo strikes me as Fellini-esque. I think it's the two belly dancers in the lower lefthand corner and the running cartoon skeleton behind the two cops and the way everybody is just going about their business despite the skeleton and the belly dancers, as if the macabre and grotesque are just a regular part of daily life, which, of course, they are... From our old blogging comrade Mike the Mad Biologist. Taken on a stroll around town. H Street, between 13th and Linden Ct., Atlas District, Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning, September... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday evening, September 19, 2017. “President Donald Trump addresses the crowd at the Farm Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to celebrate his 100th day in office…” April 29, 2017. Photo by Evelyn Hockstein for the Washington Post, via San Antonio Express-News. The Republicans had been moving towards nominating Donald Trump for at least 30 years. He was their dream candidate, they just didn't know his name or his face. As in a dream, he appeared to them in indistinct outline. That outline was that of a big strong white man---although that he'd be white and a he went without saying---who... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Friday evening, September 15, 2017. Posted Sunday morning, September 17. Illustration by Alexandra Agostinho da Silva from A lenda do crocodilo de Timor-Leste, via Visit East Timor/The Timor-Leste Travel Guide. My coffee came with a creation myth tonight. This one. Many years ago a small crocodile lived in a swamp in a far away place. He dreamed of becoming a big crocodile but, as food was scarce, he became weak and grew sadder and sadder. He left for the open sea, to find food and realize his dream, but the day became increasingly hot and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Thursday morning, September 14, 2017. Posted Friday night, September 15. On the way into the diner parking lot, I was followed in by an orange car. Not gold. Not bronze. Not copper. Not red orange or yellow orange. Orange, like an orange. Obviously not the original paint job. Probably not the original color. I don't think cars came in that color in 1940. I waited at the front door to talk to the owners, a man and a woman well into their sixties. "What year?" I called out cheerfully as they began to make their way... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Posted Friday evening, September 15, 2017. Wednesday. 12:10 p.m. 76 degrees. On the road north to New Paltz. The first yellows appeared in the ashes and poplars a few weeks ago. The locusts brgan to turn to butter soon after. There's a sweetgum tree by the college's main entrance whose leaves have already begun to blacken and brown and curl at the tips. There's been rust in the sumacs and a few maples for at least the last week. But today we passed maples that have burst into flame. Fire orange, golden yellow, ruby red. One week till fall. Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, September 14, 2017. Backyard View, Public School in Background, Rulo, Nebraska. C. 1900. Agnes Winterbottom Cooney. Courtesy Minneapolis Institute of Art. ONE January day, thirty years ago, the little town of Hanover, anchored on a windy Nebraska tableland, was trying not to be blown away. A mist of fine snowflakes was curling and eddying about the cluster of low drab buildings huddled on the gray prairie, under a gray sky. The dwelling-houses were set about haphazard on the tough prairie sod; some of them looked as if they had been moved in overnight, and others as if... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Monday evening, September 11, 2017. Posted Wednesday night, September 13. The New York Times’ Amy Chozik is working on a book about the election. Since she mostly covered Hillary’s campaign, I expect she’ll focus mainly on that. Meanwhile, NBC’s Katy Tur, who covered Trump’s campaign, has a book of her own in the works, focusing on…well, you can guess. Advanced word is Tur’s book is good. Chozik isn’t far enough along for there to be advanced word, but Chozik herself has promised her book will be “nuanced,” unlike her coverage of Clinton. Doesn’t matter. I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday evening, September 12, 2017. That independent feeling: “Vice President Mike Pence looks on with President Donald Trump during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)” Oh for Pete’s sake! President Donald Trump was in the mood to celebrate after cutting a big deal with opposition Democrats. Joshing with Northeastern officials in the Cabinet Room, Trump hailed New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo as “my governor” and traded banter with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, another fellow... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, September 10, 2017. This is Concord, Massachusetts as Thoreau would have known it when he was twenty-two. The church at the center is the First Parish Church, Thoreau’s family church when he was growing up and from which he resigned his membership in 1841. First Parish, which still exists as a congregation---although it meets in a different church building, the one in the drawing having burned down in 1900, replaced by one very much like it---proudly states on its webpage that they still have Thoreau’s resignation letter in their archives. This passage coming up is from Laura... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday evening, September 9, 2017. T.E. Lawrence and the young journalist who made him world-famous as “Lawrence of Arabia,” Lowell Thomas. Photo via the Hollywood Reporter. Neither of my grandfathers talked. I should amend that to the more truthful neither talked much. But Pop Mannion's dad, Grandpop Mannion, really didn't talk in company for hours at a stretch. He listened, intently, but whole visits to his and Grandmom Mannion's would pass with his saying nary a word. He'd sit in his favorite blue armchair chair and smile mildly, as conversation, chatter, and confusion raged throughout the house, taking everything... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, September 8, 2017. The bishops are mad at Steve Bannon, and can you blame them? Bannon was raised Catholic. He was also raised a Democrat. And he was raised to be a human being. Look how that’s turned out. There I go again. It’s low on the list, but one of the things I despise about Trump and his gang of thugs, thieves, racists, sharpers, and malevolent fools is that they tempt me to commit the sin of Pride. Next to them I feel like a saint. And of course I’m not. I’m a rotten human being,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Friday morning. 6:15 a.m. 49 degrees. Sitting by the front window looking out at the street. Past dawn but the sun not really up. Full moon still is. Almost straight overhead. See it framed off-center in the top right pane of the side set of mullions. Looks smaller than a dime. Sky light. Colors and shapes of houses, trees, cars are clear but don’t yet have their daytime vividness or sharpness of detail. Blues are still gray or nearly black. Reds just beginning to insist on themselves. Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday morning, September 6, 2017. Adapted from the Twitter feed. Peas in the Republican pod: Trump isn’t an aberration. He’s the apotheosis. And Newt was one of his avatars. Photo by Seth Wenig/AP. Courtesy of the Associated Press, via the Daily Beast. Everything Our Mr President Trump does isn't done to erase Barack Obama's legacy, although I'm sure he takes pleasure in that. Much of it is pure Republicanism. Trying to kill Obamacare. Killing the EPA. De-regulating everything in sight that gets in the way of corporate interests from stealing whatever they want and pocketing all the money. Cutting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday night, September 4, 2017. Maybe God's problem is he's bored. ...in truth, he hadn't been sure then and still wasn't sure now, even after the VA diagnosis. Had he gotten off easy? During the war he'd somehow managed to be standing in the exact right place while more talented men and better soldiers happened to be standing in the exact wrong one. Often that was right next to Sully. For a while there on Omaha Beach there'd been a new, utterly lethal lottery every few seconds. Through diligence and judgment and skill you could improve your odds of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Posted Monday morning, September 4. His words flew up, but did his thoughts remain below?: “President Donald Trump talks with Rev. D. Andrew Olivo as he arrives to attend church at St. John's Church in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.” Photo by Susan Walsh/AP. Courtesy of the Associated Press via the Washington Post. Today's National Prayer Day. Did you know that? It is. By Presidential Proclamation. The President proclaimed that he proclaimed it on Twitter. You might think that's pretty rich, coming from a guy whose ability to finish this sentence, "Our... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Wednesday, August 30, 2017. Posted Sunday morning, September 3. “Rescue boats fill a flooded street at flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston.” Photo by David J. Phillip/AP. Courtesy of the Associated Press, via 10tv. Good question. Why didn’t they evacuate? What was the matter with them? What’s wrong with them? Why didn’t they know better? Why didn’t they get when the getting was good? That’s what I’d have done. As if the getting’s ever good. As if we can always know better. As if we... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Tuesday. 10:07 p.m. 82 degrees. Thunder storm passed right over the house. Multiple flashes of lightning with each crack of thunder. Storm front has moved on. Thunder far in the distance. Listening to the patter of the rain, stretched out on the family room floor, reading Laura Dassow Walls’ new biography of Thoreau. “In later years, he kept a detailed journal to record his observations of nature (including human nature), noting the date each flower bloomed, the date the ice melted on Walden Pond, when eaves turned color, and the dates and depths of the snowfalls. He bragged that from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Tuesday evening, August 22, 2017. In Thoreau’s world, the people were as old as the forests Walden Pond. Concord, Massachusetts. Photo via Expedia. Only about twenty-five pages into Laura Dassow Walls’ Henry David Thoreau: A Life and I’m ready to declare it the best biography of Thoreau I’ve read. It’s that well-written. More important, it’s that well-told. I’m swept up in the story Walls is making of Thoreau’s life. One of her themes is going to be, I think, how Thoreau’s “deep longing for a connection with the land would make Walden into the great American fable of alienation, regrounding,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, August 31, 2017. The Last Spike by Thomas Hill. 1881. For some reason this struck me as relevant. Can’t imagine why. Toward the end of 1872, Congress began to investigate the construction practices and financing of the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific’s directors, it turned out, awarded construction contracts to a company that they had formed themselves, which they called the Crédit Mobilier. Flush with cash from bonds that Congress authorized the UP to issue, the railroad could accept bids from Crédit Mobilier that were far higher than its actual costs. As railroad executives siphoned away millions... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Algonquin Park. Newburgh, New York. Around 9:30 this morning, August 31, 2017. Thanks to Ken Mannion for the aid of his photo editor’s eye. Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Sunday, August 6, 2017.. Blue-haired clerk at Barnes & Noble to co-worker as they’re straightening stacks of books on a table together: I’m going home to watch Step Brothers. That always makes me feel better.” Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, August 30, 2017. From the story “Black-eyed Women” in The Refugees by Viet Than Nguyen. The narrator and her mother discuss the recent visit of her long-dead brother’s ghost: The machine hummed in the background as we sat for dinner at the kitchen table, the air anointed with star anise and ginger. “That’s how come it took him so many years,” my mother said, bowing onto her hot soup. Nothing had ever daunted her appetite or dented her cast iron stomach, not even the events on the boat and the apparition of her son. “He swam the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at Lance Mannion