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Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Thursday afternoon, October 19, 2017. Posted Sunday morning, October 22. Belted kingfisher. Copyrighted photo by Michael R. Duncan, courtesy of the National Zoo. As far as I can recall, I’ve only ever seen a couple of kingfishers up close in my life, and both of those were on Cape Cod. Just spent some time watching another one in my mind’s eye. This afternoon, UPS delivered a book to my office. That is to say, I was sitting out on the porch, pretending to write, when the truck pulled up. The book was Devotions, a collection of... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, October 21, 2017. Gray Butte Trail, Crooked River National Grassland, Oregon. Cascade Mountains in the distance. Sunday, October 15, 2017. Copyright Erik Loomis. Longtime blogging comrade Erik Loomis, historian and Lawyers, Guns & Money stalwart, is out in his home state of Oregon. Not sure what he’s doing there. I think he’s teaching. But he’s also doing a lot of tromping around, getting reacquainted with the landscape, and sampling the local craft beers. He can’t send beer but he has sent this post card from a recent tromp along the Gray Butte Trail in the Crooked River... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, October 19, 2017. “It was then that Epstein began to give things away.” It started with a small maquette by Henry Moore handed off to his doctor, who had admired it during a home visit. From his bed, laid up with the flu, Epstein instructed Dr. Silverblatt on which closet he could find the bubblewrap in. A few days later, he twisted the signet ring off his pinkie and dropped it in the palm of his surprised doorman, Haaroon, in place of a tip; flexing his naked fist in the autumn sunlight, he smiled to himself. Soon... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday morning, October 17, 2017. You don’t want to leave an elephant calf to wander on his lonesome in the savannah. The odds of his survival aren’t good. But as Pete Muller writes in National Geographic, “The rescue of an orphaned elephant is an inspiring sight—but it can also be an absurd one. How do you catch an elephant by hand? The elephant may be small, but he's still an elephant.” Photo up top is by Muller and shows veterinarians and park rangers at Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park trying to bring the orphan to safety. To read the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, October 16, 2017. Deborah Kerr as Princess Flavia and Stewart Granger as Rassendyll masquerading as the missing king in the 1952 version of The Prisoner of Zenda. Richard Wilbur’s gone. He was not one of my favorite poets, but I’ve enjoyed most everything by him I’ve read. Here’s one of his poems I always get a kick out of: At the end a "The Prisoner of Zenda," The King being out of danger, Stewart Granger (As Rudolph Rassendyll) Must swallow a bitter pill By renouncing his co-star, Deborah Kerr. It would be poor behavia In him and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks Thursday morning, October 5, 2017. Posted Sunday morning, October 15. During the fall [of 1861], McClellan found an important ally in Edwin M. Stanton, one of the best-known and most successful trial lawyers in the country and a lifelong Democrat. Stanton had served briefly in President Buchanan's cabinet as the secession crisis was breaking and had done his utmost to make Buchanan act firmly in defense of Unionist principles. After Sumter he emerged as a leading War Democrat, respected by both parties and often consulted by members of Lincoln's cabinet, who trusted his loyalty and his... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday afternoon, October 14, 2017. Again: Garry Trudeau’s had his number from the beginning. Doonesbury. April 23, 2011. Via the Washington Post. Every morning, first thing they do after getting up, millions of Trump voters look into their magic mirrors---their Twitter feeds---to hear themselves proclaimed the fairest in the land. Our Mr President Trump is the voice in their mirrors. He's the voice in his own mirror too. Wherever he is, whoever he's with, whatever else he's doing, Trump finds time to look in the mirror of his own ego and tell himself what a wonderful job he's doing.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Posted Friday afternoon, October 13, 2017. New posts below but before scrolling down, please read: Updated Friday evening. Car's all fixed! Thanks for your help, folks! __________________________________ Thank you to all who helped out with Ken's tuition. He's very grateful and at work on his thank you notes. So he's all set, but we've had another setback. The car needs $500 worth of emergency repairs. I'm very sorry to be asking again, but if you can help out by making a donation, you'd really be saving our bacon. Thanks! Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday evening, October 12, 2017. “Hillary Clinton and her husband former US president Bill Clinton hold up some steaks at the 37th Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters” via Rediff.com. This passage from her book made me laugh and tear up. The good kind of tears. I know some people wonder why we're still together. I heard it again in the 2016 campaign: that "we must have an arrangement" (we do, it's called a marriage); that I helped him become President and then stayed so he could help me become President (no); that we lead completely separate... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday morning, October 10, 2017. Conservatives, especially right wing conservatives, don't have political beliefs. Not by their lights. Political beliefs are what liberals have. Conservatives just have beliefs. And those beliefs are simply in what is, and what is, is what God and nature intended. What this means to them is that what they believe is always right and to challenge them is to challenge what's ordained by God. Dissent is disobedience and defiance. To slap it down isn't being political. It's putting things right. So if the players say they're taking a knee during the anthem to protest... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday night, October 9, 2017. I've always like this idea and sometimes I actually believe it. And when I do, I think that people turn to evil when they lose touch with the divine nature within themselves or cut themselves off from it... With garret secured and pen in hand, Thoreau transformed himself from Harvard graduate to Transcendental apprentice. The key was "Self-Culture." To culture, or cultivate, is to make something grow, whether plant, animal, or mind; while they all grow, only humans can turn that principle of culture upon themselves. To be human is to search for one's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday night, October 8, 2017. Rogue and scoundrel Barry Seal (Tom Cruise, left) swaps drugs for information with future dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega at the behest of Seal’s controllers at the CIA in American Made, a modern day pirate movie that tells the true story behind the Iran-Contra Scandal…more or less. American Made takes a relatively minor player in what became the Iran-Contra scandal, puts him in places and situations he wasn't actually in, exaggerates his exploits real and imagined, connects him with just about every historical personage who was even tangentially involved in the events, including people... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Posted Sunday afternoon, October 8, 2017. Their "sincerely held" religious belief isn't some vague notion that contraception is wrong somehow, some way, for some reason. It isn't simply that God doesn't like it. It isn't that it promotes "risky behavior". It's that sex outside of marriage is a damnable sin and within marriage it's only for procreation and women's main, if not only, purpose is to have babies and their husbands get to decide when and how many and everybody who isn't their version of Christian still has to abide by the rules dictated by their sincerely held religious belief. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, October 7, 2017. Melvin Samuels has been coming from Jamaica to our neck of the woods to pick apples every fall for nineteen years. Photo by Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist, for the New York Times. Courtesy of the New York Times. One fall day, making a grocery run, few years back, when our usual supermarket was newly-built and only recently opened for business, I was startled when I went in by the sight of a long line of mostly middle aged black men queued up at the service counter. The startling thing wasn't that they were black. The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday morning, October 6, 2017. It’s not just Trump. Good for Acosta. Donald Trump on Tuesday left CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta baffled, after the president visited the storm-ravaged U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and threw rolls of paper towels at American citizens in need. “It seems when the teleprompter is off, often the wheels come off, and we saw that happen earlier today in Puerto Rico,” Acosta told host Don Lemon. The CNN reporter pointed to Trump’s comparison of the death toll from Hurricane Maria with death tolls from prior catastrophes. “You don’t compare one tragedy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017. Outside Bobby Burrito. Newburgh, New York. Late this afternoon. Wish this was a more dramatic photo with all the flags waving together in the breeze, but the breeze and the flags and my camera couldn’t coordinate. In case you can’t make the first three out, these are, from left to right, the flags of Puerto Rico, Texas, and Mexico, with the Stars and Stripes at the end of the line, flying, as any good Scout will tell you, as it should, a little higher than the others. They’re not being flown by the Subway.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday evening, October 3, 2017. I’m assuming he’s going to all 59 funerals and delivering this as the eulogy… Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has said that Sunday's killing of at least 58 people in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, is “the price of freedom.” O’Reilly, a conservative pundit who was fired by Fox News earlier this year following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, made his comments in a blog post published hours after a gunman shot at concertgoers at a country music festival, leaving more than 500 injured. “This is the price of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, October 2, 2017. Are cows a limited resource? Is there a right to their milk? If there is, does that mean there’s a right to products made from it? Is there a right to ice cream? And what does that have to do with health care, that’s what I want to know. A dairy farm in right-to-health-care denier Senator Ron Johnson’s home state of Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Here I thought we're living in one of the richest nations in history but, turns out, it's a post-apocalyptic dystopia and the ravening masses... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday night, September 29, 2017. “Hugh Hefner and his then-girlfriend, 19-year-old actress Barbi Benton, surrounded by Bunny Girls at the Playboy Club in London in 1969. (AP)” via the Washington Post. Don't want to make too much of this, but I think Hugh Hefner and Playboy contributed to our being stuck with President Trump. Through his magazine empire, Hefner convinced two, even three generations of men they were entitled to lives that included among many pleasures the affections and sexual favors of beautiful young women who would get happily naked for them in the shadows created on the shag... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday evening, September 26, 2017. Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg Battlefield, “The HIgh-Water Mark of the Confederacy,” looking down into the field where Pickett’s division made its charge on July 3, 1863. According to a Virginia State Senator, no Confederate soldier died that day to protect the right of a privileged few to own other human beings. Photo courtesy of the Seattle Times. As you've probably heard, they're having a special election down in Alabama to fill the Senate sat Jeff Sessions vacated to become U.S. Attorney General. Today's the Republican primary runoff, which means today likely decides things, the general... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at 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 Sep 24, 2017 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 Sep 23, 2017 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 Sep 22, 2017 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 Sep 21, 2017 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 Sep 19, 2017 at Lance Mannion