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Running on Air off a Cliff: The Coronavirus and the Real World

Here is what I wrote last June 19: There is a longstanding cartoon routine of someone running off a cliff. The figure may be human or an animal and it is almost always male. The figure runs straight off a cliff and then appears to be running on air. The laws of gravity are suspended […]

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Hoax Claims 5000 Dow Jones Points: No Miracle in Sight

White House press spokesperson Sean Spicer today announced that President Trump’s Dow Jones drop was bigger than Barack Obama’s. In fact the biggest individual financial loser in American history now may be the biggest stock market loser in American history as well. White House fabulist Kellyanne Conway said you do not even need alternative facts […]

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Political Texts of Terror in the Book of Judges

  “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” Greta Thunberg, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, […]

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Do Monuments Matter?: A Monumental Question

On March 2, 2020, the Paul Mellon Lecture program “Reimagining the Role of Monuments in a Changing World” was presented by World Monuments Fund and the Museum of the City of New York. I was in Albany then for Parks Advocacy Day (which will the subject of a future blog) and was unable to attend […]

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March 5, 1720: Reliving the Boston Massacre

The American Revolution is upon us. While at the Federal level, the commemoration is likely to be limited to July 4, 2026, in Philadelphia, the actual 250th anniversaries have already started and will continue until November 25, 2033, when the British finally evacuated New York City and the United States. This commemoration will be different […]

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Spartacus, Local History, and Local Newspapers

Kirk Douglas died earlier this month. He, of course, is best known for his role as Spartacus. You may wonder what he has to do with local history. Douglas was born in 1916 in Amsterdam, NY. That city in the Mohawk Valley had an important role to play in the creation of this blog back […]

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Where Will Mitt Romney Caucus in 2021?

The Senate is in play. In the 2018 election the House was in play. The majority party predicted a Red Wave would sweep through the House and it was right. The vaunted Red Wave cleansed the country of hundreds of Republican officeholders at the local, state, and federal level. Congressional representatives who didn’t feel the […]

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1619: The New York Times versus USA Today (and Hamilton)

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, USA Today had a special supplement “1619: Searching for Answers.” This 12-page insert was far shorter than The New York Times magazine version last August. It also has received far less attention. Unlike The New York Times product, there was no attempt here to replace July 4, 1776, with 1619, […]

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