Our American nightmare: Detroit

I didn’t want to pick the book up, but after I did I couldn’t put it down. Written by Charlie LeDuff, it is called Detroit: An American Autopsy. Detroit, in my youth the fourth largest city in the U.S., currently is on life support, casualty of a cancer in the American Dream. Continue Reading

More talk and more action needed to establish better waste rituals

My father, an Old Country immigrant, had a habit I like to call a ritual. He left the dishwashing to my sisters and the drying to me, but after every meal he routinely escaped to the garden in back with a handful of leftovers––potato peels, eggshells, apple cores, bean tips, and other debris dirt likes to eat––and there he’d dig a little hole with his spade and bury the stuff. Continue Reading

“Insanity” and violence: Thinking about Izola Curry and Martin Luther King

Few recall or know about the first assassination attempt on Martin Luther King’s life. On September 20, 1958, a woman named Izola Curry drove a seven inch letter opener into King’s chest as he was signing copies of Stride Toward Freedom in a Harlem bookstore. King required elaborate surgery and survived the attack, and Izola Curry, a black woman born in Adrian, Georgia, and working as a cook in New York, disappeared from public view. Continue Reading

Corn in the commons

Corn, especially when frozen, bagged and then boiled, leaves me as flat as an Iowa field. In his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan warns that corn, one of our weightiest exports and the primary bloat of our cuisine, gives our nation a long line of wastefulness. When that problem is paired with the poisons in our political air we have something big to worry about, especially if we happened to be on the winning side in the recent elections and are inclined to gloat. Continue Reading

Why liberals lose elections

If most liberals are like me, liberals don’t stand a chance in the November elections. I’m already beside myself about the results, complaining to liberals like me. I don’t like to lose, but I seem to derive ongoing pleasure from complaining about losing. The winners are so wrong about so much they make me feel good about myself.

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Spirit life and diminishing dots

The unveiling of the bronze statue of Minnesota Twins star slugger Kent Hrbek seems star-crossed to coincide roughly with the hundred year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Hrbek was a titanic presence on the baseball field. Who can forget the home run he hit in 1987 (or was it 1991?) that won the World Series final game for the Twins? Continue Reading