This Week in the Blog 3-26-18

This week Penny offers opinions on the trend to diminish the requirements for liberal arts studies in universities (link) and the dangers to our country of segregation then and re-segregation now (link).  Both will get you thinking and may inspire you to continue...

Parallel Planes: Parallel Lives

By Penny Smith In geometry, a plane is a flat, two-dimensional surface. Parallel planes may extend forever, but they never intersect. So much of American history is made up of parallel planes. For example, I just finished reading Preston Lauterbach’s The Chitlin’...

What I’m Reading, 3-26-18

By Penny Smith Joe Bageant, Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir. Melbourne, Australia: 2010.  I read Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus recently (See “What I’m Reading” for February 11, 2018) and compared it to the currently popular Hillbilly Elegy. As luck would have it,...

On Ending the Liberal Arts in College

By Penny Smith Last week the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced that it was considering eliminating 13 humanities majors, including English and History. They would be replaced by “clear career pathways.” The announcement echoes an earlier attempt by...

This Week in the Blog 3-19-18

If you are craving some political commentary, check out Penny Smith’s What I’m Reading post for this week.  There are three summary reviews that will confirm your suspicions and put eloquent words to your outrage. Penny also continues her baseball theme...

LIFE LESSONS — MY FIRST CAR: PARENTS ARE SOMETIMES RIGHT

By Penny Smith In 1961 my father retired from the Air Force. With a friend he briefly considered opening a Par Three golf course in pre-Disney World Winter Park. However, like many men with his set of skills and experiences, he transitioned to the military arms...

John Jordan O’Neil: One of My Heroes

By Penny Smith Countdown: If it’s Monday, March 19, 2018, it’s ten days until opening day. Play ball!  I first encountered Buck O’Neil in a couple of baseball history books, but he became real to me in Ken Burns’ baseball series. O’Neil frequently comments on this,...

What I’m Reading, 3-19-18

By Penny Smith Jane Mayer, “The Man Behind the Dossier: How Christopher Steele Compiled His Secret Report on Trump’s ties with Russia,” The New Yorker (March 12, 2018): 48-65.  In many ways Jane Mayer is a national treasure. A staff writer for The New Yorker, she...

This Week in the Blog 3-12-18

There are another three wonderful reads in the Blog this week.  Penny has read another book by David Kay Johnston, The Making of Donald Trump, which peels back whatever facade is left on the president to reveal the real person.  However, the best reason to read this...

Arrogant Donald and the 2018 Election

By Penny Smith I’m on a David Cay Johnston kick at the moment, having read It’s Worse than You Think last week. I just finished The Making of Donald Trump this week. The book is a campaign anti-Trump biography, hoping to take The Great Pretender (TGP) down a couple of...

Forty-Two

By Penny Smith The laziest reader of Douglass Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy knows that “42” is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. There was even a book published on the tenth anniversary of his death, 42: Douglas Adams’ Amazingly Accurate Answer...

What I’m Reading — 3-12-18

By Penny Smith David Cay Johnston, The Making of Donald Trump. New York, 2016.  See the article about Donald Trump posted on this same blog date.    Theda Skocpol, “Can Marches Become a Movement?: Lessons the Tea Party holds for the left today.” Democracy (on...

JCDP Strategic Plan – Draft

Following is the nearly final draft of the Jackson County Democratic Party 2018 Strategic Plan.  You are invited to review it and offer comments or suggestions to the head of the Strategic Plan Committee, Eric Myers at et.myers51@gmail.com. Download the PDF file...

This Week In the Blog 3-5-18

What IS a “political termite?”  According to Penny Smith’s investigative blog article this week, political termites are as unpleasant and destructive as they sound and they are systematically destroying our government.  Just another example was...

Beware Political Termites

By Penny Smith You’re going to hear this term a lot, particularly as we get close to 2020. Attributed to David Cay Johnson (see my summary of his most recent book, It’s Even Worse than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America on the “What I’m...

Middle Class Bind

By Penny Smith According to Robert Reich and a number of other economists, over the past several decades income inequality has significantly increased in the United States. Particularly stressed are people in the middle, who “play by the rules.” The standard of living...

What I’m Reading, 3-5-18

By Penny Smith David Cay Johnston, It’s Even Worse than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018.  David Cay Johnson is a prolific writer of books, essays and newspaper articles. Recently, he has become one of...