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December 17, 2017

History

Trump and the Division and Turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars

On this day in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of France, taking the Charlemagne replica from the hands of Pope Pius VII and placing it on wife Josephine’s head. He also took the titles King of Italy and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine before reversals of fortune and war found him in

The German Tirpitz “The Lonely Lady of the North”

On November 12th in 1944, a flight of 32 British Lancaster bombers equipped with “Tallboy” ordnance scored two direct hits on the infamous German battle wagon Tirpitz, sending her to the bottom. Like her sister ship Bismarck, the Tirpitz was armed with a main battery of eight 15-inch guns in four twin turrets. After a

Feudal America

This month’s Atlantic Magazine has a depressing little article about how the idea of America—the set of beliefs that animated people like Whitman, Emerson, and Thoreau—appears to be disappearing with each passing generation, leaving only a dry husk of nationalism, racism, and xenophobia in its place. According to the article, on a scale of 1-10,

Christopher Columbus “Dick Moves”

On many calendars in the Americas and elsewhere, Monday marked the celebration of Columbus Day, or “Día de la Hispanidad.” Columbus actually “discovered America” on October 12, 1492, and herein lies our lesson. At about 2:00 in the morning of 12 October, a lookout on the Pinta, Rodrigo de Triana, spotted land, and immediately alerted

A Line Has Been Crossed

This nightmare will soon be over. A line has been crossed. Now, there is no plausible way to salvage the Trump presidency. Impeachment or resignation will not be enough. Either result would remove one person from power, but every member of the administration has been implicated in the cover-up – or worse. They are all

We Must Live Together As Brothers, Or Die Together As Fools

  On April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis TN to have dinner with colleagues and discuss the march planned in support of the striking Memphis sanitation workers. Seconds later a single shot was fired and sparked what may go down as the bloodiest and

Fiddling While Rome Burns

My younger son has become obsessed with the Broadway musical, “Hamilton.” He listens to the soundtrack constantly and has started committing lyrics to memory. We’ve watched many video clips of the show and interviews with its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. One of the things Miranda says about his show, which has a multi-ethnic cast and incorporates

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