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Writer & Historian

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Musings

White Supremacy Rising – A Book Review

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February 5, 2019
White Supremacy Rising – A Book Review

White Supremacy Rising Eli Saslow, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist (New York: Doubleday, 2018). I am only beginning to learn about the sadly enduring impact of slavery and the persistent influence of racism in the American political system. Rising Out of Hatred has helped me recognize the death...
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When Editors Let Trump Decide –An Excerpt

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January 26, 2019
When Editors Let Trump Decide –An Excerpt

Jill Lepore has shown herself to be one of America’s more insightful, probing, and analytical writer-historians. Her latest article in The New Yorker (January 28, 2019), “Hard News: The State of Journalism,” proves the point: “The broader problem is that the depravity, mendacity, vulgarity, and menace of the Trump Administration have put a lot...
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Old People’s Socialist League

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January 6, 2019

Socialism with hope . . . and good humor, too. Those who recall chuckling their way through John’s Sayles’s 1979 story The Anarchists’ Convention will enjoy reading about the OPSL.
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Signs of Bad Times – Living in America Series

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July 9, 2018
Signs of Bad Times – Living in America Series

A scan of New York Times headlines for July 8, 2018, reveals several signs of deteriorating times. So much for mother’s milk  The United States delegation to the World Health Organization opposed the promotion of mother’s milk as healthiest for children, thus “embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers,” reports the Times. “The Americans were...
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Mad Man of B.C. Advertising – A Book Review

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July 4, 2018
Mad Man of B.C. Advertising – A Book Review

Robin Brunet, Let’s Get Frank: Canada’s Mad Man of Advertising(Madeira Park, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018), 232 pages, $29.95. Anyone who watched the award-winning TV series Mad Menwill be equally discomfited with the advertising industry as depicted in Let’s Get Frank, a biography of Vancouver advertising tycoon Frank Palmer. Perhaps tycoon is too strong...
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Why America Doesn’t Work – Living in America Series

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April 24, 2018
Why America Doesn’t Work – Living in America Series

We recently saw an Oregon Contemporary Theater production of Buried Child, the 1978 play about family dysfunction by the late American playwright and actor Sam Sheppard. In my ways it is a multi-layered statement about what’s wrong with America. In the program notes, Sheppard offers this view of the history of his country: “I...
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Black Panther Revives 1960s Memories

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February 23, 2018
Black Panther Revives 1960s Memories

Black Panther, the box office wonder of the moment, is garnering praise from many quarters and it deserves the kudos. . .for a super-hero flick, that is. Ignoring my usual tendency to avoid super-hero anything, I bought tickets to a theatre with those comfy reclining seats, slapped on a pair of 3D goggles and...
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State of the Union – What About the Mom?

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February 1, 2018
State of the Union – What About the Mom?

Trump’s first State of the Union address (Jan. 30, 2018) was expectedly filled with half-facts, false claims, and theatrical tricks designed to support various right-wing causes. They all stood out for their sheer opportunism, but one puzzled me more than the others: what did the police officer do about the opioid-addicted mother of the...
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The Post – A Film Review

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January 31, 2018
The Post – A Film Review

Steven Spielberg is the quintessential Hollywood movie director. He’s often too patriotic for my liking – Saving Private Ryan comes to mind – but sometimes he chooses topics that go beyond patriotism to real cinematic studies of historic events. The Post, about the risky publication of the Pentagon Papers, is one of those. It...
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American Expansionism Under Polk – A Book Review

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January 30, 2018
American Expansionism Under Polk – A Book Review

American expansionism is an ever-present threat in many parts of the world. Wherever, the United States has chosen to impose its democracy on a country in conflict, those populations suffer horribly. One of the early examples came in the form of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, revisited in Peter Guardino’s The Dead March (Harvard,...
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Books

Venice Observed - A Travel Booklet with Photos by Ron Verzuh Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh