Betsy DeVos’s Weird Personal History

In case you haven’t looked carefully at Betsy DeVos’s background in her home state of Michigan, please read this article on the Mother Jones site.  A link appears below. I descended (partly) from Michigan’s Dutch immigrants, so this is a tender subject for me.  The one Dutch relative I knew well was kind, but conservative.  He didn’t make his world very big.  He believed the concrete principle that hard work resulted in success because it worked for him.  He was a Republican who read Reader’s Digest.  He was a good person, but not always easy to get along with because he was strongly … Continue reading Betsy DeVos’s Weird Personal History

Read Them Before They’re Banned

Fewer than two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have shaken up everyone who has good judgment and a basic sense of decency. True, that isn’t everyone.  David Duke is thrilled, but a lot of us aren’t. Many of us have found an outlet, though.  We can register protests, either in person or through some other means. Book lovers have an immediate reaction.  We look for any fiction or nonfiction relevant to the Fascist crap we see coming from the White House. Some recommended titles are The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray … Continue reading Read Them Before They’re Banned

Whichever Way the Wind Blows

In any corrupt movement — as well as in any legitimate movement — there’s always the flakey, flip-flopping individual who moves up the ladder while standing for nothing in particular.  Experienced people will question whether anyone can trust that person.  However, when an ambitious person’s alleged beliefs jump around like a fart in a frying pan, there are occasional moments when gullible people think they see a positive trait. There may be farts we don’t even know about in the Trump Administration’s proverbial frying pan, but if you’re interested in documentation pointing to one suspect please look closely at this screenshot … Continue reading Whichever Way the Wind Blows

Philip Roth’s Perspective on Trump

If you don’t have a copy of the January 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker, please click the link at the end of this post.  Judith Thurman’s article about Philip Roth is available online with no pay wall. Be grateful that some people in this country still read books.  Our To Be Read List has expanded steadily since the election of Donald Trump, and even if we’ve already read those books they’re worth looking at again. Personally, I haven’t yet gotten around to reading The Plot Against America by Mr. Roth, or The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville.  Unless our … Continue reading Philip Roth’s Perspective on Trump

Is Orwell Reaching People Who Really Need to Read His Book? Probably Not.

At the end of this post is a link to a story in The Guardian, reporting that sales of 1984 by George Orwell have increased. This is good news, but I’m guessing most people who are buying the book are already aware of the dangers of Donald Trump’s Administration.  They didn’t vote for him. Trump’s supporters are clueless cult followers.  They have a knee-jerk, flimsy answer to every challenge, and they can’t accept the embarrassing reality that they’re grasping at straws.  They don’t question Kellyanne Conway’s Alternative Facts because their own defensiveness is no better, and they aren’t going to read literature because their … Continue reading Is Orwell Reaching People Who Really Need to Read His Book? Probably Not.

Caution With Protest Messages

Update: Special thanks to @GeorgeBaileyDog on Twitter, who brought a Los Angeles Times article to my attention.  Although some pink hats worn during yesterday’s demonstrations may have come from overseas factories, there was an effort to produce many of them in the United States.  A link to the article appears at the end of this post. The right wing has a way of hijacking messages that are meant to be decent.  Until recently, a sincere person could say, “All lives matter” without acting as an apologist for police officers who shoot unarmed people. Words are powerful, so they’re subject to manipulation.  That … Continue reading Caution With Protest Messages