O Captain! My Captain!

On the evening of April 14, 1865, 153 years ago today, an unhinged actor named John Wilkes Booth murdered the President of the United States of America in cold blood. He would, himself, be shot to death several days later.

“Life Mask” of Abraham Lincoln

Walt Whitman wrote his “most famous” poem about it, “O Captain! My Captain!” which was widely reprinted and has since been widely anthologized and collected — mostly because, unlike Whitman’s better poetry, it rhymed. Continue reading


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Friday the 13th War: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Trump has, as anticipated, launched air strikes in Syria, after making fatuous comments to the nation.

U.S. launches missile strikes in Syria
Washington Post

President Trump ordered a military attack against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday, joining allies Britain and France in launching missile strikes in retaliation for what Western nations said was the deliberate gassing of Syrian civilians.

I’m sure there’s no wag the dog here. No distraction from his legal woes.


What could possibly go wrong?

We’ll see.


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Good News for Sirhan Sirhan

Charlie’s last mugshot (PD)

Too bad Charlie Manson died last year. Otherwise, it looks like he’d have a great chance at a Donald Jong Trump pardon. A Friday the Thirteenth special from Trump.

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Pardon of I.  “Scooter” Lewis Libby
The White House

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I.  “Scooter” Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, for convictions stemming from a 2007 trial.


In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said….

This was disgraced ‘journalist” Judith Miller, who went from her firing by the New York Times to happily toeing the Faux Nooz company line as a paid GOPagandist. This is, significantly, not noted, along with the little notion that she was merely one of EIGHT witnesses whose testimony convicted Scooter before a unanimous jury of his peers.

But who expects facts from the Trump Beige House? Continue reading

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Professional Writing Tip

Writing Tips #1.

Last of a very short series:


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For Those Journalists Who Have Lost Their Way

“A free press should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice and corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy for the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare,”

– Joseph Pulitzer (That “prize” guy.)



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Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
~George Orwell, Animal Farm

Our latest visit to Room 101 (from Orwell’s 1984) comes to us, courtesy of those fine folks at Sinclair Broadcasting:

Sinclair allows critical ad to air, sandwiched between its defense
Brian Stelter / CNNMoney

Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to air a commercial from a liberal consumer watchdog that’s critical of the broadcaster’s actions. But there’s a catch. The company is running its own message right before and after the ad. So viewers are seeing a 15-second defense of Sinclair, then 30 seconds of criticism, then another 15-second defense….

Yes, chilluns. I have never seen this kind of immature and demagogic behavior in my six decades plus, but perhaps, in some backwater of Utah or Texas or Arizona it transpired. Still, consider: they’re going to take the money, but then they’re going to UTTERLY repudiate the ad, because, as they say in their “defense”: This station, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, is proud to present both sides of issues. Continue reading

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April 7, 1862 The Union Wins @ Shiloh + Drawings

April drawings.

This was an intentional meditation on the time we’ve come back to. And last night/this morning was the anniversary of the formation of one of the great military partnerships, under a peach tree at a place called Shiloh in 1862.

More below the fold.

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