The Wednesday Curator – 1/13/16

January 12, 2016

The most significant piece of writing the Curator can share this week was heard by millions—and read by not nearly as many—at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. President Barack Obama offered up his last State of the Union address, and it was a humdinger. A true doozy! Tired old noise from the Rs—I’m listening to Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) as I write—but a great, great speech from our president.

The Curator heard no mention of guns during the SOTU, but there was a “girlfriend” call early on and they rule, so maybe I missed a reference. Because guns are never far from the Curator’s mind, however, I was taken with Obama’s Guns Gambit, written by

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The Wednesday Curator – 1/6/16

January 6, 2016

Happy New Year!

Janet Reitman has written Inside Gitmo: America’s Shame for Rolling Stone. Setting up a prisoner camp on U.S. property “not so much” was always about skirting treaties about torture and complying with international law. Shame on Congress for twisting the issue, and leaving a stain on our nation long after the prison should have been shut down.

The Clintons’ Secret Language by Frank Bruni, in the January 5 issue of the New York Times, nails much more than the marriage between Hillary and Bill. When people I knew casually were getting divorced, several years ago, I expressed surprise to a friend who knew them better. She said: “No one really knows anything about someone else’s marriage, do

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The Wednesday Curator – 12/30/2015

December 29, 2015

Curating, for anyone who has not focused on the word, is the act of selecting, organizing, and presenting content. I rely most heavily on the mainstream media, but I wander on occasion. With that introduction, the first selection for the last week of 2015 is a photo, taken from a stopped position at an intersection:


In the spirit of the back page of the New Yorker, the Wednesday Curator is having a caption contest. Post your caption here or on Facebook by 10 p.m., Tucson time, on Monday, January 4, 2016. The winner—Curator’s call—gets one of my Whole Wheat Lemon Pound Cakes. Here’s a picture:


Two worthy pieces caught my eye, both about know-nothings who want to be

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The Wednesday Curator – 12/23/2015

December 22, 2015

Lots of stuff goes viral in the ether, and viral is a relative term. So here’s David Frum’s piece for The Atlantic, The Great Republican Revolt. (I heard or saw at least 10 reference to the story in emails or on FB.) Mr. Frum, who passes for a Republican moderate because, well, think of how far those goal posts moved in 1995 when the Rams moved from Anaheim to St. Louis and you get the picture. Anyway, Mr. Frum—and that other R writer named David, the Brooks fellow, both of whom surely have bubbes who kvelled over them—write very rational words about a political party which is, today, dominated by people whose stock in trade has nothing to do

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The Wednesday Curator – 12/16/2015

December 15, 2015

There are some great periodicals in our world, and it should surprise no one that so many good ones have New York in their name. This week, from the New York Review of Books, here’s Charles Simic with Sticking to Our Guns. It’s depressing, truly, but it’s short and worth your time. So, as it happens, is Looking at Violence in America with A Financial Lens. This NPR piece, from Morning Edition on December 15, has host David Greene talking with Ted Miller from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, about the real cost of gun violence. $235 billion is Mr. Miller’s estimate, and if you listen to the story you must come away believing Mr. Miller

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The Wednesday Curator – 12/9/2015

December 8, 2015

As Blow-hardistan fulminates about the Moslems, reality bites. Donald Trump tells us “you’re going to have many more World Trade Centers if you don’t solve it – many, many more and probably beyond the World Trade Center,” and the real world works mightily to handle a problem which affects every plant and animal on our planet: climate change.* Here’s an informative piece from The Atlantic by Robinson Meyer: What Most People Don’t Understand About Climate Change. And How the U.S. Became an Unlikely Hero at the Paris Climate Summit and Why the Paris Climate Summit Is All About the Money, both by Justin Worland for Time. (The “all about the money” article has been reprinted in the widely

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The Wednesday Curator – 12/1/2015

December 1, 2015

Debbie Elliott handled Montgomery, Ala., Celebrates 60th Anniversary Of Bus Boycott for All Things Considered on Tuesday afternoon. Hearing a reenactment chilled me, and left me feeling the plight of Black people in a way new to me. Ms. Parks was sitting in the first row of the Negro section, with a full-up White section, when more people boarded the bus. Bus driver to Ms. Parks: “Let that man have your seat. Don’t you see him standing there?” Yes, I read the Invisible Man, but it’s the language and the base contempt that hit me, hard. Listen to the story!

I read Challenge the Oligarchy, Paul Krugman’s excellent review of Robert Reich’s new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many,

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The Wednesday Curator – 11/24/2015

November 24, 2015

Peter Beinart wrote Why Obama Is Standing by the Syrian Refugees, posted at The Atlantic on November 23. The path we’ve been following—and remember, the nativism we’ve been witnessing began long before shots were fired in Paris on November 13—should embarrass everyone. Unfortunately, embarrassment does not seem to be evident among a majority of our fellow citizens. President Obama reminds us, constantly, that we must rise above the ugly, and Mr. Beinart documents the situation very well.

Note that nothing about surprise. Jeffrey Toobin explains why the current mood falls well within the contours of our national history, in Two American Answers to the Refugee Question for the New Yorker on November 24.

I very much enjoyed Reimagining Journalism:

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The Wednesday Curator – 11/18/2015

November 17, 2015

The Curator will not be sharing any pieces concerning Friday in Paris, or related matters. Look for a long essay, over the weekend, about the broad issue.

I know many people believe MRW is a Leftie site, committed to lots of bad stuff. (Truly, “committed to lots of bad stuff” is kind, compared with what some say about me and my site, To. My. Face.) Anyway, and in support of Slate—another site that many challenge for its general left of center POV—I offer you Phil Plait’s post, GOP Senators and Representatives Band Together to Combat Climate Change and Its Denial. Mr. Plait calls out Rs who are sensible about science. No, I don’t support Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) because

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The Wednesday Curator – 11/11/2015

November 10, 2015

Happy Veterans Day. Thanks, all of you, for stepping up!

I guess Dr. Ben Carson represents the gift that just keeps giving. Here’s Dr. Ben Carson Is Not Smart by neuroguy for DailyKos. Neuroguy provides as fine an analysis of “smart” as any I think I’ve ever read. For non-clicker, neuroguy is a neurologist who defines “smart” as:

a multifaceted cognitive feature composed of excellent analytical skills, possession of an extensive knowledge base that is easily and frequently augmented, possession of a good memory, and being readily curious about the world and willing, even eager, to reject previously accepted notions in the face of new data. Being smart includes having the ability to analyze new data for validity

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