ArchiveJanuary 2021

What good luck, what bad Luck


One of my favorite children’s books is called What Good Luck, What Bad Luck by Remy Charlip. On alternating pages, we follow the vicissitudes (a Fancy Nancy word, another of my favorite books for kids) of the book’s young protagonist. It goes something like this: What good luck! John was invited to a birthday party. What bad luck. The party was in Paris and he was in New York What good luck! A...

Howard Zinn: A tribute


“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives…If we remember those times and places…where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the...



Unless watching Rachel Maddow every night meets the definition of an addiction, I don’t consider myself particularly prone to them. For a while I smoked cigarettes, probably a Level B or C addiction. How I put it behind me is a story worth telling because it demonstrates the unorthodox ways in which people decide to abandon activities that aren’t good for them. The path isn’t always the one...

New year’s eve


Every religion has holidays (holy days) that contain prescribed rituals, prayers and texts, but there are also holidays that have more secular roots and come unadorned with any ground rules. Such is the case with Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I was thinking about this last night, New Year’s Eve, as we enacted rituals that are deeply rooted in our family history. They may bear some resemblance to...

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