First Right to Protest

We, The Americans, have always held dear the foundational concept of protesting in the public square to express dissatisfaction with the status quo — and to also call others to action to join us against the latest repression at a hand coming down from above us without a velvet glove.

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Perfecting the Pivot

One of the most valuable assets a person needs to acquire, and then put into purpose, is the ability to pivot. Pivoting is not a preternatural human condition, because we are generally bred and trained to always force forward, no matter the peril, to reach any and all final goals at any and all costs — in both human treasure and in the assumption of precious trinkets.

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Blues Grooving with Alabama Shakes

It is always a joy and a delight to discover the roots of a talented new band who clearly cut their groove in live performance.  Alabama Shakes is just that sort of young band.  Their energy and verve are infectious and they achieve the difficult task of sounding both Old School Blues and New Century Groove at the same time.  Alabama Shakes are a younger, if uglier, Black Keys — but with more musicianship and better soul.

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The Genesis of Wisdom

How do we become wise?  Is wisdom a gift, or is wisdom something practiced and acquired?  Does wisdom know any age?  Can a five-year-old child ever be wiser than someone who has lived 85 years?

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Ongoing American Somnambulism and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Today is the bloody, 100-year, anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City.  146 people died in a 18 minutes in a blaze that was wholly preventable.  120 of the victims were either burned alive, or they leapt to their deaths from the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the sweatshop located near Greenwich Village.  The deaths of the mainly immigrant, female workers, was the trigger for the start of FDR’s New Deal.

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Julie Taymor and the Revenge of Spider-man

I have been patiently waiting to write about the $65 million Broadway musical tragedy that is currently known as “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” — but since the show may never officially open — the time is now to take a look at the ridiculous flop of a fantastic idea.

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Another Shooter, Another Death, at the University of Texas

Forty-four years ago, a man named Charles Whitman terrorized the University of Texas campus when he climbed up into the school bell tower and went on a sniping rampage, leaving 16 people dead and 31 more people wounded.

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