Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why One Veteran Journalist Warns about Comparing Watergate to Trump's Scandal

by Nomad


As we all grope blindly in the slimy darkness of the Trump scandal, it is perhaps natural that we attempt to make comparisons to the past, for some sort of precedent. And when the topic of a president in trouble arises, the first name that comes to mind is, of course, Nixon in the Watergate debacle.

However, one journalist who witnessed first-hand the presidential contortions and the political chess game back in the 1970s warns that comparisons are misleading for a variety of critical reasons.

Witness to Watergate

Politico's Susan Glasser interviewed veteran journalist Elizabeth Drew, a Washington correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly from 1967 to 1973. Drew was at ground zero when President Nixon's met his Waterloo and kept a real time record of the event. In 1975, she published her account of the Watergate scandal in her book, Washington Journal: The Events of 1973-74.

Her book was reprinted back in 2014 before Trump appeared as a serious presidential candidate. That book, for obvious reasons, is now selling like hotcakes.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Film Friday- "Made in Iowa"

by Nomad


When the main employer of Webster City, Iowa, (pop.8,070) closed down on March 31, 2011, nobody had much hope that the town would survive.
The Swedish appliance maker, Electrolux, like so many companies, had decided to shut its washer-dryer plant and move its production plant to Mexico.
By 2013, with the two-year the government-supported retraining program coming to an end, the news from Webster City was bleak, the future uncertain.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Can You Pass the US Naturalization Test?

by Nomad


Now for a quick diversion from the news.

As part of the process of naturalization for all foreign applicants, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers are obliged to ask at least ten questions from 100 questions. The questions cover basic government civics and the fundamental outlines of US history.
One would think that these questions ought to be a breeze for all American citizens. Want to give it a shot?

Even though I expect perfect scores from my nomadic brigade, I admit that there were a couple I didn't know and a couple I got the answer to only by elimination. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sanity Sunday - Four by Jim Croce

by Nomad

Even though they may not have ever realized it at that time, on 20 September 1973, music lovers lost a rising star. Upon takeoff from an airport in Natchitoches, La, the single-engine plane in which singer/songwriter Jim Croce and five others were riding failed to gain altitude and crashed.
All aboard died.

At the time, Croce was well on his way to fame and fortune.
Tragically, his career was abruptly cut short.

Born in South Philly on 10 January 1943, Croce learned music at an early age. For most of his short life, he struggled to earn a living and music was not a dependable profession. In an interview he once said:
"I've had to get in and out of music a couple of times, because music didn't always mean a living. You don't make that much in bars; I still have memories of those nights, playing for $25 a night, with nobody listening."

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Dangers of Living in an Arrogant Age

 by Nomad

David Hockney

The artist David Hockney once said:
We seem to live in an arrogant age; in fact, the idea that there's not much to learn from the past is rather disturbing. In some ways, we might say we do know more but we seem to have forgotten some things they knew in the past.   
It's an excellent observation, I think. I have no idea what the context of that remark actually was - most likely art- but it got me a bit nostalgic.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dog Eat Dog: A Nomadic Film Review of "The Founder"

by Nomad


Sometimes it is nice to be outsmarted- at least, in the theater.
In real life, it's not so much fun.

Outsmarted is how I felt after watching the film "The Founder." Initially, the 2016 film appeared to be a 2-hour long advertisement (in story form) for the fast-food giant, McDonald's. I presumed it was a kind of publicity campaign to counter the highly critical "Super Size Me."

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Five by The Seekers

by Nomad


Formed in Melbourne in 1962, the Australian pop/folk group, The Seekers were the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Good News Round-up for Week 1- July 2017

by Nomad

Starting this month, as a regular feature, I would like to offer a round-up of some recent  good news. For the sake of our sanity, it is important that we do not too bogged down in the mire and muck of the Trump age. It's easy to forget that the gloom is not global.
Here are five positive diversions.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Five by 2Cellos

by Nomad


In my opinion, there's something incredibly seductive and expressive about the sound of the cello. So. what could be better than two cellos with two extremely gifted musicians playing them?

If you've never heard of the dual 2Cellos, allow me to introduce you. Both accomplished musicians independently, Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, have become something of phenomena by pushing the cello to new levels and attracting new audiences.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Extortion of the Sick: How For-Profit Health Care Has Destroyed US Medical Care

by Nomad

Book Cover

In the past, an armed mugger would offer his victims a stark choice: "Your money or your life!"
That bleak option, in our times, has literally become the business model for the US health care system.

An Inescapable American Burden

Physician-turned-journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal, opens her new book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, with these lines:

In the past quarter century, the American medical system has stopped focusing on health or even science. Instead, it attends more or less single-mindedly to its own profits.
Everyone knows the healthcare system is in disarray. We’ve grown numb to huge bills. We regard high prices as an inescapable American burden.

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