The Last Resort: Woke and Sleep

by Albert Vorspan   SOMEHOW, I am always out of step with the spirit of the times. For example, in the 1960s our kids were hip and dressed in ragamuffin clothes, with hair down to their knees. My wife Shirley and I marched with them for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam, but we […]

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Bella Abzug and Women Strike for Peace

Bella Abzug, along with co-founder Dagmar Wilson (not Jewish), launched Women Strike for Peace (WSP) on this date in 1961, when some 50,000 women, mostly middle-class mothers of young children in over sixty communities, demonstrated to demand that President John F. Kennedy “End the Arms Race — Not the Human Race.” This was prompted by the […]

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Fantasyland vs. The Counterculture

by Lawrence Bush Discussed in this essay: Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, by Kurt Andersen. Random House, 2017, 462 pages.   WHEN MY SON Jonah was about 8, he articulated his first generalization about human beings, based on his perceptions of our none-too-diverse community in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. “Dad,” he said, “I think there […]

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Highways of Racism, from Charlottesville, VA to Hartford, CT

by Richard Greeman   A WELL-RESEARCHED article by John Eligan in the August 18 New York Times goes beyond denouncing the symbolic racism of Charlottesville’s Confederate statues to expose the more pernicious structural racism embedded in the separate-but-unequal physical segregation of the city. Ironically, this segregation was imposed, not during the rise of the KKK in the 1920s, but […]

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Nixon’s Surgeon General

Jesse L. Steinfeld, a professor of medicine who became the country’s eleventh Surgeon General during Richard Nixon’s first term as president and used his office to challenge the tobacco industry, died at 87 on this date in 2014. Dr. Steinfeld was a top official at the National Cancer Institute under President Johnson before becoming Surgeon General in […]

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The Short Season

HUSTLING FULL-TIME IN THE CATSKILLS by Elliot Podwill   MY PARENTS BLUNDERED badly in 1945, a year after I was born. They lived in what is today the South Bronx, and my father made the long commute to Brooklyn to work in the huge Navy Yard. The war years brought him prosperity as a welder of […]

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One Fine Day at a Stoned Soul Picnic

Two songs made into hits by black vocalists and written by white Jewish songwriters were released on this date in 1963 and 1968, respectively: “One Fine Day,” recorded by the Chiffons and written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin; and “Stoned Soul Picnic,” recorded by The Fifth Dimension and written by Laura Nyro. “One Fine Day” hit the top five on the Billboard […]

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Building the Myth: Capitalism = Democracy

by George Salamon “[T]he liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the Democratic State itself.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt, address to Congress, 1938 WE REACHED that point years ago. A 2014 study by two political scientists concluded: “[O]ur analyses […]

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Be Here Now

Spiritual explorer and writer Ram Dass, whose 1971 book, Be Here Now, introduced many, many baby boomers to meditation, mindfulness, and Eastern spirituality, was born Richard Alpert in Newton, Massachusetts on this date in 1931. Alpert partnered with Timothy Leary in conducting experiments with LSD at Harvard University, where both were faculty members ; they […]

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