August 2022

In 1797 John Adams was the first of eight Harvard graduates to take the oath of office as President of The United States. Twenty-eight years later, in 1825, his son John Quincy Adams was the second. Of the first seven U.S. presidents the Harvard-educated Adamses were the only two to lose their bids for re-election to second terms. Alert readers...
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July 2022

Forty-five years ago, when Queen Elizabeth II was celebrating her Silver Jubilee, The Sex Pistols, a punk rock band with which some alert readers (ARs) may be familiar, saluted Her Majesty with their own version of “God Save the Queen.” The song, which was originally titled “No Future,” includes the line “She ain’t no human being.” While repeatedly saying the...
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June 2022

One of the more short-lived projects of the Federal Government was the so-called Disinformation Governance Board, which was announced on April 27th and “paused” three weeks later on May 18th. While no charter for the board was ever published, its apparent intended purpose was to identify, control and eliminate disinformation. As of this writing, no date has been announced for...
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May 2022

As this column is being written I’m recovering from having had my right hip replaced on April 8th. If the X-rays are accurate, and there’s no reason to believe they aren’t, I’ll probably have my left hip replaced later this year. In addition, as some alert readers (ARs) may recall, I wrote back in December about having two molars extracted.
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April 2022

Some alert readers (ARs) are undoubtedly familiar with La Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), the narrative poem by Dante Aleghieri that is credited by many with having standardized the Italian language. Some of these same ARs may even have read it in the original Italian, which is still comprehensible to contemporary Italian speakers seven centuries after it was written.
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March 2022

Alert readers (ARs) who are familiar with biblical history may recall that the Sumerian city of Ur, in what is now Iraq, was the birthplace of Abraham, who is recognized as the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although Ur had been abandoned by the fifth century BC, its name survives today as a prefix meaning “original.” In that context...
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February 2022

In February of 2022 hundreds of millions of TV viewers around the world will be watching a spectacle of sport staged by an execrably amoral entity. While some alert readers (ARs) in St. Louis could be forgiven for thinking I’m referring to Super Bowl LVI, which is being hosted by Stan Kroenke, I am in fact referring to the 2022...
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January 2022

A little over 100 years ago Sinclair Lewis published his highly acclaimed novel Main Street. As some alert readers (ARs) will recall, it was a satirical critique of small-minded capitalism and materialism in the fictional small town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. Four decades later Neil Sedaka released his hit single “Next Door to an Angel” with the memorable stanza:
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December 2021

When I was in high school in the 1960s I read an essay by Robert Benchley titled “The Tooth, the Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth,” a humorous account of going to a dentist in 1922. I was recently reminded of this essay while sitting in the office of an oral surgeon who was preparing to extract two of...
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November 2021

Some alert readers (ARs) may recall that back in March of this year I wrote in this space about driving to Eminence, Missouri to get my first COVID shot. I noted at the time that eligibility for the vaccine was one of the better perks of being a senior citizen. Eight months later I’m pleased to report that my advanced...
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