We’ll See What Happens

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“We’ll see what happens” is one of President Trump’s favorite phrases. His trademark talk and tweets contain a limited vocabulary of words and phrases, which he slots together in seemingly random combinations. How many times have we heard “believe me,” “that I can tell you,” “amazing,” “sad,” and of course “no collusion”?

But “we’ll see what happens” is in a class by itself when it comes to strange Continue reading “We’ll See What Happens”

Fall on your Knees

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When you google the words “Christian iconography kneeling” the first image that comes up is Fra Angelico’s Annunciation painted on a wall of the Friary of San Marcos in Florence. The Angel Gabriel appears before Mary in a loggia. He kneels, bent forward on one knee as a sign of respect and reverence towards the woman chosen by God to bear his Son. I googled these terms out of confusion that the current national debate concerns the act of kneeling viewed as a sign of disrespect. For most of recorded history the exact opposite has been the case. Continue reading “Fall on your Knees”

We’ll Always Have Pittsburgh

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Americans used to love Paris. There’s even a song about it, something about springtime and fall and drizzles and sizzles. George Gershwin wrote a whole musical on the theme. He thought Paris ‘S wonderful! American literary types used to hang out in Paris and get inspired to write Great American Novels. Paris was on every American’s bucket list. It was the epitome of Romance. But no more. President Trump broke up with Paris bigly. Continue reading “We’ll Always Have Pittsburgh”

The Impeachment of Hillary Clinton

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Perhaps the most shocking thing, out of all the shocks that have battered us since the inauguration of President Trump, is the complete lack of responsible reaction from Congressional Republicans. Beyond a few bleats of “troubling” and “concerning” there is only evasion, excuses, or silence from those charged by the Constitution with checking and balancing the Executive Branch. Many commentators have drawn comparisons to Watergate when Republican leaders acted as patriotic statesmen, putting country before party. Today’s Republicans make us wonder, how would they have reacted if Hillary Clinton had been elected and behaved in precisely the same way as President Trump?

To find the answer I enter the British Police Box in my basement armed with a “subtle Continue reading “The Impeachment of Hillary Clinton”

Gambling on Trump

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The boardwalk was deserted on this bright spring day, a solitary security guard with nothing to do staring out to sea. Behind her an enormous empty building loomed. We were in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where my husband was attending a Credit Union Association conference. Quite why credit unions, known for encouraging saving and financial responsibility, should choose to meet in a casino resort is a bit of a puzzle. But when I learned where we would be going I had one goal in mind, not playing the odds, but making a pilgrimage of sorts to the Continue reading “Gambling on Trump”

Trump Hall

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Literary and historical analogies to the new administration in Washington have been flying as fast and indiscriminately as the hastily scribbled Executive Orders fly from the Oval Office desk. 1984, Brave New World, The Plot Against America, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany (you know, the ones who perpetrated a Holocaust against everybody), a banana republic, a tin-pot dictatorship, the Fall of Rome. Pick your favorite dystopia. All have had their moment as the metaphor du jour. But since the shocking events of this past week and the rise of Stephen Bannon as the power behind the Throne I can’t help thinking of the Tudors. Henry VIII and his henchman Thomas Cromwell, the protagonists of Hilary Mantel’s brilliant novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Continue reading “Trump Hall”

Coping

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My Happy New Year greetings have been somewhat muted this year. It’s hard to envisage future happiness when the entire fabric of the space/time continuum is about to unravel. And that’s just the winter weather forecast. What is happening in the nation’s capital today is on quite another level of awfulness. Like a driver passing a traffic accident I don’t know whether to stare at the carnage or avert my eyes.

So I do what I always seem to do in moments of crisis. Retreat into history. I find Continue reading “Coping”

Alternate History

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Can history make a mistake? Can it veer off track from what was meant to be? That is what it felt like late on the night of November 8th 2016. The inevitable future foretold by prognosticators of every persuasion, the inexorable progress towards a society of more fairness and inclusion, the final shattering of that glass ceiling empowering women everywhere. But it was not the crack of broken glass we heard. It was the sound of history cracking apart, suddenly lurching off those gleaming rails and plunging into an unknown darkness. Continue reading “Alternate History”