Articles
Hal Holbrook and Clara Clemens Samossud Print E-mail

Hal Holbrook As Samuel Clemens As Mark Twain(Times of San Diego March 20, 2021)

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, among the greatest and most widely read authors in history, is known everywhere by his pen name, Mark Twain. This was the nom de plume Clemens adopted in 1863 as a frontier columnist for The Virginian, a Nevada newspaper. There, he wrote satires and caricatures, bald hoaxes and ironic stories of the wild pioneers he met and whose tales he embellished even further. His writerly persona came alive when he began lecturing and yarn spinning from a podium.

Over time, his lowkey delivery, his deft timing, coupled with the wizened bumptiousness of a country orator in a white linen suit, captivated audiences in America and Europe, and on world tours. No one has embodied America, in its feral enthusiasms and its institutional hypocrisies, better than Clemens. Dying at 74 in 1910, he played Twain—rather, he became him—for 47 years.

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I Assert the Right to Live Free from Disinformation Print E-mail

Covid a Lie(Times of San Diego January 28, 2021)

For those of us who classify ourselves as Nones—about 27 percent of the population, a broadminded, semi-coalition of nonreligious people—we must often remind the God-fearing that our goal is to live free from the fake martyrdom of those who say their right to worship and proselytize their faith is being denied. The allegation of censorship that many religions promulgate against the nonreligious has been a reliable untruth since the nation’s founding. But it seems never as hyped as it has been recently.

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Fair Is Foul, Foul Is Fair: Trump's Final Soliloquy Print E-mail

birth cert(3QuarksDaily November 30, 2020)

In a statement made to MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” April 11, 2011, Donald Trump continued to promote his fake "birther controversy" against President Barack Obama; he falsely quoted Obama’s “grandmother in Kenya who said, ‘Oh, no, he was born in Kenya and I was there and I witnessed the birth.’ She’s on tape,” Trump went on. “I think that tape’s going to be produced fairly soon. Somebody is coming out with a book in two weeks, it will be very interesting.”

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Masking the Unmasked: A Modest Proposal Print E-mail

image(Times of San Diego June 28, 2020)

Has it really come to this?

The “Freedom to Breathe Agency” is issuing “face mask exemption” cards, which state that the bearer is not required to wear a mask as it’s a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course, ADA officials have granted no such exemption. Such is just one of countless desperate idiocies in which half of Americans won’t wear masks, believing the requirement treads on their individual rights.

OK, the unmasked have individual rights. What’s that got to do with a pandemic, which is, end of June, becoming tsunamic with more than 45,000 new cases each day, the majority now among the young?

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Bunker Baby Brandishes Bible Print E-mail

TrumpHoldingBible(Written June 2, 2020)

Wait a minute. What is this thing?

Ivanka has just given Barbie, my new press lady, this thing to give to me and said I should stand here and hold it up for camera guy in front of the, what is this, in front of God’s house.

I said it feels like one those classy 365-day calendars, leather-bound edition. Then someone said, no, sir, it’s a book. Of course. I know that. It’s The Art of the Deal.

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We Need to Protect Against Covid-19 As If It Were (Far Worse Than) Gun Violence Print E-mail

cov gun(Times of San Diego May 2, 2020)

When citizen caravans storm state capitols with parades of motorized force and mask-free rallies, asserting the people’s right to assemble, I don’t reach for my gun. I don’t keep a gun; I’m too afraid it’ll go off. Instead, I reach for my pen—it’s much mightier and safer, history tells me, in times of civil unrest. Such parades to reopen “our country,” Trump-code for his country (bikers, truckers, corporate execs, and the one percent), are an odd sight: A freely assembled protest to agitate for free assembly is a contradiction; besides, few have been cited or arrested for violating stay-at-home orders.

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After a Century of Animal-Borne Viruses, It's Vegetarian Time Print E-mail

Caged civet for sale in Jatinegara Market(Times of San Diego April 11, 2020)

Let’s begin with the 1918 flu pandemic.

The likely source of the virus were the piggeries and poultry farms that surrounded the encampments of British and German soldiers in France during World War I.

Next is AIDS, which probably began in New York City (as the “junkie fever”) in 1977, spread by shared needles, later, by sexual contact.

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