Review: The director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate

By John Ruberry Over the last few years I've been encountering snippets here and there about how that 1981 movie bomb, Heaven's Gate, was in fact, a better film than the reputation that surrounds it. After the success of The Deer Hunter, which gained him a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar, Michael Cimino, the … Continue reading Review: The director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate

That Time When Capitalism Beat Racism’s Butt

R.I.P. Sears by baldilocks A great epitaph for an old friend. Monday’s announcement that Sears would file for bankruptcy and close 142 stores came as little surprise to anyone who has followed the retail giant’s collapse in recent years. Still, the news inspired a wave of nostalgia for a company that sold an ideal of … Continue reading That Time When Capitalism Beat Racism’s Butt

Review: Kathryrn Bigelow’s “Detroit”

By John Ruberry I was out of town in July when Detroit, the movie about the destructive 1967 riot and a police attack on a small group of guests at the Algiers Motel, hit the theaters. Directed by Kathryrn Bigelow, who is best known for Zero Dark Thirty and the Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker, … Continue reading Review: Kathryrn Bigelow’s “Detroit”

Report from Louisiana: The Cost of Removing History

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT  --  Let me open this week by apologizing for missing my post last week; a friend of mine died suddenly and the funeral was Monday. It all happened so quickly that I never even thought about my post here until Wednesday.  Note:  if you are a diabetic, please take care of … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: The Cost of Removing History

History of Puppeteering

by baldilocks Right now, I’m reading Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. (Actually, I’m listening to it, via an audiobook copy checked out from the Los Angeles Public Library. As I’ve said many times before, audiobooks allow multitasking—driving, riding, working out, cleaning the house, etc.) Since I’m only at … Continue reading History of Puppeteering

Series review: Hell on Wheels

By John Ruberry "So you'll be paying yourself to build a railroad with government subsidies." Sen. Jordan Crane to Thomas "Doc" Durant. "These are exciting times. You and I are opening the way for the greatest nation the world has ever seen." Major Augustus Bendix to Cullen Bohannon. "See him driving those golden nails that hold together … Continue reading Series review: Hell on Wheels

Mission accomplished: Animal activists close Greatest Show on Earth

By John Ruberry Last night Feld Entertainment, the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus since 1967, announced that it is pulling up stakes and shutting down the circus for good. For a very brief period I was one of its center ring performers. More on that later. Steeped in history more than any … Continue reading Mission accomplished: Animal activists close Greatest Show on Earth

(Review) The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball

By John Ruberry As this decade winds down you can look for many 100th anniversary articles. They'll be a huge uptick of them next year to mark the centennial of America's entry into World War I, followed by more on the armistice that concluded "the war to end all wars" in 1918. The execution of … Continue reading (Review) The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball

Rest in peace, Nancy Reagan

By John Ruberry Nancy Reagan died this morning at her home in Los Angeles. The former First Lady, who had been ailing in recent years, was 94. Ronald Reagan in the last year of his presidency said this about his wife: What do you say about someone who gives your life meaning? What do you … Continue reading Rest in peace, Nancy Reagan

The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered, Too

By: Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – My ancestors on my mother’s side were originally from Castile, Spain; they settled in Natchez, Mississippi and then moved to Rapides Parish in central Louisiana where they were landowners and planters. One of those men was Joseph Welsh Texada who was a captain in the 8th Louisiana Cavalry and fought … Continue reading The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered, Too

Fear of a Trump planet

By John Ruberry Unless you have been living in a spider hole without access to a computer or a television, you are of course aware of the Donald Trump phenomenon. Without spending much money, his or anyone else's, the real estate billionaire has vaulted to the top of the Republican presidential polls. Whether he is … Continue reading Fear of a Trump planet

‘Tis the season for attacks on Christopher Columbus

By John Ruberry As with atheist attacks on crèche displays on publicly owned land that happen every December, 'tis the season of political assaults on Christopher Columbus. Monday is Columbus Day, which marks the Genovese explorer's discovery of America; the federal holiday is also an unofficial celebration of the contributions of Italian-Americans to our nation, individuals such … Continue reading ‘Tis the season for attacks on Christopher Columbus

On Independence Day, let’s thank Caesar

Not Julius Caesar, but Caesar Rodney of Delaware, Rodney was a leading patriot in his colony, a member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, a formative member of the Delaware Committee of Correspondence, a military leader in the colonial militia, and a delegate to the Continental Congress from formation until 1777. The following year he … Continue reading On Independence Day, let’s thank Caesar

Gay marriage: Another reason Muslims may want to reconsider emigrating to America

By John Ruberry Like it or not, same-sex marriage is the law of the land. As a conservative with libertarian leanings, I favored civil unions for gays for years, in essence, marriage in all but name. What is now called traditional marriage reaches back into pre-history--social norms should not be thrown overboard so quickly. As … Continue reading Gay marriage: Another reason Muslims may want to reconsider emigrating to America

The latest battle in the long leftist war: The anti-police protests

By John Ruberry In David Horowitz' pamphlet Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution, the onetime leftist remarked, "An SDS radical once wrote, 'the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.'  In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, … Continue reading The latest battle in the long leftist war: The anti-police protests

Ronald Reagan’s glorious autumn of 2014

By John Ruberry Ten years after his passing, the legacy of Ronald Reagan still resonates. The Gipper has had a phenomenal autumn. Eight days before Election Day, the 50th anniversary of Reagan's A Time for Choosing address arrived and it reacquainted Americans with the 40th president's core values--and for younger voters it exposed the fallacies … Continue reading Ronald Reagan’s glorious autumn of 2014

Community rallies around Michigan teacher suspended for showing blackface video

By John Ruberry During a lesson on Jim Crow laws and segregation in his Monroe, Michigan history class,  Allan Barron showed a video of white men performing in blackface. Unfortunately for the 59 year-old instructor, who is retiring at the end of the school year, an assistant principal was sitting in on that lesson. The … Continue reading Community rallies around Michigan teacher suspended for showing blackface video

History in a Post-American World

by Linda Szugyi So I'm finally getting around to reading a book my dad gave me awhile back. The Land That Never Was is a nonfiction account of a self-aggrandizing Scot who, in the 1820s, swindled large numbers of people out of large amounts of money by inventing an imaginary Central American nation and appointing himself ruler of it. … Continue reading History in a Post-American World

What You Think You Know

by baldilocks Sometimes it’s a letdown when you get a great idea for a blog post and you find that someone else has already done such a great job with the topic, that you feel you can’t possibly match it. Such was the case as I was thinking about how many accepted “facts” we hold … Continue reading What You Think You Know