While Democracy dies in Darkness WaPo dies of Embarrassment

The Washington Post’s recent editorial on Facebook’s censorship campaign is embarrassing, not just because of its use of cliches. “a rising chorus,” its lack of logic (mentioning but not explaining how Louis Farrakhan fits into an editorial on white supremacy), but also because of its outright praise of Facebook’s censorship. The newspaper that boldly implies it is protecting democracy by shining light on darkness has written an editorial which states that Facebook’s removal of Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan and others from their platform “is encouraging.” Continue reading “While Democracy dies in Darkness WaPo dies of Embarrassment”

Facebook & Free Speech do not Mix

Censorship is the strongest drive in human nature; sex is a weak second.” Phil Kerby.

Facebook fascismFree speech and facebook—oil and water—they don’t mix. I am not a fan or follower of the people facebook just banned from their social media platforms: Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson and Louis Farrakhan, but I oppose the banning of these people from facebook and instagram for a number of reasons: Continue reading “Facebook & Free Speech do not Mix”

The Defamation of Kate Smith by the Yankees Flyers Black Activists & the Media

In the 1930s, the Yankees did not allow black ball players on their team. In the 1930s, a young Kate Smith sang two songs, that would be classified as racially insensitive today, as part of her role in two movies. Now the Yankees with their 2019 hindsight have decided they can’t use a Kate Smith rendition of “God Bless America” at their games because she sang those songs back in the 1930s when the Yankees discriminated against black players. The Philadelphia Flyers have gone further and removed her statue from in front of their arena. Continue reading “The Defamation of Kate Smith by the Yankees Flyers Black Activists & the Media”

Vanity Fair Beto O’Rourke & a Library Without an Aura

Vanity Fair’s puff piece on Beto O’Rourke, published nearly simultaneously with O’Rourke’s announcement that he was running for President of the United States, says more about the author of the piece than it does about O’Rourke. My interest in the piece was limited to its description of O’Rourke’s library, which author Joe Hagan described as follows:

“Behind the door, in the O’Rourke living room, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf contains a section for rock memoirs (Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, a favorite) and a stack of LPs (the Clash, Nina Simone) but also a sizable collection of presidential biographies, including Robert Caro’s work on Lyndon B. Johnson. Arranged in historical order, the biographies suggest there’s been some reflection on the gravity of the presidency. But there’s also some political poetry to it, a sense that O’Rourke might be destined for this shelf. He has an aura.”

Obviously Hagan is not a real book lover. If he were, he would have given us a much more detailed description of O’Rourke’s library. The most impressive book mentioned is “Robert Caro’s work on Lyndon B. Johnson.” Actually, the biography is a series of books—four to date and still not complete. Caro’s biography of Johnson is one of the best biographies I have ever read. One volume, Master of the Senate, won a Pulitzer. Continue reading “Vanity Fair Beto O’Rourke & a Library Without an Aura”

Jelly Bean’s Library

Note: This is the first of a series of posts that will appear from time to time dealing with personal libraries, whether real or fictional.

In his short story, “The Jelly Bean,” which appears in the collection, Tales of the Jazz Age,  F. Scott Fitzgerald describes Jim Powell’s bedroom above Tilly’s garage, where he works part-time, in a fictional Georgia city of 40,000 people.

Tales of the Jazz Age
Cover of the First Edition. Wikimedia Commons

“It was a cheerless square of a room, punctuated with a bed and a battered table on which lay half a dozen books—Joe Miller’s Slow Train Thru Arkansas, Lucille, in an old edition very much annotated in an old fashioned hand; The Eyes of the World by Harold Bell Wright, and an ancient prayer book of the Church of England with the name Alice Powell and the date 1831 written on the fly-leaf.” Continue reading “Jelly Bean’s Library”

All the lonely people Where do they all come from?

*Please note that the following essay does not apply to my regular customers, or new customers who have serious questions about books, prices, etc. I enjoy conversing with my regular customers, new customers, people traveling through, etc.

There are a lot of lonely people in upstate New York, mostly men, whose loneliness seems to be self created, drowning the people nice enough to lend them an ear in a tsunami of words and whose own ears are stopped up so they never know what you are saying even if they come up for air, which they rarely do. They seek out small business owners and sole proprietors, monopolizing their time, sometimes buying something, most of the time not. Continue reading “All the lonely people Where do they all come from?”

On Selling a Revolutionary War book to the CIA

The CIA had a problem. The world’s most powerful spy agency with its own military, bigger than most militaries in the world, owed me $5.53 but couldn’t figure out how to pay me. It would take more than three years for them to solve the problem. They had toppled governments in less time.

It all began in August 2011 when the CIA’s Open Source Center ordered a $100 book from me. I shipped it to them on August 5. On August 9, it was returned to me stamped “REFUSED.” Continue reading “On Selling a Revolutionary War book to the CIA”