Wattree's picture

    Frederick Douglass

    Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

    Frederick Douglass: America - Through the Eyes of a REAL Black Man


    Don't Reform the Supreme Court

    http://media.komonews.com/images/Supreme+Court+Cellpho_Cata+copy.jpgIn the aftermath of the ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby (and a few other decisions), there are some who are calling for reform of the Supreme Court.  In May, Norm Ornstein in the Atlantic makes a compelling case for term limits, and links to another Atlantic article by David Paul Kuhn a few years back about the increased polarization of the Supreme Court in recent times.

    barefooted's picture

    Personnel File

    Good morning, employee. I am the Benevolent Overseer of Subservient Subordinates. You may refer to me as BOSS. I understand that you and the other female employees have some questions, and I am pleased to address your concerns. However, bear in mind that while your time is at my disposal your speech is strictly limited, so keep your input to a minimum. Proceed.

    You wish to lodge a what?

    barefooted's picture


    Reparation. It's a word that elicits gut reactions and knee-jerk commentary. It serves as a blanket to both cover our ills and comfort our transgressions. Yet its fabric cannot repair or replace broken dreams or tears shed long ago. History cannot be changed. But can the glaring holes in the blanket be stitched with inferior threads by a shameful country? Case in point:

    bslev's picture

    The War to End all Wars -- Lessons Learned, Lessons Pondered

    One hundred years ago to the day, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was shot and killed along with his wife Sophie, while touring the city of Sarajevo.  The assassin was a 19 year-old Serbian nationalist, and of course this was the spark that precipitated the First World War.  Austria responded with a series of demands that Serbia could not comply with, Germany stood by Austria, Russia by Serbia, and France by Russia (the latter alliance prompted by France's humiliation in a war against Germany back in 1870).  

    Prez: "Impeachment? Bring it, suckahs!"

    It is widely held that John Boehner's latest bit of clowning (the impending lawsuit over executive action over reach) is a desperate attempt to placate the impeachment hawks in his caucus.

    We Know It When We See It

    I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.
        —Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964), regarding possible obscenity in The Lovers.

    This past weekend was the 50th Anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision on Jacobellis v. Ohio, in which Justice Stewart included his opinion that utilized the (now possibly over-used) expression “I know it when I see it.” Later he would state:

    “In a way I regret having said what I said about obscenity -- that’s going to be on my tombstone. When I remember all of the other solid words I’ve written…I regret a little bit that if I’ll be remembered at all I’ll be remembered for that particular phrase.”

    Wattree's picture

    The "Brilliance" Game, and How it Works

    Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree


    Wattree's picture

    The Very Silent Black Majority



    The Very Silent Black Majority


    Giddy up, Horse

      I assume that anyone reading this notices, like most Americans who are either literate or have a TV, or who listen to drive-time AM radio, that we are heavily involved in the Middle East. We have at least a general knowledge of how the last thirty years or so have played out. If we are intellectually honest [IMO] we admit and acknowledge that the USA has no business being there as an influential power except for the business of business.

    Richard Day's picture


    Mike has asked us to contribute to his blog site.

    I don't have any money; but $1200 a month with rent at 364 leaves me with more money than I have seen (started in 2012) for a long time.

    Richard Day's picture


    You do not really live longer, it just seems longer.

    (GB Shaw)



    YER OUT!

    Wattree's picture

    Blues For Mr. 'C' on Father's Day

    Beneath The Spin*Eric L. Wattree

    Looking for Mr. Goodcure

    As I commented on one of Maiello’s blogs: “Annie Hall is still one of my favorite movies, in part because it treats relationships in a sentimental but unsentimental way that is rare in the movies. But it also has some of the best off beat humor.” One scene that I didn’t mention in the comment was a conversation between Singer and Hall when they first started to get to know each other:

    Annie Hall: Oh, you see an analyst?
    Alvy Singer: Yeah, just fifteen years.
    Annie Hall: Fifteen years?
    Alvy Singer: Yeah, I’m going to give him one more year, and then I’m going to Lourdes.

    I’ll be honest that until I began working on another blog using this quote (which about a year ago), I had no idea as to what “Lourdes” was a reference to. I assumed it was probably some kind of place like the Vienna Circle, except it was place with the current top-notch psychologists or neuroscientists of the day.  In other words, that particular part of the joke went over my head.  It turns out that Lourdes is

    ...in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in south-western France,…[where] The Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous on a total of eighteen occasions [said to have occurred between 11 February and 16 July 1858]….To date, 69 miracles cures have been recognized, to have occurred and certified by the Lourdes International Medical Committee which has been in  existence since 1947.

    Wattree's picture

    To Professor Claude Henschel and All Other Social Bigots - You’re Only Fooling Yourselves



    To Professor Claude Henschel and All Other Social Bigots - You’re Only Fooling Yourselves

    Kidnapping in Israel

    Three students hitchhiking home from their yeshivas in the West Bank have disappeared, believed kidnapped.  Links:



    Hitchhiking, though officially frowned upon, is widely practiced in the West Bank because of the inadequacy of public transport.

    Wattree's picture



    "Don't buy this book; don't read it!" Slate's advice on Hillary's latest opus...

    John Plotz (He of the unfortunate last name...) sums up the judgement of Slate's political gabfest team in re: Hillary Clinton's recently released presidential campaign tocsin  memoir.While the verdict of the panel (Plotz plus the estimable Emily Bazelon and beautifully-mothered John Dickerson) is of interest (they ultimately conclude that the book is intended to freeze the competition while Hillary mulls things over), the best moment yet to proceed from this literary event is (IMHO) the intrusion into R


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