Ramona's picture

    Harper Lee: You Don’t Know Me

     More than 50 years ago Nelle Harper Lee wrote a book called “To Kill a Mockingbird”.   It was her one and only book and it is a masterpiece, but the story behind it has always been a tantalizing enigma.

    Through the years there have been rumors that her best friend and neighbor, Truman Capote, edited her writing so much, by rights he actually wrote it.

     

    Ramona's picture

    Hate And The "Patriots": Like Watching One Long Horror Movie, Wondering Who Dies Next.

     

    In an insightful article about the upsurge in anti-government hate groups and the murderous rampages they spawn, John Avlon calls them "Hatriots"--those people claiming that true constitutional patriotism requires them to disavow, disown, and destroy the United States government--and anyone who g

    Ramona's picture

    Derange Wars: The Cliven Bundy Story

     

    There is a rancher out in Nevada named Cliven Bundy who has been using government land to graze his cattle. His family has been doing it for what seems like ages, always paying their grazing fees to the Federal government, but some 20 years ago the Feds told him he had to move his cattle off a section that was protected.  He quit paying his fees in protest but he didn't move his cattle.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Breaking: Man, 47, denies gravity; Debates, TV specials scheduled

    CLEVELAND - UPS driver Tim Johnston woke up one day last week with a feeling of dread. A feeling that things just weren't right. So often he felt this way but never spoke up about it. But this time, he wasn't going to let it pass. This time, he was going to speak out.

    Ramona's picture

    The Story: Pentecostal Snake Handler refuses help and dies. My Reaction: Surprising, even to Me

     

    For days now, since I heard about the death of Jamie Coots, the snake-handling preacher from Middlesboro, Kentucky, I've been struggling with my own thoughts about it.  There is no reason in the world why I should be involved in any of it.  I didn't know him.  I had never before heard of his church.  And I didn't know before this weekend, when I read about his death, that he had been the star of a National Geographic Channel series called "Snake Salvation".

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    Ramona's picture

    Why Self-Help Almost Never Is

    Here’s the thing about self-help:  If you’re reading a book or an article about how to fix your current miserable existence, or listening to a self-described “expert” tell you and hordes of others how to fix it, it’s not even close to being self-help.

    It’s not that these folks don’t want to help you.  They do!  They really, really do!  The goal is to help you to let go and try their tactics on your own. (But not to such a degree that you won’t be buying their next book or watching their next program.)

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    Ramona's picture

    Ted Nugent: Obama is Still President. I've Let The Country Down

     

    Let's face it, there is no shaming that bad boy, Teddy "The Nuge" Nugent, the "Motor City Madman",  proud

    Ramona's picture

    It's the Ego, Stupid

     

    Yesterday New Jersey governor Chris Christie took 108 minutes out of his busy schedule to do something so unprecedented there wasn't a pundit anywhere in the country who wasn't on top of it, who didn't have an opinion about it, and who, almost to a person, saw it as the beginning of the end of that lovable bully.  No White House for you, big guy!

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    Ramona's picture

    What's in a Name? Depends on Who's Calling It.

     

    Over this past week I packed and cleaned and wore myself out getting ready for a long trip toward the places where I'm hoping merry holiday spirits abide. It would be a cruel trick if they didn't.

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    Ramona's picture

    The Terrible Horrible No Good War on Happy Holidays


    I’ve been sending out Christmas cards since I was around 16 years old, when my mom told me I was old enough to start sending out my own cards.  The cards I chose over the course of many,many, many years depended on a lot of things, but it never occurred to me—ever–to wonder if my choice of card would offend anyone.
     

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    Ramona's picture

    How to Stop Ted Cruz? Stop the Presses!

     

    Ted Cruz, that notorious commie-hunting senator from Texas channeling a certain notorious mid-20th century commie-hunting senator from Wisconsin, is just one in a long line of rock star politicians who think they've latched onto the best way to get their cockamamie ideas across:  Get out there and make shocking accusations

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    Ramona's picture

    Julian Assange Lost Big Time. Look Out, Australia!

     
    WHEN asked to explain why he was running for a seat in the Australian Senate while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Julian Assange quoted Plato: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” 
     
    Plato was “a bit of a fascist,” he said, but had a point.
     
    Imagine the chagrin Mr. Assange must feel now, given that not only did he fail to win a place in the Senate in the recent election, but he was less successful than Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party. Mr. Muir, who won just 0.5 percent of the vote, is most famous for having posted a video on YouTube of himself having a kangaroo feces fight with friends. 
     
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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Genghis Speaks: Journalism in the 21st Century - Blogs and Social Media

    Hello folks. I'm sorry you haven't heard much from me lately. My nose is pressing hard against the proverbial grindstone as I race to finish my book by October. It has a new title, by the way...

    Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt and the Republican Rebels Who Created Progressive Politics

    In the meantime, I'd like to share a video from a journalism conference that I participated in last January at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Historians have eagerly anticipated the release of this raw, unscripted Q/A session, which offers new insight into the mind of the Blogger Formerly Known As Genghis during the pivotal period before he achieved worldwide fame and fortune.

    The subject of the panel discussion is "Journalism in the 21st Century: Blogs and Social Media."

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A Tale of Two Newspapers

    Everyone's talking about Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Post. But it's also been a dramatic week for two newspapers close to my heart in different ways: The Boston Globe and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Two days ago, The Globe, like the WaPo, was sold to an individual billionaire with a high profile. Today the Plain Dealer, which has not been sold, stopped delivering the newspaper. It will still be printed every morning, but it will only be delivered three days a week.

    Ramona's picture

    FRIDAY FOLLIES: Bachmann's Adios, Hitler Tea Kettle, Michigan Dreaming, and Scandalous Cheerios

     

    Michele Bachmann to leave Washington to spend more time with her "family".  Prompts the resurrection of FRIDAY FOLLIES.  (What?  Every Friday?  Uh. . .we'll see how it goes.)

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Blogging Like Chaucer

    I love academic bloggers. Academic bloggers worry me sick. And the bloggers who keep me up at night are the ones who have adjunct or alt-ac jobs but are trying to move to the tenure track. Some of those people are using blogs and social media to advance their careers in ingenious ways which I would never have foreseen. But others seem, at least from my vantage, to expect or hope that their online work will help their career in specific ways that it will not and cannot. Being online can help an academic career. But it's important to be clear about what it can help and what it can't.

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    Ramona's picture

    Six Things Media Personalities Could and Should Avoid when Covering a Disaster

     

    On Monday, May 20, a devastating monster of a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma; the second category 5 tornado to hit this little town. (It happened before on May 3, 1999, with 44 deaths.) Reports coming in today, the day after, state it was two miles wide, of colossal, possibly even record-breaking, proportions.

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    Ramona's picture

    A Psychic Got it Wrong. Who Knew?

     

    As if it wasn't enough this week that three young women held captive and terrorized by a madman were found alive after 10 long years, we now learn that in 2004, celebrated psychic Sylvia Browne made an appearance on celebrated sinceremeister Montel Williams' television

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Satire killed in suicide bomb attack

     

    NEW YORK — The writing style of satire was blown up in a suicide attack at its home in the upper West side of Manhattan. Snark and Snide Disregard were also injured in the attack and are currently in intensive care.

    Satire, which gained prominence via writers like Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, has struggled to find its footing recently in the Internet-driven world, as more and more satire is associated with mindless attacks, sophomoric humor and the oft-imitated “Breaking” news story. Satire reached a low point recently when the magazine “The New Yorker” hired Andy Borowitz, who then proceeded to write the exact same story 175 consecutive times.

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