Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

    Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Harvard and David Hogg

    Parkland survivor David Hogg, one of the most talented of that talented crop of activists, just got into Harvard. I’m happy for him. He was immediately attacked on social media by haters who called him unqualified. But he is a perfect example of Harvard’s long-standing admissions process, the “holistic” method they’re currently being sued over. That method is once again favoring a white kid. But it’s a reasonable and smart decision by Harvard.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    We Never Should Have Had Military Forces in Syria in the First Place

    The collective wisdom seems to be that President Obama blundered when he drew a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then did nothing when Assad’s dictatorship crossed it.  I remember things differently.  I look at it through the lens of all the things that didn’t happen.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    My First Short Story in a While

    As previously mentioned, I have a new short story out this month: my first in 21 years. I am very happy about this. And, as promised, here's a taste and a link to the full piece. I hope you enjoy it.

    The thing that broke your heart was, he could still fly. Nothing else to call it. There he was in those silly clothes, going wherever he pleased and not falling, as if gravity were just some tired social pretense and he’d grown too old to bother. But it wasn’t the same.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Dag Needs Some Culture

    I know most of you know Natasha Gural, friend to Dagblog and delightful political radical.  What you may not know is she is one of the best writers about art and culture out there today, and has for too long been without a venue.  Well, no more.  Natasha was selected to join the Forbes contributor network and will be writing as many as seven stories a month about art and the art world.

    Now We Know: Hillary Was A Great Candidate

    There are many more details to come out of our continuing political saga, soap opera, meltdown, but at this point we have enough details to know what should have been suspected all along: Hillary was a great candidate.

    This doesn't mean she didn't make a bunch of mistakes - whom among us has not?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nobody Misses the WASPs

    "Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success, that sent men like Bush into combat alongside the sons of farmers and mechanics in the same way that it sent missionaries and diplomats abroad in the service of their churches and their country."

    This is hilarious.  Of course it's Ross Douthat because, what other self-hating Catholic and devotee to slave morality would write a column about how much the U.S. needs and misses the old line New England WASPs that used to specifically exclude Catholics like him from high society?

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Writing Short Fiction, Then and Now

    I used to write short stories. Then, for many reasons, I stopped writing fiction. Today I had my first story published in more than twenty years. (It will be posted on the web in two weeks, and I will link to it then. If you can't wait, the issue's for sale here.) More stories may be along; we'll see. If it takes another twenty-one years, I'll have something to look forward to in 2039.

    It's a little strange returning to an art form after two decades away. One of the things it means is that in my old stories, no one has e-mail. Most people didn't. Or cell phones. Any temptation to dredge up old pieces is held at bay by the fact that they've become historical fiction.

    So what else has changed?

    Michael Maiello's picture

    GM Owes the Country an Apology and at least $11.2 Billion

    That GM is laying off 15,000 people and closing five plants in the US when it owes its very existence to the generosity of U.S. taxpayers is blatantly unforgivable.  The story here is really simple: GM got paid off, its US workers got laid off.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    If It Cries in Terror, It Doesn't Lead

    Last night I was on the Twitter and started seeing photos of children on Mexico's side of the border with the United States running from clouds of tear gas. The photos I saw were distributed by Reuters and it was clearly reported that tear gas had been fired into Mexico by agents of the U.S.

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