Naimisha Forest

Emancipation Day 1905 - and 'The Strange Career of Jim Crow'

Silvrback blog imageFrom the Washington Post of April 4, 1905:

“Richmond, Va., April 3 -- Thousands of Negroes observed Emancipation Day in Virginia today. The occasion resulted in an outpouring of the race never before equaled, armed with miniature United States flags and attended by brass bands.

"In addition, there was a unique feature to-night, . . .

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December 21, 2017

The spectacle of skill

Silvrback blog imageTo watch Simone Biles win four gold medals for gymnastics at the Rio Olympics was to feel a special emotion, an abundant admiration for the sheer spectacle of skill. She might (or might not) be quite undistinguished in everything else she does, and  gymnastics may do nothing to solve hunger or climate change, and yet to do this one . . .

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December 19, 2017

Women soldiers of the Afghan National Army

Silvrback blog imageAdmirable women trainee soldiers of the Afghan National Army ... photos from the Boston Globe's 'Big Picture' site.

'Kabul’s military training academy is churning out classes of enthusiastic women to serve in Afghanistan’s army, but the realities of rising violence and a conservative society make the future for the young . . .

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December 18, 2017

Get off me, Cato, you idiot!

Inspector Clouseau and Cato ... comment would be superfluous. 

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Posted in: comedyfilm

December 17, 2017

Walter Russell Mead on the American Political Crisis

In early 2016 historian Walter Russell Mead wrote a prescient analysis of the American political crisis that was to burst fully into the open only some months later, with Donald Trump’s victory in the November presidential election.  I vaguely recalled Mead’s brilliant description of the enormous elite interests lined up . . .

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December 16, 2017

English Humor

In his book on Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton says that the figure of the cockney Sam Weller in ‘The Pickwick Papers’ introduces the great subject of all Dickens’ novels, the English people:

Silvrback blog image"Sam Weller is the great symbol in English literature of the populace peculiar to England. His incessant stream of sane nonsense . . .

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December 16, 2017

I want to be Swiss in my next life

It’s too late for this lifetime, but in the next I’ll start early on the project of migrating to Switzerland.

Silvrback blog imageNot that the Swiss will make it easy for me.  In a 2014 referendum they exercised their national sovereignty by voting to introduce quotas on immigration, a move at odds with an earlier agreement with the European . . .

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December 15, 2017

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