Category Archives: history

Goodbye, Columbus? Not in South Philly.


This is a follow-up to a column Odd Man Out wrote last summer. A bizarre psychodrama was unfolding in South Philadelphia while Swamp Rabbit and I worked a dull sales event in the suburbs. Hundreds of people had gathered to … Continue reading

Posted in history, humor, immigration, mainstream media, Philadelphia | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell to rock & roll’s coolest timekeeper


“All the great ones are checking out,” I said to my neighbor Swamp Rabbit after hearing that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts had died Tuesday at age 80. “It’s the end of an era.” Swamp Rabbit sipped whiskey and shook … Continue reading

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OK, I give up — why were we in Afghanistan?


America’s 20-year war and nation-building experiment in Afghanistan came to a predictably bad end over the weekend. Since then, foreign policy “experts” have been speculating what went wrong, but few are admitting the effort was a colossal mistake from the … Continue reading

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The Year of the Yahoo


“What exactly you mean by yahoo?” Swamp Rabbit said, sounding defensive. I’d just finished telling him that yahoo-ism is a syndrome that’s been trending for years in this country. That the yahoos among us became louder and more conspicuous when … Continue reading

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Wishful thinking, a.k.a. bipartisanship


I told Swamp Rabbit that the country is in a one-step-forward, two-steps-back historical loop, and there’s no reason to believe things will get better anytime soon. He didn’t want to believe this, so I summarized some news stories for him … Continue reading

Posted in climate change, history, humor, mainstream media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hey, let’s appoint Jeff Davis to investigate the Civil War


So Nancy Pelosi tells Kevin McCarthy no, you can’t appoint foes of the democratic process to a committee investigating an attack on the democratic process. She’s referring to Jan. 6, when an angry mob of Trumpers stormed the Capitol with … Continue reading

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Time’s running out, but Biden still won’t voice the f-word


The consensus was that Joe Biden gave a rousing speech Tuesday in Philadelphia that will do nothing to derail voter suppression efforts in red states around the country. So what was the point? I asked my neighbor Swamp Rabbit but … Continue reading

Posted in history, humor, mainstream media, Obama, voter suppression | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A major court victory for the new Confederates (Happy 4th!)


Just in time for the holiday, the U.S. Supreme Court further divided the country with a 6-3 ruling that finished neutering the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a writer for The Atlantic put it: Republicans will understandably view … Continue reading

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For the People Act was dead on arrival. What now, Dems?


I was in a quandary, like other non-Trumpers who are watching the Republican Party’s full-scale effort to strip voting rights from as many Democrats as it takes to ensure future elections are won by extreme right-wingers. One might assume this … Continue reading

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Not forgetting is hard work (a history lesson)


“When was the last time you thought about history?” I said to Swamp Rabbit, who was playing a video game on his phone. “Here, check this out.” I made him read the laughably creepy anecdote that starts Milan Kundera’s The … Continue reading

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