The First American Budget and Tax Law

Years ago, I worked as a congressional staff member on the U. S. budget.  Based on that experience I was invited to teach a graduate course on the U. S. budget at the local college. I was to teach about the American budget and tax law. Teaching about the U.S. budget...

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Science and Knowledge

In the early 1800s Americans supported not only their revolution, but its ideological underpinnings. They esteemed science and knowledge of mathematics as objects of learning and loved asking questions about the natural world and the universe.

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Holidays and History

Historians of the eighteenth century and earlier served the people who paid and employed them.  They arranged the facts to project the elite’s agenda. What they said is not always correct or honest.

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Masks and Feelings

While the surgical masks hide the nose and mouth, they don’t hide the eyes.  People recognize each other mainly by looking at eyes.

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Thanksgiving’s History: A Short Review

Consistent with Thanksgiving's history, this year, 2020, hasn't been one to rave about. Thanksgiving is about remembering that things could be worse and that we should be thankful that we are here. This year, we've survived  a contested national election, an epidemic,...

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Puns and Putdowns in Comedy History

Visual comedy, because it lacked language, couldn’t be personally nasty or insulting.  Astonishing and surprising stunts simply made people laugh.  As a result, when stunts and rough-house weren’t funny, nobody felt insulted. The use of language brought puns and put-downs.

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Comedians of the Past

The comedians of the past began their careers before live audiences. Many were versatile and often could sing and dance as well as tell jokes and stories. Sometime they played musical instruments. They connected to people: their personal characters were on display and didn’t change.  Audiences felt they knew these people, as if they were neighbors or relatives.

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Technology Changes How We Live

Who needs fancy pens when nobody writes letters?  The old companies- Parker, Waterman, Cross- don’t exist any longer. Their brand names now belong to foreign firms that manufacture mostly in China. We communicate through smart phones and the internet.

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Books

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