Goodbye to All That

by W.D. Ehrhart I have had a very long, though unusual, career as a teacher. I first entered the classroom as a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle teaching freshman composition in 1977. Later I taught high school for a year, then went off to write a book. I taught high school for another two years, then spent several more years writing books. I taught high school for three more years when my daughter was born, then returned once again to writing books. All three of those high school jobs ended badly because, though I did great with the kids in …

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

by W.D. Ehrhart Let me get this straight. The United States military, using our tax dollars of course, has begun air-dropping humanitarian aid packages into Gaza while the Israeli Defense Forces continue to pummel Gaza with bombs and artillery shells paid for with U.S. money—our tax dollars again—provided to the Israeli government. So the U.S. is concerned about civilian suffering in Gaza, but has so far vetoed United Nations ceasefire resolutions three times? Does this seem strange to anyone other than me? No, not strange. Cockamamie. Schizophrenic. Stark raving nutso. It’s like one of those kindergarten picture puzzles where there’s a fish in a tree …

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Smart Fish Don’t Bite

For John Prados Only the stupid ones who get caught,gutted, beheaded, filleted, and eatenfried or poached or boiled or broiled,pickled in brine, fed to porpoises rawat Sea World, canned for family pets. The smart ones just keep swimming.You’ll never meet an intelligent fishbecause they don’t take the bait,though they never seem to go hungry. My friend Gary Metras loves to fish;ties his own flies, pulls on his wadersand heads for his local river severaltimes a week, rain or shine, year-round.Strictly catch-&-release. Lucky fish,but not very bright. He tells mehe often catches the same fishmultiple times. One of these days,the guy with the rod won’t be …

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A New Strategy for Biden

by W.D. Ehrhart With Ron DeSantis’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential field, and Nicki Haley’s defeat in New Hampshire, it seems that only an act of God will prevent Donald Trump from returning to the White House. Joe Biden was already an old man when he accepted the nomination for president in 2020. He got the nomination because he was perceived as the only Democrat who had a chance of defeating the ignorant, narcissistic, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, criminal, immoral, amoral, reality-starring grifter who’d been occupying the White House for the previous four years. Uncle Joe won the presidency only because he was not the ignorant, …

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More Unsung American Heroes

by W.D. Ehrhart Back in 1970, after the Ohio National Guard murdered four college students at Kent State University, I set out to understand what had happened to me and my country in Vietnam.  In the process, I stumbled upon the history of my own country.  More than a half a century later, I’m still learning. I recently wrote an essay called “Unsung & Oversung Heroes” occasioned by a biography of Elizabeth Jennings titled America’s First Freedom Rider, in which I discussed significant Americans that history has largely forgotten or never recognized in the first place. And the very next book I happened to read, …

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Unsung & Oversung Heroes

by W. D. Ehrhart I was reading a book recently by Jerry Mikorenda called America’s First Freedom Rider. It tells the story of Elizabeth Jennings, a young school teacher in New York City who on a Sunday morning in 1854, while on her way to the church where she was the organist, was physically hurled by the conductor and the driver from the streetcar she tried to board because she was African American. Jennings, who later became Elizabeth Jennings Graham by marriage, hired a lawyer, sued the streetcar company, and won. The young lawyer who took her case was Chester A. Arthur, then an idealistic …

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