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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Let’s Get Real

by W.D. Ehrhart Yes, the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7th was unspeakably brutal, inhumane, merciless, without a shred of mitigation. War crimes were committed, crimes against humanity. There is no way to justify or excuse what happened that day to thousands of innocent civilians, some 1,200 murdered, another 240 kidnapped, countless others forever traumatized. Meanwhile, between October 7th and the day I’m writing this (December 18th), NBC News reports almost 20,000 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in response to October 7th, 70 per cent of them women and children. The Israeli military admits to accidentally killing three of the hostages …

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I Pledge Allegiance…

by W.D. Ehrhart Way back in 2006, a few years after the 9/11 attacks, I was teaching at the Haverford School for Boys. Our a cappella choir, the Notables, was hosting a companion choir from a school in Denmark, and each choir member hosted a Danish boy. One morning, one of my students told me this story: He and his Danish guest were driving to school when the Danish boy asked Neal if the day was some sort of holiday. Neal replied that it wasn’t. The Danish boy asked, “So why are there so many American flags all over the place?” The American flag has …

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