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Richard Erlich
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"Nation" v. "Republic," Russians, Trump, and "Smoking Guns"
On whether or not there's a "smoking gun" in Donald Trump's involvement with the Russians as candidate and/or President—and whether Americans should care: The US "Pledge of Allegiance" to the flag lumps together the US as "one Nation under God" and "the Rep...
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HAIL TO THE VICTORS ... VALIANT? — Trump, Tribalism, Emperors, and Aristocratic Thugs
WORKING "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."  — College football coach Red Saunders  (often attributed to Vince Lombardi), 20th century What is wisdom? What gift of the gods is held in honor like this;  to hold your hand victorious over the head...
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Trump, Sessions, Timing — and Climax of Epic Film, THE LUBYANKAN CANDIDATE!!!
LUBYANKAN CANDIDATE Production Notes FROM: Natasha F., Executive Producer TO: Boris, nobody in particular (and associate producer) DATE; 7 November 2018 Subject: Re-re-rewrite: Climax Boris — Get those semiliterate hacks you call writers chained to desks ag...
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Politics and Teaching: Writing the English Language
Once upon a time, in the last third or so of the 20th c., I had a conference with a student who had started an informal essay, "Since the beginning of time, Man ...." Now, a line like that had been used in TV deodorant commercials a bit earlier, so I found ...
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Yo, Leftish Atheists — Cool It for a Bit: Organizing Against Trumpism
WORKING/DRAFT “Be diligent in the study of Torah, and know how to answer an Epicurean.” —      Rabbi Elazar,  Pirkei Avot (Sayings of the Hebrew Fathers) And an Epicurean scientific materialist should know how, and when not to, answer a rabbi. —      Rich E...
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Trump and the Transgendered, 21 October 2018
‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence  Under Trump Administration — New York Times Two Comments * I doubt there are that many transgender people under the authority of the US that this is a big practical issue for the American State or People. The...
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The Data Deluge Revisited: Junk Mail Fall 2018
I was on the road and had my mail held 28 September to 18 October, except I got a stuffed mailbox today, 17 October, with, I assume the rest to be delivered tomorrow. The physical mail came in at 2.2 kg, nearly 5 pounds, almost all mass mailings. Some 520 e...
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Sentiment and, and vs. Morality: In Praise of the Triage Nurse
WORKING             If you have to have your dissertation topic “anticipated,” it’s nice if it’s done by a really classic old essay; maybe not so nice if it’s anticipated rather casually as a kind of side-chapter in a book in, mostly, another field. In any ...
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Vic and Jerry and “Frat Boys Need Not Apply”
            Vic and I were the political equivalent of what one of my fraternity brothers had years before called “ bundling -board buddies”: associates on the anti-War Left in the late 1960s and 1970 at the U of Illinois (Urbana) and that far “in bed toget...
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The Dog at Reese
            I told this story repeatedly — possibly obsessively — for years. I needed to shape it into art. Not necessarily good art, but art: a story, a narrative, a made thing outside of myself, outside of me, something I could then deal with as part of m...
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