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  • Originally published 09/29/2013

    Let's Drink to Good Grades

    Students think of college as a opportunity to improve social skills and network, not study.

  • Originally published 08/20/2013

    Historian Richard Toye: Many thought Churchill drunk during wartime speeches

    Winston Churchill's powerful speeches have long been credited with helping to win the war, but one leading academic says there is 'little evidence' his oratory inspired the British to beat Nazi Germany.Professor Richard Toye also claims that the Second World War leader's 'finest hour' radio address, one of his most famous, lacked impact 'because many people thought that he was drunk'.The University of Exeter academic claims in a new book that Churchill was not a decisive influence on the nation's willingness to fight on against Hitler when Britain was almost on its knees in 1940.His research also found that when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, one Londoner said his rallying speech was 'f****** bull****' and a 'f****** cover-up'....

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    The Real Problem with Putin's Russia: Vodka

    Now that the bear is angry again, let's not lose sight of the fact that Russia faces an almost unprecedented public health crisis due to chronic alcoholism.

  • Originally published 07/24/2014

    Review of Claire Conner’s Wrapped in the Flag

    I recently posted a review at Amazon of Claire Conner’s Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right. (The paperback edition changed the subtitle to What I Learned Growing Up in America’s Radical Right, How I Escaped, and Why My Story Matters Today.) The review begins below and continues under the fold. The review unfortunately is buried within a stack of over a hundred favorable reviews. But anyone who wants to read it at Amazon can go here. Then if you find it worthy, you can click the button that says the review is helpful and move it up in the queue: I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite myself. The author, Claire Conner, entertainingly interweaves a personal story of her growing up with parents who were avid and prominent members of the John Birch Society with a history of the Birch Society itself. I am only four years younger than Conner, and my own story has many intriguing parallels to hers. My parents never joined “the Society,” as its members referred to it, but they (particularly my mother) became what could be called Birch Society “fellow travelers,” involved in right-wing politics after the election of 1960. Many of their friends were Society members. I therefore imbibed much of the same literature as Conner, listened to similar public lectures, and was taken to and participated in similar events. She and I both, for example, were peripherally involved in the 1964 Goldwater campaign.