I spotted a name in Google News I had forgotten: Howard Johnson’s. If asked, I would have guessed that this formerly ubiquitous chain had disappeared. Apparently not. Two restaurants remain.
Before the days of wall-to-wall franchises, this was always a trusted spot near home or on the road. I cannot recall how many times I ate at or slept in a Howard Johnson’s. I believe the last time was in El Paso, a day’s drive from Killeen, Texas, on the long road west. For some strange reason, I can still picture the place, with it’s orange roof. This was a familiar sight and trusted brand, when traveling across the country.
For those with a nostalgic bent, the following might be interesting:
I agree with everything Bernie Sanders says. I would vote for him.
Sadly, he does not stand a chance against the money that buys politicians!
Something bright, colorful, and non-controversial (even for Evangelicals, Fox News fans, and anyone with a different opinion)...
This is an excellent piece about an historian/author I do not know, Tony Judt. That said, the guy was intelligent and expresses many thoughts that I have been unable to put into words. His assessment of the French/German relationship is insightful, spot on, and rarely expressed (or understood) by others. And, like me, he liked the European railways.
Late in the article, the reviewer writes “…adventurism of U.S. policy comes from ignorance of the suffering caused by war…” and then provides the following quote.
The United States today is the only advanced democracy where public figures glorify and exalt the military, a sentiment familiar in Europe before 1945 but quite unknown today. Politicians in the United States surround themselves with the symbols and trappings of armed prowess; even in 2008 American commentators excoriate allies that hesitate to engage in armed conflict. I believe it is this contrasting recollection of war and its impact, rather than any structural difference between the United States and otherwise comparable countries, which accounts for their dissimilar responses to international challenges today. Indeed, the complacent neoconservative claim that war and conflict are things Americans understand—in contrast to naive Europeans with their pacifistic fantasies—seems to me exactly wrong: it is Europeans (along with Asians and Africans) who understand war all too well. Most Americans have been fortunate enough to live in blissful ignorance of its true significance.
Anyone wishing to understand headlines about US involvement/concerns about/conflict with Ukraine, Russia, China, Iran, etc. or why the US opposes, for example, the planned Chinese international financial body must merely digest the following:
As the original Wolfowitz Doctrine, enunciated in the 1992 “Defense Planning Guidance,” put it in the aftermath of the Gulf War:
First, the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.
The entire piece is well worth reading for everyone, except fans of Fox News…
Humans have not evolved much, despite roaming this planet for hundreds of thousands of years.
I read that an event in which two men pound each other in a ring until one succumbs will generate one billion dollars.
Disasters bring out the best and the worst…
So many want to help others, but almost many want to help only themselves. Of course, money makes a difference: all foreign Mount Everest “tourists” were the first to be evacuated, because they could afford helicopters. Few helicopters were available to help the local population in a country where almost all roads were destroyed.
On the absurd side, governments are often the worst enemy of the people. Dogs are the best tool to find people buried after an earthquake. Many countries have sent specialist teams. At least one team (from Germany) has been held up from searching, because the local government wants to have the animals cleared by medical examiners to ensure that they have no diseases. These geniuses must not know that disease is spreading in the country because of unfound bodies.
White guys in camouflage, supporting white guys in police uniforms, facing off against black citizens. Equipment looks similar, but we all know about the militarisation of the police in the Land of the Racism and the Home of Guns.
News coverage of events in Baltimore provides one more symbol of what’s wrong with the United States. Decades of wrong government policies, lack of taxation, destruction of the middle class/jobs, and rise of inequality are the result of conscious decisions by politicians, bankers, and businessmen. More will happen, not less, because the country has slowly fallen apart. One sees this better from afar and with occasional visits over time. I noticed the beginning of decline in the infrastructure forty years ago, which was a sign of something wrong.
Too much attention is placed upon the racial imbalance in police forces across the country. This is merely part of the problem. Very little mention is heard about the quality of people applying to become/hired to be police officers. Or how little they are paid, because Americans do not want to pay taxes. Whenever local or state governments are forced to cut budgets, because of lack of revenue, the services are always hardest hit.
How can anyone wonder about the result…
When the facts change, I change my mind—what do you do, sir?
John Maynard Keynes
When I want my mind to be stimulated (and enlightened), I reach for a book by John Gray. Below is a review of his latest, which I plan to buy. The review is enough to stimulate, begin to enlighten, and pique curiosity.
I particularly liked his title, when he was at the London School of Economics: Professor of European Thought. This guy is intelligent and thoughtful. I wish that I was half as smart.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.