UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: The Wayward Lemming Is Closed for Repairs Thursday, May 5 2016 

Alexander Hamilton, the genius of the Federalist Papers, will remain on the face of the ten dollar bill only because of a Broadway musical in which he is portrayed as a hip-hop-singing Latino.

George Mason School of Law, named after the father of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, is being renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School as a matter of principal ($30 million, to be exact).

A transplanted 74-year-old Brooklyn Marxist who went to Moscow for his honeymoon has built a cult following of college-educated Democrats in search of an alternative to Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, who thinks Barack Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii and Ted Cruz’s father had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, will be the presidential nominee of the party of Abraham Lincoln (who he thinks was a loser for not hiring a better bodyguard), Theodore Roosevelt (who he thinks should have made the Panamanians pay for the building of the Canal), Dwight Eisenhower (who he thinks should have finished off the Germans quicker), and Ronald Reagan (who he thinks was a fair president but a low-energy actor).

The Chicago Cubs now have the best record in baseball. Repeat: The Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series in 108 years.

Who am I to pretend to know what’s going on? I haven’t the slightest idea. Neither do George Will, David Brooks or any of the other cultural / political sages of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Like the polar bears in the upper Arctic swimming for their lives because the ice floes have melted, they don’t know what the hell is going on. But given the income they earn by pretending to, they can’t afford to admit it.

I can. Time to settle in for a while and try to separate the wheat of reality from the media-internet chaff. Maybe, as with those ice floes, the whole cycle can be chalked up to climate change. That at least makes sense. The Cubs being in first place doesn’t.

Sound bite to remember

“Whenever you see the crowd run one way, go the other.”

–My father’s sage advice (circa 1935)

Ike Re-Revised Friday, Mar 11 2011 

As Winston Churchill once posted, all history is revisionist. It all depends on the bias of the writer. Take, for example, the revisionist distortion of Dwight Eisenhower’s civil rights record in HBO’s recent production of the one-man play, “Thurgood.”

The writer-producer in this case, George Stevens, Jr., set out to dramatize the life-and-legend of Thurgood Marshall, the first black member of the Supreme Court and leading counsel in the NAACP’s effort to break down the barriers of segregation in the 1940’s and Fifties.

Having lived in the South during that turbulent period and met Justice Marshall after coming to Washington, I was naturally drawn to actor Laurence Fishburne’s vivid depiction of the man and his times. Then, three-quarters of the way through the performance, came the playwright’s negative account of Eisenhower’s stand on racial equality.

To hear Fishburne’s “Thurgood” tell it, Ike was little more than a closet segregationist, lukewarm if not in fact hostile to the Warren Court’s 1954 decision de-segregating public schools in the South.

There’s nothing new about this negative view of Eisenhower’s civil rights record. It’s been spun for over half a century, since the days when Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., was in his revisionist prime.  However . . .Call me a Right-wing eccentric (it wouldn’t be the first time), but that’s not the way I remember the history of that period.  As I recall: (more…)