This Article Is About The Song ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,’ But ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ Is Not The Name Of The Article, That’s Just The Name Of Song
Nov26

This Article Is About The Song ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,’ But ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ Is Not The Name Of The Article, That’s Just The Name Of Song

In the 47 years since Arlo Guthrie recorded “Alice’s Restaurant,” the 18-plus minute song has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition — and an ode to a simpler time even if its subtext is the Vietnam War. If you haven’t heard “Alice’s Restaurant,” then you probably don’t know that it’s not really a song, but rather an 18-minute monologue with a little singing at the beginning and...

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From Richards To Rivers: A Dozen Great Books For Holiday Gift Giving
Nov24

From Richards To Rivers: A Dozen Great Books For Holiday Gift Giving

Your Faithful Reviewer plowed through another 30 or so books in the course of 2014, some new, some not so old and a couple of classics that I had not gotten around to reading. Here are the best dozen of the bunch, actually the best 14 because one offering is a trilogy. All are great holiday gifts for a literary inclined spouse, other family member or friend, and all are available online in paperback. AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS (Taylor...

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A Dark Alliance & A Lasting Shame: Remembering Investigative Reporter Gary Webb
Nov20

A Dark Alliance & A Lasting Shame: Remembering Investigative Reporter Gary Webb

] Kill the Messenger is currently playing at mostly empty theaters, which is a pity, because it’s an important movie about a real-life story: A reporter who becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to suicide after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into Southern California. That reporter is Gary Webb, played on the big screen by Jeremy Renner of The...

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An Election Parable: It Used To Be About Kibble & Change, But Now . . .
Nov10

An Election Parable: It Used To Be About Kibble & Change, But Now . . .

Imagine the American public as a big mixed-breed dog. (That was easy, wasn’t it?) This dog had been treated poorly by its master for years, if not outright abused. Other dogs, especially purebreds, were pampered with steak and all kinds of treats. They luxuriated in comfy dog beds from L.L. Bean, never got wet when it rained or snowed or were toweled off if they did, had their own spot in the back of the family SUV when they...

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GOP Seizes Control of Senate As Cowardly Democrats Flee Their President
Nov05

GOP Seizes Control of Senate As Cowardly Democrats Flee Their President

Long story short: I do not so much praise the Republican Party for their victories yesterday as blame the Democratic Party for their defeats. At a pivotal time in American history, a time when the bedrock principles of our society are under attack and it was imperative to move ahead and not stand still, let alone turn back, Democrats revealed themselves to be cowards in campaign after campaign. It is small comfort that the substantial...

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Despite Pennsylvania Cop Killer’s Capture, A Very Big Question Remains
Nov03

Despite Pennsylvania Cop Killer’s Capture, A Very Big Question Remains

The surrender of cop killer Eric Frein on Thursday after an excruciating 48-day manhunt in the dense woodlands of the Pennsylvania Poconos is not the end of the story. It is the end of the prologue to a very big question that demands to be asked — and answered: What prompted this wily survivalist to shoot dead a particular state trooper and critically wound another? To suggest that the shootings were random begs credulity,...

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Why The Ebola Crisis Is Only The Latest Government-Scripted Disaster
Oct17

Why The Ebola Crisis Is Only The Latest Government-Scripted Disaster

DOES THE EBOLA VIRUS VOTE DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBLICAN? The news that the Centers for Disease Control was unprepared for the ebola virus now that it has made landfall in the U.S. is not exactly a bolt from the blue. Government agencies have been failing us for many years. The CDC, it turns out, had issued lax guidelines to health-care providers on how to treat people with ebola-like symptoms, the predictable result being that one person...

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Pennsylvania Cop-Killer Manhunt In Disarray As Unanswered Questions Continue To Pile Up
Oct14

Pennsylvania Cop-Killer Manhunt In Disarray As Unanswered Questions Continue To Pile Up

As the manhunt for state trooper killer Eric Frein lurches toward its sixth week, the Pennsylvania State Police are on the defensive because of the latest scandal to tarnish the long troubled agency, while a law-enforcement insider says the search itself is in disarray. The insider, who has many years of experience in tracking and surveilling criminal suspects, asked that his name not be used. He acknowledges that any search the size...

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(UPDATED) The Poconos Take Yet Another Hit As State Police Botch Manhunt For Cop Killer Frein & Outrage Hunters
Oct02

(UPDATED) The Poconos Take Yet Another Hit As State Police Botch Manhunt For Cop Killer Frein & Outrage Hunters

If there was any question that the Pennsylvania State Police-led manhunt for cop killer Eric Frein was in big trouble — indeed, that the trail for the marksman-survivalist in the northeastern Pennsylvania woodlands may have gone cold — a photograph on the front page of the Pocono Record on Monday, the 17th day of the search, betrayed a harsh truth. And now, to make a bad situation worse as the manhunt drags on and state...

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Meet A TMV Columnist, Hear Great Music & Eat Great Food
Sep24

Meet A TMV Columnist, Hear Great Music & Eat Great Food

If you live in the Greater Philadelphia-Baltimore Co-Prosperity Sphere and have some time to kill on Sunday (September 28), here’s a special event for you: I will be signing copies of There’s A House In The Land, my just-published saga of the 1970s, beginning at 1pm and again at 8pm at the Blue Crab Grill in Suburban Plaza, a mere two miles from Interstate 95 in Newark, Delaware. The event also will feature a reunion of...

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Memo To Chris Christie Supporters: Fuggedabout Bridgegate, It’s The New Jersey Economy, Stupid
Sep24

Memo To Chris Christie Supporters: Fuggedabout Bridgegate, It’s The New Jersey Economy, Stupid

There has been much happy talk among Republicans hoping for — no, make that desperate for — a moderate nominee to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016 since federal investigators have been unable to link New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Bridgegate, the public-safety mess resulting from the closing of several lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in retaliation for the mayor of that fair burg not backing...

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Pondering The Obamalypse, What Hummingbirds Tells Us & Other Musings On The Autumnal Equinox
Sep22

Pondering The Obamalypse, What Hummingbirds Tells Us & Other Musings On The Autumnal Equinox

The eve of the first day of autumn at the mountain retreat began with a stroll to the road and our mailbox under a sunlit canopy of leaves just beginning to turn to the sublime reds, oranges, yellows and browns of the season. The mailbox disgorged a phone bill, the new issue of Vanity Fair (“Hell in the Ebola Hot Zone!”), several advertising circulars and some dragon smoke. Alas, as I walked back to the house, my mind was...

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A Nation Addicted To War & Other Big Takeaways From Obama’s ISIS Address
Sep11

A Nation Addicted To War & Other Big Takeaways From Obama’s ISIS Address

President Obama has been fairly sparing in his prerogative of pre-empting prime-time television to address the nation over the last five and a half years, but last night’s address was a doozy. Here are the big takeaways: (1.) Hard to believe, but Barack Obama may be best remembered not as the president who rescued the economy and then provided millions of Americans access to decent health care, but as starting a war against the...

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Is Barack Obama Being Judged Too Harshly On Foreign Policy?  Yes and No.
Sep08

Is Barack Obama Being Judged Too Harshly On Foreign Policy? Yes and No.

In the ceaseless sturm und drang over Barack Obama’s foreign policy and the U.S.’s response to the many conflicts abroad, two important questions are not being asked: Isn’t the world different than it was even 10 years ago, let alone 50 years ago, and isn’t it unfair to judge the president without taking that into account? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because while the U.S. remains the sole superpower...

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Shaun Mullen’s New Book Is Now Available On Kindle
Aug22

Shaun Mullen’s New Book Is Now Available On Kindle

A character in the Doonesbury comic strip once called the 1970s “A kidney stone of a decade,” and compared to the 1960s and 1980s, it indeed was. It was a period of economic and political decline and, of course, abuses of power with Watergate being the worst but by no means only scandal. Decades get demythologized; it is a quintessential part of the Great American Meat Grinder, but nobody has bothered to demythologize the...

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My New Book Now Available For Order Online: ‘When All Are One and One Is All To Be A Rock And Not To Roll’
Aug08

My New Book Now Available For Order Online: ‘When All Are One and One Is All To Be A Rock And Not To Roll’

A character in the Doonesbury comic strip once called the 1970s “A kidney stone of a decade,” and compared to the 1960s and 1980s, it indeed was. It was a period of economic and political decline and, of course, abuses of power with Watergate being the worst but by no means only scandal. Decades get demythologized; it is a quintessential part of the Great American Meat Grinder, but nobody has bothered to demythologize the...

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Book Excerpt: ‘There Must Be Some Way Out Of Here Said The Joker To The Thief’
Aug08

Book Excerpt: ‘There Must Be Some Way Out Of Here Said The Joker To The Thief’

(Excerpt from opening of first chapter) The first time I went out to Kiln Farm, bumping along in an aluminum beach chair anchored to the floor in the back of Eldon’s Chevy Step Van, it seemed like it took forever although the farm was only 10 miles from New Park. Back then New Park was a quaint college town without a single decent restaurant. But it did have the New Park Tavern, which Edgar Allan Poe is said to have cursed when...

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The New York Times Remembers Robert Stein (UPDATE: His poignant Marilyn Monroe columns)
Jul19

The New York Times Remembers Robert Stein (UPDATE: His poignant Marilyn Monroe columns)

ROBERT STEIN AND HELEN HAYES (UNDATED) The New York Times, celebrates late TMV contributor Robert Stein’s career. The Times says he helped expand the scope of women’s magazines in the early stages of the modern women’s movement, published articles about race and politics and introduced readers to the nascent writings of feminist leaders like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Much more here. EDITOR’S UPDATE: Many...

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Happy July 2nd.  Try To Be Hopeful & Stay Dry
Jul02

Happy July 2nd. Try To Be Hopeful & Stay Dry

When the best thing to happened in months is the Supreme Court closing down for the summer, then you know that 2014 has not been the most auspicious of years. Neither was 1776, but there is a certain holiday celebrated because of the events on July Fourth of that year (except that nothing of consequence happened on the Fourth; the real events occurred 238 years ago today.) Anyhow, we are living through a time of extraordinary human...

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Will The Safety Recall Tsunami Force General Motors To Finally Change It’s Culture? Don’t Bet On It.
Jul01

Will The Safety Recall Tsunami Force General Motors To Finally Change It’s Culture? Don’t Bet On It.

With 29 million cars now having been recalled by General Motors for safety problems — which is substantially more than the 22 million recalled last year by all automakers combined — it is easy to conclude that GM has learned little from its turbulent recent past, which has included hemorrhaging market share for decades because of a crappy product line and then a near-death bankruptcy averted by a taxpayer and labor union...

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