The Poconos Take Another Hit As The Pennsylvania State Police Botch Cop-Killer Manhunt
Sep30

The Poconos Take Another Hit As The Pennsylvania State Police Botch Cop-Killer Manhunt

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. It showed troopers clad in camouflage and SWAT team mufti preparing to...

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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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Will Amazon Take A Hit On J.K. Rowling’s Latest?
Jun25

Will Amazon Take A Hit On J.K. Rowling’s Latest?

The Silkworm, a new detective novel by Robert Galbraith, is the guaranteed hottest bestseller of the summer. If you’ve never heard of Galbraith, try J.K. Rowling, who has now written two books under that nomme de plume since publishing the last book of her wildly popular Harry Potter series. But what makes the buzz over this book different than the usual reviews of recommended beach-reading mystery fare is that Amazon, by far...

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Wanted: A Better Caption For This Photo
Jun25

Wanted: A Better Caption For This Photo

Queen Elizabeth II, last affectionately teased at TMV for a photograph of her bonding with a race horse, meets cast members of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” as she views the popular series’ Iron Throne. Photograph by Jonathan Porter -– WPA Pool/Getty...

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The Obama Administration’s Justification For Killing An American Abroad Doesn’t Fly
Jun24

The Obama Administration’s Justification For Killing An American Abroad Doesn’t Fly

There was a familiar odor emanating from the Justice Department memo finally made public this week that sought to justify killing the American citizen and radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen: It was legal gobbledegook clearly designed to reach a desired conclusion, and the last time we saw antics on this scale was in the infamous Bush Justice Department memos justifying the use of torture despite it...

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The Crisis In Iraq: A Real-Life ‘Game Of Thrones’
Jun18

The Crisis In Iraq: A Real-Life ‘Game Of Thrones’

When the British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes sat down with François George-Picot, his French counterpart, on May 16, 1916 in London for the last in a six-month series of tea-and-negotiation meetings, it was the pilot episode of a sort of a real-life Game of Thrones. The diplomats had been negotiating on how to divvy up the spoils of the Ottoman Empire. The conclusion of World War I was still two and a half years away, but the end of...

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The O.J. Simpson Saga 20 Years On: The Big Story Remains Why He Became A Murderer
Jun17

The O.J. Simpson Saga 20 Years On: The Big Story Remains Why He Became A Murderer

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson on vacation with lawyer Robert Kardashian and his family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico two months before the murders. It was a balmy June evening on the East Coast, 20 years ago today to be exact. We were watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden on a Los Angeles television station because we were putting our recently installed 12-foot satellite...

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(UPDATE IV) How Should The U.S. Respond To The Iraq Crisis?  Are Air Strikes Now Inevitable?
Jun13

(UPDATE IV) How Should The U.S. Respond To The Iraq Crisis? Are Air Strikes Now Inevitable?

ISIS militants celebrate capture of U.S. vehicle from Iraqi Army I would like to personally thank George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. I would like to thank them for creating the conditions that have led to the probability that militants will successfully establish an Islamist ministate straddling Syria and Iraq, which will further destabilize the most unstable region in the world. And that President Obama will be forced,...

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The Sarah Palinization Of The Mainstream Media: Why It Continues To Allow Itself To Be Co-Opted
Jun11

The Sarah Palinization Of The Mainstream Media: Why It Continues To Allow Itself To Be Co-Opted

I have been reading books about and by Sarah Palin lately. Two reasons for this: I am contemplating collaborating with a scholar on a book about the Palin Birth Hoax and the mainstream media’s cowardly retreat from the likelihood that she faked a pregnancy in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. And although I do not believe that there is an ounce of genuineness in this woman, I continue to grapple with why she remains...

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Should We Blame The Supreme Court For Our Politics, Not The Other Way Around?
Jun03

Should We Blame The Supreme Court For Our Politics, Not The Other Way Around?

It turns out that the Founding Fathers got three things very wrong. There are the absence of women’s suffrage and resolving the issue of slavery in the U.S. Constitution. The former, of course, was not on anyone’s bewigged radar back in those days, while the latter was very much on the Founders’ minds but was intentionally ignored in the service of crafting a document without endless dissent over the lightning-rod...

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