40 Years Ago: The End Of The Vietnam War

Ken AshfordHistoryLeave a Comment

I don’t have much to say about this, even though it happened in my lifetime.  It is hard to discuss, not only because it did not entire my psyche (I was only 12 when South Vietnam declared unconditional surrender), but also because the subject is so big.  What to talk about — what angle?  The fact that America lost a … Read More

The Battle For Same Sex Marriage: A Timeline Graph

Ken AshfordConstitution, Courts/Law, Gay Marriage, Sex/Morality/Family Values, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

I love this graph from an article in today’s New York Times.  It shows what states did for and against the idea of same-sex marriage. You can see that the anti-SSM movement got out ahead of the issue in the mid 1990s by enacting laws banning same-sex marriage.  I have no way of proving this, but I think that by making … Read More

40 Years Ago: The Fall Of Saigon

Ken AshfordHistoryLeave a Comment

Hubert Vanes: I was fortunate enough to take a photograph that has become perhaps the most recognizable image of the fall of Saigon – you know it, the one that is always described as showing an American helicopter evacuating people from the roof of the United States Embassy. Well, like so many things about the Vietnam War, it’s not exactly … Read More

Hillary Has A Democratic Challenger

Ken AshfordElection 2016Leave a Comment

Although he’s not a serious challenger.  In fact, he’s not really a Democrat. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday, presenting a liberal challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will follow a formal statement with a major campaign kickoff in his … Read More

Much To The Disappointment Of The Media, Not Much Happened In Baltimore Last Night

Ken AshfordRace, Racial HomicidesLeave a Comment

You could almost hear the desperation in Wolf Blitzer’s voice.  They really wanted something to break out.  There was a single incident where someone threw a bottle of water at a line of policeman, and the guy was quickly subdued and pepper spray was dispersed.  CNN ran that 30 second clip over and over again for hours while nothing else happened. Well, this happened…. … Read More

Same-Sex Marriage Case Being Heard In Supreme Court Today

Ken AshfordConstitution, Gay Marriage, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Today, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Obergefell v. Hodges, one of several same-sex marriage cases brought to the Court. Obergefell v. Hodges requires the Court to answer: “1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize … Read More

Bullet Points On The Baltimore Riots

Ken AshfordCrime, Race, Racial HomicidesLeave a Comment

The catalyst, ostensibly, was the death of Freddie Gray — who died of a spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody.  His funeral service was yesterday morning.  There were peaceful protests throughout the day, but as high school kids left school, the protests became violent.  15 officers were injured — six seriously — from thrown bottles, rocks and bricks, as … Read More

2015 Tony Nominations

Ken AshfordTheatreLeave a Comment

Not much to say about these.  No Gigi, No It’s Only A Play, no Larry David’s Fish In the Dark, no Side Show, no Finding Neverland, no Honeymoon in Vegas… There aren’t too many surprises, although I am pleased that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time got a nod for Best Choreography, even though it is a … Read More

Obama Killed At The White House Correspondent’s Dinner (Again)

Ken AshfordObama & AdministrationLeave a Comment

If you missed it: I think that behind all the humor, Obama showed some hidden anger.  Sure, he was self-deprecating at times and he poked fun at Democrats (like Biden).  But his “humor” directed at the GOP had a sharp edge rather than a soft one.  And that was highlighted by the appearance of Keegan-Michael Key as the “anger translator”. Host Cecily … Read More

Tragedy In Nepal

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

Thousands dead following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.  It is had to get one’s head around devastation like that. Here’s video from the avalanche on Everest, which killed a few dozen, including some Americans. Ways to help — Lutheran World Relief The U.N.-affiliated organization immediately shipped nearly 10,000 quilts and 100 personal water filtration mechanisms to Nepal. They are working in … Read More

Fourteen Of The Oddest Legal Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage

Ken AshfordGay MarriageLeave a Comment

MSNBC’s Irin Carmon has read all the amici briefs (or “friend-of-the-court” briefs) submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in its upcoming same-sex marriage case (to be heard next week), and picks out some of the oddest arguments against gay marriage.  Read the whole thing: 1. Marriage equality will kill people. The group Mike Huckabee Policy Solutions — which says it is “neither … Read More

It’s The Frack Part II

Ken AshfordFrackingLeave a Comment

To add to what I wrote a couple of days ago, we get some more confirmation about the link between human drilling activity and earthquakes: The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred. The report … Read More