When I attend various sporting events now, I always see people with their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem. When did that start happening? Was Akron, Ohio somehow different than Wyoming or Montana during the 1960s?
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While travelling down the highway the other day between Cody and Greybull, a Cadillac Escalade (a luxury pickup truck) passed me. Watching the rig grow smaller on the horizon, I considered a visit from the grave with a soldier or sailor who died during World War II. In telling this soul about how the world has changed since they left, I considered Christopher Lloyd's astonished and disbelieving reaction as the wacky professor in Back to the Future when McFly tells him that Ronald Reagan will become the future President of the United States. Surely this 1940s-esque American would be just as surprised to know that Cadillac is now the maker of a pickup truck.
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A friend was recently telling me about how often he heard Coyotes howl in the night when he lived in Eastern Washington—at least once a week he said. I was thinking about his observations and realized that although I live in Wyoming, I can't remember the last time I heard a coyote's cry in the night air. What's wrong with that picture?
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From Sarah Vowell's book The Partly Cloudy Patriot
If Newsweek's Jonathan Alter is correct, Bush's jockish disdain for highbrow thought is the very origin of his White House bid. "In a 1998 New Yorker piece (about Al Gore)," Alter claims, "the vice president talked about the ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a French existentialist. Bush read the article, and later told friends it was one of the reasons he ran for president—to keep intellectual pretentiousness out of the White House." In his campaign, Bush promised to restore honor and dignity to the White House, but the promise to keep intellectual pretentiousness out is one that is likely to be kept.