Category Archives: History

The Riddle of the Sphinx

I’m not talking about the riddle Oedipus solved, thereby fulfilling the prophecy he was trying to avoid and giving Freud something to write about. Now everyone knows what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening. There’s probably an Instagram meme. I mean who built the ancient limestone […]

The best government your money can buy

My New Mexico Independent column today is partly a rehash of this post on the Block scandal, but goes farther in meditating on the differences between our purportedly enlightened system and that of the Roman Republic, where the linkage between money and power was straightforward and uncomplicated.

Mad mad monarchs

I’ve neglected my blog this week, partly because I’ve been sick, and partly because, well, you know. Because I’m still too busy to write a proper post, let me just share with you a very entertaining blog post my friend Martha Brozyna, a medieval historian, has written on Mental Floss. It’s about five mad monarchs, […]

Princess Caroline, after the fact

I never mentioned Caroline Kennedy (Princess Caroline, as right-wing bloggers like to call her) during all the “Will she or won’t she?” hoopla, in part because I was busy, and in part because I didn’t really care. Nepotism is a fact of life, folks. Is and always has been. Here in New Mexico especially. A […]

David, Goliath and the Sage from South Central

I already knew everything Larry Elder writes in this column, but for those sufficiently ignorant, morally deficient, or willfully blind to equate Israel’s self-defense with the terrorism practiced by its enemies, it’s a helpful summary. Now back to my vacation.

Religious frenzy

My previous post on humanist ritual-making has generated a firestorm of comments, including several from Dan, a fellow New Mexican who often comments critically on my political posts, and who has now weighed in on the Catholic Church. Dan writes: The whole original point of my post, which was a response to Moralia’s post lambasting […]

Of plows and politics

A couple thousand years ago, give or take, the Romans turned to retired consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus when a war with their neighbors the Aequi turned particularly ugly. Cincinnatus, who was plowing his field when the senators found him, washed off the dirt, put on his toga, and returned to Rome. Once the Aequi had […]

Look who’s reading

When you blog, you never know who’s reading, unless they comment, and most don’t, since the number of comments on my site is a microscopic fraction of the number of hits I get each day. A friend from an e-mail list mentioned today that she knew how I felt about car DVD players since she’d […]

Fourth of July miscellany

We’ve driven past the Glorieta, NM, battlefield memorial scores (if not hundreds) of times, but today we finally stopped. It’s a makeshift memorial, on private property and maintained by the owner, who has been kind enough to put in nice, flat trails and even to make little makeshift concrete seats and benches under some of […]

No more nurseries?

What do you mean you don’t HAVE a nursery????? This was my dumbfounded response when I toured the maternity ward (the only one in Santa Fe) where I’ll be delivering next month. The hospital where I had my other three children had one, and since all my deliveries were c-section and I wasn’t quite up […]

DNA explodes Greek myth about women – or maybe NOT

The Guardian‘s headline reads, “DNA explodes Greek myth about women,” but after reading the story, I’m not particularly impressed by the magnitude of the explosion. In the 1870s Heinrich Schliemann excavated the Bronze Age tombs of Mycenae, which contained 35 bodies and a great deal of treasure, including the gold funerary mask pictured at left. […]