Oh it’s a long, long while from May ’til December; And the days grow short, when you reach September; When the Autumn weather turns the leaves to flame, one hasn’t got time; For the waiting game (“September Song,” composed by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Maxwell Anderson; 1938)

I love the fall season. The relief from the oppressively humid summer heat, the implied obligation to go outside, the interminable season of interminable baseball games. With the first breezes of Autumnal winds it is like you can breathe again and think more clearly.

As I get older, my feelings for the fall…


To the slightly more than casual Jewish reader, Yiddish looks alot like Hebrew. The alphabet is the same but the vocabulary and grammar are all but completely different. Some expressions make the jump, like mazel tov, which Jews use to express congratulations. The Hebrew literally means “good luck,” which in Yiddish would translate to gut glick. But the former expression sticks nevertheless.

Between Hitler’s Final Solution to the Jewish Question and the Zionist establishment of a Hebrew-speaking Jewish state in Israel, the Yiddish language has since hung on by threads of nostalgia and a deliberate sense of urgency to preserve…


Once upon a time, I served on my town’s Environmental Concerns Commission. The ECC was an advisory panel to our Village Board of Trustees regarding the environmental benefits and impacts of its public policies.

It was a rewarding experience overall with a solid team that helped formulate village ordinances on tree preservation, active transportation and recycling efforts and promoting the general ecological welfare. …


“It is the fear of being called a coward that makes most men courageous in a crisis; but real courage, which is rare, consists in doing what you know is right, regardless of what men may call you.” (Sydney Harris)

All the socio-political divisions in our valuable political discourse — guns, abortion, identity, immigration — reveal one clarifying consistency. The thing that the right-wingnuts are most pissed off about is the fact that no one is as afraid of them as they themselves are of everything else. Considering the Bundy ranch, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, “blood and soil!” chants in…


“Drain the swamp,” they chanted, as if they were taking a stand against corruption in high places.

Republicans have maintained a certain level of political power in these United States largely through bad faith incitement of culture warmongering, not the least effective of which is savvy marketing of petty grievances behind the branding of “political correctness” intended to shut down rational public discourse. …


So, Afghanistan. It sucks. Lately, we had been sending kids in uniforms there who were not even born when the Taliban’s guests flew their hijacked planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that Pennsylvania field on 9/11/01. And now that we are withdrawing, the Afghan government we’ve been supporting for the better part of twenty years has melted away faster than we could leave. We don’t know why, but we are still eager to blame. There are plenty of answers, none of them good.

You know who I don’t hear beating this dead horse? The NATO allies we…


Cycling still feels like freedom, despite the toll it clearly takes on the health of an aging frame; whether my own or my 1972 Schwinn Varsity’s. “Find what you love and let it kill you,” goes a viral quote that Quote Investigator went a long way to hesitantly bestow credit upon Kinky Friedman. But as the specter of the horizon looms larger in my own life, the humor in the Kinkster’s old quote and some degree of those freedom feelings from cycling hold up fairly well under the onslaught of the aging adventure. In fact, as I sense more of…


The select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot finally began the process of bringing a much needed and widely anticipated hearing, with public testimonies by witnesses and other primary sources, under oath and into the story of Donald Trump’s coup d'état.

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the US Capitol Police was the first to deliver an opening statement in summary of his testimony, followed by DC Metro Police Officer Michael Fanone, who has, since he was almost murdered by the rioters on the Capitol steps, made something of a name for himself advocating for the establishment of a commission or…


In a strange and disturbing pattern, more often than not, the news business will hold Democratic politicians to account for public spending policies in explicit terms of the degree to which American voters may tolerate socialism. Seldom, however, do reporters and our punditocracy hold Republican politicians to account for their open embrace of intrusive and discriminatory public policies, such as the suppression of family planning practices and voting rights, in terms of the degree to which American voters may tolerate fascism.

Democratic Party socialism amounts to spending public tax dollars on infrastructure modernization investment, social safety nets, law enforcement restructuring…


Recently, on June 24, 2021, the Chair of the Republican Study Committee, US Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, released an ironclad monster strawman argument voicing as official an opposing viewpoint to the bogeyman named Critical Race Theory as we may ever get.

“We are in a culture war,” wrote Rep. Banks. “On one side, Republicans are working to renew American patriotism and rebuild our country. On the other, Democrats have embraced and given platform to a radical element who want to tear America down.”

Sometimes, being “an Old” has its advantages, like real memories of cultural lessons learned along the…

Barry Dredze

Just another mortal, tweaking my cognitive map, on the fly.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store