JWDailies 06-04-2021

Song of the day: “Woodstock” was written by Joni Mitchell who famously skipped that event for a previously scheduled appearance on the Dick Cavett Show. But she made up for it by writing the definitive song about the gentle, peace-loving, utopian, laid-back, free-flowing hippie spirit of that moment in time. The earliest live version of … Read more

JWDailies 03-24-2021

Song of the day: “Presence of the Lord” by Blind Faith. Poem of the day: “Boy at the Paterson Falls” by Toi Derricotte. Fact of the day: There are measurable cultural differences in the risk-taking strategies of American versus Japanese baseball. In short, the same sport is a different sport. Learned one thing today: What’s … Read more

JWDailies 01-22-2021

Song of the day: “The Boy with the Moon and the Stars” by the artist then known as Cat Stevens. From his album Catch Bull at Four. The first side of this album is my favorite sequence of Cat Stevens’ songs ever. Poem of the day: “A Simple Dream” by Micah Bournes. If you think … Read more

No Disruption is the Path to Unity

Much of the celebration about Joe Biden’s inauguration today was for a return to the traditional conventions and norms of the presidency. As much as almost every controversial policy decision Trump made, his flouting of customs and protocols infuriated his critics, me included. But we forget why he was elected. It was precisely to break … Read more


Obama’s 2008 election night celebration from the stage in Chicago was one of those remember-where-you-were moments. We thought a corner had been turned for good. But in our exuberance we just forgot. We forgot the lesson of the Compromise of 1877. Following the bitterly disputed 1876 presidential election, the opposing parties agreed to settle that … Read more