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Articles written by Bill Benson

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 By Bill Benson    Opinion    March 31, 2021

Truth vs Illusion

Two weeks ago, there appeared in “The New York Times Book Review” a review of Derk DelGaudio’s just-published memoir, Amoralman: A True Story, and Other Lies, even though he says, “It is not...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    March 17, 2021

The Ides of March

In the first scene of William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” a military official named Flavius reveals his disgust with a dashing military and political official named Julius Caesar, by...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    March 10, 2021

Dualism

A 17th century philosopher named René Descartes struggled to make sense of the mind-body problem. He understood that thoughts originate in the brain, but he observed that mental activity is...

 

Illusions

In recent days, I reread Daniel Boorstin’s book, The Image, or What Happened to the American Dream. Boorstin trained as a historian, but in his 1961 book, he steps away from history long enough to...

 

Four Presidents

Four outgoing Presidents have boycotted the incoming President’s inauguration: John Adams, his son John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, and Andrew Johnson. The second President, John Adams, was...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    January 6, 2021

Beau Miles

It is summer-time in Australia. While scrolling though YouTube in recent days, I came across a most unusual character from “Down Under.” Story-teller extraordinaire, adventurer, and filmmaker, Bea...

 

The Kolyma Highway

The Kolyma Highway begins at the port of Magadan on Russia’s Pacific Ocean, heads north some distance, but then veers to the west, and ends at Yakutsk, a city of 311,000 people, deep in a Siberian...

 

Two Nobel Prizes

An interesting anecdote appears in Barack Obama’s recently-published memoir, A Promised Hope. He recalls the day, a Friday, October 9, 2009, when he was stunned to learn that the Nobel Peace Prize...

 

Pilgrims and Puritans

The first people to live in eastern Massachusetts were the Native Americans. A tribe called the Wampanoags lived on that rocky coast for perhaps 10,000 years. The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Harbor...

 

Gaza Strip

Only Palestinians live inside the Gaza Strip, a skinny stretch of flat coastal plain on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, sandwiched between Egypt and Israel. Gaza is only 25 miles long,...

 

West Bank Settlements

In June of 1967, Israel’s army captured the Sinai and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and East Jerusalem and the West Bank from the Jordanians. Although Israel returned the Sina...

 

Good Writing

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the wrong word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Some writers choose...

 

Coincidences

Ian Fleming divided his 7th James Bond novel, Goldfinger, into three parts: “Happenstance,” “Coincidence,” and “Enemy Action.” Three times Bond intervened in Auric Goldfinger’s...

 

Time and Labor Day

On a calm summer day in 1823, in northwest South Dakota, a mountain man named Hugh Glass experienced absolute terror when he stumbled across a she-grizzly bear and her two cubs. He was alone. She...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    August 19, 2020

The Guns of August

In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published her work, The Guns of August. In it, she described the thirty days in August of 1914, when Europe's governments prodded their countries into a Great...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    August 5, 2020

Authoritarianism

Certain individuals desire a headstrong official to govern. They submit to that man or woman who claims all power belongs to him or herself. They follow. They obey. They do what they are told. They...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    July 29, 2020

Inspectors General

On Saturday night, October 20, 1973, President Richard Nixon instructed Attorney General, Elliot Richards, to fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Elliot Richards though refused to comply...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    July 8, 2020

Kerner Commission

Rosa Parks and her husband Raymond lost their jobs in the backlash from Montgomery, Alabama’s successful bus boycott to end segregation on that city’s buses. In the late 1950’s, the couple...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    June 10, 2020

DNA and Father's Day

In Bill Bryson’s 2003 book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, he writes, “If your two parents had not bonded when they did—possibly to the second—you wouldn’t be here.” Your existence...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    June 3, 2020

First Memorial Day

On February 15, 1865, General Beauregard of the Confederate States Army ordered the evacuation of all Confederate forces from Charleston, South Carolina. He knew that his army could not stop General...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    June 3, 2020

First Memorial Day

On February 15, 1865, General Beauregard of the Confederate States Army ordered the evacuation of all Confederate forces from Charleston, South Carolina. He knew that his army could not stop General...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    May 27, 2020

Israel's Independence Day

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's Declaration of Independence. He said that the new State of Israel will "uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens,...

 

The Fourteenth Amendment

After Congress and enough states ratified the thirteenth amendment that terminated slavery, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This law declared that “all people born in the United...

 

How Can You Improve Your Financial Fitness?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, physical fitness is imp...

 
 By Bill Benson    Opinion    January 3, 2018

Time Is A Key Factor In Investing

With the arrival of the New Year, many of us will pause and ponder the age-old question: "Who knows where the time goes?" And, as is always the case, none of us really do know. However, wherever the t...

 

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