An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Katharine Hepburn and Feminism

Full disclosure: the editor of OnBackground is a feminist who believes in, and trumpets to any who will listen, the cause of equality for all.

While I cannot claim to have enjoyed Katharine Hepburn's fullest acting skills while she was using them on the silver screen or stage, I have found her on-screen persona engrossing and so I enjoyed a number of the articles accompanying her recent passing http://www.examiner.com/ex_files/default.jsp?story=X0630HEPBURNw. In particular, I found Maureen Dowd's column today to have particular insight on the subject of Hepburn's career and her struggle with finding ways to be a strong woman, on screen and on her own time. Check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/16/opinion/16DOWD.html

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Fright of the Day

The Washington Times' article today, The staggering costs of malaria, that includes an endorsement of the use of DDT reminds OnBackground of a recent piece in The Onion: Newsweek Editors Argue Over What To Make Readers Fear Next http://www.theonion.com/onion3925/index.html. While The Onion's humor can be crass, it can also be insightful and even funny.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003


Today’s CQ Today Midday Report (via email subscription: http://www.cq.com ) had the following interesting trivia regarding American Samoa’s delegate to Congress: “Del. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, D - Am. Samoa, is a "matai" -- a Samoan chief -- a title he has held since 1988. Faleomavaega is actually his title; his family name is Hunkin.”

Although I was not able to find exactly what I was looking for, I’d like to applaud and refer readers to Project Gutenberg’s free online portal to thousands of electronic books http://www.gutenberg.net. While I have yet to read a full book online, I find the thousands of works available on line to be a resource and a joy. Of course, should you have ready access to a copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s Despair, I’m looking for a quote about flights of fancy and insanity.

Also, take a moment to read The Unamerican Amendment at http://www.politixgroup.com/comm158.htm. While I don’t necessarily agree with Mann’s take on politics or on whether Presidents should be limited to two terms, I found it thought provoking.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Stay late, eat a lot, work all night -- AND DIE!

Although i don't normally look first at the scientific stuff, I was suitably scared by the idea that stress can kill you http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20030630-102303-2101r.htm via "heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers."

The front page of today's LA Times draws one's attention to the unexpectedly positive fundraising performance of Howard Dean. Once expected to be a typical one-shot wonder, Gov. Dean may yet surprise us with his totals. Let's wait and see.