Mark Twain #MeToo

Stanford White

Harry Kendall Thaw shot and killed Stanford White while the famed architect watched a play on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden. The year was 1906. The building was one designed by White, who was responsible for the Washington Square Arch, the Metropolitan Club and numerous other landmark buildings. The Astors and Vanderbilts lived in mansions designed by White. He also had a reputation as a seducer of young women.

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Saving Mickey Mouse from the Public Domain

Mickey Mouse, née Steamboat Willie, is ninety years old this year and Disney is planning a two-hour prime-time special to celebrate. The animated icon hit the big screen in 1928. Today Mickey is the face of the Disney Company, the cartoon rodent worth an estimated $6 billion annually to the corporation’s bottom line. (Disney CEO Robert A. Iger pocketed $36,283,680 last year.)  Our Constitution states, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” It is the duty of Congress to determine said limited time. U.S. law at the time of Walt Disney’s death in 1966 provided copyright protection for 56 years. The Disney Company has shown that enough money for lawyers, lobbyists and campaign contributions can make those limits meaningless.

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Mark Twain on American Exceptionalism

Mark Twain was a resolute opponent of imperialism in general and the Philippine-American War in particular. Take a few minutes to read his report on military action against the Moro tribe in the Philippines.