Professor Plum looked at his watch as he entered the mail room. “Yep,” he said, “it’s now.”

He read the mail. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor looked down at a pair of red Kings and agreed that the time had come. He called the big blind, and the Squirrel called as well. Chef looked at her cards and put in a pot-sized raise. The Professor of Astrology pushed the rest of his chips into the pot, announcing: “I’m all-in.”

The Squirrel quickly folded, and Chef took another look at her cards. “I guess a pair of Tens aren’t enough,” she said, tapping the table as she flicked her cards into the muck.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling as he scooped in the small pot. Chef went to the kitchen to make Cheddar-Apple Quesadillas, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

America has always been aspirational to me. Even when I chafed at its hypocrisies, it somehow always seemed sure, a nation that knew what it was doing, refreshingly free of that anything-can-happen existential uncertainty so familiar to developing nations. But no longer. The election of Donald Trump has flattened the poetry in America’s founding philosophy: the country born from an idea of freedom is to be governed by an unstable, stubbornly uninformed, authoritarian demagogue. And in response to this there are people living in visceral fear, people anxiously trying to discern policy from bluster, and people kowtowing as though to a new king. Things that were recently pushed to the corners of America’s political space – overt racism, glaring misogyny, anti-intellectualism – are once again creeping to the center.

Now is the time to resist the slightest extension in the boundaries of what is right and just. Now is the time to speak up and to wear as a badge of honor the opprobrium of bigots. Now is the time to confront the weak core at the heart of America’s addiction to optimism; it allows too little room for resilience, and too much for fragility. Hazy visions of “healing” and “not becoming the hate we hate” sound dangerously like appeasement. The responsibility to forge unity belongs not to the denigrated but to the denigrators. The premise for empathy has to be equal humanity; it is an injustice to demand that the maligned identify with those who question their humanity.

Now is the time to burn false equivalencies forever….

Now is the time to refuse the blurring of memory….

Now is the time to call things what they actually are, because language can illuminate truth as much as it can obfuscate it. Now is the time to forge new words….

Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about….

Now is the time to discard that carefulness that too closely resembles a lack of conviction….

Now is the time to recalibrate the default assumptions of American political discourse….

Now is the time for the media, on the left and right, to educate and inform….

Now is the time to put the idea of the “liberal bubble” to rest….

Now is the time to acknowledge the ways in which Democrats have condescended to the white working class- and to acknowledge that Trump condescends to it by selling it fantasies. Now is the time to remember that there are working-class Americans who are not white and who have suffered the same deprivations and are equally worthy of news profiles. Now is the time to remember that “women” does not equal white women….

Now is the time to elevate the art of questioning….

Now is the time to frame the questions differently….

Now is the time to ask why America is far behind many other countries (see: Rwanda) in its representation of women in politics. Now is the time to explore mainstream attitudes toward women’s ambition, to ponder to what extent the ordinary political calculations that all politicians make translate as moral failures when we see them in women.

Now is the time to remember that, in a wave of dark populism sweeping the West, there are alternative forms. … Now is the time to counter lies with facts, repeatedly and unflaggingly, while also proclaiming the greater truths: of our equal humanity, of decency, of compassion.

Now is the time.

Chimamanda in Nigeria and the U.S.

Dear Chimamanda,

We thank you for your beautiful words, and hope all of our readers will click the link below to read your essay in full.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Have you made any more progress on the Superfund Diner? Also, will it serve Cheddar-Apple Quesadillas, and do I have time to make them?

Little Time for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Little Time for Breakfast,

Yes, we have made progress on the Superfund Diner. It now has a new ‘Open’ sign in the window, resized to fit in the window frame behind the blinds …

New Open Sign

… and an icemaker under the counter:

Icemaker with Cubes

We don’t know whether the Superfund Diner will serve Cheddar-Apple Quesadillas, but Chef assures us that Ellie Krieger’s recipe is both simple and quick. First core and thinly slice a Granny Smith apple. Next spread four 9″ tortillas on a cutting board and spread the apple slices over half of each tortilla, then top with shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Fold the tortillas in half and, one by one, cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 1½ minutes per side, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown. Bon appétit!


Image Credit:

Chimamanda in Nigeria and the U.S.

Cheddar-Apple Quesadillas.

Superfund Diner Images: Crissie Brown (


Happy Sunday!