James C. Schaap

Golden Dreams of the Great White North

Years ago, my grandma blessed me with a cache of ancient sepia photographs, cardboard-backed, studio shots. She wrote some things on those old pix because, Lord knows, she knew some day neither me nor anyone else on the face of the earth would have a clue who those old-timers are or were. One of them, I’m not sure she knew. One name is scribbled on the back, above the word “clondykers” with a c, not a k. "Walt Sprengers" it says, and then "clondykers." She told me the bunch was a foursome of...

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Sioux City, A Shared History

The Standing Bear Story Omnibus

To be sure, there was a good reason for the Poncas to cut the deal they did with the strange emissary who showed up one day from Washington. He’d come to let them know that “the Great Father” wanted the Poncas to move from their homeland on the Missouri River, to Indian Country, what would become Oklahoma, to a place where, he claimed, they’d be safe from raids by larger and more warlike neighbors. That argument was, for the Ponca, not total garbage. The Poncas were warriors, but they were...

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When the pandemic first hit, Hitesh Hurkchand had one overriding concern: How do I protect my mother?

Hurkchand lives in Boston. His mother, Thuja, was in South Africa. She was a widow, living at an assisted living facility. And she had diabetes, hypertension, and heart issues.

Thinking about how hard it was going to be to keep Thuja safe, Hurkchand would fall into bouts of despair. "Oh my god, I mean it was like every other day," he recalls.

It was May of 1989 when John Porcellino ("a 20-year-old, hormonally charged, punk-inspired Rock 'n' Roller," in his own description) got the idea that would become a creative odyssey. "I wanted to publish something that I could make all on my own, that could contain whatever I wanted, that could reflect my whole life," he writes in one of Drawn & Quarterly's new reissues of his work. In a zine called King-Cat Comics and Stories, he chronicled prosaic or absurd experiences that, by '80s standards, were usually considered too trivial to merit documentation.

The Texas blackout is another reminder that more frequent, climate-driven extreme weather puts stress on the country's electricity grid. It came just months after outages in California aimed at preventing wildfires.

In a forgotten cemetery on the edge of Texas in the Rio Grande delta, Olga Webber-Vasques says she's proud of her family's legacy – even if she only just learned the full story.

Turns out her great-great-grandparents, who are buried here, were agents in the little-known underground railroad that led through South Texas to Mexico during the 1800s. Thousands of enslaved people fled plantations to make their way to the Rio Grande, which became a river of deliverance.

Masuma Ahuja can vividly recall what she wore on her first day of school in the United States: black jeans and a gray and orange T-shirt.

It was the early 2000s and her family had just moved from India to Pittsburgh. She remembers a boy at her middle school asking her, on that very first day, about what she was wearing.

"He was like, 'Oh, I didn't realize that you wore [Western] clothes in India," she says. "He thought India was very much a place where there were snake charmers and elephants on the street."

Republican-led legislatures in dozens of states are moving to change election laws in ways that could make it harder to vote.

Many proposals explicitly respond to the 2020 election: Lawmakers cite public concerns about election security — concerns generated by disinformation that former President Donald Trump spread while trying to overturn the election.

As the top U.S. intelligence official for just over a month, Avril Haines has an overflowing inbox.

Ten O'clock Blues 2.27.21

7 hours ago

A.J. Croce (yep, Jim's son) has been playing funky piano gems for 30 years or so at clubs and theater's and art centers but his new album By Request is a representation of stuff he plays when he comes back home, has some friends over to the house and plays requests in his music room! Also we'll be hearing from Selwyn Birchwood and Joe Bonamassa.

The release of a U.S. intelligence report finding that Saudi Arabia's crown prince had approved the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is prompting calls for penalties against the man next in line to the Saudi throne.

Dozens of students abducted from a school in northwest Nigeria last week have been rescued, the state government announced Saturday.

Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state said that 38 abductees, including several staff members, were rescued around 4 a.m. Bello met with the victims, all of whom were present at a press conference Saturday afternoon, except for one who was being treated at a local hospital for exhaustion.

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