Milicent Cranor

Shadow

The Predator You Think You Know

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have a big question for all the presumably sincere people who vouch for the good character of accused sexual predators like Roy Moore. But before I ask it, let me show you what these people have said:Referring to the stories of Roy Moore’s unwanted grabbing and groping of teenage girls, his lawyer, Phillip Jauregui, Read More

Donald Trump, Taxes

Curious Coincidences in IRS Trump Audit

Reading Time: 2 minutes Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns has long been a subject of conjecture. To that, we’d like to add a related mystery: Why did the IRS begin auditing Donald Trump in 2002? Why that year in particular? Donald Trump’s finances were always complicated and fertile ground for the IRS, yet, it only began Read More

Monument Avenue, Robert E. Lee, Richmond

An Evening in the Old South

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m having an attack of nostalgia. I feel a deep pang of loss as I think about the Confederate statues that line Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Are their days numbered? They stand only a few blocks from where my maternal grandparents lived in the 1950s, and where I spent many summers.  I loved staring Read More

Protesters, Durham, Confederate statue

What Really Happened in Durham, NC? A Nasty Thought

Reading Time: 2 minutes On August 14, in Durham NC, something strange happened that does not make sense to me. A protester climbed up on the statue of a Confederate soldier, tied a rope around his neck, gave a signal, and her fellow activists pulled until the statue came crashing down. Then several others converged on the statue, viciously, Read More

Hear no evil

JFK Assassination: Low Quality of Disinformation

Reading Time: 3 minutes The quality of disinformation on the Kennedy assassination has never been very high. Much of it is pseudoscience, slick enough to fool the general public, but nothing that ever holds up under scrutiny.Earlier this week, I saw what I think is a specimen of it in an obituary in the Dallas Morning News of a Read More

Mark Twain

Funny, Wise Quotations on Taxes

Reading Time: 7 minutes Are you in pain from the IRS? Well, you’re in good company. Check out what these characters have to say about paying taxes — Al Capone, Albert Einstein, Dave Barry, Mark Twain, Mae West, and many others.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Classic Who: Martin Luther King Also Had a Nightmare

Reading Time: 9 minutes In honor of Martin Luther King Day, WhoWhatWhy presents — through a fascinating collection of pictures — a brief history of American racism, a look at the kind of hatred, atrocities, and soul-searing humiliation that spurred King into action.

Peter Lorre

Classic Who: Is This About You?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Insightful, funny, and surprising quotations on the subject of skepticism, by some of the wittiest people who ever lived. We ran this collection before — and we will probably run it again. We don’t think you can ever get enough of this kind of thing. (Ran originally on February 13, 2014.)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Also Had a Nightmare

Reading Time: 9 minutes In honor of Martin Luther King Day, WhoWhatWhy presents — through a fascinating collection of pictures — a brief history of American racism, a look at the kind of hatred, atrocities, and soul-searing humiliation that spurred King into action. Rather than the stuff of dreams, much of it was a living nightmare. We first published this piece in 2015, but it remains more relevant than ever — because we seem to be going backwards. We want you to see, with your own eyes, just how ugly it can get.

Classic Who: Magical, Practical Gifts that Change Lives

Reading Time: 8 minutes Scatter fairy dust with one-of-a-kind gifts that change lives: a job resumé secretly created with the help of a head-hunter; one lesson — guitar, surfing, photography, whatever — with a real pro; spooky gadgets from the Spy Store; toys for regressing adults, and more!

Toxic Dust: The Invisible Legacy the US Left in Iraq

Reading Time: 2 minutes A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is defined as one that can cause indiscriminate death or injury on a large scale. One of the weapons the American military used in Iraq fits that definition — only it was a much more insidious substance, quiet, slow-acting, and persistent: radioactive dust from depleted uranium. Among its victims are the thousands of American soldiers coming home from Iraq.