Tuesday, August 11, 2009

St. Thomas, 114 years ago

The National Library of Jamaica has recently joined the elite group of museums of are sharing some of their valued map collections with the general public. This is one of my favorites so far - a closeup of the parish of St. Thomas from a 1895 map of the island.

Getting a sense of the political landscape on Long Island

I have recently moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, heavily Democratic, to more conservative Suffolk County, Long Island. Although Carla and I certainly aren't fully moved in yet, I am taking the opportunity to become acquainted with some of the local communities. One thing that disturbs me is the xenophobic orientation of many residents. I see this particularly strongly in the organized resistance to President Barak Obama's efforts to reform our health care system. Although I was unable to attend any of the town meetings because of the move, I have heard a great deal about them through the local media. Up close analysis becomes available through YouTube clips such as the following, shot before and during a town meeting in Setauket, Long Island. On the other side of Stony Brook University from Port Jefferson Station, this is an old community - one of the beauty spots of Long Island. But as you can see, it is also becoming politically polarized over the issue of health care reform.