Remembering travel adventures with Mom, with regrets that I didn’t visit her enough

After migrating south from Washington, D.C., in the mid-1960s, my parents started an annual Great American Road Trip ritual. They’d pile their three kids into the station wagon and drive hundreds of miles. They believed that these marathon trips from Dallas to Shenandoah, Pa., Boston or the Southwest not only allowed us to visit relatives much cheaper than plane tickets would before airlines were deregulated in the late 1970s, but they brought us closer together and provided a more vivid examination of our country. …


Independent book on Trump coup attempt and January 6 attack published in March still among best-selling books on some Amazon lists

This article was updated on July 27, 2021.

The first fully-sourced, detailed book on how the January 6 Capitol riot occurred continues to crack Amazon Best-Seller lists and contain information that books published by national beat reporters months later missed.

Operation Chaos: The Trump Coup Attempt and the Campaign to Erode Democracy debuted at 61st on Amazon’s Best-Seller list for books on political campaigns and elections when first released as an ebook in March 2021. It was 70th for…


Many are taking a long drive as the coronavirus threat lessens, more get vaccinated, and summer is upon us

We’ve been cooped up a long time, at least longer than usual, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As summer hits, vaccination rates rise, and virus cases decline, many more are taking to the road.

I’ve long preferred driving to other modes of transport during a vacation, though that may change as I age and can’t sit in one place for as long. Some 65 percent of those increased number of travelers this summer will take a car over a plane, train or…


In early 2020, Trump revived Operation Chaos, a scheme hatched by Limbaugh in 2008 to subvert the Democratic primaries. When it didn’t work, Trump ratcheted that operation up a few notches, with help from allies.

All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.
Steve Bannon, former Trump White House adviser, on his “War Room” podcast, Jan. 5, 2021

This story was updated on March 14, 2021.

After Donald Trump urged thousands of his cult to march to the U.S. Capitol and fight harder for him on January 6, 2021, after his supporters fought police and killed one and injured…


Boogaloo Bois and others join both BLM and pro-Trump actions to further goal of societal collapse

This story was updated on Jan. 15, 2021.

Violence at political protests has long been inflamed by provocateurs, including by those who seek to infiltrate the demonstrations and cause violence to make the cause look bad. That happened in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s, and the anti-nuclear protests of the 1980s, among others.

In the present case, Donald Trump claimed the leftist-anarchist network Antifa was behind the initial burning of buildings and other violence…


Shenandoah, Pa., and other once-booming areas long in decline need our support

Having lived mostly in crowded metropolises like Washington, D.C., and Dallas-Fort Worth, the main place I received a taste of small-town life was the regular family road trips to where Mom, her parents, and other relatives grew up. Despite the long miles, I looked forward to slowing down, reuniting with relatives, and catching a glimpse of what The New York Times and some locals called the only Western town in the East.

In the early 1900s, Shenandoah, Pa., had more bars and saloons per capita than most towns…


Other Olympic Medal Count charts treat all medals the same. But a Gold Medal means more than a Silver, which is worth more than a Bronze. Here is what the chart should say.

This chart was updated on Aug. 8, 2021.

If you follow the Olympic Games even half as much as I do, you probably have read through an Olympic Medal Count chart that lists countries in the order of total medals they have won. The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post are among the media outlets that present such lists. …


Most can file a complaint online. If enough people do this, the utilities have to respond.

Many people have seen insult added to burdens during the pandemic by unreasonably high utility bills. Some bills in Texas were astronomical to the point of being criminal after its recent electricity flap. Several utility companies declared bankruptcy during the scandal, and the state’s embattled attorney general announced that more than $29 million in overcharges would be forgiven.

But the situation is not confined to Texas. Most consumers across the country have likely seen their bills rise in recent months. In Maryland, my natural…


Conservatives’ favorite scapegoat not only kept far-right groups busy, diverting focus from Democrats’ actions. It failed to show on January 6, spoiling Trump’s plans for martial law.

For years, conservatives have painted Antifa as Public Enemy Number One. Needing a scapegoat on which to blame most problems, right-wingers latched onto the left-leaning, anarchistic network, which was easy to target since it has no real spokesperson or leader or someone to go on Fox News and defend it.

That campaign intensified about a year ago. When Black Lives Matter protests erupted soon after the killing of George Floyd on May 25…


There were worse offenders than Trump. Gosar incited violence more than other Congress members. Operations Chaos and Occupy the Capitol were real campaigns. Leaders used code words to avoid legal prosecution. BLM protests played a role.

To most Americans, the January 6 attack either set off a continuing crisis that has yet to be addressed, or was not as bad as many think. There seems to be little middle ground, little ways that show a path forward from a seeming abyss.

Since that day, I have been consumed by what occurred. Not because of how shocking it was, since if…

Kevin Shay

Written for 45+ newspapers/mags. Written some books — see https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-J.-Shay/e/B004BCQRTG. Visited 48 states, 30+ countries.

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