Dennis E. Powell's View from Mudsock Heights

Dennis E. Powell is crackpot-at-large at Open for Business. Powell was a reporter in New York and elsewhere before moving to Ohio, where he has (mostly) recovered. You can reach him at

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Darkness in the Afternoon

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 03, 2024 at 9:58 PM

There will be a total solar eclipse in much of the U.S. on Monday. It will represent a rare occasion to watch . . . feather-headed television anchors say things even stupider than usual, which is a feat. Many people will destroy expensive cameras and others will damage their eyesight attempting respectively to capture and observe the event.

Fat Men Fighting

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 27, 2024 at 11:04 PM

A friend was preparing for a visit to Japan. He would be spending a few days in Osaka and wondered about things to do in Japan’s second-biggest city. I said that I’d seen that the Grand Sumo championship would be underway there during his trip. It might provide an interesting cultural experience.

All the Sins Ever Committed

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 20, 2024 at 9:27 PM

You’re probably not a “big-C” Catholic. Most people aren’t. Some of us increasingly doubt that the pope himself is. We can’t tell, because he spends most of his public time being a fascio-leftist politician.

Easter is a week and a half away, and it seems a good time to bring up something I’ve pondered for decades, on which Roman Catholicism gave me a unique view.

Senile Gray Biden Hood and Trumplestiltskin

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 13, 2024 at 9:27 PM

And so we turn to fairytales. I don’t mean the softened modern children’s story versions, but the hard-core, often brutal originals. They usually don’t have any moral: they’re not fables. Instead, they are fanciful stories that occasionally go in the direction of fable, often in the direction of religion, sometimes taking us nowhere but a place of fear and bleak despair. They are more sophisticated versions of campfire ghost stories.

Indoor Kudzu?

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 06, 2024 at 11:10 PM

The moment of infestation is as clear as if it were this morning. It was a gorgeous day in the spring of 1986 and I was walking on the south side of East 86th Street in New York City, toward its intersection with Third Avenue. The weather was sunny and warm, but not hot. As was common, street vendors had blankets spread on the sidewalk and from there they (probably illegally) sold their goods.


By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 28, 2024 at 11:08 PM

The nightmare is here, and it is real.

Some people I like and respect speak of the great hope of “artificial intelligence.” History suggests they are wrong. They would be right if we were a benevolent species, but we are not, never have been, and this side of Heaven never will be.

What To Eat?

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 21, 2024 at 9:58 PM

One of my favorite streaming channels is Japan’s NHK World, broadcast in English. It isn’t very pleasing when it has programs about other countries — I go there to learn about Japan — but it often has satisfying, even soothing shows about that country’s tremendous beauty and rich culture.

Bread and Circuses

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 14, 2024 at 10:37 PM

The conclusion that the United States is in its bread-and-circuses phase is just about impossible to escape, and our response to it proves the point.

Talking with the Groundhog

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 07, 2024 at 10:15 PM

It was warmish here, certainly warm by seasonal standards, last Friday, which happened to be Groundhog Day, the day we celebrate the pulverized pork product usually called “sausage.” Okay, I’ve been waiting to make that joke for years, and the fact that I do now reflects a mood that I think others share.

Headed to Hell, But Entertained

By Dennis E. Powell | Jan 31, 2024 at 11:39 PM

Here we are again. Each time it is worse than the time before. We’re speeding toward the point when, come November, we will have a choice between two men whom we know are unqualified to be president of the United States. The only positive thing that can be said for either is that he is not the other.

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