Friday, May 21, 2021

World Wide Woodard is Moving!

A programing note for all you loyal readers out there: World Wide Woodard is moving.

For 12 and a half years now -- starting on a crisp night in Reykjavik, Iceland in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse -- this blog has been hosted here at Blogger. But I recently (and very belatedly) launched a newly revamped website, replacing my circa 2001 home built embarrassment for a beautifully rendered and professionally designed replacement courtesy of Springtide Studio in Portland, Maine. And the new website can host my blog in one delightful, analytically seamless spot.

So, starting yesterday, I've started posting my fresh material there -- at -- and will be, for the most part at least, not replicating the posts here on Blogger, so as to encourage everyone to start following me there. (All posts up until this one have been replicated there as well.)

So please check out the new site, let me know what you think, and thank you as always for reading.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Union a Finalist for a Maine Literary Award

I’m honored that my latest book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, has been named a finalist for the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Non-Fiction, an honor the other two books in the “series” also received. Competition will be fierce, though, as fellow Mainer Kerri Arsenault‘s Mill Town is among them.

The award is given by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, a worthy non-profit supporting the state’s literary community. The winners will be announced at this year’s (virtual) awards ceremony the evening of May 27.

For more on Union, visit the new webpage hereAmerican Nations and American Character — which together with Union form an informal trilogy on United States nationhood and its myriad problems — won the award in 2012 and 2016 respectively.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Talking pirates with Press Herald Live, May 13, 7pm

For subscribers of the Portland Press Herald: I'll be talking with colleague Katherine Lee about the real pirates of the Caribbean, what it was like to write and research Republic of Pirates, and the experience of being an on-camera expert for Netflix's recent hit docudrama series "Lost Pirate Kingdom." Should be fun and I'll be answering audience questions as well.

The pandemic is still on so this is a virtual event. Good news is you don't have to travel, but you do need to subscribe. But, hey, if you do it's free and you get to support local journalism here in Maine. 

It all kicks off online this Thursday, May 13 at 7pm. Registration details here.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Meet Christiane Northrup, Maine's Doctor of Disinformation

Maine's very own celebrity doctor, Christiane Northrup of Women's Bodies, Women's Selves fame, has called about by US Senators and banned from Instagram for being one of the "disinformation dozen," a group of anti-vaccine propagandists said to be responsible for nearly two thirds of such content on social media. But, as I described in the Maine Sunday Telegram last week, Northrup's message is much farther "out there" then you'll probably expect.

She's been telling her followers -- and in-person Q-adjacent conference attendees -- to stay away from vaccinated people because they're allegedly contagious with malignant vaccine particles that have turned them -- and maybe you -- into remote-controllable slaves via the micro robots (and two-way 5G antennas) injected into them with the vaccine... all as part of a global plot by an elite to somehow advantage Bill and Melinda Gates (together and separately, one assumes) via the medium of cryptocurrency. And that's just the start of it.

Meanwhile, Maine has been undergoing an ICU surge from unvaccinated people -- many of them under 50 -- who are coming down with very acute forms of COVID-19, a topic I wrote about later in the week in the Portland Press Herald.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Congressional earmarks are back -- Here are Maine's House member's short lists

After a ten year hiatus, the US House is restoring earmarks, the member-directed spending requests that were eliminated after a series of corruption scandals. The change -- which includes a variety of guardrails to make corruption far more difficult -- received bipartisan endorsement in the chamber.

Each member of the House can request ten earmarks, though only a fraction are likely to receive funding in the final cut months from now. But here are the 20 projects the two Democrats in my state, Maine, chose, via the Portland Press Herald. (That's Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Jared Golden for those who don't follow our state as closely as all peoples of the world should.)

I wrote earlier on the earmarks process and how Pingree would have an outsized influence, due to her chairmanship of a Appropriations subcommittee.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Maine's redistricting hits a constitutional Catch-22

As you've probably heard, the pandemic (and the Trump administration) delayed the 2020 US Census, upon which states must redraw their congressional and legislative districts to account for relative population changes over the past decade. 

Here's the problem I wrote about in this week's Maine Sunday Telegram. The Census Bureau won't be able to provide the requisite data until late August. In Maine the state constitution requires these maps be completed in June AND that they be based on said data.

What happens next? Nobody really seems to know, though there's a consensus that the state's highest court will somehow solve it. Details in the story.

Also, I've been neglecting the blog of late because my newly revamped website has had a soft launch and, in theory, will be hosting this blog. The latter is still a work in progress, but you can check out the site here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What Netflix's "Lost Pirate Kingdom" Got Right (and wrong) About the Golden Age Pirates

I greatly enjoyed being an on-camera expert for Netflix's hit docudrama series "Lost Pirate Kingdom," which essentially tells the story of the Golden Age pirate gang related in my 2007 work of history, The Republic of Pirates.

But how accurate was the six-part series, which has reignited interest in Blackbeard and his peers in the Flying Gang?

I wrote up my thoughts on that over at Talking Points Memo. Hope you enjoy it and the series.