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  • Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
    Qohelet Raba, 7:16

    אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן

    Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman

    All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.

    More colloquially translated: "Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind."

    Online Source:

  • Abraham Isaac Kook
    "The purely righteous do not complain about evil, rather they add justice.They do not complain about heresy, rather they add faith.They do not complain about ignorance, rather they add wisdom." From the pages of Arpilei Tohar.
  • Heinrich Heine
    "Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned." -- From Almansor: A Tragedy (1823).
  • Simon Wiesenthal
    Remark Made in the Ballroom of the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, Austria on the occasion of His 90th Birthday: "The Nazis are no more, but we are still here, singing and dancing."
  • Maimonides
    "Truth does not become more true if the whole world were to accept it; nor does it become less true if the whole world were to reject it."
  • Douglas Adams
    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" Epigram appearing in the dedication of Richard Dawkins' The GOD Delusion.
  • Thucydides
    "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
  • Milan Kundera
    "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."



J. S. Oppenheim's Other Blogs and Webs

  • Flickr!

  • Communicating Arts - Main Web Site
  • Communicating Arts - The Journal
  • Mustang Highways
    American highways and a six cylinder, 190 horsepower Ford Mustang 2000, Nikons, and philosophy.


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The Office of Naval Research Public Affairs Office provided my first encounter with the World Wide Web. In addition to the text creation and management part of editorial service, I had the pleasure of coding and uploading ONR publications back when there was nary a WYSIWYG HTML editor in sight. It was all still new for consumers back then in 1995. The changes in online publishing have, of course, been nothing short of incredible in the 17 years since then (I'll spare you the typing of that article right now): I've become a pretty good photographer with a legacy of unfulfilled ambitions in literary and musical circles, the detritus from that has itself been rather spectacular. close to 850 reviews of photographs submitted in the "virtual film studio" photography wing and I have no idea the count on posts or correspondence. I'm just going to say "thousands of posts". 2,248 posts as of 3 May 2007.

In music . . . I've made a very little money although I would call some of the "gigs" the best jobs I've ever had. First Night Alexandria, the open deck of a restaurant in Ellicott City, Maryland, travel for a community group in Seaford, Delaware, bars around Takoma Park and Cleveland Park in D.C.--priceless (and remunerative: First Night paid $500, for example). There, however, is a business whose retail floor you have to rather love and for which a young lifestyle may be helpful (for all those late nights and all that beer). Music probably helps me stay healthy (partly because it helps to run; it's also spiritually exalting when you get it about right), but it bothers me to have the voice I do (and do I ever have that) as well as more than a few of my own songs laying around. I'd like to get the whole thing back into shape and working for me as well.

Altogether, that's a lot of service for not a lot of reward, something too typical of the English major's fate and something I'd like to change with this blog by having it help me focus my efforts and by cultivating associates, clients, readers, publications, and patrons.

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James S. Oppenheim
Communicating Arts
Hagerstown, Maryland

[email protected]

Editor & Writer


Singer & Songwriter


B.A., English, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 1977

M.A. Outdoor Recreation Resources Management, University of Maryland, College Park 1985

M.A. English, University of Maryland, College Park 1988

Work in Progress

Glaros, Tony (Writer) and James S. Oppenheim (Photographer). Maryland Food Traditions. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, TBD.

Literary Credits

Managing Editor. Ethos, Literary Magazine of the English Graduate Organization, University of Maryland, College Park. 1987 & 1988.


Strategies: A One-Act Play. Thirty-minute tragicomedy Performed by Takoma Repertory, Takoma Park, Maryland, 1987.

Short Stories

“Leather,” The First Saffron Short Story Collection, United Kingdom, 1996;
"Tandem," The North American Review, 1995;
"Leana and the Boy," Ethos, 1988;
"Swans," Ethos, 1987;
"The Dream of the Beautiful Woman," Alioth, 1986;
"The Beast at the Crossing," Ethos, 1986.

Music Composition and Performance

2007: I've started playing open mics again and am considering developing an entirely new repertoire of traditional American and English folk music while returning some energy to songwriting and recording--I have no problem getting gigs but one business at a time, and I'm keeping photography first for occasions--I'm in business to make money--and journalism (and I'm in the "communicating arts" in general to deploy my talents and enjoy my life.

A Shug's Country. 1993. Produced guitar and vocal track for second 60-minute album of socially-conscious and unconsciously pastoral blues, country, folk, and rock music.

A Shug's Delight! 1989. Album (60 minutes) with distribution split between sales and promotion.

1997-2000—Noon show, Darlington Apple Festival, Darlington, Md., 1997, ‘98, ‘99, '00; Courtyard Troubadour, P.J.’s Restaurant, Main Street, Ellicott City, Md., August through December, 1998; Street Singer (two years running), Alexandria First Night Festival, Alexandria, Virginia; Evening Entertainer, Presbyterian Home, Washington, D.C.; February (1997): troubadour, private Valentine’s Day party, Fairfax, Va.; principle concert performer, The Boardroom, Seaford, Delaware.

1995--produced 3-minute dance composition, "Swingin' Dada" for Alexandria Department of Recreation, Merrymaker Summer Camp, Arts Division (performance: July 14, 1995). 1994--gigging private parties as pianist with standards and show tune repertoire; continued songwriting.

1993--In September, played at Fratello's in Gaithersburg, Md.; performed Tuesdays, July and August, at the Judge's Bench, Ellicott City, Md.

1992--performed in October as open mike opening act (30 minutes) at E.C. Does It Café, Ellicott City, Md., and in November as a featured act (45 minutes) at Silver Spring Folk Showcase; performed over spring and summer at Songwriter's Showcase, Westminster Inn, Maryland.

1990--Principal Male Vocalist, Alexandria Royal Fifes and Drums. Venues included Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton.

1988-89--A Shug's Delight! won airplay on WWDC's Local Licks program; 1988--Led trio, The Shugs, into Washington, D.C. venues, including Galleghar's Pub, The Royal Warrant, The Takoma Café, and Bosco's.

1987--while on vacation in Jacksonville, Florida, played at TJ's Oyster House (won free-seafood-dinner-for-two contest), Applejacks, and Mayport Naval Air Station.


I have reviewed works by Anthony Burgess, Robertson Davies and others for The Washington Book Review; sold features on Maryland's trapping industry, outdoor recreation (e.g., winter backpacking on Assateague Island National Seashore), and local entertainment for The Washington Post, Times Journal Co., (e.g., Montgomery Journal), and Recreation News. Also covered annual Chincoteague, Virginia pony swim and carnival for Firehouse Magazine, a national trade journal. In 1989, produced a short feature in The Washington Post on the Sun Dance hosted by the Piscataway Indian Nation located in Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland. In 1997, per the editor’s request, reported on Annual Christmas Bird Count for the Journal Express and provided the same paper with articles about the New Year’s holiday and St. Charles Town Centre, Maryland’s second largest shopping mall.

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music, literature, film, art, journalism, photography, politics, biography, conflict