House of Cards, Sleight of Hand

Think the opening credits for House of Cards is just some anodyne tour around the nation’s capital? Not so. One minute into the 90 second clip the camera pans desolate tracks. It’s night. All is still, the music foreboding. A locomotive blows through timed to a sudden guitar chord---sound and vision merged for a dramatic … Continue reading House of Cards, Sleight of Hand

One Year on the Beat

A year ago this week I put Jeff Mutton on the beat. Assigned to keep America’s diplomats safe in Saudi Arabia, he proved a tough match for tyrants as well as terrorists. He endured vacuous conversations during diplomatic soirees and survived quack psychiatry at the hands of State Department shrinks. He introduced us to a … Continue reading One Year on the Beat

HTML for Fake News

Recent changes to Wordpress eliminated the center justify button. This is more inconvenience than improvement, but it did lead to one decent discovery. Bloggers can still keep the left and right margins clean with a little change to the HTML code. It's easy: 1. Select the text you want to justify. 2. Hit the left justify button. 3. Switch … Continue reading HTML for Fake News

Jimmy Breslin

Jimmy Breslin, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby---together again. '...It spoke to you, and that pleases me.' Sally (Meg Ryan): “Well, let’s just say I’m not a big fan of Jimmy Breslin.” Jess (Bruno Kirby): “Well, he’s the reason I became I writer, but that’s not important.” Marie (Fisher): "Restaurants are to people in the 80s what theater … Continue reading Jimmy Breslin

Foreign Service Blogs (II)

Discovering more blogs kept by Foreign Service Officers, old and new, from DC to Bucharest, from cat-lovers to chess masters. Cross Words Among the most interesting aspects of this blog is the lack of a lapel pin declaring the author a Foreign Service Officer. Instead we see a chess enthusiast and writer of fantasy and science fiction. Currently … Continue reading Foreign Service Blogs (II)

Guest Post–Michael J. Sahno

Today I turn over this space to author and book marketing consultant Michael J. Sahno. Congratulations to Michael on today's re-launch of the novel, Miles of Files. Check back in later for a review. Marketing for Indie Authors Before I started my own publishing and consulting firm, I spent about 15 years working full time as a … Continue reading Guest Post–Michael J. Sahno

Foreign Service Readings

Continuing a short list of blogs and independent websites offering an insider's view of U.S. diplomacy steeped in experience. Not  officialdom. I previously posted this Foreign Service blog list. https://diplopundit.net Opinionated and often edgy, DiploPundit has no official connection to the U.S. Department of State. It wades into leadership issues, Foreign Service realities, international current events, and other developments in the … Continue reading Foreign Service Readings

D. W. Hitman

Warning: the reading police, disguised as the media, have infiltrated the State Department. Based on a stroll through the Harry Truman building cafeteria, one journalist for The Atlantic pretends to understand our present condition: “As the staffer and I walked among the tables and chairs, people with badges chatted over coffee; one was reading his Kindle.” Forgive me for … Continue reading D. W. Hitman