‘Tough Guy’ Rights

Representative Chris Collins is acting tough. “Here’s what’s not up for debate,” the New York Republican wrote in Monday’s Washington Post. “From now on, I’ll be exercising my Second Amendment right to carry a firearm as I travel my district.” Collins has some right to feel the need for protection. A gunman went ballistic last … Continue reading ‘Tough Guy’ Rights

Expeditionary Diplomacy

The otherwise respectable American Diplomacy, which publishes 'Foreign Service Despatches and Periodic Reports on U.S. Foreign Policy,' included my review  of of Ambassador James R. Bullington's Foreign Service Memoir, The Road Less Traveled, in the latest lineup. The memoir recounts a career that started in expeditionary diplomacy for the State Department during the U.S. military … Continue reading Expeditionary Diplomacy

Witch Hunt

Let's not kid ourselves. Among the many mistakes in Arthur Miller's talented life (he divorced Marilyn Monroe after just 5 yrs) was his choice of title for The SINGLE GREATEST Story About American History's Salem Witch Trials. The Crucible. The Crucible? What's this, Chemistry class? Are we grinding elements here to torch them with a … Continue reading Witch Hunt

We, the People from U.N.C.L.E.

Enough! The past eight days has brought just too much to keep up with. How do you address and condemn one awful imposition on our sanity without condoning all the others by omission? And how can you possibly write up all that condemnation?! This quandary has me in a state of total paralysis. Let me … Continue reading We, the People from U.N.C.L.E.

The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade

I want loyalty, I need loyalty No writing has influenced my work more than Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Not the Bible. Not the Constitution. Not even The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is a pretty great book and should be thrown full force at anyone who tries to ban it. I wrote my first novel, Two … Continue reading The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade

Voice

Paul Theroux's voice in black and white, on the page, captivated me from the start: natural, authoritative, transferring all kinds of observation from the most minute cultural idiosyncrasy to the cruelest cut at character---fictional or real.  I started reading him 20 years ago with My Secret History. Until today, I'd known Theroux only through text … Continue reading Voice

Deplorable

The ghost of Hillary Clinton had something to say in California this week: "I get the nomination. So I'm now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. I mean, it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had … Continue reading Deplorable