Lockdown Countdown

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night announced a nationwide lockdown, freezing 1.3 billion citizens in place starting at midnight tonight (coinciding with Ugadi, the first day of the New Year on the Hindu calendar). What a relief! For weeks I’ve been grappling with the lack of an end to coronavirus anxiety. Now we know. … Continue reading Lockdown Countdown

The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State was yesterday slandered with a dangerous new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing “deep state department” from those lips glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

Coronavirus: the Culprit

Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections was followed by an endless litany of contorted efforts to pin the hack elsewhere, including on the Democratic National Committee,  a 14-year-old hacker, and the Chinese government. Most consistent among the alleged offenders was an unnamed Jersey tuba-lard. “...It could be Russia. And it could be China. And … Continue reading Coronavirus: the Culprit

Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

The FBI needs a warrant from a judge to search your laptop. But if you use Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail for your e-mail, you ‘lose your constitutional protections immediately…’ Ideas worth re-visiting from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble. This third installment looks at how governments might abuse Internet personalization. “The FBI needs a … Continue reading Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

About Mohamed

Every year this time my thoughts turn to Mohamed (his story is here). I had reason to conjure his story this fall and found the image below. Pictured is the American Library, Kabul, circa 1958. Is this the building where Mohamed learned to love the United States? Where he read American authors and watched American movies? … Continue reading About Mohamed

Gandhi at 150

It's been 150 years since Gandhi's birth, initiating a circle that goes round today. This year Gandhi Jayanti falls on the fourth day of Navratri, and so we've made his iconic ashram part of our annual display. It's nearly finished, this replica of his simple home on the banks of the Sabarmati River in Gujarat. … Continue reading Gandhi at 150

Cube Farm

BOGIE, or Why I Wrote Patchworks My second novel addresses gun violence in America. It didn’t start out that way. Patchworks' protagonist, a millennial grad student interning for peanuts within a government bureaucracy, didn’t appear until several months into writing. And, angry as I felt to see America shredded over and over again by episodes of massive … Continue reading Cube Farm

War Novels and the War on Terror

More than 16 years ago, standing beneath a massive banner, George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq: “Mission Accomplished.” What followed this publicity stunt—he arrived on an aircraft carrier off California's coast riding in a Navy jet—were years of insurgency and bloodshed in pursuit of a Dick Cheney figment: Saddam … Continue reading War Novels and the War on Terror

Ground Control to Chandrayaan

To India's space scientists today: Keep your eyes toward the heavens... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNuSD49chY8 Your efforts these last eight years, culminating in a profound silence from Lunar Lander Vikram moments before touchdown, share a vast and spirited company. Brave adventurers have gone before you and not returned. Their sacrifices line our memories. Their endeavors fire our imagination. Your vision … Continue reading Ground Control to Chandrayaan

Again

While we sit idly by No longer dumbfounded Just dumb Numb Gunman kills 7 in a rampage that started with a West Texas traffic stop