Essential Non-Essential

Shutdown 2018 continues unabated, and so do excerpts from life at the  government's Bureau of Government Intelligence and Execution---better known as BOGIE. What happens when DC's 'Fed Buffet' closes its doors---and its payroll---on the public servants who work to prevent  America's next tragedy? Furloughed, you say? Is this what you signed up for? "How do you arrive at … Continue reading Essential Non-Essential

Shutdown Chores

Week one of Government Shutdown 2018 comes to an end, bringing to mind the plot of Patchworks. So why not run a few excerpts from Chapter 12, in which DC's 'Fed Buffet' closes its doors---and its payroll---on a mix of kindly public servants who only wanted to prevent the next great American tragedy. Government intern … Continue reading Shutdown Chores

Redacted!

Today's news has me thinking about redactions. You know, those heavy black lines that prove there are things we do not know or should not know or cannot know, God save the Queen and long live the Republic. And these known unknowns are significant enough that an unseen hand took the trouble of writing them down … Continue reading Redacted!

Shattered Glass

I picked up Greg Matos’ Shattered Glass—The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard with a narrow purpose. I wanted to read about the December 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I wanted to know what it felt like to be the Marine standing Post when five heavily armed terrorists stormed our compound, killing … Continue reading Shattered Glass

Abused

We interrupt this abuse of the First Amendment to bring you this abuse of the Second. #MourningInAmerica       ##

Citizen, Censored

....were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. In 1787 Thomas Jefferson summarized the essential nature of a free press to ensuring democratic governance with the following lines, written from Paris where he … Continue reading Citizen, Censored

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

Featured Blog—by Anonymous

The Skeptical Bureaucrat Bringing a new feature to Ben East Books by sharing a blog that caught my eye last week. The Skeptical Bureaucrat offers a number of excellent features, but none more excellent than it's anonymity. Yes, it's an established presence going back over a decade. Yes, it regularly runs the 'Most Head Shakingly … Continue reading Featured Blog—by Anonymous

Blog of the Week

This pleasant surprise came across my desk yesterday. A blogger at The Skeptical Bureaucrat writes: I picked up some nice items at the AAFSW* book fair last week, and one of them was this quirky novel Two Pumps for the Body Man, which the author describes as a soft-boiled diplomatic noir... The story is a … Continue reading Blog of the Week

Vote

I'm campaigning for nobody. Not much needs to be said. Just fill in the dot beside the name that stirs the least opprobrium, fold, seal, and send. Guide others to do the same. If possible, do it in person.       ##