Rock Paper Scissors Shutdown

Gun violence isn't the only systemic failure of the federal government to be yodeled at with doomed futility in Patchworks. Furloughs and government shutdowns also pepper a story full of recurring small deaths. There comes a point---moments before the plot's big turn---when two sympathetic colleagues must choose: which of them will take a round of furloughs instead of … Continue reading Rock Paper Scissors Shutdown

Mexico Time

We are waiting on a shuttle from the Cancun airport (CUN) to Puerto Morelos, half an hour south. The driver checks on some paperwork after shoving a couple dozen suitcases into the rear. Sweating in the sun, he reviews his clipboard, makes a call, consults his coworkers dressed in matching tropical shirts. The Americans behind … Continue reading Mexico Time

Vs. Newspeak

Vulnerable. Entitlement. Diversity. Transgender. Fetus. Evidence-based. Science-based. Susceptible. Privilege. Variety. Trans. Unborn child. Data-driven. Science-centered. Stay flexible. Be prepared.* (*wanted: substitutes for suspect terms---diplomacy, equality, literacy, peace, stability, investigation, special counsel, democratic, dissent. Facts).

Little Green Men

I'm about done reading Little Green Men, Christopher Buckley's satiric romp through an imaginary government bureaucracy established in 1947 to promulgate UFO hysteria in America. MJ-12's mission: keep the Russians off-balance during the Cold War & boost support for Defense spending against unknown threats by means of increasingly intrusive forms of alien-related phenomena. What begins as mere sightings … Continue reading Little Green Men

Adventures in Punctuation

Important for boys: Digging up the backyard to make a pond, building makeshift shelters out of branches, then hiding inside to spot the wildlife attracted to the pond. Not important for boys: Punctuation. Or did the publisher assume that some kid's sister would get ahold of The Boy's Book of Adventure and refuse to let … Continue reading Adventures in Punctuation

10 Words I Hate

Manspreading. Not in defense of the posture or those who assume it. The word's as gross as it is misleading. I predict an EEO complaint in its future. File this word with mansplaining as a crappy portmanteau. Votarama. Actually, this whimsical-sounding act occurs when congress picks America’s pockets and probes our inner reaches for pork. … Continue reading 10 Words I Hate

Dear Pepe,

The ugliness caught up with you. Charlottesville rebuked your kind in August. This week, the entire Commonwealth did. I'm not one to gloat, Pepe. I like democracy. I like the free flow of ideas and the First Amendment. I even like torches --- especially when carried before the White House to celebrate suffrage for African … Continue reading Dear Pepe,

Prophetic—

Patchworks is sadly a timely tale of national character and individual insight, juxtaposing individual lives and Second Amendment rights. One reads this engaging, often amusing, and ultimately disturbing account in light of an advancing history of public massacres involving firearms. WorldView Magazine's Peter Van Deekle reviews Patchworks at Peace Corps Worldwide. Excerpts: B.A. East brings … Continue reading Prophetic—

Remarks at Indie Author Day

My new novel is the quintessential Washington, DC book. At the climax to Patchworks, hundreds of federal workers stream from their offices, urged on by the sound of a screaming alarm. They gather on a grassy knoll near the National Mall, some of them leaning on one another, some of them sobbing, others in stony, … Continue reading Remarks at Indie Author Day

I Pledge Allegiance to…

Pro footballers aren't the only ones questioning what it means to practice freedom of expression. Take this scene from Patchworks, released Thursday from Moonshine Cove Publishing, in which two federal bureaucrats dispute the meaning of loyalty. For the rakish Brad Harcourt it means standing beside his desk every day and pledging allegiance to the flag, … Continue reading I Pledge Allegiance to…