Freedom! …and a Sammidge

The scene last weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, a state that has recorded 15,000 COVID-19 cases and over 550 deaths. Armed protesters, organized on a Facebook group called Blue Igloo, paraded through downtown carrying shotguns, pistols, and a sweet AT-4 anti-tank rocket launcher. Thanks Facebook! When they got hungry, they marched into a Subway restaurant (remember former … Continue reading Freedom! …and a Sammidge

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 has recently been called by an unfitting new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing it called “deep state department” 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

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

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

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

Poetic Feminist Rant

I talked with a group of poets yesterday. Poetry operates at a level beyond my ordinary grasp; often it reads like an excuse for lazy incoherence rather than stabs at truth. In yesterday’s case, the writers had forged their art around efforts to ensure equal rights and legal protections for women. The event rose above … Continue reading Poetic Feminist Rant

Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

Oh happy day! New books arrived for review, including one unexpected. Thanks to a tip from writing coach, author, and blogger Marylee MacDonald and literary website Dactyl Review I find myself in possession of not one but TWO books courtesy of author U.R. Bowie. The first looks like a novel of the most ridiculous order for … Continue reading Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

“The Whites…”

An ugly and violent upward trend divides us along ethnic lines today. In order to stay sane in the face of this spreading and dangerous hate, one need only look to Walter Sobchak, the right-wing nut job Vietnam vet (and convert to Judaism!) from The Big Lebowski... https://youtu.be/dQbpx5Be5rI His utter disdain for his own dirty … Continue reading “The Whites…”

Bless Their (little) Hearts

It would be easy to give in to rage over this image in the NRA's official organ, The American Rifleman. It would be natural and normal to descend into name-calling against them. But that's exactly what the NRA wants, isn't it? Emotional contagion. Rather than express my disgust at this callous provocation to violence, I'll … Continue reading Bless Their (little) Hearts