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Derek Jeter vs Rudy Giuliani

After three long weeks of high profile media appearances, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received this warm welcome from his hometown crowd. https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/1001216940365430784 He sought cover from the public rebuke by saying of New Yorkers, 'They boo you when they love you,' logic that doesn't quite square with this round of boisterous huzzahs … Continue reading Derek Jeter vs Rudy Giuliani

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48 Stars for Memorial Day

Thousands of bikers will roar into DC this weekend, rolling thunder to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who, for one reason and another, participated in the aggression we call the Vietnam War. Little notice will herald the sacrifice of those whose land was destroyed by that aggression, whose lives irrevocably changed—but anti-war thoughts … Continue reading 48 Stars for Memorial Day

Imagination–Reblogged from Valor and Compassion

Writing insights worth re-posting: Silence, too, is a tool in the wordsmith’s toolbox–perhaps the most potent of all in an art wrought by and from words. The caesura, a moment of silence in music and a metrical pause in poetry, allows readers (and musicians, and writers) to catch their breath. This pause also allows emotion … Continue reading Imagination–Reblogged from Valor and Compassion

Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

Without telling us the punchlines, Dutch researchers announced this week the discovery of four dirty jokes papered over in Anne Frank’s diary. I taught the diary as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi two decades ago, curious from the start why it was on the curriculum. My students faced a lifetime of grinding poverty, endemic … Continue reading Sex Ed: Anne Frank in Africa

Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Tom Wolfe's passing takes me back to undergrad years and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff, but it was Acid Test---published 50 years ago---that made Tom Wolfe electric. We were studying Ken Kesey under Barry Leeds and there was never enough to go around. Cuckoo's Nest … Continue reading Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Answer Coming Soon

When I feel ornery about the state of world affairs, I turn to Dan Whitman for a cure. Because he gifted me a large stack of his books, he doesn’t always know this. Whitman’s essays reflect on wide-ranging issues for the foreign affairs professional. They cut across decades (mostly post World War II) and continents … Continue reading Answer Coming Soon

A Note Is Worth a Thousand Words

A reflection for Mothers Day. Friday morning I made French toast before catching a train to work. The loaf wasn’t finished, but it was time to make more bread. I remember as a kid coming downstairs in the morning to find notes on the kitchen table. These were friendly greetings, chatty in mood but pithy … Continue reading A Note Is Worth a Thousand Words

When Writing Is Going Well…

To learn how today's funniest flash nonfiction writers answer a few simple questions, check the news feed over at Woodhall Press. Fiction or Nonfiction? Is it harder to write funny or sad? Long form or short form? Poetry or prose? Boxers or kickboxers? Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that? Cloned … Continue reading When Writing Is Going Well…

The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Reflecting on U.S. Diplomacy. An excerpt: The next-to-last time I saw Mohamed---11:15 a.m., December 6, 2004---a blast-resistant window separated us. The day’s final applicant, he was alone in the waiting room when the high-low alarm started wailing. An Afghan male taking refuge in Saudi Arabia from the time of the Soviet invasion of his country, … Continue reading The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Here Come the Floods

After take your child to work day comes take your dad to school day. What I learned on the school's field trip to Jamestown: Fourth Graders are too cool for the luxury coach toilet. Until they aren't. A few snide remarks went around this morning at the back of the bus. Comments on odor. Nervous … Continue reading Here Come the Floods