A Plague: Contesting Syria, in Context

November 4, 2013

Context They are always there, sitting on both shoulders, sounding into your ears. On either side, they buzz insistently their ceaseless drone. Now, they speak of Syria, whisper and wheedle action or inaction as they wish. They have been singing their songs of superpower or imperial America since the end of World War II. In [...]


15 comments Read the full article →

Norm of the Norm

October 22, 2013

I didn’t think I would write anything. I was not friend or family to Norm Geras, and so could speak nothing of the private man that those to whom he truly belonged had known. And how many were there who could say at least as much as I – that though I had never met [...]


5 comments Read the full article →

Edward Snowden and the Question of Authority (a Surveillance of Terms)

October 14, 2013

Edward Snowden received the Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence this week, and WikiLeaks has posted several videos of the rarely-seen whistleblower during the event. The Huffington Post As opinions about Edward Snowden have flown wildly back and forth, the vocabulary of public debate has suffered woefully. The sorry truth is that [...]


7 comments Read the full article →

A Second Look: The Honor of the Mascot, or A Team by Any Other Name

October 8, 2013

The latest publicity over the very name of the Washington Redskins is only the most recent eruption in a longtime simmer. As recently as 2009, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case dating back to 1992. This should not surprise given that the Supreme Court has never overturned Johnson v. McIntosh, its 1823 decision [...]


5 comments Read the full article →

A Second Look: James Madison & the Tea Party

October 2, 2013

The current government shut down over the Affordable Healthcare Act speaks directly to issues found in the nation’s beginnings. Among the many ironies of Tea Party foolishness is that while its adherents are enemies of federalism and shape minor deities of the nation’s founders, the nation’s founders very purposefully opted for federalism. This post from [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

Homer (Dean Adler)

September 29, 2013

September 1, 1999 – September 27, 2013 Homer was a 21st century dog, so he took the last names of both his parents… In his tenth month, he met his adoptive older sister, Penelope (Anne Dean – third and most diminutive in the line of Anne Deans)… It was instant love, and through the rest [...]


25 comments Read the full article →

Photography, Fathers, and Mayors

September 23, 2013

When Gil Garcetti was voted out as Los Angeles District Attorney in 2000 after two terms, he turned his dedication in life to another love besides the law – photography. In the years since, he has become a respected figure in the L.A. and broader photo community. He is especially known for what has become [...]


0 comments Read the full article →

Masters of War

September 11, 2013

 “Masters of War,” compellingly titled, fortuitously timed in its creation, ranks among Bob Dylan’s most jejune songs. The apparent good fortune of its historic timing emerged out of a natural uprising from circumstance. Given that circumstance, and the song’s generalized complaint, how, it almost seems, could the United States not have become fully drawn into [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

Forgetfulness Is a Chemical Weapon

September 6, 2013

Something fails to fire. Across the synaptic gap, neurotransmission falls short. For only a moment or forever, we cease to remember – “as if,” Billy Collins writes, … one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are [...]


0 comments Read the full article →

Seeking Submissions: Wiyoĥpeyata, a New Journal of Native American Literature

September 3, 2013

Our friends at Alternating Current press, who are behind so many fine projects and publications, have yet one more, Wiyoĥpeyata: a Literary Journal for the Pine Ridge Reservation. The title, in Lakota, means Westward, and the journal is open to Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as well as members of neighboring Great Plains [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

Scientism, Signifying, and Meaning

August 29, 2013

Since I wrote my brief broadside against Steven Pinker’s monumentally misguided New Republic essay “Science Is Not Your Enemy: An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians,” a slew of additional responses have come to my attention. Rhetorically, my reply was a proslepsis (among its many names), a technique by which one talks about something while pretending [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

A Second Look: The Brotha & the Otha

August 21, 2013

President Obama’s summer vacation just concluded, there was a fair amount of attention to the frequency of his golfing: courses traversed, rounds played, partners played with. ABC News even gave us “Obama’s Vacation by the Numbers.” He made FIVE outings to local restaurants, including TWO dinners with friends, ONE intimate night out with the first [...]


3 comments Read the full article →

Citizen Bloomberg & the Fallacy of Appeal to Efficacy

August 13, 2013

When will it stop? I’m asking. When? These are supposedly educated people. (If all the supposeds in the world were actuals, the world would be a far, far better place than it has ever been before: all the cows would come home to hear the fat lady sing.) When will the people who would lead [...]


0 comments Read the full article →

The Spectacular Arrogance & Ignorance of Steven Pinker’s Scientism

August 8, 2013

What is one to make of an essay seeking to bridge a purported divide of understanding between science and the humanities – in which the humanities are said to fear and mistrust the sciences – that opens with the sentence, “The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists”? The essay [...]


28 comments Read the full article →

Talkin’ Shit about Race: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

July 30, 2013

Had I served on George Zimmerman’s jury I believe I would have voted to convict him of manslaughter. I form this belief independent of Trayvon Martin’s race or any conviction about Zimmerman’s racial animus or suspicions. I would have voted to convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter had Trayvon Martin been white. Had Trayvon Martin been [...]


24 comments Read the full article →

Helen Thomas and Oedipus

July 21, 2013

On the CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, new host David Folkenflik hosted three female journalists, including Judy Woodruff and Candy Crowley in considering the career and legacy of Helen Thomas. The entire discussion addressed Thomas’s groundbreaking career and generous influence on young women journalists like Woodruff and Crowley. Just before the end of the discussion, [...]


5 comments Read the full article →

As the sad red earth Turns

July 20, 2013

As you know if you have been a follower of this blog, I have withdrawn from the regular blogging of the past nearly five years in order to devote more of that time and energy to longer-form and more varied writing projects. The sad red earth is transforming into my writing website, where I will [...]


0 comments Read the full article →

A Second Look: The Uncanny John Mearsheimer

July 8, 2013

The weekend found me in my cyber perambulations encountering greater than the usual concentration of anti-Semitic eruptions from the maw of the uncivilizing world. We withdraw from the end of history. It produced my own ironic rants in twitter eruption, first on Saturday, again on Sunday. Some meditation on the nature of that ur-hatred that [...]


1 comment Read the full article →

Three Proposals for Altering the State of Surveillance

July 1, 2013

These several weeks after Edward Snowden’s arguable NSA “revelations” have offered several other kinds of revelation, including one additional that is also arguably not new – about how very badly reflexive political posturing contributes to the proper understanding of national issues or effective public debate. Let it be noted as further revealed for a broader [...]


8 comments Read the full article →

“It goes without saying”: the Further Rhetoric of Terrorist Apologia

June 24, 2013

When the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, then with Salon,interviewed Rene Brulin in 2010, the purpose of the conversation was to discuss Brulin’s research into the origins of the contemporary usage of the term “terrorism.” According to Brulin it has two origins. One is in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the late 70s, President [...]


3 comments Read the full article →