Which Way?

When Gandalf asks Frodo to lead the way to Mordor, Frodo hesitates at the gate. Right or left? he asks. Left is the reply. And some of us smile. Left, we think. That’s always the right way. Others will remind us that left is the way to Mordor, but we know who wins the day. And so our fellowship heads left.

According to this recent piece in The Atlantic (and in contrast to contrary assumptions), our fellowship is expanding. Given the current crop on the right, we can only hope. Read more about Which Way?


American PTSD

For some time now, I’ve harbored a suspicion that much of the black experience in America, indeed much of African-American behavior patterns, can be traced to a history of what amounts to child abuse, rooted in the core experience of slavery. That is, Africans were brought to this continent as slaves and their descendants continued to be abused, from childhood up, until abuse and the expectation of abuse became endemic. We have a pretty good idea of how abuse as a child expresses itself in self-hatred and abusive behavior as an adult. Read more about American PTSD


The Myth of the Lone Wolf

On June 17th, Dylann Storm Roof, 21, sat with a bible study group at a church in Charleston, SC, called Mother Emmanuel, before standing up and shooting down nine of the people gathered there.

On June 26th, Saifeddine Rezgui, 23, concealed a Kalashnikov assault rifle in a beach parasol and opened fire at the Imperial Marhaba resort hotel beach in Sousse, Tunisia. At present, the death toll is 39. Read more about The Myth of the Lone Wolf


My Take

A little fantasy: Yes, indeed, Iran is lying her head off about her nuclear capability so far and actually has a couple of little bombs stashed away in the cupboard. So now she can pretend to accede to the demands (without making it sound too easy), get all the sanctions removed, and then proceed to behave like a reasonable country with an educated and prosperous citizenry, including women, and we'll just never know. Read more about My Take


American Dreaming

Politicians and pundits throw the words American Dream around like a brand name, like it’s something akin to Nike or Amazon or Apple. Like it’s something people come here to “get.” And if the streets are no longer paved with gold, if there isn’t any more gold in them thar hills, maybe it’s somewhere on e-bay. Read more about American Dreaming


PC ‘r’ Me

I have a problematic relationship with the concept of Political Correctness. Problematic because I rebel against the exclusion of certain words or ideas from the national conversation, and even more from literature and history, while at the same time recognizing that very often what we call something determines our relationship to that very thing. Read more about PC ‘r’ Me