The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down

It will be a couple of weeks before you read this, but I was reminded this morning that today (October 7th) is the one year anniversary of the coming to light of Mr. Trump’s Discourse on the Proper Wooing and Treatment of Women, so eloquently delivered to Billy Bush of Access Hollywood. More»

War All The Time

War All The Time

The truck bombing in Mogadishu and appalled everyone who heard about it. Indeed, the level of carnage was horrific. But far fewer people know what lies behind the misery of Somalia than heard of this fresh atrocity. More»

The Great Terrorist

The Great Terrorist

My boyhood neighbor, Loren Jones, was a man with an interesting story about Stalinist Russia.  He arrived there in 1937 as the first television engineer in the country, sent by his employer, the Radio Corporation of America. More»

Latest entries
Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. More»

The Trouble With It

The Trouble With It

I was ecstatic when I got the opportunity to view an advanced screening for the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Although I’m aware of the novel’s faults — for one thing, the ending drags on too long, full of overwrought imagery — I still love the whole thing, even the “bad” bits. My love doesn’t center on the scares King is famous for, but the coming-of-age story that frames the horror. More»

Utopia Banished

Utopia Banished

It is hard to get away from the impression that we are epigones. This is not, or not merely, the case due to the carnage wrought by Mr. Trump and his various protégés on the none too august institutions of American liberal democracy. More»

Refugee Lives

Refugee Lives

Simply writing a personal or family memoir would be an easier task than producing an illustrated graphic memoir. It is not only that the work is more difficult technically, but so much more is at risk in the visualization of the narrative. Emotions about family members and their lives emerge in the pictures. Visual storytelling commits where words can remain ambiguous. More»

Love the Bomb

Love the Bomb

The argument for nuclear disarmament could not be better expressed than the words: Donald Trump versus Kim Jong-Un. You don’t have to take a side because your side has already taken you. You’ve been conscripted into a potential conflict no one can control. More»

Chasing the Children

Chasing the Children

President Donald Trump has ordered an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects the nearly 800,000 people in the United States brought illegally into the country from deportation. More»

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

AFTER SIX YEARS of conflict and extended exposure to trauma, Syria is in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to Chicago-based physician Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American trauma specialist and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). More»

Erdoğan is bad for everyone

Erdoğan is bad for everyone

He never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. So went the Abba Eban-penned 1973 slogan used to describe the late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, who was routinely blamed for failing to secure peace with Israel. More»

The End of Music

The End of Music

The further we get into the millennium the more I suspect we’ll soon be looking back on the 1990s with more nostalgia, but to do so would be in bad faith. You might only do so if you think that history and politics ended at some point in the early 90s. The ethos of that decade can be summed up in one phrase: it’s all been done. More»

The Moroccan Jihadist Problem

The Moroccan Jihadist Problem

Last week, Moroccan asylum seeker Abderrahman Mechkah appeared in court on video from his hospital bed, where he was recovering after being shot in the leg by Finnish police. Mechkah pled guilty to stabbing two women to death in the coastal city of Turku, but argued that his rampage was not terrorism.  More»

Payback for Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Payback for Sheriff Joe Arpaio

With the pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Trump Administration is again using racism as its political guiding light. The language of the pardon cites Arpaio for exemplary “selfless public service” and praises him for “his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.” More»

Assad’s Allies Trying to Reshape Lebanon’s Syria Policy

Assad’s Allies Trying to Reshape Lebanon’s Syria Policy

President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Lebanon have continued to challenge Beirut’s muddled policy of disengagement with the Syrian state – so far without any repercussions. More»