Archive | September, 2010

Beethoven Vs Kid Rock

       Beethoven Versus Kid Rock   I heard an ad on the radio recently, for a youth-oriented clothing company. The ad never mentioned a product. It merely presented a teenage girl saying: “I don’t like classical music. I don’t care if it’s supposed to be better or whatever! Rock and roll just makes me […]

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Parliamentary candidates

  Afghan Political Candidates:    Beyond Beards, Bullets, and Bribes       Afghans went to the polls on September 18, to choose 249 members to the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of parliament. Some election observers saw signs of fraud even before the election and so discounted its results. The Taliban called for a boycott and […]

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Naming Things

  Naming Things   I’ve spent the last two hours trying to think of a name for this blog. A label. Names, titles, slogans, headlines and labels–some people have a genius for them. Some don’t. I, alas, am in the don’t pile. For this blog–column–whatever it is, I thought of: Notes and Natterings. Mind Over […]

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Two Sets of Questions

Two Sets of Questions                         It seems to me that there are two sets of questions to ask about Afghanistan.                           One set are foreign policy questions from the U.S. side: What is the goal there? What has the American policy been, and what has it achieved?  What should the policy be and what are the […]

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A Bank Teeters

  A Bank Teeters, a Nation Trembles   The biggest private bank in Afghanistan is teetering on the edge of collapse. If you’ve been following the news, you know this. But in case you haven’t been following it closely, here’s some background.  The trouble started on August 30 when the chief officers of Kabul Bank […]

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Stop Surfing

  Notes and Thoughts   Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?   A guy named Nicholas Carr has written a book asserting that the Internet has changed the way our brains work–it’s making us less able to concentrate, he claims.  The first time I heard his thesis, I kinda’ rebelled against it. I heard him […]

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Column

  The Invisible American Culture   Does America have a culture? I don’t mean “Kulcha,” as in high-flown symphonies and ballet, but culture, small c, a distinctive flavor, that je ne sais quoi that a group of people emanates by virtue of all its shared attitudes and styles. Some say no. America, they say, is […]

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The Widow’s Husband

The Widow’s Husband In 1839, the British marched into Afghanistan, overthrew its king, and occupied Kabul. Three years later, the entire British community tried to flee Afghanistan over the Hindu Kush mountains, but only one man made it. The Widow’s Husband is a historical novel set against the backdrop of this First Anglo-Afghan War. Other novels […]

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