Archive | Uncategorized

Not Your Founding Father’s Democracy

      Not Your (Founding) Father’s Democracy       Another gut-wrenching presidential campaign season screams into full gear. What a process! Why on Earth did the founders ever craft such a system? Actually, they didn’t. The process we are in the middle of bears little resemblance to the one that put George Washington […]

Continue Reading 0

The Case for Liberal Arts

     Higher Education   The Case for Liberal Arts       It’s too soon to write obituaries for the classic, residential, liberal arts college. Applications at my own alma mater, Reed College, are up. Ditto for Haverford, Williams, and all their ilk. But why would anyone pay for an education that provides no concrete […]

Continue Reading 1

Lately in Afghanistan

    Lately in Afghanistan     Here’s a rundown of developemen in (and/or related to) Afghanistan over the last month. August 22, 2012 The U.S. military has beefed up security measures for contractors in Afghanistan to protect them against “green-on-blue” violence—incidents in which Afghans in army or police uniforms attack the NATO soldiers they’re working […]

Continue Reading 0

What Is Money?

Puzzled Musing   What Is Money?     I once ran across a a website called Zeitgeist that was peddling a paranoid conspiracy theory about money and the Federal Reserve and banking in general. The paranoia seemed to stem from the writers’ observation that in the money system as it currently stands, banks create money […]

Continue Reading 1

legalize pot

    Lessons from Amsterdam     Legalize Pot Already     Debby and I went to Amsterdam recently and did a number of fun things besides smoke dope legally. Actually, we never got around to smoking dope legally. I wanted to. I intended to. There was a “coffeehouse” (as they’re called) half a block […]

Continue Reading 1

The Self as Village

    Improving the Inner Village    The World Health Organization defines health as that state in which a person not only copes with problems but seeks them out. I think of health as the underlying condition that enables a person to live a life of unbroken concentration and absorption. In the well-known Zen parable, […]

Continue Reading 0

Afghanistan 2012

      In March of 2012, I went to Afghanistan for the first time in 10 years.  That last time, ten years ago, America had recently taken control of the country and the new Karzai government was just getting seated. Now, in 2012, the American occupation is supposedly winding down and there is no […]

Continue Reading 0

Occupy Deconstructed

    (Don’t) Occupy Oakland   I keep wanting to say a few words about the Occupy movement, but everything I want to say has been said by someone at this point. Yet the urge to say a few words about Occupy doesn’t abate, so I’ll go ahead and say this much: I was all […]

Continue Reading 0

Afghanistan in 2002

    Afghanistan in 2002   Kabul Spring     In the summer of 2002, I set foot in Afghanistan for the first time in thirty-eight years. I flew in from Delhi on the once-a-week Ariana flight just after the airlink opened The plane looked like it might have been the same one I took […]

Continue Reading 0