HOW VIOLENCE IS BORN

When I was in high school, a boy I knew joined the Marines and eventually went to Vietnam. We began writing to each other, starting when he was training to be a soldier and extending through two tours of Vietnam.

DEATH BY EXHAUSTION

The last lines of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men read: “This is the way the world will end, not with a bang but a whimper.” I would like to expand on that and suggest that our collective whimper might

AMERICA’S PRE-EXISTING CONDITION

America is not feeling well. She suffers from a myriad of symptoms — fear, anger, depression, occasional nausea brought on by fear, anger and depression. Sometimes there are chills and shortness of breath, a tightness around the heart. Mornings are

DONALD TRUMP’S ODD SENSE OF HUMANITY

Shortly after bombing an airstrip in Syria, Donald Trump addressed the American people with a short speech clearly written for him, since he spoke with the awkwardness  of a third-grader delivering a book report on a book he hadn’t read.

DEAR REST OF THE WORLD

Dear Rest of the World, You have undoubtedly noticed that America now has, ensconced in the White House (when he’s not on the golf course) a less-than-sane individual. To make matters worse, he is shadowed by a rumpled man who

THIS IS NOT A REALITY SHOW

The First Amendment of the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably

A FAREWELL LETTER TO THE OBAMAS

Dear President and Mrs. Obama, For the past eight years we in this country have watched you inhabit the enormous roles of President and First Lady, giving your positions the respect and humility that such an honor deserves. Elegance can

WHAT LOVE CAN DO

A day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died, Debbie Reynolds said — according to her son — “I miss Carrie. I want to be with her.” A short while later she was gone. Amidst the sorrow, especially for the family

THE WEIGHT OF THE SOUL

Shortly before my cat, who was my companion for 19 years, died the other day, I picked her up and held her. She was already leaving this world. Her breath was shallow, her body limp. I swear she weighed less

THE BEST CAT EVER

Aretha died this morning. She was 20 years old. 19 years ago she decided to adopt me. I had moved back to California from New York and was renting a small apartment on the beach. She lived next door; the

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