State of Emergency, January 2003

Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and ReflectionsEdited by Hannah ArendtSchocken Books, 1988 The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that “the state of emergency” in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We…

Birds of a Feather

From Matt Taibbi’s article today at Substack–Which brings us back to Cheney. All those things Trump is rumored to be, Dick Cheney actually is. That’s why it’s so significant that he appeared on the floor…

Dear Daisy Zamora

(After Reading Riverbed of Memory) I admit itI am filled with guiltWe didn’t do enough back in the 80sWhen the Reaganites were determinedTo crush the RevolutionTrue, you might say, the Sandinistas were far from perfectBut…

Why Did All Those People Die?

W. D. Ehrhart, The Madness of It All: Essays on War, Literature, and American Life [2002] This is a collection of the Vietnam veteran and poet’s prose pieces up till 9.11.  Some are quite short…

A Letter from 2005

April 6, 2005 Dear Andrew, I recently finished a small book by Edward Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism, and it made me think of many conversations we’ve had over the past couple of years. So…

Start Small

In The Art of Living class, we just finished considering Chan Khong’s classic work of engaged Buddhism, Learning True Love. I shared with my friends at the beginning of the course, “The Rules” of the…

An Honest Man: Smedley Butler

Marine General Smedley Butler, in a 1933 speech: “I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in…

How It Was

Michele Turner has collected personal testimonies by the East Timorese about their recent history of suffering and resistance.  Telling East Timor reminds me of Mev’s book of interviews with Brazilians, in that these, too, are…