Category: Life

The Human Rights Litmus Test

Straight from the Department of Cruel Irony – actually, the State Department of the United States – our government’s annual report on worldwide human rights is now available to the public. The 2013 edition graphically outlines all the terrible stuff that’s going on around the globe, a catalogue of affronts to human kindness and decency....

Feynman’s Rainbow

String Theory has helped teach humankind that more is possible — and probable — than most of us are capable of imagining. Crazy stuff. Like, theoretical physicists with a sense of humor and a talent for writing. Leonard Mlodinow’s “Feynman’s Rainbow,” a breezy memoir about his days as a young scientist at Caltech, is a kind...

Poem: Thank You to the Birds

Perched on a wire, a feathered ornament prettifying the blight of power lines graphing the sky with staves and you’re the notes. La-la-la…and a little higher Laah! Yah, hah, how you make me la-la-la, How you make me laugh With something like childlike, childish, altogether foolish Joy joy. Oh, joy. That kind. Thank you, I’ll...

Poem: Yoga Lesson

What is arrogant contrary to your view would be to presume that the threshold of excellence you’ve artificially set  — what does and doesn’t qualify for literature art excellent worthiness – earned along the way the organic certification, the one we all hope we’re worth. In fact, my dear, my darling, my [insert pet name...

Poem: Poet Philosopher

Let this be my manifesto to be tacked upon cathedrals and posted on digital walls where everyone in the world goes to look at what isn’t happening to them. It has thusly been decreed that He is I and I is He – another way to say that I is We, and He and You...

Poem: Scandal

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE KONIK, born February 27, 1936. R.I.P.   And although I don’t share your candid misanthropy I understand and I am sorry. Father who left us all too soon I understand and I am sorry. Our species, the one you claimed to despise, having peered inside yourself and all around the carousel, having...

Family Problems

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where thousands died and hundreds-of-thousands more were left homeless, almost everyone I spoke to asked the same question: My Filipina wife — was anyone in her immediate family affected? Everyone was greatly relieved to learn that, no, none of my wife’s immediate...

Sanitary Mafias

Opportunistic petty criminals, the kind that go after old lady pocketbooks and unattended bicycles, generally aren’t very organized. They don’t have thorough long-range plans and an extensive network of colleagues to help coordinate their heists. Most unsuccessful criminals are desperate loners, independent contractors of malfeasance who can never stay one step ahead of The Man....

The Freedomaire

We’re taught that freedom is a concept worth fighting and dying for. We’re taught that freedom is what makes the United States of America the greatest country on Earth. Freedom, we’re taught, is man’s divine state; to abridge or steal it is a kind of crime against Nature. Yet most of us abdicate whatever freedom...

The Golden Rule

Expressed in portentous Bible-speak, the Golden Rule means “Do unto others as ye shall have them do unto you.” Put plainly: Treat others how you would like to be treated. Progressive yoga types enhance and sharpen the meaning: “Be the change you wish to see.” They also believe the Golden Rule involves love moving in...