Proving the Need to Resist Government by Shadows

Last night on Interchange I talked with Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine about government secrecy–more specifically the secrecy of “dark budgets” and “dark operations” and “dark lords”–inherent in the National Security State. [A Power Unto Itself: Scott Horton on the National Security Elite] Horton traces the history of the meaning of “government by the people” […]

**UPDATED**In Contradiction Against Itself: The CIA and The Government

UPDATED: 5/21 [I've added one example of Slahi's book as an illustration of the Report on Torture--there are many others I may add later.] Last night on Interchange (The State of Terror: Guantanamo Diary) the conversation centered on the literary nature of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary.  Guest Scott Korb has written about the Diary as […]

If You Really Want to Know the Truth: Salinger’s Influence on Mohamedou Ould Slahi

I am reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary. Well, actually, listening to it. You can find out a lot about it at The Guardian website dedicated to it. Something I heard and noticed I have listened to about half of the book and I had heard Slahi say this: Meanwhile, I kept getting books in […]

Druid Hill, 1969

I’ve known Dean Smith for over twenty years. Dean gave me his book of poetry American Boy upon its being published…I loved “Druid Hill, 1969″ immediately and took to Amazon.com to say so. What I said then, dear heavens, nearly 15 years ago–the age of my oldest child–is pretty much what I’d still say. But, […]

Our National Inheritance

From William Hazlitt’s essay on Shakespeare’s Henry V. Let those with ears to hear… Henry, because he did not know how to govern his own kingdom, determined to make war upon his neighbours. Because his own title to the crown was doubtful, he laid claim to that of France. Because he did not know how […]

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A Nothing More Blank

Stevens and Frost “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and […]

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A Discernment: Frost or Stevens

To ask the question concerning he daemon is to seek an origin of inspiration. Whereas Robert Frost is possessed by an external daemon whose name is Loss, hence the power of Directive, Wallace Stevens undergoes possession by the rival daemon of a Supreme Fiction. Frostian unmaking of a diminished thing contrasts antithetically with Stevens’s proposing […]

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In the Heart or In the Head

Andrew Bird’s “Darkmatter,” a riff on a song from The Merchant of Venice. Tell me where is fancy bred, Or in the heart, or in the head? How begot, how nourished? Reply, reply. It is engender’d in the eyes, With gazing fed; and fancy dies In the cradle where it lies. Let us all ring […]

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Sways it to the mood

Why we do the things we do… SHYLOCK … You’ll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh than to receive Three thousand ducats: I’ll not answer that: But, say, it is my humour: is it answer’d? What if my house be troubled with a rat And I be pleased […]

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Refuse Thy Name

Last night on WFHB’s Interchange I hosted a discussion about Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. You can download the podcast here: Interchange […]

Serving the Word

It might have been but a deception of the vapours, but, the longer the stranger was watched, the more singular […]

A Sane Impulse and a Clear Lesson: Charter Schools

Let’s dare to be honest about charter schools. There is no “testable” benefit. Which is to say that testing tells […]

The Privilege of the Engaged

In a recent “rant” about Indiana’s “testing regime” and its instrument of student “achievement” measurement, the I-STEP, posted on the […]

All Over Lost

I am nearly 47. I am very old and extremely ignorant of what has meaning to so many people these […]

To Catch a Noddy

The tops were large, and were railed about with what had once been octagonal net-work, all now in sad disrepair. […]