Like all American girls, I endured the usual slings and arrows associated with being born female - catcalls and wolf whistles on the street; strangers trying to lure me into their cars as I waited to be collected at school, laden down with books; boys who wouldn't take no for an answer and who'd Read More
Random Thoughts About Whatever Comes to Mind
Let's face it — whenever predictions are made, the future has a way of tearing them to shreds to the sound of loud laughter in the background. At the same time, my guess is that increasingly most people will find themselves in a job market shaped like a barbell with unequal ends. At one extreme, there'll Read More
On the face of it, Wordsworth and O. Henry would appear to have little in common, yet this morning-after-the-end of the U.S.'s international leadership role it's hard not to think of both of them.
It was O. Henry who, back in 1904 in a short story inspired by his time in Honduras, coined the term "banana republic", which was subsequently picked up by political scientists to describe politically volatile countries in Latin America whose economy was dependent on a physical asset - fruit, minerals, whatever - controlled by a combination of foreign corporations and a local elite dependent on them. Through subsidies and bribes, combined with tactics designed to destabilize legitimate national interests, the foreign commercial entities gained and retained access to the desired resource.
The result was a highly stratified society in which most of the local population was poor and survived at the mercy of a small ruling class that Read More
It's hard to believe that it's been fifteen-plus years since 9/11, a national tragedy both for what it was and what it set in play (it's not good when your leadership doesn't just lose the white hat but stomps on it, then throws it as far away from home base as possible).
It was certainly one of my odder personal experiences, as only a change in scheduling related to an Atlanta house sale kept me from being in NYC at the WTC Marriott that week Read More
Any death represents the loss of uniqueness - the one pair of hands that could shape clay in just that way, the one brain that analyzed situations in just that manner, the one person who combined just that knowledge-set, circle of acquaintances, capabilities, and experiences.
With the death last week of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, we lost something else: a true original. Known for her quirky Read More
Sometimes you read an article about someone else's experiences that brings back your own with breathtaking poignance. Today, in the midst of a world that seems prepared to devalue the worth of the written word just as it prefers easy answers and disastrous chaos to hard work and unpleasant reality, such an article appeared in the SundayReview of The New York Times. By Mahesh Rao, the article - An Elegy for the Library - describes his experiences with public libraries in Nairobi, London, and Mysore. Rao, a native of Kenya, is an award-winning writer who Read More
Writing AMERICAN HEALTH CARE has made me think, for the first time in a long time (at least seriously) about my first job, probably because it was in a medical practice, a very large medical practice.
When I was seventeen, toward the end of my freshman year in college, I lost my scholarship because I had refused to continue taking a class with a teacher who sexually harassed me. (Far from being illegal, this was considered a more or less standard job perk for a certain kind of academic jerk - and evidently still is in some schools). Read More