BDS: As American As Apple Pie

First published on Huffington Post, Aug 14, 2016

For the last two years, while writing Liberty Landing, my social novel about the American experience that was inspired by John Dos Passos’ U.S.A., I have been steeped in the history of America’s founding and the American Revolution. As a third culture immigrant with an early formative education emphasizing British, Asian, and world history, with a lesser focus on American history, considering the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution through a polycultural lens has been an endeavor in refraction. My illations and realizations are oblique — propagated waves changing direction because of the very nature of the transmission.

In studying the canon of American history and historiography, surveying source documents and museum artifact collections, and divining like the runes the work of brilliant historians and chroniclers of history, I learned some…

Evidence of Things Seen: The Art of Nancy Lu Rosenheim

First published in Huffington Post Jul 1, 2016

Chicago artist, Nancy Lu Rosenheim, was in Cambodia, drifting in and out of the inevitable vortex of travel and timelessness, enervated by Equatorial heat, and frequently ruminating on a site-specific exhibition about swallows that she was planning for the Hyde Park Art Center,
when she set eyes on the Ta Prohm temple at Angkor Wat.
“I was overwhelmed by the way nature both adhered to and inhabited the architecture,” Rosenheim said, of the eerily stunning ruins built by an ancient king, abandoned in the 15th century, rediscovered in the 20th, and made famous in Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider. “The seeds of the trees had planted themselves inside and outside the walls and stones of the monastery walls, and had become woven into the architecture. They were inextricably linked and any attempt to detach them would have meant th…

This Year In Palestine: Review of "5 Broken Cameras"

In 2003-04,  after Israel began construction of its 425-mile security fence in the West Bank,  a Middle East Affairs listserv I belonged to at the time, started circulating news tips, alerts, and sources for those of us interested in developing stories. 

One news alert  was a catalog of hardships faced by Palestinians as a consequence of the fence, culled from various news sources.  Farmers on the West Bank were angry that they could not lead their sheep to pasture or harvest their olive and guava trees because Israel's new fence separated them from their land.

There was a quote from a Palestinian farmer that burrowed under my skin. "Can somebody intervene here? We cannot get through the Israeli fence to our land. All the sheep owned by the village are going to starve. Many of our ewes have miscarried. We cannot bear to watch. You know when birds get stuck in oil slicks or whales get beached, everybody rushes to help them. Maybe helping the Palestinians is complicated. But …

My Huff Post Review of John Wood's "Creating Room to Read"

"Perhaps, Sir, you will someday come back with books." The words were uttered in 1998 by the headmaster of a grade school in Bahundanda, Nepal -- that had a library, but no books -- to John Wood, a stressed out American senior executive at Microsoft, who was trekking the area's famed Annapurna Circuit. "...maybe if you went high enough into the Himalayas, you could not hear Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) screaming at you," Wood had told a friend before the trip.

The headmaster's remark, less a Jedi mind trick than the formal vernacular of British English spoken in the East, would irrevocably change Wood's life and eventually the lives of impoverished children and girls in Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia.

Wood's just released book, "Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in…
I'm going off the journalism grid for a while to focus on my social enterprise Rainworks Omnimedia and to finish Liberty Landing, my big, spidery multicultural fictional web. The most memorable thing I read recently is singer, Fiona Apple's letter to her fans about her dying dog.

I am Migrating to Blogger

Moving to a new country in blogosphere from old Serendipity platform to Blogger. Please ignore  large scale archivist dump of all my posts in seemingly illogical,  non-chronological order.

President Obama's "Spock" Rationale On Iraq War Investigation Untenable - 5/30/2009

First published in Huffington Post

In a recent interview with Newsweek, President Obama mentioned seeing the latest Star Trek movie and that everybody was saying he was Spock. In another interview a while ago, the First Lady said, "The President is a very rational man."

This explains a lot. The President's refusal to investigate the Bush Administration's policies and actions relating to the Iraq War is the embodiment of Vulcan logic, free from messy human emotions and moral obligation.

The President has said he wishes the country to move forward instead of looking back--a nice mantra for our collective denial. Let's nail that to the wall, next to Bush Labor secretary, Elaine Chao's call to Iraqi women after their lives had been reduced to rubble by 'Shock and Awe': "In a democracy, the most important factor is energy." Taxidriver husband in Abu Ghraib? Daughter raped in US custody? Teenage son sodomized with a truncheon? Never mind all that.…