Quakers in uniform: oxymoron, or profound truth?

I spend so much time celebrating the courage of soldiers that some might wonder where the old peacenik had got to. (If some old classmate from Binghamton stumbled here, e.g., what they might remember most is my play Too Many Martyrs, a  melodrama about the U.S.-to-Canada draft resister underground railroad.) But as I construct myContinue reading “Quakers in uniform: oxymoron, or profound truth?”

diving into the wreck

A post of re-entry: the task of moving while doing the newsblog for Women’s Voices and finishing up my responsibilities at Chelsea Now was pretty punishing, and pushed me almost entirely away from the book. Now I sit on the back porch of my in-laws’ house in northeast Philadelphia, birds chatting away about the unexpectedContinue reading “diving into the wreck”

paralyzed by constant motion

Those who know me best know one of the reasons I’ve not posted in a week: this new gig I’ve taken on, on top of everything else, is making my already-overcrowded brain call out: APPROACHING MAXIMUM CAPACITY — even as it brings me back to my starting point as a NY journalist. Now, before movingContinue reading “paralyzed by constant motion”

add another name to the heroes list

Major David Frakt was until this month one of those military lawyers I referenced cryptically last fall, who have been saving the Constitution every day at Guantanamo: quietly, bravely saying no to orders and procedures they found illegal. I first learned about these folks two years or so (!) ago, from crack attorney Bridget Wilson;Continue reading “add another name to the heroes list”

my cousin, my doppelganger

Warning: this one’s personal, mostly. It’s as if time had collapsed. Thirty years ago, I was finishing up 10th grade at this strange school, where  my cousin and I were both on staff at its literary magazine, Argus. We also lived in the same two-family house in the Bronx, and I was the classic youngerContinue reading “my cousin, my doppelganger”

no hiroshima, no bhopal – instead a hunger strike

I read about this hunger strike by author Indra Sinha in this week’s Guardian – the first time, for a while, that I’ve thought about Bhopal. Like many Americans I first heard the name of the city in Madhyra Pradesh in 1984, when news hit the wires that a Union Carbide plant there was causingContinue reading “no hiroshima, no bhopal – instead a hunger strike”

Part two, notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill

“You’re telling us that what we’re doing there is bloodying our hands,” Representative Maxine Waters told members of Iraq Veterans Against the War halfway through Thursday’s hearing, also known as Winter Soldier on the Hill. Waters added that much of the information she was hearing was new, and that it felt truer than all theContinue reading “Part two, notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill”

Notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill, part one

“I joined the military to kill Iraqi people,” Kristofer Goldsmith said softly in a Congressional hearing room on Thursday. The slim young veteran, his Mohawk pulled back from his head in a half-braid, kept his eyes focused forward as news photographers scurried under the table at which he sat, snapping photographs as he continued: ”Continue reading “Notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill, part one”

a villanelle for betrayal

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to note this piece by the incredible Col. Ann Wright. Its title skittered over military history listservs, but in question form — Is There an Army Cover-Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers? — that made it appear academic, and not the rigorous prosecutorial brief thatContinue reading “a villanelle for betrayal”

davy crockett, whose name should be on a casino

Miraculously, I’ve somehow managed to spend much of my weekend on the book, thinking less about current controversies —including super-burning issues like this week’s Rand study documenting this country’s ongoing betrayal of new veterans — than about those of 1830: how long slavery should last, and what to do about the pesky presence of theContinue reading “davy crockett, whose name should be on a casino”