"To get an idea of just how difficult the [rural-to-city] migrant's life was, my research team and I opened a small garment workshop on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Our goal was to create a new and perfectly legal business. The team then began filling out the forms, standing in the lines, and making the bus trips into central Lima to get all the certifications required to operate, according to the letter of the law, a small business in Peru. They spent six hours a day at it and finally … [Read more...]


"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER. So I promised you guys Ray Bradbury pastiche. Then I promised you excellent aliens. Instead, you get a horrible depressing Christmas story.Sorry.Luckily for all of us, this one will be short--there should only be about four sections. The first installment is posted. The first problem I have noticed is that the dialogue-to-description ratio shifts randomly at different points in the narrative, because I am lame. Feel free … [Read more...]


POETRY WEDNESDAY, T -1: More poetry that is severely sub-great, but that gets dug into your head. This is clingy poetry, a guilty pleasure.Keats, of course. I've mentioned, yes, that I only admire one Keats poem? But that doesn't mean I can get this one out of my head.La Belle Dame Sans MerciO WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing.O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms! So haggard and so … [Read more...]


NATAN SHARANSKY IN THE JERUSALEM POST (link requires free registration): In 1983, I was confined to an eight-by-ten-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's "provocation" quickly spread throughout the prison. We … [Read more...]


Call the men of blogwatch, and let them hear this song;Tell them Albert Einstein and Copernicus were wrong...So I saw the Harry Potter movie. Loved the Cuaronism--scenery, dark air of foreboding that never got boring or oppressive, time stuff, many lovely little directorial touches (Lupin's Victrola, sugar skulls, Whomping Willow, toad choir). The script, not so much. The first seven minutes or so (Harry at Dursleys') were really, really awful--I was embarrassed to be in the theater. Was … [Read more...]


POETRY WEDNESDAY, T -2: This is simple and not subtle, but I like the way it builds. Not a fan of the very end, though (everything after the final "balance"). It's Henry Reed, "Unarmed Combat."[clipped] … [Read more...]


SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH: Ronald Reagan, requiescat in pace.Reason magazine coverage here.Full-bore National Review coverage here.Lou Cannon obituary here.Some quotes:"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!""Communism is neither an ec[onomic] or a pol[itical] system--it is a form of insanity--a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature. I wonder how much more misery it will cause before … [Read more...]