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Featured Story – September 11, 2011

Earlier this spring news reached out from a mountain city in Pakistan to my small apartment in Guatemala, as it did all over the world, that Osama bin Laden was dead. I was alone as the message first appeared on the Facebook page I let idle in the background when I’m working.

I put aside an essay I was writing and sat quietly on the couch, staring at my laptop, watching the news spread virally through the pages of my former students from Brooklyn, many of whom I’d been with on September 11, 2001. From most of them, now in their late 20s and still living in New York City, the news was perfunctorily given: a link to the New York Times or the Daily News websites, a one sentence observation of good riddance, a profile picture changed out for an image of Lower Manhattan or one of a cousin who was with Ladder 12 and never took a step backwards once he hit the doors of the South Tower.

It was a half an hour before

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From the Recesses – An East Facing Rock

Back when I was a teenager one of my favorite words was “cosmic.” It’s kind of embarrassing now, but I’m sure you had your own silly colloquialisms, so no harm done. I remember many “cosmic” moments in the adolescent years: like when Craig and I wandered up to

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First Person Shooter – Road Rage in Rajasthan


On New Year’s Eve, I finished a glass of wine and requested another from a passing footman as His Highness Gaj Singh II, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, stepped to the rostrum overlooking the wedding party and lake below. The white fabric of his turban trailed down his six-foot frame

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Traveler’s Journal – Discussing Deng

Photo of The Li River and Mountains by the Author

I rolled out of bed at 12:30 in the afternoon. I felt down, but couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Probably nothing more than a bout of traveler’s angst, that sinking feeling of suddenly wondering why the hell you are so far from home, so alone without

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Guatemala 101 – Say Goodbye to Ms. Paz y Paz

Claudia Paz y Paz

Frumpy. Frizzy hair. Not necessarily the two things you would immediately think when conjuring mental images of an attorney general who put the temor de Dios, the fear of God, into disgraced national leaders and deadly international criminals. Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey looks more like the aunt

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The Adventures of Pissy Jesus – Part IX

pissy jesus 8 (1)

When we last left Pissy Jesus, He and His disciples — and several Pharisees in disguise — were in Judea. After calling out Nathan, the fake Pharisee disciple, Jesus discussed with his followers the rather clearly stated impossibility of a rich man entering the Kingdom of Heaven. They had

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Special Commentary – Health Care Reform, Part XVIII

Barack Obama, by DonkeyHotey

One of the best headlines of the health reform saga came from the USA TODAY editorial page in July 2013: “GOP poisons ObamaCare, then claims it’s sick.” The Gannett Company’s ubiquitous Main Street news vehicle continued, “Having lost in Congress and in the court, they’re now using the most cynical of

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