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The General in His Labyrinth

A Hand-Painted Sign seen at the August 28, 2015 protest march in Antigua, Guatemala

In the afternoon of September 1, 2015 the Guatemalan Congress voted (132 to 0, with 25 abstentions) to remove executive immunity from President Otto Pérez Molina. Late on September 2, Thelma Aldana, the Guatemalan Attorney General, issued an arrest warrant on charges of illicit association, fraud and receiving bribe money for Pérez Molina, and as this story goes to press at 1:35 AM on September 3, it is being reported that the President has resigned his office. One can now easily imagine the old general stirring in his chambers — mistrustful, agitated, and fearful of capture, likely wondering how everything had gone so terribly wrong so very quickly. Only a year before he was at the top of the world. He was the unquestioned, if somewhat stymied, authority in the nation. He had secured himself and his family tremendous wealth and planted the seeds of political dynasty. He had successfully slipped away, through guile, good fortune and possibly even a touch of actual innocence, from accusations of his personal involvement in genocide and crimes against

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The Surly Bartender: Lifeboat Americans



A few months back, I wanted to inject the term Lifeboat Americans into the political discourse. I felt, and feel, that it expresses so much about what is wrong with the United States these days. There’s a goodly percent of the population who believe they live in

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Special Commentary: Uganda, At Play in the Fields of the Lord

Popular Media in Uganda

Scott Lively is a Christian clergyman of a peculiarly American stripe. He is white, “born again,” claims to know the mind of God better than most and wields that knowledge with such flair that the Southern Policy Law Center classifies his Massachusetts-based church/media complex, Abiding Truth Ministries, as a

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Guatemala 101: El Pueblo vs. Monsanto

monsanto salute

Late in the afternoon of September 4, after nearly 10 days of protests by a coalition of labor, indigenous rights groups and farmers, the indigenous peoples and campesinos of Guatemala won a rare victory. Under the pressure of massive mobilizations, the Guatemala legislature repealed Decree 19-2014, commonly referred to

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From the Recesses – God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut


A few nights ago I met a sparkling, lovely couple from some septic backwater of the Great Neighbor to the North.  They were overflowing with hope.  They had the confidence of youth.  They knew that through their activism and energy that their generation would make the difference.  Theirs

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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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