Category: rants

Remaindered Reads

What happens to serendipity in a world without bookstores? The Barnes and Noble in Bethesda is closing. The last of the great literary superstores, it anchors downtown Bethesda, MD, providing a focus to the community and a convenient rest stop on the Capital Crescent Trail. Books used to be big business. Downtown DC had several stores…




What Price Louisville?

“The European history of the twentieth century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary men can find themselves standing over death pits with guns in their hands. It would serve us well today to understand why.” ― Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Shocking, even for…




A War We Must Win: USA vs Trump

There was a moment during a recent demonstration. A crowd had gathered outside the White House to protest immigration policy. Standing in front of a chain-link fence, a young Honduran woman described fleeing the violence in her country. She loved America for saving the lives of her children. People applauded, including a 94-year old Holocaust survivor who…




The Way We Live Now: Incompetent Dystopia

“Plots set in the future are about what people fear in the present.” ― The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 Dystopia deserves its own category in the bestseller charts. From financial collapse to the close of the millennial party, every novelist in America is working to end the world – on paper, at least. As Lionel Trilling illustrates…




Southern Monuments

Monuments tell the story of a people. Overlooking the town of Sylva, North Carolina, stands a Confederate War Memorial. The statue was erected in 1915, at the height of Jim Crow in the South. Bands played and dignitaries came from as far away as Asheville. The copper soldier stands guard atop a stone base in front of the courthouse,…




Credentials? We Don’t Need Any Stinking Credentials!

We’re winning. That was my thought watching a dozen women make out in front of the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. A right-wing blog called the protest “sparsely attended.” Which was true. Participants were outnumbered by a crowd of viewers, which included photographers, police, tourists, friends and security guards. But the protest was just one…




Signs of Spring

There are signs of spring in Washington, DC, little splashes of color appearing around the Tidal Basin and elsewhere in the city, despite temperatures that remain in the 40s. I spotted bits of of yellow, pink and white while running between memorials, the bright tones popping out against the muddy grays and browns of late…




Don’t Blame The Swamp. Blame Yourself

During the campaign, Donald Trump vowed to “drain the swamp in Washington.” According to his formulation, this city was filled with nefarious characters who skirt the rules for their own benefit. But what do you call a President who hawks his daughter’s clothing line on national TV? And sends his surrogates out to do the…




Fear and Loathing in Washington, DC

Washington, DC, has a raw, unfinished quality to it. The Presidential reviewing stand is still up on Pennsylvania Avenue, as the National Park Service disassembles it with their usual lethargy. The site is surrounded by chain link fences, adding to the type and variety of barriers that encircle the White House – yellow caution tape,…




Another Day, Another Protest

Anti-Trump demonstrations are a constant now in Washington, DC. They happen multiple times a day, the residents of this city and beyond having a limitless appetite to protest Trump’s Muslim Ban and other outrages. You run into them in random, unexpected places – like Charlie Palmer Steak on Capitol Hill. The word had gotten out…