|Halloween Candy Lust
John M Edwards
“If you don’t give me your candy, I’m going to bloody your nose!” menaced the big kid who had chased me down and tackled me onto a driveway
A Life at Sea with Escaping Pavement
Three years ago, I was a fledgling artist/performer fresh out of music school and a part of a band, Escaping Pavement, looking for a way to make a living by performing full-time...
No Climate for Old Men
The Philippines may take a decade to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. What has this got to do with the price of eggs?
The Magic of Geekdom
No person truly knows what a “geek” is. This is ironic, as, barring some dubious exceptions, no human has walked this earth who was not one.
Lou Reed 1942-2013
'When you dance hard…slow dancing'.
- Lou Reed “Rock Minuet”
Songwriting Around The World
Walk through the Grand Bazzar you’ll have a million things to write about. A restaurant exploded the same night we ate dinner there...
US Supreme Court: Dialogue
Deborah Levine & Roy Valenzuela
We invite you to join our irreverent, comic, and cosmic conversation about the Supreme Court and its context in The Grand Scheme of Humanity.
Straight as an arrow; stoic with a slightly visible breath – a fierce figure of calm in a gathering storm standing upon a raised patch of dirt 18 feet in diameter.
For a year our surrogate home, the town of Thoreau is a meager bit of civilization
Favorite Craft Beers from across Canada- Jeffrey Straker
I love micro-brewed beers & craft beers with intense full flavour. I am lucky enough to have had the luxury of sampling them in almost all the provinces across Canada via touring in support of my music.
The Golden Age of Magazines
Leroy B. Vaughn
I was browsing through the magazine rack at the local supermarket when I came across the June 2013 edition of Popular Mechanics.
The Sanctity of Cool: and the threat of modern hipsterism
The fashion of the hipster is paramount, as there’s nothing more
Print, Bravery & The Aquarian Weekly 08.23.13
What I’m about to write is way overdue. It should have been written five years ago, maybe ten; the weeks, months and years get hazy after awhile.
I’m still inspired by the classic arts of seduction, if I only could meet some women who could appreciate that sort of attention
The Lone Writer
There is an art form to the genre of the 'article' that is far removed from the beauty of yesteryear.
Avoiding Couples in Bruges
They have a tendency to cluster by the small chocolateries. With high pitched voices the girls will make a big fuss of the strawberries, neatly wrapped chocolate treats and whatnot
How Not to Go Dutch on Dates in Amsterdam
P C Markovksi
You will notice fairly quickly as you go on a date with a Dutchie that indeed, going Dutch is based on a very real cultural trait.
The World of Jenever in Amsterdam
What was invented by a Dutch chemist and alchemist, thought to help against gout, and spread quickly to become an attractive item to trade in the 16th century?
Hunger Artist in Hoi An (Vietnam):
John M. Edwards
The Old Town is caught in time, a dragonfly in amber, it’s intense medley of French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese architectural styles
The Balcony Farmer
A few months ago I planted tomatoes in the small balcony of my house in Bangalore, India.
Japan upon Reflection
A reflection on any country is a personal one. I just want to try and give you an idea of how it was for me. That’s all it can ever be.
Hoard of Memories
Walli F. Leff
When we went down to retrieve our goods we were sucked into a time warp.
B J Fischer
True change is rare. When it does happen, it is the result not of gratitude but of discontent
Invitation to a Thai funeral
It was mid-morning and the temperature was climbing faster than I could bike up the narrow road. Underneath my helmet, my hair clung to my scalp and perspiration dripped into my ear.
On the topic of Death
The subject of death isn’t likely to bring joy to people’s hearts. I can imagine the rolling of your eyes as you see the title
Sierra Leone Street Kids
On May 26th 2013, Street Child of Sierra Leone hosted its’ second marathon.
How big a stake does the tax man have in your holiday savings?
Everyone knows that a truly great holiday rarely comes cheap and if you are leaving the UK for sunnier climates abroad the costs can quickly begin to mount up.
Terry is a black man that I both recently met and had the privilege of working with for a little under two months.
The World's Outsiders
Has there ever been an ethnicity so little understood? In Europe they are called Roma (Romanies), Americans call them Gypsies.
Noise that Follows A Quiet Man
Years ago on television I saw the John Ford directed film, “The Quiet Man.” The film’s best scene is the fist fight between John Wayne and Victor Mclaglen.
It seemed he was always there. In l946 Richard Milhouse Nixon as a new Congressman gravitated into our frontal lobes, remained in residence for decades, and aged as an intense memory. He died in l994.
Chris Mills blog - June Poetry Month
Not until after I opened my eyes, back stiff from lying on the hard, carpeted floor of a classroom, and faced sixteen children, thirty-two eyes transfixed on me, did I register the sheer abnormality of what had just occurred.
Empire of Fascination
I can’t help being transfixed by the politics of North and South America.
Emancipation or entrapment?
“You should make quick decisions about marriage because you are a girl and you carry an expiry date on you.”
The Better Patriot
It’s a funny thing, patriotism. I must have been born with some sort of planetary mayhem in my natal charts to be so flighty about it
Freedom to criticise is vital and important
Pulp Friction: Travel Book Exchanges Abroad - John M. Edwards
JME spends as much time reading on the beach as sightseeing restaurant menus and ogling swimsuit models, so he seeks ubiquitous “Book Exchanges” throughout the world. . . .
A Bicyle Built for Le Tour
John M Edwards
While I was house-sitting a 15th-century farmhouse in historical Gascony, I decided to hire a bike and make a trip to one of France’s oddest pilgrimage sites
Although slowed by the rise of Christianity, for centuries it remained a part of reality. Modern day resort residents blame or, if they happen to own a restaurant or a hotel, praise, low airline fares and cheap all-inclusive hotel rates for its existence.
Journal open and pencil at the ready, I anxiously scoured the Valley Metro site for clear and understandable directions to Fiesta Mall. I’ll just go ahead and stop myself right here and say that this was mistake #1 ...
Take A Walk
Rachel Kaye in Jordan
Step into discovery. When you journey to a new country, people always say to do as the natives do.
Death still stalks the crumbling mineshafts and the mountain, a grave for millions, looms over the town cursed by silver. The Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) remains a deadly place for miners
To El Paso, With love
I hate crying. With my nose red, puffy eyes, and never ending hiccups, I am not a pretty sight to behold. Crying was never part of the plan when I left Philadelphia for El Paso, Texas.
Even for those raised on Hollywood films, the evidence of a hard, cruel man, such as Hernando Cortez, leading a tiny band that brought to heel the Aztec empire, staggers the imagination.
Easy On That Lighter Fluid, Fergus
The streets of Belgrade delivered much needed milieu for my personal guerrilla enterprise, as they intertwined emotional charge with intellectual hunger
Jagged Little Pill
What level of understanding can you reach with a person who has never read a book?
N.C. State & The Birth of March Madness - James Campion
30-Year Anniversary of the Improbable Ride of Jimmy V and the Wolfpack
My Journey So Far (A Memoir)
I never knew I had a latent writing bug in me. I despised books as a child. When I received my first Enid Blyton book you should have witnessed my expression for the thickness of the book made me almost faint.
I'm Mandy, Fly Me?
This is a strange place. It’s a place where Chicago meets Karachi, where Moscow meets Madrid. It’s a place where the living dead congregate. Welcome to the transit lounge of Dubai International Airport.
I’m no genius. I took an online IQ test and barely scored in the average range. Never mind that – a lot of dummies have hit success solely by virtue of perseverance.
Father & Daughter
As a teenager, every April 16th, over a cup of coffee, Lauren and I would reminisce. We’d mark a new year, talk about our past trips, and dream of places yet to see
I’m only a girl [?]
For centuries wide, we have automatically grilled the female gender for being pernickety over selecting a prince charming of her dreams to support her for life
Singapore Slingers —The ASEAN Basketball League
- Mike Weisbuch
The joy of the Filipino Singaporean basketball lovers and their various heroes
“We need to go up one more row,” Ron decides. “We can’t end the day on thirteen.”
The Old Man and the GMC
I’m looking left, waiting to go right. The traffic of the two-lane highway steadily races by. I lean over the dash and squint to discern if there are any gaps amongst the leadfooters. The oncoming halogens, however, are rapid and relentless.
Here’s My Takeaway
This hole in my soul has taken a mighty toll. Nothing, certainly not this tall one I’m nursing, remotely fills the overwhelming void of losing my hero, my best friend, my dad.
The Excellent Diner's Excellent Adventure
John M Edwards
Everyone knows that the iconic boxy metallic diners of 1950s Americana, straight out of “American Graffiti,” are all owned by the ancient fraternal order of the Greeks.
Miami Design District
Exploring the cultural side of a region known for partying
Latin Dancing Across 110th Street
I have asserted all along that New Yorkers should be compelled to attend charm school, so I decided to take my own advice. The place I chose, the Lorenz Latin Dance Studio, is located in Spanish Harlem
Anybody who wants to get a thumbnail of the changing demographic of American society would do well to take a ride uptown to the Lorenz Latin Dance Studio on 110th Street
I finally figured out a system for keeping my feet moving at Lorenz Latin Dance Studio’s Friday night dance party. I stuff live M-80 firecrackers into my shoes and light the fuse.
Lionel Darmendrail remembers a favourite Aunt
I come from Euskadi, the land of the Basque, located on the Pyrenees between France and Spain, lapping at the Atlantic ocean, the very same place where Maddalen was born
John M. Edwards
John receives a strange visitor from the Japanese “Land of the Rising Sun,” who is, of course, despite a strong yen, ultimately a castoff and a skinflint.
Beyond the lecturn:
20 Countries in 2012
Dr. Ed Lynch, Hollins University
A unique set of circumstances permitted me, a college professor, normally as stationary profession, to visit 20 different countries in a single year.
Reality Check - Readers Letters
to James Campion Jan/13
Flashbacks, Fear, and Flamingos
It’s the summer of 1987. We are on a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells. My little brother Jay, who is only six, is beside my parents’ boat, or Mercury Grand Marquis, bawling—his tears full of fear.
A Year in the Life of a new Author
IN 2012 I was lucky enough to have two novels published with Hodder Children's Books in the UK...
Ten Unusual Ways to Make a Living on the Road
I’ve been on the road for 17 years now and people often ask me where I get all the money from, perhaps taking me for the son of a millionaire, a petty thief or maybe just a good liar.
Raised by Wolves
A grandfather, grandmother, grandmother’s sister, mother, father, uncle, cousin, three brothers, four sisters, the boy down the street whose family cannot take care of him, and the kid next door who always seems to be around. Meet the modern Samoan family
The Plight of the Narrow Stall:
A Cosplayer’s Tale Hannah Starke
I walked into the bathroom to see four princesses and one villain, all staring at an open stall with trepidation.
“You can’t just not go to the bathroom all day,” Ariel told Belle...
You Never Forget Your First Machete:
A Service Trip to Mastatal, Costa Rica
When I signed up for a service trip to Costa Rica I am not exactly sure what I expected, but it definitely wasn’t this...
The Hindsights of Cancer
The doctor told me, “We’ll call you tomorrow about your blood results.”
The Incredible Shrinking Manhattan (Part 1)
John M. Edwards, alias Tom James, ZAGAT Reviewer,” scours the Manhattan Foodie Scene for executive producers interested in “ethnic” epiphanies
Another new experience I had the other day was riding in the back of an open 4xPickup in Athens. Now I know that word doesn’t literally exist but I am known to fabricate new words so there.
JFK & Obama, Profound Likeness or simulacrum?
Both Kennedy and Obama were nationally known yet relatively undistinguished junior senators. Both came to prominence at a preceding Democratic nominating convention...
She’ll Find You Out
J.S. Wright - Dating Tips
As you all know, with fall comes the clichéd urge to chase after women that will be looking to cuddle up with that special someone as the temperature drops
Every week, my body seems to require one sleepless night and last night, I filled that quota. Normally the cause is reflection on the events of the day, too much caffeine, or those asshole neighbors across the street...
Julia in Paris - Gala Dinner Celebration
Saturday, September 8th, Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
Of Bread and Circuses
Renowned linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky once described sports as a contrived opiate for the people; a means of distracting us from important social matters. Well, I always took issue with Mr. Chomsky on that matter, considering his opinion a little too extreme
Patience Thinner than Ice
Danae Phelps in Greece
I started off with Rum and Cola. 11:40am is not too early to start on alcohol; especially when one is theoretically on holiday. Before 13:00 I had moved on to Vodka and two kinds of juice...
Everyone knows that many Olympic Games events derive from the Olympia in ancient Athens. But how many know that the most popular sport at the ancient Olympic Games was what the Greeks called Pankration (in English “all powerful”)
The Upside of Old Men
Allen R. Gibson
I’ve been particularly struck, this week, by how impressed I’ve been by a couple of old men. There are a lot of old men around, you know. And there are going to be more as ‘the boomers’ keep aging. And we, as a society, don’t generally have much time for them. But I can tell you this – old men can be impressive!
The George in Pangbourne
Marianne de Nazareth
“Come over and have tea with me,” said the happy and chatty voice down the phone line. We were in London for a holiday and I was visiting my Uncle in Reading for the day.
Let the career choose you
Watching the rain fall like sheets of metal spikes yesterday we knew summer was back to normal in England.
The Khao San Street Meat Continuum
I'm back, my love. Here where the clothes are cheaper, the food is on wheels, no one is everyone, and then someone else the night after.
Roman Empire right here - right now
Nobody ever got rich from working, and I am a sterling example of that precept. My old boss, Pops, used to repeatedly tell me, “You are as ethical a person as I know.” This coming from one of the most accomplished thieves in the Metropolitan Area
So far from God, Corruption in Mexico - James Morford
Corruption in Mexico resembles that cliché about the weather, everyone talks about it but nobody does anything about it.
Taking the Plunge
“Take deep breaths and whatever you do, don't panic.” Scuba diving instructor Sinan Halacoglu conveyed the imperative message prior to my first plunge into the deep blue.
12-Days in Manipur
The sky is cracked in Manipur over the tea fields in Assam. This is where my ancestors once bagged their babies in slings, across their shoulders, while they earned a living picking tea leaves.
Assessing the US Sovereign Debt
Between 1962 and 2011 Congress increased the debt ceiling an incredible 74 times to the point where today the sovereign debt is a staggering $15 trillion , a sum about equal to the U.S. GDP and, incidentally, close to the current level of consumer debt.
On Speculative Fiction
Why is it so hard to get the future right?
I grew up on Philip K Dick and his fantasies about global nuclear war, robots that were indistinguishable from people and a world engulfed by consumerism.
The Unknown King of Spies
Kim Philby of England´s MI6, Aldrich Aames of the CIA, or fictional characters, George Smiley and James Bond, are spies that come to the public mind. Richard Sorge, historically perhaps the most effective spy in fact or fiction, is familiar only to the few.
A Tale of Sister Cities - London & Tokyo
John Christopher Ong
Identity can be a fickle thing. Partly because it depends on how you relate to other people. Mostly because it relies on how you perceive yourself.
The Russians called them the battles of Khalkin-Gol, and they inadvertently served as a learning process for fighting the Nazis in World War II.
The Amber Room
Self Publishing my YA eBook
In April 2012, I decided to self publish my debut novel The Amber Room as an eBook. So this is the how and the why and a few things I've picked up along the way.
June comes with the expectation of summer and Jubilees in the UK when everyone celebrates the Queen being on the throne for 60 years. Of course for her son, this is 30 years too long one suspects, but in an age when everyone’s parents are living forever (it seems) – it is a salient reminder that we might at last begin to talk about the ‘problem’.
How to remain sane in a place of insanity
Have you ever worked somewhere where everyone else around you is, in complete reality, totally nuts?
Welcome to the Funhouse
The Art of Politics vs. The Act of Liberty
The president of the United States agrees with the Bill of Rights. This is a novel concept, like when a kid begins to understand the alphabet as not merely being the lyrics to a cute song to memorize or a series of strange symbols that form different sounds but pieces of a larger linguistic puzzle.
Make Way, Mick Jagger
Observations of a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer
Hello, my name is James Campion and I am a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Ernie Butler Show
When James characterized me in his biography of my uncle, Saul Bellow, as a “minor legend of Montreal’s underground scene”, choosing to trivialize me out of envy, he had enough to be envious about.
Flat Tax Revisited
In order for the flat tax system to be seen as fair and equitable the multitude of tax shelters and “loopholes” in the current tax laws would have to be eliminated.
The Missing Ritual
Since the beginning of recorded history, and likely long before, humans have given special recognition to important events that occur, often quite predictably, throughout the various stages of the life cycle.
A Month of Letters
I had come across a letter writing challenge A Month of Letters set up by American author Mary Robinette Kowal. challenge in February.
Thanks for Driving Around
I was taken somewhat aback earlier this month when I overheard some of the fellows in the clubhouse referring to the fact that the earth’s climate was improving due to the traffic congestion on the highways.
I just looked over last month’s “Observations,” and see that I wasn’t too happy with the automated phone systems that have become all too pervasive in our society.
A Rational Perspective
Some time ago, a friend who was experiencing a particularly perplexing period in his life due to financial and marital misfortunes, offered the comment that “life is really a crap shoot.”
My Peck of Gold
Michael Chacko Daniels
There’s a memorial plaque on Market Street that I pay no heed when I wait for San Francisco’s California Street cable car
Talk of the Town
John M Edwards
In Manhattan, on Broome Street in SoHo, at the presently closed-down Lola’s, specializing in unfrozen ribs resembling the ribcages of hit-list victims New Orleans-style, the overage German waiter with a ponytail came over and introduced himself: “I am Yoyo, and I vill be your waiter tonight.”
Forceful Environmental Decongestion
8 March, 2012, some people accompanied by soldiers allegedly from the state government Rivers State stormed Oyigbo, destroying what they claim are illegal structures and setting them ablaze.
Shouts & Murmurs
John M. Edwards
Who is this Charlie Sands?
An American arts patron meets a down-and-out painter straight out of “The Real Thing” by Henry James.
Google Search Tips
In these years working as an IT professional a tool has helped me to meet the deadlines and deliver tasks in time as no any other tool could have done. It was not one of those code generation tools, any magic IDE or a Rapid Development Application platform. It was Google and its Google Search Engine
Nothing pink or fluffy
The usual scowl begins to creep across Isabella’s forehead as I try to entice her into a new cardigan. Weary of the daily clothes battle I give up and ask her what she’s objecting to this time....
The Uncaring Future
One of the questions I used to dislike the most when a kid was ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ You’re like 12 years old and you have no idea what you might like to do at 20, let alone 40. All you really want is for school to be over ...
The Thousand And One Fights
Anywhere the Israeli team is invited, they have to be accompanied by armed guards, like war criminals, not exactly the spirit of sporting excellence envisioned by Baron de Coubertin, OK?
Doing battle with Estate Agents
For some time now I have been trying to buy a home. OK, I have some specifics as I have someone in a wheelchair in tow, but you’d think with all the houses on sale in the whole country that an estate agent would bite your hand off to make a sale.
The Changing Business Lexicon
The word pollution has largely been removed from the corporate lexicon and been replaced by a company’s “carbon footprint.”
Dispatch: Dangerous Drinks
John M. Edwards
The Real Singapore Sling
John M. Edwards flies all the way to ex-Empire Changi Airport to try an authentic ancient Chinese secret called “Singapore Sling.”
Tittle-Tales of Time
‘No more flirting. It’s the perfect phase to take life more seriously, right dear?’ My four years younger sister asked me with all sincerity.
‘Yet another short lived new year resolution? Huh?’ I pulled back my chair and winked at her casually.
Akha Culture Hijack
Profiting from suffering and spilt blood of others is abhorrent to most people, while war profiteering is illegal. However, the business of “nonprofit” aid to dispossessed peoples has no controls or laws.
If I were to be the new Inspector-General of the Nigerian Police Force
Adewale T Akande
The situation in Nigeria now is so serious that the conventional ways of doing things can no longer solve our problems judging by the fact of the numerous police Inspectors General we have had since independence
Thailand's Year of the Dragon
With floods and political upheaval now hopefully a thing of the past, Thailand is looking forward to a positive year. In the Thai lunar calendar, 2012 is actually 2555, and as the number five in the Thai language is "HA", the famous Thai smile is at last returning with a vengeance, inspired by a new catchphrase: "Ha, Ha, Ha".
Wisdom; in Reach … Hard to Grasp
Science has yet to define the meaning of wisdom in scientific terminology. Maybe they require some type of clever or mathematical proof wisdom exists?
Observations While Taking a Walk
I recently took a walk. It was a brisk day and I found myself remembering how nice it was to have a hot chocolate after being out in winter weather back in New York.
Observations: November 2012
Getting dressed used to be an activity that I did without much thought.
Excuse me for stating the obvious, but marriage is for idiots, OK? Modern romantic love was created as a showbusiness gimmick by French poets and troubadours
The Life, Myths & Influence of an American Original
In Praise of A Riveting New Biography on Howard Cosell
Howard Cosell became in many ways a touchstone; he was no ex-jock, hardly a handsome television prop, and there was something emancipating about his brashly opinionated and wholly pathological style
Tabytha Towe: Last Diary Entry
I can document things in Hackwriters from when I was a silly teenager and see how much (or lack thereof) I have grown up over the years. Things I have experienced and loved, lived and learned.
Europe or Bust - Spain's Last Chance Last
It’s now or never for a change in course to avoid smashing the continental ship into that big lump of ice waiting to sink us all.
Arab satellites promote Arab revolutions
Every single Arab satellite television will justifiably claim, a few years down the road, they shared a piece of the communication pie in their protests coverage, whether in live broadcasts, documentaries, chat shows or flickering text messages at the bottom of the television screens.
The Sweet Tooth
We are all familiar with that beautiful bakery aroma that in addition to tantalizing our taste buds has also often been instrumental in bringing back nostalgic childhood memories from Mama's kitchen.
‘Never judge a dinner until you get the pudding,’ my Auntie Eva used to say
Spain's Future within the EU?
James Skinner Part 1
As this may be my last report on this fantastic and once lovable European country at a very crucial stage of its contemporary political history I thought it would be important to divide it into two sections; a past and a future.
Spain's Future within the EU?
James Skinner - Part 2 12.12.11
There is a need for change in the Spanish Constitution returning power to the central government- another large hurdle for the new government to tackle.
A dive bar in Bahrain
Leroy B. Vaughn
My supervisor came to me one day and told me that I would need to go to Bahrain for one day, in order to keep my visa status in Qatar.
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
Mandela, as we would come to see as events of his incredible life unfolded, was about one thing; freedom
The Government has reached the halfway point in office. The bottom line is that Spain is still in a geo-political mess and although international financial reports say otherwise I honestly believe this country is still in deep trouble and has in fact lost its leadership.
New Faces in Spain
Enter Ms. Susana Diaz Pacheco, age 39 and a lawyer by profession. Like a breath of fresh air, she has vowed to clean up the mess and re-unite a fractured party
It Came From New Jersey...
Chris Christie’s enormous victory heralds serious presidential credentials - Make no mistake about this; Chris Christie, Republican Governor of the Garden State, is running for president.
Bill's My Boy
Well, New York City mayoral election day is here, and it is the only election that I consider to be REALLY REAL. This is it, folks, the essence of world political culture reduced to a grease stain on the bottom of a cardboard pizza box.
Affordable Care Act 1
You see, the thing is this Affordable Care Act had to work, right out of the gate. You know, it’s kind of been in the news, front and center (more or less) since 2010.
It’s Flu Season and Obama Is Hacking
If I were Obama I would lay awake at night worrying about NSA hacking of foreign governments.
Hammer Time for Joe Cool
For Good or Ill, President Displays Lame Duck Balls - James Campion
While the Republican argument is for the president to negotiate an existing law after its rather lengthy trip through every due process provided by the American system, Joe Cool has simply told everyone to go screw
The House Divided Principle
Terrorist Politics 101
The Republicans, slyly gerrymandered..., will hang onto a small but crucial part of our tri-balanced system and continue to act as all nearly powerless groups tend to; defiant, petty and destructive
Losing Patience in Spain
Spaniards are fed up! They are fed up of political bickering, government statements of ‘the end of recession’, independence pleas by regional nationalists, banking disorders, corruption in practically every sector of the community
Is The End of the World Really Nigh?
The way we talk about nuclear power is not helpful to anyone. The recent leak at the Fukushima power plant has brought nuclear energy production back to the headlines.
Meltdown on K Street
I am anticipating a huge stock market correction when Obamacare goes online. If the UK can provide full, universal coverage at half the cost, where is all that extra healthcare money going to?
Vladimir Putin: Satirist
James Campion 9/13
I have to say, despite his complete disregard for human and civil rights, his lifelong dedication to a godless Soviet regime ... I stand in awe of his complete command of irony.
The State We're In Now
Dean Borok in New York
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Election. The population wised up.
Boondoggle Update Or Our Merry Ride Into The Syrian Abyss Continues - James Campion
This neat little saving of the Syria people will once again turn into a long and painful ownership of all-things Syrian. This is how things go around here, and have gone for a long time. You dabble, you hang.
There was a very sympathetic, not to say puff piece, article in last week’s New Yorker about Mayor Bloomberg, in which he is reported to lament, “What’s New York going to do without me?
The War Dynamics on Syria
The bets are on the United States will hit Syria. The war drums are beating faster than usual.
Egypt’s Fratricidal Revolution
Egypt, the harbinger of the so-called Arab Spring in January 2011, today lies in tatters and recrimination. A once-solid populace standing for the removal of long-time president Husni Mubarak, Egypt is now beset by a series of fratricidal leanings from the state and its apparatuses, government, military, political parties...
Macro v Micro
We are talking about billions of euros of public funds that have been syphoned illegally over the years by the Andalucía Socialist Party
Stop & Frisk
James Campion 16.08.13
Crime, Freedom & The Urban Myth
It has taken awhile; 14 years to be exact, for NYC to be up in arms about this hilariously unconstitutional Stop & Frisk
New York City Blues
Dean Borok 19.08.13
For a hugely Democratic city like New York to regularly cough up Republican hairballs is an indication of the emotional dysfunction of its ruling classes
Exam Board Anxiety
Lily Chamberlain 16.08.13
The UK's exam boards are sacrificing students' wellbeing to save money. But what else can we expect of shady, unaccountable private companies?
A Country Mourns
James Skinner in Galicia
Although used to hearing the sound of an approaching train, this time round she immediately sensed something was wrong..
Mr Rodriguez vs Major League Baseball
- James Campion
Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez is a Major League Baseball Player. He also happens to be an America citizen. Mr. Rodriguez’s treatment by MLB makes it hard to swallow that his employers are fully aware of this.
A Case for Stronger Institutions
Sometimes I just wonder what Nigeria would look like without watchdogs like Transparency International that continually reminds us about the way we are.
John M. Edwards explores the popular Foodie movement of “Cuisine Minceur” (small food), invented in Les Landes, France, wherein gullible gourmands counting calories get much less food for much more money. . . .
Egypt: Democracy, Religion & The Great Divide
Egypt is bipolar; even in its geographical location – the cultural origins of Africa mired in Middle Eastern turmoil; save for a tourism trade with a growing western sense that its potential dangers outweigh its seductive landscape.
Grapefruit Circus Blows Through Town - James Campion
Florida’s Reality Show Kangaroo Trial Achieves Maximum Effect
Normally I think everything is entertaining; mostly kids falling down wells or dogs dragging seniors from burning buildings or wells, but rarely is any of it news. But this whole George Zimmerman trial has to be news, right? It is on television all the time; and I mean ALL the time. It’s like the Olympics without all the talented shut-ins on steroids
Look Away Dixie Land
Ah, the South. Lincoln’s great mistake; not allowing a full and complete secession from the Union to stand, providing the free-market mechanism to eventually take from it the power, ideology and half-baked customs that has been the bane of the American existence for lo these many decade
Down Goes Doma
James Campion + Readers Letters 4th July
Along with Prop 8, Supreme Court Ends Latest Era of Legal Discrimination. The Defense of Marriage Act, a nifty piece of legislation which disallowed a segment of taxpaying citizens access to the Bill of Rights, is now dead and buried
Have We Got A Deal?
I’ve said all along that a major solution for Spain’s political problems is a pact between the conservatives (PP) and the main opposition party, the socialists (PSOE).
The Self-Perpetuating Gorge of Power
or How The IRS Becomes HAL 9000
Once you have a structure of power surmised, erected, and maintained by humans, it is nearly impossible to eradicate it
Edward Snowden:Hacking into Hyprocrisy -
If there is one thing that this space has tried to illustrate for the past 16 years is that hypocrites are not the exclusive property of ideological or political affiliation
Everything is Disease
First things first; it is official that everything is now a disease and therefore must be treated as so.
Education is Paramount in Spain
Details from the 2012 UNESCO study on world education have revealed that 1 in 4 youngsters in Spain between the ages of 18 and 24 had no studies at all.
Let's Be Ants
In today’s global environment, technological advances go unchecked, are ferocious, indifferent, and redefine societal parameters almost instantly.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love The Shield Law James Campion
Just received notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that I am a criminal. Well, could be a criminal. Aim to be a criminal? Not sure.
Second Term Jinx - Obama Style
James Campion 17.05.13
This has been a stellar week for the federal government, and by proxy a bad week for our re-elected president, who has only had to traverse barely five months of a second term when the jinx began to kick in.
The Influence of the Media on Spain
Here in Spain its business as usual, chaos all round. Spaniards like any other humans are more interested in what happens in their neighborhood than an event hundreds of miles away
Be Careful + Readers Responses
Edmund Burke is an interesting cat. I like to read him when alarmists shout incessantly about how things are worse than ever. Things are not worse than ever. It is far better...
The Lessons of Boston
So what will be the monthly flavor of scapegoat now that crudely homemade bombs are the latest to invade our cushy national illusion?
Springtime for North Korea
Getting hyped about North Korea saber rattling in spring is tantamount to being floored about the flowers budding in the backyard. It is a rite of the season. Many of the nation's goofy ritualistic observances happen around now
Rich Men - Poor You
France’s richest man, luxury products LVMH SA chairman Bernard Arnault, did an about-face and declared that he would not renounce his French citizenship
Letter from Barcelona
...The last thing most Catalans want to do is pull together with the rest of Spain, say the polls. The view in Catalonia is that the economic mess is Madrid's fault
The North Korean Big Bang Theory
North Korea will explode, according to its leader Kim Jong Un. The state has regained the world’s attention in recent weeks with the drama of nuclear weapons, the threat of war, UN sanctions and promises of retaliation on aggressors
Supreme Decision: Nation's Highest Court Faces Down Discrimination in Our Time - James Campion
Here is what the court must hear this week. - This is what the court must know this week. - Once and for all.
Judges & Politics - Spain
The highs and lows of the complex world of the often currupt Spanish Judical System
Holy Land Obama
Very soon the president of the United States will be in Israel ... just as the American public has bottomed out its interest in Middle Eastern affairs for the first time since 9/11
Saturday 10:46 AM
Sick as a dog; strike that, no mammal could possibly endure this strange cocktail of searing throat pain and high fevers and continue to call itself canine.
Peer pressure has been a subject and concern amongst many individuals for eras gone and will continue to be so for eons to come.
Quakes All Round
Spain is still reeling over the corruption scandals. The situation is serious because it is hitting at the very heart of the nation’s integrity; the ruling government on the one hand and the monarchy on the other.
Joe Cool Budget/Guns/Immigration/Education Tour 2013 - James Campion
President Ignores Congress, Freezes Out Media and Takes It to the Streets
Life (and Death) During Perpetual Wartime
The big story this week is the government has the complete autonomy to kill us. This jives with the previous month's story on why the American people must be armed to the teeth to defend themselves against such cold-blooded attacks.
Three Deadly Sins in Spain
It really started in February, 2009 when the left wing newspaper ‘El Pais’ uncovered a massive network of bribery and corruption that was codenamed ‘The Gürtel Case’ that stretched across several autonomous regions, including Madrid and Valencia, governed by the conservatives.
Solving America's Problems
There are still a few problems confronting our nation. Some of these are the federal budget, the federal deficit, airport security, immigration, realty television, vampire movies, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and as ever, Lindsey Lohan
Tobacco, Booze & Firearms
- An American Love Story
In the midst of the furious debate on gun violence in America following the Newtown massacre, this space has dedicated over 2,000 words to the silly idea of trying to regulate human behavior and ignore the very core of the American psyche; the gun.
Readers Responses to James Campion on Guns
The big dolphins of the Democratic administration are circling round-and-round the ever-shrinking mass of Republican sardines, compacting them into a hard core of bait and swimming through to devour it at their leisure.
Guns & The American Experiment
Every second the American Experiment remains in motion human nature is on trial. This is what we have unleashed upon civilization. Ours, this mostly unfettered, stumbling mish-mosh of haphazard choices, is the playground for what price there is for freedom
Readers Responses to James Campion 2012
Your comments here
Tax Hikes, No Deal & The GOP Civil War
James Campion 1.4.13
The Fiscal Cliff saga ended with an increased tax rate on the upper two percent of the populace,
The Spanish Monarchy 2013
The King of Spain is important to the stability of the country. A few years before Generalissimo Franco died his technocratic government devised a program to transfer power in the smoothest possible way without causing immediate political upheaval
Myths and Bogeymen
... on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month of the year twenty-twelve, such a predator, as random and furious and sudden as the golden eagle careening towards the defenseless child, emerged to lay waste to twenty-six lives, twenty of which had not yet reached their eighth year in this unfettered chaos of existence
The (NEW) Never Deal -
The Madness Method Explained
Now that things have gone underground in Washington, the wheels of our national fate are turning. A sign of progress is that the first body of this standoff has been tossed out. Susan Rice has fallen on the sword and will remove one jack-boot the president had to humiliate the already damaged Republicans.
Ego Dance to Armageddon
Public Flogging Off "The Cliff"
The Internet, social media and the like have put the journalism tag on us all, and for good or ill it is here to stay, at least until the government finds some half-assed way to regulate the life from it.
The Emporer's New Show
Second Term Obama comes out Swinging
It's balls-out time for Joe Cool. Elections, as they say, have consequences. The last president to win a second term did so by a paltry sixty thousand votes in Ohio and began talking like Kubla Khan about "spending political capital".
Losing Identity in Spain
We’ve got Nationalists, Conservatives, Socialists, Republicans, Marxists, Monarchists – in minority – Ecologists all vying for the imposition of their political agenda in Catalonia.
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
As Captain Ahab once remarked to Moby Dick over shrimp margaritas at the Mariner’s Club, “I write for porpoises of entertainment”. Don’t expect a fount of wisdom or an exposition of rhetorical erudition from these pages.
Thanks for Next To Nothing
Election Day Boondoggle - Freedoms at a Premium
Those of us unimpressed with this ongoing myth that the United States of America promotes the pure tenets of freedom are to say the least lukewarm on these referendums passed in four states
The Joe Cool Stomp 11
Barack Obama Doubles Down On History
That was fun. Eighteen months of hard campaigning, billions of dollars spent, hundreds of speeches, rallies and whistle stops, trillions of words spewed from every avenue of punditry, and here we are: President Barack Obama, Republican Congress, Democratic Senate.
Final Fever-Induced Thoughts From The Desk
Polls are strange bedfellows. We run to them when they fill our cup, but from them as poison when the news is less cheery. Yes, but we never ignore them.
Women, Women, Women
The Pandered Demographic Model Circa 2012
Somehow there are five to seven percent of people, maybe it's four percent, maybe less that are undecided about this year's presidential choices; of which there are only two. Now I can clearly see why there isn't a three-party system. This is apparently tough enough
Invasion and Freedom
Life in Spain Now 1.11.12
I reported last month that Spain was out of control. Well, I haven’t changed my mind although some of the outside press may differ and those mysterious rating agencies that feed the stock markets have given the country a breather for the time being, the situation is far from clear as to the final outcome.
New Ball Game
A Baseball Philosophy into Romney's
'Romney absolutely had to win that first debate due to his lackluster September'
In 5th Century B.C. Rome lived a farmer named Cincinnatus. In 458 BC Cincinnatus was suddenly elevated to Dictator of Rome, and asked to save the city-state from foreign conquest. He did just that, refused public honors and material awards for his accomplishment, and l6 days after becoming Dictator resigned and returned to his farm.
Obama Slumber Party
President Jacked by Desperate Romney Salvo - James Campion
This was the Mitt Romney the numbers crunchers were looking to emerge since he locked up the Republican Party's nomination months ago
Train Wreck Romney 9.21.12
How to Tank a Campaign in Two Weeks
The Mitt Romney campaign has gone off the rails. It is getting harder to believe Mitt Romney actually wants to be president.
Blaming Mrs Merkel
James Skinner on Spain in crisis 9.20.12 UPDATE
The new government is running into trouble for a variety of reasons and has become a sort of ‘loose cannon’ with a bunch of ministers firing in all directions, ‘Wild West’ style. They cannot seem to pull the country together no matter how hard they try.
'12 Democratic National Convention
THE SHOW PART II
This is a crappy time to be president. GDP diving. Manufacturing is down. Unemployment hangs steadily over eight percent. Congress is in gridlock. A war still rages, which apparently no one beyond those fighting it or dying for it care about
2012 Republican National Convention
THE SHOW PART I
People in the business of politics recognize convention weeks as "a show for the uninitiated"; those voters, most of them outside the fisticuffs of the junky set, who choose presidents based on appearance, likability or the general self-interest of the moment.
A-Riteway Construction Must be Stopped
A-Riteway Construction has been allowed to run a deceitful, negligent and dangerously haphazard business here in New Jersey for far too long.
Convenient 'Free Speech'
No one likes to hear that their opinion is not only insipid but also mostly lost in the grand din; the irony of such a statement posted on a blog was not lost on me
Spain - Rescued At Last?
It’s very hard for the outside world to understand the deep rooted economic woes of Spain. My theory has always been that the whole mess started thanks to the 1978 Constitution when the country was broken up into 17 autonomous regions with their own budgetary control and the 8000 odd town councils were given similar power.
What is Mitt Romney Afraid Of?
GOP Nominee Must Embrace Rich Guy Status – A few weeks ago Rupert Murdoch berated the Romney Campaign for not being "real pros" and later accused the Republican presidential nominee of "playing it safe". But, of course, playing it safe is Mitt Romney's mantra..
Last Word of the Independence Vote
A Public Service Message
Once every two years when national elections loom, this space makes its case for a third political party or at the very least a legitimate non-partisan independent voice to emerge from our fixed system. And make no mistake, it is a fixed system.
Bosque for President – Spain
Some Spanish pundits have suggested that Vicente del Bosque, the coach of the recent European Football Cup champions (finalists)* take over the government and with his team of young, disciplined and coordinated players run the country.
The Supreme Cop-Out
Never saw this coming.
But give the law its due; the congress does have the power to tax anything and anyone. This is how we got to the 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 11-400 and the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393.
Any Given Friday in New York
The workplace may not be an equitable standard for evaluating people’s character. I always killed myself to do the job, but it availed me little.
What's The Deal with the U.S. Attorneys General - James Campion
History lesson, kids.
Okay, can you name a single United States attorney general that has not broken some kind of major law in the past, I don't know, let's say half century?
The Summer of Obama
'A national political campaign is better than the best circus, with a mass baptism and couple of hangings thrown in'.- H.L. Mencken
Wisconsin Makes Big Bucks Off Political Theater
As far as Machiavellian political maneuvers go, The Wisconsin recall election was a bust.
Abia & The Abuse Of Monorail
The idea of building a monorail in Abia State is not bad, but it is coming at a very poorly chosen time, when the people of the state need reality rather than fiction. It is a fact that there is no pliable road in Aba, the Enyimba City of South-East and in many other towns and villages of Abia State...
The Doomed Spanish Savings Banks
The European Economic Meltdown
The previous socialist PM, Jose Rodriguez Zapatero stated some four years ago that Spain had the best banking system in the world and that the country was in the Champion’s League of the world’s economies. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
A Farewell to Sarko
I, for one, will shed a tear for outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom I much admired. He was a bit of a comic personality but he was an effective, intelligent leader who managed to keep France stable in the context of wrecked economic conditions
Republican Establishment Cleans House
Reince Priebus is on the wagon. The RNC chairman's days of drunken violence and crude behavior are behind him. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and the faux conservative uprising of 2010 has been duly defeated.
Intervention is Inevitable in Spain
April went by with a bang, literally. Rajoy has stated publicly, ‘there is no money!’
I made after the results of the General Election that took place last year. After the conservative party of Mariano Rajoy, the PP won with an overall majority I said that the future recovery of Spain was not in his hands but in those of the outgoing Socialist Party, PSOE.
The Buffet Rule?
It's national campaign time and the Democrats have joined the crazy. Six months of idiocy from the Republicans was apparently enough. Check that; to understand what is going on in congress with what is officially coined the Paying a Fair Share Act is merely the volley returned for the TEA Party induced mayhem that stalled Capitol Hill during last year's Debt Ceiling Debate.
Revenge of the Nerds
James Campion + Readers Responses April 13th
The Alamo for the short-lived TEA Party Era and its social conservative underbelly is nigh. It takes place as this goes to press with its best presidential candidate left ignoring polls, election results, pundit prognostication, entrenched Republican power-plays, high-profile endorsements, a paltry campaign bankbook, history, and his party's better wishes to quit.
Health Care On Trial
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is unconstitutional. I have written this repeatedly over the past year. It was true then and it is true now.
Back to 1934
- The Spectre of Civil War
1934 was the year Spain went completely berserk and divided the country into dozens if not hundreds of political factions of all sorts that eventually led Generalissimo Franco to come back from Morocco a beat the hell out of all of them
Look Away Dixie Land
The Sunshine State takes front and center this week for its ham-fisted legislative racketeering and obligatory confederate axiom to shoot first and figure out the motivation much, much, much later.
Apple's Capitalist Cash Cart
It’s among the largest current U.S. corporate cash payouts - a US$10 billion annual dividend program announced by Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook.
Super Dud + Readers Responses
Derailed February for GOP Ends with a Super Tuesday Whimper
Money, influence, and party politics are turning to chum whatever reasoning Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich can muster for staying in a race for the Republican nomination for president. The contest has been, for all intents and purposes, over since this space declared it so on January 18.
Back Page News
I might start my own newspaper and put all the big news on the back page, and decreasing in importance until it reaches the headlines. Wait a minute! That’s what’s already happening. Idiots have known for generations that when you buy The New York Post, you start at the back.
Dear Mista Christie
The following was sent to the N.J. governor's office 11 days after Chris Christie vetoed the New Jersey legislature's bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a mostly progressive state , which already recognizes civil unions, and whose majority of citizens support the referendum....
Repugnant - Spain on the Brink of Chaos
Our Man in Vigo finds Spain on the brink of a confrontation between the left and right echoing the misery of the 1930's.
The Frontrunner Shuffle
or Where the Hell is Reince Priebus?
After an alleged 72 hours of no sleep and a regrettable slip in press judgment, Priebus spent the first week of February tossing out urbane similarities between a sitting U.S. president and a foreigner accused of negligent homicide.
The Israel Threat
A Sideways Path to War with Iran
Our overextended and bankrupt nation is about to be dragged into a direct confrontation with Iran.
Proving God by Consensus: My Problem with the Religious Right
A few decades ago I was awakened at seven o’clock one Sunday morning by the persistent droning of my downstairs door buzzer.
A Question of Secular Faith
The Role of Law in Perpetual Religious Times
a divisive political climate and the opportunity of an election year has curiously turned a legal matter into an issue of "religious liberty", as in why should Catholic-run institutions be forced to provide a service its dogma is patently against?
Joe Cool Carries The Two
White House to Play Percentages in 2012 Race
For ninety interminably long minutes on 1/24/12, the president of the United States played his hand.
South Carolina Mudsling
Republican Fringe Fights Back Against Citizen Romney
15 Days later... antiquated third-world vote-tallying techniques perfected in the mid-nineteenth century by Boss Tweed led officials in Des Moines to report Rick Santorum had actually won.
For all intents and purposes, the Republican Primary season is over. The unprecedented victories in both Iowa and New Hampshire by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have taken the starch out of things.
Iowa Caucuses Dilate Republican Ranks
Literally out of nowhere, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum began one of the most inexplicable political comebacks in recent history
The Power of 12
This will be the last column I pen this year, in the final days of this twelfth month of 2011, and I choose to write about the number 12. In a few days we embark on 2012, and each year I try and end the previous one with a tag line or a semantic touchstone for where things may go over the following calendar run. It's a way of cleansing by throwing something out there for kicks.
Radnor students reach beyond borders
The Pen Pals Club at Radnor Middle School, PA, raised over $5,000 to fund the building of a bathroom at the Bupala Primary School in Uganda
Addressing all comfortable politicians, with love.
The other day I chose to splash in splendor and took a taxi instead of the local bus or rickshaw to get to a meeting with somebody socially important. I wasn’t alone
The Scurge of Unemployment in Spain
Greece has officially been declared a basket case, the gurus at the Davros Economic Summit continue to predict what we all already know, the Arab League has given up on Syria whilst Russia waits in the wings to pick up the pieces and Iran threatens to put up the price of oil
Proving God by Consensus:
My Problem with the Religious Right
A few decades ago I was awakened at seven o’clock one Sunday morning by the persistent droning of my downstairs door buzzer.
The Ron Paul Factor
Iowa & the Soul of the Grand Old Party
Soon the nation will learn where the Republican Party stands. In less than three weeks, the Iowa Caucus will begin the painstaking selection of a presidential candidate. This is when polls, punditry and prognostication become fact. So...who represents the party now? Conservative? Moderate? Religious Right? Washington Lifer? Libertarian?
A Sea of White
9,387 white marble gravestones stand erect on a perfectly manicured lawn in Normandy, France. Stretching across 172 acres of land overlooking Omaha Beach