The Trump-Bannon Executive Order ‘Strategy’ And Its Rhetorical Value

The flurry of executive orders signed by Donald Trump since January 20th was designed to accomplish several objectives. First, on attaining office, establish continuity between the ‘campaigning candidate Trump’ and ‘President Trump’ by acting to ‘implement’ the most visible campaign trail promises–the ones packing the most rhetorical punch. This should be done without regard toContinue reading “The Trump-Bannon Executive Order ‘Strategy’ And Its Rhetorical Value”

Action As Antidote To Political Anxiety

The spring semester has started today and it is no exaggeration to say that I’ve not gone into any previous semester–over a period extending to the fifteen years I’ve spent here at Brooklyn College–feeling quite as unsettled as I do today. Perhaps it was the third cup of coffee, perhaps it was just the stage-frightContinue reading “Action As Antidote To Political Anxiety”

A Mere Taste Of The Refugee’s Desperation

In 1990, my visa status in the US changed from ‘student’ to ‘skilled worker’; in the alphanumeric soup of visa designations, I went from being F-1 to H-1. This was occasion to celebrate; I could now legally work in the US, and earn more than the minimum hourly wage. There was a glitch though: theContinue reading “A Mere Taste Of The Refugee’s Desperation”

The Tethered Eagle And The Refugee Refused Entry

A little over fourteen years ago, in the fall of 2002, shortly after I returned to the US after finishing my post-doctoral fellowship in Australia, I went to see the Yankees play at the old Yankees Stadium. I had arrived in New York City just a couple of weeks earlier; the Yankees were in contentionContinue reading “The Tethered Eagle And The Refugee Refused Entry”

Flannery O’Connor On Free Will And Integrity

In the ‘Author’s Note to the Second Edition’ in Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor writes: Does one’s integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Unsurprisingly, here we find a provocative interventionContinue reading “Flannery O’Connor On Free Will And Integrity”

Fascism And The Problems With A ‘Glorious Past’

I grew up in India, a land of considerable antiquity with a long and rich history. All around me, there were monuments to this past; sometimes they were physical, tangible ones, like buildings built many years ago, or books that recounted tales of magnificent civilizations and fantastically accomplished cultures with their philosophy, art, music, sculpture.Continue reading “Fascism And The Problems With A ‘Glorious Past’”

The Democratic Party Is Not Your Ally (Won’t Be; Never Has; Etc)

Here are some highlights of the stubborn, block-by-block, street-fighting resistance that the lionhearts in the Democratic Party are putting up in the face of an administration that these same worthies described as dangerous, a threat to American democracy, its values, and indeed, the very existence of this great republic: Senator Elizabeth Warren has voted forContinue reading “The Democratic Party Is Not Your Ally (Won’t Be; Never Has; Etc)”

Letting Your Childhood Make Your Parenting Easier

To be a good parent, think like a child. Well, that was deep. Let me see if I can unpack that. First, think like the child you were, or imagine and remember yourself as being; in any case, this is the best you can do. Now, think about what your perception of your  parents wasContinue reading “Letting Your Childhood Make Your Parenting Easier”

The Endless Surprises Of Memory

Memory is a truly wondrous thing. A couple of weeks ago, I met an old friend’s younger brother for lunch in midtown Manhattan; we were meeting after over thirty years. We ordered food, grabbed our trays, and headed to a table, our conversation already picking up pace as we did so. We talked about ourContinue reading “The Endless Surprises Of Memory”

Irène Nèmirovsky On The Failure To Recognize Failure

In The Fires of Autumn (Vintage International, New York, 2015, p. 186) Irène Nèmirovsky writes: Mankind can only easily get used to happiness and success. When it comes to failure, human nature puts up insurmountable barriers of hope. The sense of despair has to remove those barriers one by one, and only then does penetrate to theContinue reading “Irène Nèmirovsky On The Failure To Recognize Failure”