Open-and-Shut Society

Last week, in the middle of the day, traffic ground to a halt on Interstate 10, the highway that runs south from Phoenix. Rival gangs of “coyotes,” the criminals who smuggle illegal immigrants over the Mexican border, had started shooting at one another through the open windows of their trucks. The trucks were packed with people. Five died, three were wounded and 27 others were detained. Continue reading “Open-and-Shut Society”

Putin arrested Russia’s richest man as a warning to the others

I first met Mikhail Khodorkovsky several years ago, just after he had embarked upon his amazingly rapid conversion from shady, highly-suspect oil billionaire to famous, philanthropist oil billionaire. The location was the Moscow home of a Russian friend who might be best described as a democracy activist, and the occasion was Khodorkovsky’s first meeting with Richard Perle, a member of the Pentagon’s Defence Policy Board. Continue reading “Putin arrested Russia’s richest man as a warning to the others”

Boo! Ha-Ha!

Forget your warm childhood trick-or-treating memories, and don’t think about how adorable your neighbor’s children look in their devil costumes, with their miniature pitchforks and long red tails. Instead, focus on Halloween as an objective, and deeply peculiar, phenomenon. Continue reading “Boo! Ha-Ha!”

Finding Things To Fear

Is life today more dangerous than it used to be? It certainly seems that way. Between Alar in apples (remember that one?), acrylamide in crackers and trans fats in just about everything, our food has become inedible. What with the radiation emitted by our houses, the arsenic in the water and the toxic rays coming out of cell phones, it isn’t really safe to sleep, drink or talk, either. Continue reading “Finding Things To Fear”