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Don't Cover Up Marine Le Pen


A Muslim leader refuses to meet with French politico Marine Le Pen unless she wears a headscarf. A Mormon friend of mine won't dine with people who order beer.

Hollywood's Great Wall and Great Gall


Matt Damon's latest film offers both epic ambition and epic hypocrisy. This movie seeks global profit by teasing the Asian market with local lore (China's wall) and an American audience with local controversy (Trump's wall).

Illegal Migration Is NOT Compassion


Lovely eight-year-old Neftaly had no idea she’d been delivered into the hands of her rapist by what American politicians call a more compassionate immigration policy.

Back When I Was Homeless


Life at the mobile home park: not bad for a starter homeBelieve it or not, Lyn's fondest life memories include a very brief homeless stint.

Write Beyond Sensitivity Police Jurisdiction


North Americans often assert they want to learn from other cultures, but travel writing is still expected to fit into the politically correct box of ideas that don’t shock sensibilities.

The Snowden Job of Oliver Stoned


When you call someone an America-loathing communist, it's usually a hyperbolic insult, but with director Oliver Stone, it's literally his official job description.

Mother Superior Inspires Author Superior


When I wrote about my mother's death, I never expected the story to be chosen as one of the best nonfiction works of the last twenty years.

Last Call For Resident Author Applications


Thanks to all who have submitted resumes for the writer-in-residence jobs we announced two posts back.

Is Donald Trump America's Pancho Villa?


This week celebrates the revolution here in Mexico, so I would be remiss not to note some uncanny parallels between Donald Trump and Pancho Villa.

Travel Writer In Residence Dream Job


Not many folks get paid to write. Much less to apprentice with a critically-acclaimed author. Yet, that opportunity is now available to you for a limited time.

Author Lionel Shriver On Political Correctness


I hate to disappoint you folks, but unless we stretch the topic to a breaking point this address will not be about the assigned theme of “community and belonging.” In fact, you have to hand it to this festival’s organisers: inviting a renowned iconoclast to speak about “community and belonging” is like expecting a great white shark to balance a beach ball on its nose.

Black Lives Really Don't Matter


I was the white-skinned member in a black church through most of university. Not because I was making a human rights statement.

My Brief Undocumented Migrant Phase


Forboding creeps into my heart as the bus nears Copacabaña border crossing. I'm taking a gamble. All the other passengers are European, because Americans are supposed to get visas before entering Bolivia with a two-way plane ticket, but I'm relying on the schmoozing powers that have so magically transported me across many frontiers.

Learning Stuff From Primitive Savages


Jack's Cafe may sit on Cuzco's most touristy corner but truly deserves its long line of travelers spilling out into the street.

Only One Situation Justifies Domestic Violence


The Inca-berry-slathered alpaca filet on my plate and the narcotic coca leaves in my teacup can only mean one thing: I'm in Cusco.

Cracker Lives Matter In Lima Peru


Nirvana is to be experienced rather than defined, except to say that the airport in Lima is its exact opposite.

Destination Two: Friendly Skies Over Peru


Interjet flight 2890 to Lima isn't packed with bookish lesbian hikers like the plane from Missoula to Salt Lake was or prudish mormon elders like the plane from there to Mexico was.

Globe Trekking Pitstop One: Missoula Montana


Readers who've been breathlessly awaiting the revelation of the first location of my global vacation can now breathe deeply from the fresh air on Montana's Lake McDonald.

Time to Hit the Road Again


Enough hibernation already!Humanity is doomed to vacillate between distress and boredom, as the German philosopher Schopenhauer said.

Homo Killers Rock and Homemakers Suck


A big greedy insurance company very recently conspired to find out what career makes people the happiest, so they could provide more insurance to long-living happy folks rather than short-lived sad folks.


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