The following op ed, written by Kamran Azmoudeh, a local dentist, was printed in my daily paper, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, on January 8, 2016. It’s worth reading…and re-posting.
* * * * *
The war on terror and ISIS in particular has hit home in Santa Rosa. Its effects have shaken me and over a million Iranian Americans (and certainly other Muslim Americans) to the core. Not unlike Kristallnacht or the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942, those perceived as Muslim immigrants are becoming victims in this ill-fought war. The events that lead to Kristallnacht started with the same type of hateful ideology, except sadly this is happening today in the United States.
I have lived in this country for 38 years and managed to gain an education which has afforded me a good life. I have been married 24 years to my loving wife who happens to be a Catholic American of European heritage and have two beautiful American children and two American grandchildren. I have been a productive American citizen for decades and proudly hold an American passport, which enables me to travel freely with all the privileges afforded to Americans. Continue reading “HR 158: A Betrayal of Iranian Americans”
It’s a paradoxical question. My oldest child, a clever and passionate woman, answered it this way:
I’d want to find out how Joan of Arc knew what she did. Because if anyone looks like a time traveler in history, she does.
I’d love to see the Beatles in 1963, the Grateful Dead in 1968, and Star Wars in 1977 (again).
I’d want to hear Elizabeth’s rally to her troops just before the sinking of the Spanish Armada.
I think it would be fascinating to eavesdrop on Einstein explaining Schrödinger’s Cat after the academic elite missed the point.
But those are all selfish reasons to use a time machine. If I were to be a hero about it, I’d smother Stalin in his crib, figure out how to sabotage FoxNews before it got a toehold, bitch-slap St. Paul along the road to Damascus and tell him not to be such a misogynist, and creep into the Warsaw Ghetto on the last evening of the siege and assure them it was not all in vain.
After nearly 20 years of non-involvement in filmmaking, last month I enthusiastically un-retired and worked (really worked!) on A Posthumous Woman, starring Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette.
Written/directed by my son, Zachary, and his fiancée, Magdalena Zyzak, and filmed at a remote location in the mountains above Silicon Valley, it is Continue reading “A Posthumous Woman”
In 1982, I read Blue Highways, a bestseller written by William Least Heat-Moon. It chronicled a journey by car taken entirely on the small roads—the mapmakers’ blue highways. An English instructor as a small Missouri college, Least Heat-Moon, disoriented by a fracturing marriage, chose to look for himself by choosing, as Paul Simon put it, to “look for America.”
Buoyed by Least Heat-Moon’s adventures and observations, I have, whenever practicable, chosen those blue highways for my travels: a two-laner and small towns versus hurtling through interchangeable Interstate spaces at 70 mph.
So, for our road trip to Ann’s high school reunion in Casper, WY, I planned to include back roads whenever possible.
Day #1 was to begin at our home in Sonoma County’s Wine Country and end Continue reading “Road Trip 2015: Sonoma County to Trinity Center”
“Has she been thoroughly vetted?” they ask. It’s an apt question. But do they know what the word actually means?
Continue reading “Vetting the Candidates”
In the summer of 2002, on a vacation in Spain, Ann and I were in Sevilla, walking back to our lodging after a typically late dinner. It was midnight, but the twisty, cobbled lanes were not entirely deserted. As we entered a three-way street junction, lit only by a few faraway home lights, two young men on a motor scooter drove up behind Ann and snatched her purse. It was hooked over her shoulder, so the scooter’s acceleration yanked her off her feet before snapping the purse strap. I had been about 15 feet ahead and had not seen the approach, but I heard her cry out and saw her fall. Continue reading “Midnight Fantasy in Sevilla”