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Articles by: Linh Dinh

Protest outside AIPAC Convention,  Washington 2015

Kerry’s Speech And The Fate Of Israel

  John Kerry’s speech of December 28th, 2016 is an eye-opening indictment of Israel. Though prolix and padded with platitudes, its meat is a long overdue j’accuse. Much of the world has long viewed the Jewish state as a serial landgrabbing killer. Indirectly, Kerry converged with this near consensus, “the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel. And their[Read More…]

The Trump Ploy

The Trump Ploy

  Universally, Trump was depicted as an anti-establishment candidate. Washington and Wall Street hated him, and the media were deployed to vilify him endlessly. If they could not discredit Trump enough, surely they would steal the election from him. Some even suggested Trump would be assassinated. Acting the part, Trump charged repeatedly that the election was rigged, and he was[Read More…]

Obscured American: Hank The Christian Constitutionalist

Obscured American: Hank The Christian Constitutionalist

  America has become an eviscerated country draped in a gigantic flag. Day by day, its culture becomes more grotesque and obscene, a luna park of lunacy. Leached of essence, it burps up slogans, but who’s convinced? What define America, exactly? Paul Craig Roberts narrows it down to the Constitution and Christianity, “All Americans have a huge stake in Christianity.[Read More…]

An Update From Germany

An Update From Germany

Germany is smaller than California. Within the last two years, it has allowed in roughly two million Muslim refugees and immigrants, all by fiat. Having no voice in this radical demographic change, many Germans are fuming. Last year, I wrote from Leipzig that Germany has lost its autonomy and sanity. Teaching at the university, I registered that all my students[Read More…]

Obscured American: B.B. The Bartender

Obscured American: B.B. The Bartender

The flame-like tree and yellow stars from Van Gogh’s Starry Night burn on B.B.’s right shoulder. Blonde, slim and 33, she bartends at Friendly Lounge twice a week. She calls everyone “darling,” as in, “Are you good, darling? You need another one?” When B.B. told me she had lived in the Tenderloin, had drifted much, was fond of Jameson and[Read More…]

Obscured American: Amanda Zinoman The Film Editor

Obscured American: Amanda Zinoman The Film Editor

  Yes, it is a bit odd to include Amanda in my series of obscured Americans. She is a very successful editor of films that have appeared on television and in theaters. Her credits include Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider (1994), Carmen Miranda: Bananas is my Business (1994), The Lost Children of Rockdale County (1999), Drinking Apart (2000), The Last[Read More…]

Trump And 9/11

Trump And 9/11

  On 9/11/2001, Donald Trump did a live phone interview with New York’s WWOR. Digging this up 15 years later, Politico and Mother Jones pointed out how Trump bragged about the new status of his 71-story Trump Tower, “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the[Read More…]

The Deep State’s Candidate?

The Deep State’s Candidate?

  First of, what is meant by “deep state”? According to ex-CIA Philip Giraldi, “Every country has a deep state of some kind even if it goes by another name. ‘The Establishment’ or ‘old boys’ network’ was widely recognized in twentieth century Britain. ‘Establishment’ has often also been used in the United States, describing a community of shared values and[Read More…]

Giang in Fort Indiantown Gap

Postcard From The End Of America: Fort Indiantown Gap, PA

  It’s remarkable that I’ve been friends with Giang for nearly four decades. We’ve spent but a year in the same state and, frankly, have little in common. Giang studied computer science, business administration and engineering technology. He makes more in a year than I do in ten. He drinks Bud Lite and recycles corny metaphors and analogies. A director[Read More…]

Rudy List and Henry Herskovitz

Obscured American: Rudy List The Retired Math Professor

  Though each life is rich, some are staggeringly so. Over four days in July, I had a series of conversations with Rudy List at his house in Dexter, Michigan. A 74-year-old retired math professor, Rudy introduced me to Hua Luogeng, Zitang Zhang and Terence Tao. In return, I told him about Otto Dix, Cindy Sherman, Honey Boo Boo and[Read More…]

Detroit gas station, 2011

Obscured American: Hank The Small Business Financial Advisor

  I had spent four days in Ann Arbor, Dexter and Chelsea. This stay allowed me to experience a whiter and more Norman Rockwell Michigan. On two previous trips, I was confined to mostly black and car wrecked Detroit. Flying out from Detroit Airport, I bought two National coneys and, boy, were they sad. Hotdogs, chili, onion, mustard and buns[Read More…]

Homeland Terror

Homeland Terror

Justifying the War on Terror, George Bush huffed, “We’re fighting them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Broke, gullible or crazed Americans must be sent overseas to combat Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, the Taliban and ISIS. Otherwise, endless terror would devastate the homeland. Periodically, terror plots must be orchestrated by the FBI to keep domestic fear from[Read More…]

A Letter From Germany

A Letter From Germany

A friend in Frankfurt emailed me on July 19th: It is sheer madness what is happening here… The noose is tightening and yet—it is still only the beginning… What took place in some dull regional express close to Würzburg, a town in Franconia in the middle of Germany, was—in some respect—like a watershed event—just like the mass sexual assaults in[Read More…]

Death Of A Nation?

Death Of A Nation?

A hundred-and-fifty-one years after the abolition of slavery, America has a half white, half black president, a black Nobelist in literature, whites who attribute not just every form but instance of black dysfunction to white racism, blacks who demand reparations, the mainstreaming of innumerable black slang terms, including “diss,” a new phrase “negro fatigue” and the bumper sticker, “IF I[Read More…]

Protester and Cop in Camden, NJ

Blacks, Cops And A Sinking Economy

In Ethnic America, Thomas Sowell observes, “American pluralism was not an ideal with which people started but an accommodation to which they were eventually driven by the destructive toll of mutual intolerance in a country too large and diverse for effective dominance by any one segment of the population. The rich economic opportunities of the country also provided alternative outlets[Read More…]

Ahistorical And Deluded, With Fireworks

Ahistorical And Deluded, With Fireworks

  The Dinh Dynasty lasted only 12 years and ended in 980, but in the 20th century, there were around a dozen plays about one of the Dinh queens, Duong Van Nga. When I was a kid in Saigon in the 1970s, a folk opera about her could pack a theater night after night. In 2013, an elaborately produced 12-part[Read More…]

Big Brother’s Virtual Reality

Big Brother’s Virtual Reality

  A billboard for Comcast pitches a lineup of “reality” shows, with this caption, “Recommended for you. Because real reality is boring.” In contemporary America, real reality is also less real than Big Brother’s cartoony version. While we’re driving, walking, at work, lying in bed or even in the bathroom, Big Brother dictates what we know. Big Brother’s hypnotic screens[Read More…]

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Don the hunter and fisherman, Philadelphia, 2015

Obscured American: Don The Retired Building Contractor

  Showing up in Friendly Lounge, beaming Maria said to bartender Manon, “How’s my baby? Come here and give me a hug! How are your job applications?” “Nothing yet, but I have a couple of interviews coming up.” For the last six months, Manon has been trying to get hired as a school counselor. She only gets one shift a[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A View From Japan: An Interview With Motoyuki Shibata

A View From Japan: An Interview With Motoyuki Shibata

Motoyuki Shibata in New York City In Japan, even a serious writer may be seen on mass advertising, and a translator can become a star. One of Japan’s most famous intellectuals, Motoyuki Shibata is a specialist on American literature. He has translated books by Thomas Pynchon, Paul Auster, Steven Millhauser and Stuart Dybek, among others. Shibata is also the editor[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Italian Lessons

Italian Lessons

From “Positano,” a 1953 article by John Steinbeck: About ten years ago a Moslem came to Positano, liked it and settled. For a time he was self-supporting but gradually he ran out of assets and still he stayed. The town supported him and took care of him. Just as the mayor was their only Communist, this was their only Moslem.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Linh Dinh and Eirikur Orn Norddahl in Stokkseyri Iceland 2007

A View From Iceland: An Interview With Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

Born in Reykjavík in 1978, Norðdahl was raised in Ísafjörður, a fishing village of just 2,623 people in northwest Iceland. Its population has been shrinking for several decades. Norðdahl’s father was a fisherman, and his mother a school teacher. Starting with his first job in a shrimp factory at age 12, Norðdahl has worked as a hotel night watchman, cook[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Life/Philosophy