Category Archives: Blog

The 24-Hour News Cycle in 2013


The cycle prob­a­bly started when Ted Turner pieced together CNN, but with­out the sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal advances in com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­put­ers that ener­gize You Tube, Google, Twit­ter, et al, plus the bat­tle for audi­ences and read­ers in the media, it wouldn’t have turned into a mon­ster. Prac­ti­cally there is no limit to what will get […]

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Role models and the choice of professions


A debate on the qual­ity and future of edu­ca­tion has been going on for some years now. Many top­ics are dis­cussed, from tiger moms in Asia to the fac­tors that make teach­ing an uninvit­ing pro­fes­sion. At present some geneti­cists argue that genes affect how peo­ple learn to read and write and how they learn mathematics […]

Breaking Bad


Real­ism in fic­tion is a con­tro­ver­sial issue. For read­ers of lit­er­a­ture and/or view­ers of films and tele­vi­sion series seek­ing enter­tain­ment to escape daily grind, real­ism may be both­er­some. But oth­ers pre­fer fic­tion that cuts it as close to real­ity as pos­si­ble. Nei­ther group should be crit­i­cized. Cul­tural tastes result from per­sonal expe­ri­ences, age, edu­ca­tion, profession, […]

The Situation in Syria


In what con­cerns Syria’s civil war and the recent use of chem­i­cal weapons against civil­ians, it seems as if hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple share the opin­ion that the best course West­ern democ­ra­cies could fol­low is to help the refugees, demand that the crim­i­nals are brought to jus­tice, wait for irrefutable evi­dence about who gassed […]

Event at the Toronto Public Library


I’ll dis­cuss my writ­ing and how I left Cuba to seek cre­ative free­dom and to flee repres­sion on Wednes­day, April 3, from 7 pm to 8 pm. Learn more on the Library’s web­site. I look for­ward to see­ing you there.  

The Cuban Missile Crisis, a foot soldier’s story


Before 1959 the Cold War had not been a widely held con­cern in Cuba. Folks assumed that our nation was too insignif­i­cant to be tar­geted by the Rus­sians, and because the United States was our ally since World War II, the notion that Amer­i­can nuclear-tipped mis­siles could rain down on us was incon­ceiv­able. This started […]

Yunel Escobar’s slur didn’t come from left field


Two or three min­utes after I saw the photo of Escobar’s cheeks and read the news sto­ries, I con­sid­ered writ­ing this. But I decided to wait until things returned to nor­mal so peo­ple would read me with cooler heads. It’s impor­tant to say I’ve never met the Toronto Blue Jays short-stop and don’t think I […]