The Press, the CIA, and the FBI

A journalist, a CIA operative, and an FBI agent walk into a bar. Journalist: Why are we having drinks? I hate you guys! CIA operative and FBI agent: Yep. Journalist: You made illegal recordings of Martin Luther King Jr. and threatened to make them public? FBI agent: Yep Journalist: You launched coups in South America, … Continue reading The Press, the CIA, and the FBI

Homage to Cowboys and Wyoming

Since nearly all of my family hails from Wyoming, I’m proud to claim cowboy blood. My grandfather herded cattle along the Chisholm Trail. He later served as the sheriff in Rawlins, Wyoming. I even herded cattle in Torrington, Wyoming, just after a graduated from high school. At Newsweek, I was a junior member of the … Continue reading Homage to Cowboys and Wyoming

Sex and Journalism

The embattled reporter at The New York Times who had an intimate relationship with a top Senate staffer was one of my students. After a quick rise through the ranks of journalism, Ali Watkins was demoted last week for having the affair. I didn’t know her well, but she struck me as energetic and intelligent, … Continue reading Sex and Journalism

Intolerance of Opposing Views Has A Home Here

Upon my return to the United States after an extended stay aboard, I noticed one continuing problem in my Philadelphia neighborhood: the extensive virtue signaling against “hate” and guns. Virtue signaling includes empty, public gestures intended to promote social issues without any risk or sacrifice. Think yard signs as actually doing something. It is rather … Continue reading Intolerance of Opposing Views Has A Home Here

An American in China

After four, lengthy visits to China, I have some suggestions for people who want to travel there. I would recommend that you skip Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong unless you want to do a quick tour upon arrival into the country before heading to the exciting part of the Middle Kingdom. Keep in mind that … Continue reading An American in China

Crime Stories in China

Almost everyone loves a good crime story or murder mystery, and the Chinese are no exception. Zhou Haohui, a 41-year-old school teacher, has written a series of potboilers called “Death Notice.” In fact, American readers can get a taste of the books when Doubleday publishes the first of three of the novels later this year. … Continue reading Crime Stories in China

An American and Chinese Hero

Claire Chennault, someone whom few people in the United States know but should,  may be the most beloved American in China. During World War II, Chennault headed a secret operation in Kunming called the First American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers. By December 1941, Kunming, a vital capital of a southwest China … Continue reading An American and Chinese Hero

Healthcare in China

Getting to see a doctor in China isn’t easy. After I had a persistent cough, however, I had to see a physician. Almost everyone goes to a hospital to see a doctor. That's the way the system works. What is interesting is how the healthcare system forces Chinese to do something they abhor: standing in … Continue reading Healthcare in China

China and Patience

The adage goes that you don’t want to see sausage or laws being made. The same can be said about reading or watching news. If you know something about a subject, you likely will be dismayed by the news. For me, that is the case when it comes to U.S. coverage of China. For the … Continue reading China and Patience

Marxism and China

In a rather neck-snapping series of pronouncements, Marxism has moved to center stage in China. On the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile campaign lauding the importance of the German philosopher. Communist Party newspapers hailed Das Kapital, Marx’s critique of capitalism, as “holy scripture.” State … Continue reading Marxism and China

“The” China Earthquake

It’s difficult to find anyone in Chengdu, a laidback city in central China known for its pandas and spicy food, who doesn’t know where they were at 2:28 p.m. on May 12, 2008. That's when a massive earthquake, one of the worst ever in China, left 87,000 people dead, 370,000 injured, and five million people … Continue reading “The” China Earthquake

Mount Everest and Me

Mount Everest. The name evokes thoughts of beauty, cold, danger, and many others. I’m not entirely certain why I decided to trek to the base camp of Mount Everest. Maybe because it was there. Maybe because it scared me to try. My journey hardly qualifies as dangerous, but it did involve nearly 40 hours of … Continue reading Mount Everest and Me

Korea and China

A young Vietnamese man pulled out his phone and asked me if I knew about what was happening in Korea. He passed the device to me where the presidents of North Korea and South Korea were meeting on the border between the two countries. “I feel a lot safer now than I did a few … Continue reading Korea and China

The Catholic Church in China

At St. Francis Catholic Church in Xi’an, China, the congregation flowed out into the courtyard for Sunday Mass. Churchgoers include many young parents with children. The service lasted more than 90 minutes, including a sermon that ebbed and flowed for nearly 20 minutes. Each section of the church has one of the Ten Commandments written … Continue reading The Catholic Church in China

Trump’s Success in China

Did Chinese President Xi Jinping just blink in trade war stand-off with US? That exact headline comes from The South China Morning Post, a leading news organization in Hong Kong. I guess the U.S. media mavens who screamed about the dumb move Trump made against China had already turned their attention to the next round … Continue reading Trump’s Success in China

The CIA’s Long List of Failures

The CIA has such a lousy record that the country might be better without it. Let me run through just a few of the examples I know about from years of reporting in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. My all-time favorite happened in Lebanon. The pro-Iranian group Hezbollah identified numerous CIA operatives … Continue reading The CIA’s Long List of Failures

The FBI’s Long List of Failures

The FBI has a long history of errors, miscalculations, and outright failures that make the current allegations almost pale by comparison. As a young journalist, I trekked back and forth through the FBI “cordon” around Wounded Knee in 1973, where Native American activists had taken over the site in South Dakota of a famous massacre … Continue reading The FBI’s Long List of Failures

The Church and Illegal Aliens

It isn’t exactly a pact with the devil, but a number of Roman Catholic churches and other religious organizations have made a deal with a vitriolic, anti-Trump group that backs illegal aliens. The group, The New Sanctuary Movement, or NSM, has been around for 10 years, but it has been pushing its agenda more aggressively … Continue reading The Church and Illegal Aliens

Student Protests and the Constitution

As the media applauded the student protests against guns, most reporters failed to understand the nature of constitutional law and the First Amendment. Simply put, students who are not 18 years old don’t, for the most part, have many rights under the Constitution during the school day. Schools can ban websites and social media. Cellphone … Continue reading Student Protests and the Constitution

The Corruption of College Sports

As the NCAA’s March Madness begins this week throughout the country, the extent of the scandal sweeping throughout college basketball continues to grow. All four of the tournament’s No. 1 seeds—Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier—have been mentioned in some form or another in an FBI investigation. Moreover, about 20 percent of the 68 teams in … Continue reading The Corruption of College Sports