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The Sun Interview

Crimes Against Democracy

Thom Hartmann On Voting Fraud And The Right-Wing Attack On The Middle Class

The unfortunate reality is that about 80 percent of the vote was either taken on or counted by computers that are programmed by private corporations. . . . How do we know that we actually elected the people whom these private corporations say we elected? This is the real felony against democracy: the privatization of our voting system.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Driven By Desire

The first sharp pang of desire hit me in the parking lot of my daughter’s preschool. It was a cold winter day in North Carolina, and as I buckled my seat belt, another mother maneuvered her gleaming new Volvo station wagon into the space beside my 1992 Honda Civic. She smiled and gestured for me to roll down my window so we could talk.

Wash Your Bowls

There’s an old Zen story that I like very much: A monk comes to the monastery of the storied Master Zhaozho. Diligent and serious, the monk asks for instruction, hoping for some esoteric teaching, some deep Buddhist wisdom, or, at the very least, a colorful response that will spur him on in his practice. Instead the master asks him, “Have you had your breakfast yet?” The monk says that he has. “Then wash your bowls,” the master replies. This is the only instruction he is willing to offer.

The Michelangelo Of The Den

An Interview With John Orange, On His Completion Of The Ceiling Of The Sistine Chapel, A Jigsaw Puzzle

Michelle Orange: Hi, Dad. Have you heard from the Spaniards yet?

John Orange: No.

Nothing?

Nada.

What They Taught Me

After three months of Peace Corps training, I am sent to live and work in Mchoka, a village in Malawi, Africa, where I will serve as an AIDS extension worker. When I first arrive, I wander around the parched, red-dirt landscape, searching for people who might listen to the AIDS speech I’ve been taught to deliver.

Fiction

Tilth

Nothing seemed real to her anymore. Life was a blur. She tried to see it in fine detail — her children running in the yard, the lines of their log cabin, her husband’s tall frame emerging from the woods with his chain saw — but the edges were obscured by a cloud of mayflies or some trick of sunlight. It gave her headaches, and she retreated to alcohol, which at least provided an explanation for the blurriness.

The View From Here

I was born in the house my father built, a wooden house of two stories, with broad eaves. There was an avocado tree in the front garden, and from my bedroom window at night its ragged black branches appeared to reach for the moon. In the mornings, before the sun became too bright, you could see the opposite side of the valley and the blue mountains beyond. Gorillas lived in those mountains, or so I’d been told. Once, many thousands of them, but now just a few hundred, perhaps knowing their time had passed.

Readers Write

Possessions

For more than two years I lived in Africa and Haiti as a Peace Corps volunteer. Though I carried only what would fit into my backpack, my Swiss Army knife, water purifier, wristwatch, and eyeglasses set me apart as a wealthy man. I was inspired by the resourcefulness of the people I worked with, who washed clothes in a wheelbarrow, fried eggs on a shovel, turned tin cans into lanterns, and made a cookstove from scrap car parts.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

Steven Wright

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