At times like this, I am still proud of our country, and when people ask me how I can feel this way, I always tell them "look local." If you just think about the good, hardworking Americans you know, it will make you feel better.
More than 10 years after 9/11, we are tentative patriots. We gauge our neighbors' politics, we stick a finger in the air to test the atmosphere before considering a declaration of love for our country.
I was fortunate enough to spend the past two weeks in London and Paris. Here are my sweeping generalizations about London and Paris and most likely unfair comparisons between them and our city by the bay. Take 'em or leave 'em.
I hope in my lifetime that I will feel a more widespread sense of trust in public officials by citizens -- an American revival of sorts in which young people seek "good government jobs" and commit their careers to public service.
The South African novelist J.M. Coetzee writes with a pen that's sharp as a knife, in ink made from his own blood. Or so it seems, for each word seems carved or cut, obtained at great price, offered as a sacrifice.