China’s Rise

Study after study make clear that once Deng Xiaoping began casting off the shackles of Maoist bureaucracy, China’s rise was going to happen with or without the involvement of non-Chinese. At best, foreign capital and expertise accelerated the process.
I bring this up because I cannot help but look back at where my journey began. Many of us who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s believed that it behooved us to do what we could to influence that process, to make it go smoothly, to make it as mutually beneficial for China and the world as possible.
History and G-d will judge whether we succeeded, or whether we simply duped ourselves.

Highway Six, Unvisited


Old US 6, north of Los Angeles

Deep in the bowels of my bucket list are a series of road trips I want to take that retrace the old US highway system. I even have a dream about writing a guidebook on the subject.

Of course, traveling Route 66 is up near the top, but it is not the only byway that is worth riding. US 6, the Grand Army of the Republic Highway running from Provincetown, MA to Long Beach, CA, is up there as well.

The short stretch of the old highway that I drove – from San Fernando, California to Palmdale, California – evoked an epiphany. If you want to see America by road, do it on a road much-less traveled. The history, culture, and beauty left wantonly bypassed by the brilliant but artless Interstate system begs for rediscovery, appreciation, and chronicling. Plus, the food is better, and the people more real.

I figure a week or ten days should do it.