Culture, Quote of the Day

Step Away–I Got This (Not)

The image of the boy in a tree, sawing determinedly away at the branch he is sitting on, while he's actually sitting on the wrong side of it--on the part of the branch that's going to fall to the ground with him on it when he cuts all the way through--is one that's always amused… Continue reading Step Away–I Got This (Not)

Culture, History, Military, Philosophy

On Giving and Receiving Credit–For Those Brave Enough To Try

The wise person acts but does not take credit. Leads, but does not rule--Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching and The Master, by residing in the Tao, sets an example for all beings. Because he doesn't display himself, people can see his light. Because he has nothing to prove, people can trust his words. Because he… Continue reading On Giving and Receiving Credit–For Those Brave Enough To Try

Culture, History, Rural Living

Washington, PA, the First City Named For the First President

It’s hard for me to think of a particular place as my hometown: I was born in Birmingham, England, one fall night in 1954. I was raised in Northern Nigeria, and Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto are dear to my heart. I lived in Boston for a year when my family came to the States. I… Continue reading Washington, PA, the First City Named For the First President

Culture, Family, History, Plain Speaking

On Reality, Fear, and Projection

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us, An' foolish notion Ah!  The sainted Rabbie Burns.  Scotland's national poet.  Romantic to the end.  Socialist.  Raconteur.  A man who dropped his seed wherever he felt like it, upon whichever woman struck… Continue reading On Reality, Fear, and Projection

Culture, Politics, War

The Empathy Thing

I typed four words into Google:  “joe biden president empathic.”  Here are the top hits: Biden may be just the person America needs -In the entire history of American presidential campaigns, there may never have been a wider gap in empathy than between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. November 2020. US Election: For Joe Biden,… Continue reading The Empathy Thing

Culture, Feminism, History

Whatever Happened to the Afghan Girl?

Remember her?  I do.  It was 1985.  Mr. Right and I were still in Pittsburgh, and had not yet moved out to the country.  I was working for MCI Mail.  And I still eagerly awaited the monthly delivery of National Geographic in my mailbox.  It wasn't woke.  It didn't lecture.  And every month, it contained… Continue reading Whatever Happened to the Afghan Girl?

Culture, History, Politics, Quote of the Day

The House of Delusion

Dateline, The English Midlands, January 2002:  Even as I write this last chapter, a thirty-five year old mother of five has been put under sentence of death by stoning in Sokoto, because two years after she was divorced by her husband, she gave birth to a baby daughter.  Had she sought to remarry, she would… Continue reading The House of Delusion

Ave Atque Vale, Culture, History, Truth


This morning on Ricochet, I responded to a comment by another member about the elevation of religious identity above all others in many third-world conflicts with the following words: The strategy of elevating religion over ethnicity as a means to consolidate loyalties (both internally and externally) that might otherwise divide among tribal or other cultural… Continue reading Tribes

Cooking, Culture, Food and Drink

Honorably Discharged . . . My Bialetti Coffeemakers

...for having met the required standards of duty, performance, and personal conduct over the course of the last four-and-a-half years--ever since they were surprisingly gifted to me--and, simultaneously (and at the same time) to at least one other--by a former friend.  While their terms of service and tours of duty may have been interrupted (certainly… Continue reading Honorably Discharged . . . My Bialetti Coffeemakers

Culture, Medicine

All Other Things Being Equal–Covidwise, At Least…

Where would you rather be? Yeah.  I got the vaccination (Pfizer) a few months ago.  I'll be 67 next month, and I don't mind admitting that, at all.  In relative terms, I'm pretty healthy, with no chronic conditions other than age-related arthritis in some of my joints.  Most of what else afflicts me is a… Continue reading All Other Things Being Equal–Covidwise, At Least…