A Little Bit of Everything

All Sorts of Interesting and Varied Stories Catch Our Attention This Week

Noticed of Late

 As is so often the case, all sorts of things rose to the top our consciousness this week. Let’s poke around a bit, shall we?

Macron Wins. So, Too, Does Democracy

 It would be hard to overstate the importance of the just concluded French elections. That Macron won reelection – a first for a French president in 20 years – and by a very wide margin at that, is a relief for all of us. Much has been made of the narrowing of the victory margin from the last time out,

Four Great Reasons to Quit Carbon Energy

No Matter Your Politics or Economics, Now is the Time

Energy Remains a Defining Element of Human Life

The ability to harness energy has been a defining qualify of human existence for a very long time. So much of what we know, do, and assume is based on harnessing energy. That is not going to change any time soon. More likely is that it will never change.

While I admire, and to at least some degree support, calls to minimize energy usage, it is most unlikely that we will economize our way out of the problems this posting highlights.  

What We Need Is Trust

Part II of the Discussion – The Workplace and, Meeting Space Deficits


Trust Writ Large

We talked earlier this week about the serious erosion of social trust, including the all -important but often unrecognized weak link trust that makes for a functioning society. We discussed that while a bit of this is a part of human nature, the downside of such distrust got a long term and deep boost from the Reagan era, which fed right into what the conspiracy theorists and far righters have brought to maturity over the last 4-6 years.

Reflections on Memorials

Memorial Services Remind Us of  Important Truths and Priorities

A First Such Gathering in a Long Time

 Last week I attended a memorial service for a friend. It was one of the first such gatherings I have participated in since the pandemic began. After such a long absence, I remembered of why such assemblies are important to us all.

By “us all,” I refer not only to the memory of those lost to us, but also to their families, friends, acquaintances, and the larger community.

Different Communities Do This in Very Different Ways

I am a  Unitarian Universalist,

Short Observations on a Busy, Weird Week

The Last Few Days Have Been Long on the Sublime and the Ridiculous


Starting with the Easy Stuff

The Academy Awards

I have long found it increasingly harder to care at all about the Academy Awards. It seems a party of self-congratulation among people whose lives have zero relevance or connection to the rest of the world. But, hey, I have my favorite movies, too and and sometimes the outcomes are interesting. The Big News this time, of course was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Four VERY short observations:

  • Way too much has been written and discussed on this little dustup already.

The Passing of Madeleine Albright is a True Loss

An American Original- and One of My Best Bosses Ever – Has Left This Earth


How We Came to Know Each Other

I was happily ensconced in the Brookings Institution as a Federal Executive Fellow, just over halfway through a year of study, analysis and telling the Army story to people who rarely heard directly from line military officers. It was a remarkable opportunity that I was enjoying immensely. It was a unique opportunity to learn from the best and to share our perspectives. To this day, I think Brookings sets the standards for think tanks in every way.

Two International Notes, Two Domestic Notes & Two Combined Notes

Looking Beyond Just Events, We See Important Trends Shaping Up

Two International Notes

Fascism, Autocracy, and Stalin on the Rise in Russia

This is serious level ugly that, along with the economic sanctions, will set Russia back at least 30 years. Putin started out talking about “purifying and deNazifying Ukraine. Now he talks of doing the same in Russia. Those whose families bore the brunt of such vendettas in the early Soviet years under Stalin (Cossacks, White Russians, others) must feel a chill in their bones. This is the kind of talk that Stalin used on his way to killing 20 million of his own citizens.

The Best Advice and Experience May Come from Wildly Different Sources

My Life Has Run That Course. Allow Me to Share Two Different But Shared Paths

What Skills and Mindset are Important in Life?

How about that for a “simple question” to begin this with?  Might as well go big and aim for the core issues, I think. Life demands a lot of all of us – some more than others, but all of us at one time or another. The list of important and desirable traits and approaches is long, but two seem to me to be pretty near the top of the list in a modern,

Big & Little Things Noted Lately

Funny How Things Catch Your Attention. Here are a Few That Caught My Eye Today

 TV Interviews at Home

 One thing the pandemic made routine was people on tv being interviewed in their homes. We have been doing this for two years now, and some people are on tv regularly being seen from their homes.

For these repeaters, I am really surprised that we see that we are in their bedrooms, or kitchen, or some other space that looks unprofessional. By now, one would think they would put up a background screen or use one of the electronic backgrounds readily available,

A Sampler of Some Fine Writing and Thinking

Enjoy These Varied and Well-Done Writings


Such a Buffet

As much as we all curse the internet (often with good reason), one has to admit it makes available to us an astounding volume and variety of information, thought, wonder, and amusement. Sure, a lot of what is out there is an embarrassment to our species. But there also is quite a lot worthy of our time and attention.

Allow me to share with you a few I have enjoyed of late. I hope you will as well.

Plants Communicate – A Lot

We have known for some time now that the plant world is no near as inanimate as once thought.