Odds and Ends

A Few Things Caught My Eye in Recent Days. Yours, too, I Bet


The Spirit of Andy

Those of a certain age will remember, fondly for the most part, the role of Andy Rooney for many years on the CBS News show 60 Minutes. Andy was the self-designated Curmudgeon at Large. He offered information and commentary on a remarkably wide-ranging set of topics. Today’s blog is not too curmudgeonly but in the spirit of Andy, here are a few interesting things that have popped up for our consideration.

The January 6 Investigation

So far,

Are All Republican Politicians Alike? Nope – There are 3 Types. OK, 3.5 Types

Two of the Three Merit Disgust and Disdain; One Owes Us Answers; 0.5 are Lonely


Beware the Temptation to Stereotype

In a time of national division, it is easy – tempting – to think of those with whom we disagree as all being alike. It will not be a shock to readers of this blog that I am not a fan of what now passes for the Republican party. But that does not mean that I see all Republican officials and office holders as the same. In my mind, they fall into 3,

Looking at the Capitol Insurrection with Clarity – and Anger

Two Excellent Illustrations of What Happened and What It Means


January 6, 2021 – A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

With apologies to FDR for borrowing his phrase in describing the Pearl Harbor attack, this is what comes to mind for me in thinking about the assault on our democracy that took place earlier this year. Make no mistake about it – this was a direct, violent assault on the very foundations of our republic.

The intent was crystal clear – to stop the count and certification of a valid national election and to install by coup an illegal government.

Profiles in Courage

Let’s Acknowledge Political and Physical Courage When We See It


Who Rises to the Challenge?

Fate, history if you will, has a way of calling on people at inconvenient times. One day, you are just minding your own business, the next you are thinking about risking everything. Funny how that happens. It is endlessly fascinating to watch how this plays out, as it does, every day, all around the world, in large and small venues. For me, the quote from Dr. King at the start of this blog post says it all.

What separates those who rise from those who fall short is most often the failure to ask the final question in the quote.

Why are Republicans Few in Number but Large in Power?

Three Factors Tell the Tale- And They are Not the Ones You Think


Wait! Wait! I Know the Answer to This One!

Ask how it is that the Republican party is shrinking at a crisp pace, yet they have a remarkable level of power, and most people will say something along the following:

“Three reasons. They care only about maintaining power, they are ready and eager to do anything to keep it, and they don’t care how this impacts democracy.”

I am sad to say all three statements are largely true,

About the Olympics

Few Human Endeavors Carry Such Contrasts


 A Reminder as to How All This Began

The Olympic games were an invention of ancient Greece, one of the wonderful things that civilization left us. The idea was to foster peaceful competition and to celebrate youthful excellence, dedication, and skill. It was a noble and inspiring idea that was restarted in the modern era, for all the right reasons.

The Power and Beauty of Youthful Athletes

It would be difficult to not admire the skill and remarkable dedication of Olympic athletes. For most of them,

Good News and Bad News – There is a Mix is Out There

Sometimes the Headlines Miss the Full Story

As The Saying Goes…

We have good news, and we have bad news. There has been much of late to lament, for sure. But there has been no small amount of good news as well. The latter often gets a pass in the headlines. I thought it might be helpful to call out some of the high notes and low points in current events.

The National Guard as Guns for Hire

This week’s, maybe this century’s, award for the single worst idea anyone at any level of government has ever thought of – ever.

Mixed Emotions on the 4th of July? That is Very American

The Fourth is More Than Our National Holiday. It’s Our National Mirror

Reflections on the Fourth of July, 2021

You and I are probably like most Americans on this Fourth of July. In looking back over the past year, over the past 245 years, and over the years to come, we feel a wide range of thoughts and emotions. As well we should.

I decided a long time ago that anything less than conflicting feelings would be a waste – and lazy. This country has always been a mix of hope and despair,

Hey! Did You See This?

A Small But Varied Collection of Fun/Interesting Things Found Online


Smorgasbord Time

Every so often we take a break from focusing on one thing to share some assorted tidbits that seem worth sharing. Today is such a day. Hope you enjoy these as much as I have. Most are short descriptions of and reflections on interesting articles, along with links to those articles. The last two are simply me thinking out loud. One never knows what will bubble to the top of my (or your) brain; here are a couple for today.

10 Books About Geopolitics

One of my disappointments in high school (boy,

Getting Policing Right is About as Important as It Gets

I Am Not Giving Up, But I am Not Optimistic

Why This Is So Important

No one can accuse this blog of only doing easy topics. Policing is one this space has addressed before and will surely revisit again after today. This is a seriously important topic for more than any one obvious reason.

Justice and Trust – A large portion of the American citizenry feels far more threatened than protected by the police. They have little expectation of fairness or justice from the police. Thanks to the spreading use of body cameras and the ever-present smart phone,