Biden Gets It Half (or More) Wrong … Again!

President Biden with his National Security Team in the White House Situation Room, April 13, 2024 I was going to title this post “Biden Gets It Half Right,” but on second thought it’s clear to me that the wrong part considerably outweighs the right. When, yesterday, Iran’s mullahs launched some 320 drones and cruise and […]

Joe Lieberman May Have Been the Guy Who Taught Me How to Create a Martini — And a Few Loftier Thoughts on a Principled Politician

Joseph I. Lieberman, Feb. 24, 1942 – Mar. 27, 2024 Joe Lieberman’s death this week brought back memories of my freshman year at Yale, when I made a brief effort to “heel” (that is, to try out for a position as a writer) at the Yale Daily News, the nation’s oldest independent college daily newspaper […]

A Plague on Both Their Houses

With Super Tuesday having all but ensured that Donald Trump and Joe Biden will receive their parties’ nominations for November’s presidential election — a huge disappointment for many, if not most, voters — Shakespeare’s famous line in Romeo and Juliet, “a plague on both your houses,” is all I can think to say. Rather than […]

If Joe Biden Can Be Replaced at the Top of the Ticket, There’s Hope for Us All

If you’re deeply woke or MAGA, you won’t like a lot of the thoughts that follow. But if you view what’s been happening in our country with dismay, as I do, you may consider both wokeness and MAGA-itis to be the sort of thing Ben Franklin was wary of when, at the conclusion of the […]

Speaking My Mind

Pro-Gaza demonstration at Columbia University, New York City A great deal of water has spilled over the dam since I wrote about Israel’s existential struggle against Hamas following the latter’s blood-curdling attack on October 7. Because it is a truism that silence in the face of developments you dislike amounts to complicity, today I refuse […]

If You View Israel’s Gaza Response as Disproportionate, What Do You Think WOULD Be Proportionate?

Pro-Hamas demonstration in London It’s now 11 days since Hamas launched its barbaric October 7 attack from Gaza, brutally murdering — according to the latest figures I’ve seen — more than 1,200 Israelis (most of them civilians), injuring over 4,100 more and kidnapping nearly 225 people, including children, and holding them hostage in Gaza. As […]

A Change in My Postings — What Drives Me — And Thoughts on Ukraine and Israel vs. Hamas

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer flank Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in U.S. Capitol Readers of my blog and those who follow me on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter/X), know that I regularly post two things: (1) daily generally humorous items (except Sundays) related to language or writing and […]

A Bird’s-Eye View of the Wagner Group Mutiny

Wagner Group tank on the streets of Rostov-on-Don (SIBERIA painted on front — read into it what you will) Thanks to my background in Soviet/Russian affairs, I’ve been following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with enormous interest — and great sympathy for the victims of this brutal, unprovoked aggression. The lightning-fast events of the past two […]

America Shamed Itself in 2021 — Must We Continue Down the Same Path?

Afghan refugee family crossing U.S. southern border Following America’s shameful, chaotic flight from Kabul in August 2021, I wrote to my senators and congressman in Washington and, in two blog posts (https://pen4rent.com/chaos-in-kabul and https://pen4rent.com/shameful-unforgiveable), to my friends and family. I said, in part, It is … reprehensible for the U.S. to be so callous in […]

Crowning Thoughts — And Raining on a Reigning Parade

King Charles III Yesterday’s coronation of King Charles III in Great Britain brings to mind a few thoughts. First, some seven-decade-old recollections and then a bit of provocative musing for which admirers of monarchy — not just fans of the British royal family — could be forgiven for thinking that I’m raining on the reigning […]