What Makes Hawaii Unique, Part 3 of 5

Multiethnic, multicultural Hawai‘i Author’s Note: Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 in this series of posts. Demographics: The Genesis of “Local Culture” Hawai‘i is America’s most culturally and ethnically diverse state. As shown in the following table, no single group constitutes a majority. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 census Note: These numbers […]

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 […]

What Makes Hawaii Unique, Part 2 of 5

Author’s Note: Here is a link to Part 1 in this series of posts, which we published half a year ago, on Sept. 10, 2023. (Please forgive the delay in resuming publication of this series.) The introductory Author’s Note to Part I will give readers of this post important context for what they will now […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What Makes Hawaii Unique, Part 1 of 5

Author’s Note: This post is the first in what will be a five-part series that offers my thoughts — as a former 27-year resident of Hawai‘i — as to what makes the Aloha State different from our country’s other 49 states. I wrote it over a decade ago, while I was still living in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why Give a Gaggle of Gamer Geeks Access to Top Secret Info?

Teixeira under arrest A few years ago, I blogged about the time my then-seven-year-old son quick-wittedly did his best to keep a secret (about a surprise birthday party) from his grandpa. If you’ve been following the news this past week, you’re probably aware that the Pentagon has been learning that secrets can’t always be entrusted […]