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 […]

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 […]

My Immigrant Family — Part Two

My mom, Mollie Sekuler Daniel, roughly two years old, circa 1914 A month and a half ago, I started off the new year with a little century-old history of my dad’s family. Today I’m turning to my mom’s family. Like the photos of my dad with his family in January’s post, the wonderful photo of […]

My Immigrant Family

Lena and Meyer Daniel, 1918-19, with children Ray, Sally and Nathan I’m starting off the new year with a bit of century-old history. While Sandra and I were visiting the East Coast a few months ago, my cousin Trude (see photo at the end of this post) showed me a couple of very old photos in […]

The Critical Ingredient

  A few days ago I joined a recently formed LinkedIn group of alumni of and current students at the REECA (Russia, East Europe and Central Asia) master’s degree program at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. When I was there, 1966–1968, it was known more simply as the Russian Research Center (RRC), […]

Tummy Tickler Bridge

The gently arched Hermitage Bridge carrying the Neva River Embankment roadway across the mouth of the Zimnaya Kanavka. In the background, the pedestrian bridge linking the Hermitage Museum (right) to the Hermitage Theater. A few days ago something — I’ve already forgotten what — reminded me of one of the small pleasures of life I […]