Want to Avoid Real Estate Agent Commissions? Not a Good Idea!

Over the years, I’ve met a number of people who, when they want to sell their home, try to do it without the help of a real estate agent. From personal experience, I’ve learned that this is not such a great idea. Good agents are worth every penny of the commissions they earn. Here’s how […]

What I Learned in Pennsylvania About Saving Hawaii’s Whales

World’s first oil well, drilled in 1859 by Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania Reflecting on my visit to Pennsylvania1 last month, I had an epiphany — that there is a special connection (though of course not a geographical one) between the Keystone State2 and the Aloha State. Let me begin with the conclusion I’ve reached about the […]

Earning a Ph.D.

Here I am with my Corcel, a Brazilian-made Ford, relaxing in Brasilia in 1972 or thereabouts. I got my bachelor’s degree in Connecticut and my master’s in Massachusetts, but I had to cross the equator and fly all the way to Brazil for my Ph.D. I hasten to add that this doctorate was not in […]

Wall Street Journal Swings and Misses on Hawaii’s Big Story

As I sifted through the online news on Friday, I was delighted to see what looked as though it would be an exposé of Honolulu’s unfolding $9 billion train wreck, a commuter rail project. As a former Honolulu resident, I was sorely disappointed when I read the article in the Wall Street Journal. (The article […]

Why I Love My Work

This writer/editor, red pen in hand In introducing myself to potential clients and business colleagues, I sometimes find myself talking about why I love writing and editing. I suspect this might also be of interest to readers, so I’m sharing it now. It’s the creativity in writing and editing that I love. The best analogy […]

Prix Fixe Concerts

Santa Rosa Symphony Last Saturday evening Sandra and I attended a concert by the Santa Rosa Symphony. The orchestra’s music making, as always, was wonderful. But a sour note, for me, was one I’ve been hearing, with increasing frequency, in recent years — the need to endure the performance of dissonant modern compositions as the […]

Anti-Semitism, Both Right- and Left-Wing

This is what anti-Semitism can lead to The horrific murders last Saturday in Pittsburgh, driven by anti-Semitism, prompt me to share some thoughts and perspectives. This will be a lengthy piece, so let me begin with the three thoughts uppermost in my mind. First, although the murderer appears to fit within the stereotype of classic fringe-right-wing, […]

Mentally Wrestling With the Illegal Immigration Issue

Honduran migrants I began writing this post two days ago after reading about the “caravan” of several thousand Honduran migrants that has been halted at Mexico’s southern border. If and when they are eventually allowed to cross into Mexico, it appears that most of them hope to keep heading north to the U.S. Presumably, most […]

Cuneiform and Clay Tablets — the Only Thing More Cumbersome Than 3 x 5 Cards for Taking Notes

Cuneiform tablet This month marks the 70th anniversary of what, when I was studying there from 1966 to 1968, used to be called the Russian Research Center. Today, this modest corner of scholarship at Harvard University is known as the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and it is housed in a much newer, […]

Another Bombshell for Pearl Harbor?

Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Tojo (right) Wow! I’d always believed that the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event that brought the United States into World War II, was the responsibility of the aggressive military clique behind Hideki Tojo, Japan’s wartime prime minister. However, after recently reading an article that describes a meeting between Tojo […]