Archives for February 2015

How to stop a bully ——in the office, on the battlefield.

A fellow writer and college classmate of mine, Alain Gunn, recently penned this post about stopping bullies. He was responding to the debate about managing the threat from  military activity in the Ukraine caused by Russia and in the Middle East caused by ISIL ( ISIS, Daesh, or the Islamic State, take your pick).  What triggered author Gunn's essay was another classmate's assertion that "Anyone paying attention realizes Obama has no strategy against the Islamic State" (Bob Woodward, as reported … [Read more...]

Possible origin of “Cleft Heart” & other hearty phrases——a Valentine treat.

In honor of Valentine's Day, we'll look at eight phrases containing the word "heart." Most of this fun-with-phrases is due to the hard work of word sleuths at dictionary.com. Thank you kind souls for this . . . and the ongoing service you provide, esp to book authors. If you break someone’s heart, you cause them great disappointment or sorrow. This often occurs in the realm of love, though heartbreak is not exclusive to romantic endeavors. This expression has been describing sorrow and … [Read more...]

What determines heroes, villains and fools?

Obama's recent State of the Union speech tried to address, among other things, the problem of wealth inequality in America.* Charles Blow's New York Times column** the day before Obama's speech  described how hard (and expensive) it is to be poor.   While much of the reaction to Obama's proposals focused on wealth-transfers, other redistribution efforts,  and increased government regulation, some of it dealt with more abstract notions of how people are compensated in various ways in society. … [Read more...]

“Heroes, villains and fools” paintings: at Orinda Books this month.

Visitors to my website probably remember the elongated paintings that grace the left margins of most pages. The subjects of the paintings—in keeping with one of the themes of the website—are various American heroes, villains and fools. I intentionally chose well-known personages who force people to take sides since one person's hero is often another's villain . . . or fool. I've  explained all this in a prior post which I've reprinted below.* In my memoir, Cleft Heart, I identify among other … [Read more...]