Dispatches From the Edge: Afghanistan: Anatomy Of A Hit

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday July 27, 2011 - 03:24:00 PM

The assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai in Kandahar July 12 is one of those moments when the long and bloody Afghanistan war suddenly comes into focus. It is not a picture one is eager to put up on the wall. -more-

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, followed by comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Tuesday July 26, 2011 - 01:11:00 PM

“I had time to learn Greek because I was not invited to dinner.”

—from the letters of George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans),, (1819-1880)

After any setback, that dry, flat, ironic quotation has always inspired me to “stop whining and get back to work!” -more-

Wild Neighbors: Smelling Like a Bird

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday July 26, 2011 - 12:56:00 PM
Male "Oregon" dark-eyed junco: does smell influence mate choice?

“Smell” is an interesting verb. It can mean either the production or the reception of an olfactory signal. “The old dog smells bad” and “The old dog smells badly” are equally valid and meaningful sentences. -more-

The Public Eye: What’s Happened to Obama?

By Bob Burnett
Sunday July 24, 2011 - 12:42:00 PM

As he heads for the debt-limit showdown with Republicans, President Obama cannot be comforted by the latest Gallup Poll that shows him trailing the generic Republican Presidential candidate by five percentage points. Republicans won’t vote for him; Obama has lost support among Independents and has alienated many Democrats. What happened? -more-

Eclectic Rant: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

By Ralph Stone
Sunday July 24, 2011 - 12:39:00 PM

A belated happy birthday to Nelson Mandela on his 93rd birthday. He was born on July 18, 1918. -more-

Senior Power: Good Housekeeping

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday July 26, 2011 - 12:57:00 PM

Question: I rent an apartment. The landlord doesn’t provide rent receipts, and my checking account doesn’t provide cancelled checks. How can I get receipts for my rent without incurring the owner’s wrath? -more-

On Mental Illness: NIMBY and Other Bigotry

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday July 26, 2011 - 01:08:00 PM

NIMBY, in case you’ve been living under a rock, stands for “Not In My Back Yard,” and is a reflection of people’s unacknowledged prejudice toward a group of people who are fine with you as long as they reside somewhere else. NIMBY-ism is a widespread phenomenon. For example; in a small group of aspiring authors (who were mostly obnoxious, as are most aspiring authors) I heard a conversation of how someone didn’t want their neighborhood ruined by “the low income housing” being built. (At the time, I didn’t mention that I happened to be a “low income” person and was in their writing group.) -more-