AFGHAN: a coloful blanket or throw


  As a kid, when it would get cool in the house, my grandmother would ask me to get her the “afghan.”  In a century before anyone knew about Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, or al Qaeda, it was not a political commentary.    Much of those years we didn’t even own a TV, and even […]

Ally: a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose:


There are some words that we use regularly that just seem to be clear, but aren’t.   Ally is one of them. Ever since the two World Wars we have used the term freely, it being understood just which nations were allies of the United States, and which ones weren’t.   Having been born during WWII, it […]

TROOP: a collective noun indicating a band of soldiers, scouts, or other gatherings of people

When I was a kid I belonged to a Boy Scout troop.   It was a sizable gathering of boys who were divided into smaller units called patrols.  An individual who belonged to a troop was called a scout. State Police who are assigned to a specific segment of a state for service are called a […]

ATROSITY: a cruel, horrendous action

It has become altogether too commonplace to see photos of atrocities related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Some of them are horrendous actions taken by the enemy against fellow citizens of the countries; others are actions taken by troops against the citizens or troops of the enemy.  There is little to distinguish the […]

INNUENDO: words used to create the impression of a truth without corroboration

In an interview with MSNBC yesterday, Ambassador Peter Galbraith said the following: In fact, some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan’s most profitable exports,” said Galbraith, in an apparent reference to opium or heroin. It was an immediate sound byte which shot around the world, being […]