BLOVIATE : talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way.


A number of commentators have said that Republican candidate Donald Trump is guilty of “blathering and bloviating.” Whether I agree or disagree is irrelevant at this point.  What I would rather do is take a closer look at the term bloviate and let you make up your own mind as to whether the term fits […]

RAVEN: to plunder, or devour greedily*


There are cartoons in the newspaper that add humor to the idea that a Norse leader and his men regularly engage in the plundering of neighboring kingdoms.   It almost makes it seem like a gentleman’s game, in which the plunderer knocks on the door of the castle and announces his arrival to sack the castle […]

JINGOIST: a belligerent patriot and nationalist who favors an aggressive foreign policy *


A strong American foreign policy is a tricky thing.   On one hand, it is an important segment of the directive to the President and government to “protect and defend” the United States of America.   Without any clear foreign policy there are gaps of ambiguity which lead to conflicts and missed opportunities for peace. On the […]

COWED [koud]: frightened with intimidation


To be cowed is to be so frightened and intimidated by someone that it causes you to shrink and accede to their demands.  It is a word from the Norse/Danish languages which means to oppress.  It has found its way into the American English language in the sense of intimidation and pressure so great that […]

STANCH: to halt or stop in its place


When a teenager is just beginning to learn how to shave with a razor his best friend is the styptic pencil.  It is a fairly innocuous, inexpensive, pencil-shaped stick of a congealed chemical which he will apply to a nick or cut on his face.   The immediate result is that the blood stops flowing.  It […]

ISIS: terrorists pretending to represent orthodox Islam


Last night I had the privilege of hearing a briefing on the Isis movement at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.  The speaker was Professor Hayat Alvi, Ph.D.  Dr. Alvi  is on the faculty of the War College and is one of the leading scholars in the area of Middle Eastern issues.   I saw […]