REFUGEE or IMMIGRANT? what’s the difference?


This is not a new question.  It has been tossed around for the past several months, as hundreds of thousands of people from Syria and Afghanistan attempt to relocate to European countries.    It is a dramatic situation, with elderly people, people with disabilities, and little children being carried by parents and friends to places where […]

CERTAINTY: without a doubt


There is little in life about which one can be absolutely certain.  Except, maybe, that one day each of us will die.   In spite of cryogenics (the freezing of the body in expectation that it will be restored to life) I don’t know of any sane person who believes that (she) will avoid death. But […]

AMBIGUOUS: lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct:


Ambiguous is a word that can have a couple of meanings.  One is that it is a word that describes a phenomenon when one or more definitions can apply, such as the illustration to the right.   Is it a beautiful woman or is it Bill Clinton waxing jazz on a saxophone?   The point is that […]

MIDDLE EAST: a strange mixture of hope and fear

middle east

In my senior year of college (1963) I spent the summer on campus, during which time I took a course called “The Near East.”     It was a relatively new term at that point in history, identifying a geographical and cultural region which was just beginning to become familiar to westerners.   Although everyone knew about Egypt, […]

The Penultimate Posting: Tomorrow will be my 1,000th Blog Posting!

In October, 2009, I posted my first ever blog posting along with a promise that it would be the first posted every day.   Except for a couple of days when I was in the hospital and one when my technology failed, I’ve kept that promise and TOMORROW, AUGUST 29, 20112, WILL BE MY 1,000th POSTING […]

AMBIGUITY [am-bi-GYOO-i-tee]: vagueness, lacking in clarity

In most cases the word ambiguity may be used as a negative, meaning that the speaker or the writer has been vague and it is difficult to understand the point (she) is making.  The reader or listener is seeking clarity and is dissatisfied with the way in which the point is being masked by vague, […]