Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is here! It’s my favorite secular holiday. I like Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday which brings people together over nothing more complicated than a moderately complicated meal. It’s also the holiday which brings out fundamental generosity, in the form of welcoming strangers, delivering food, serving at a shelter, etc.

For me, Thanksgiving 2015 carries special significance. The past 12 months or so have presented many challenges. Personally and professionally, nothing looks very much like it did a year ago. People tell me change is good, but I’m not sure many of them have “done it” recently. That all said,… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 11/24/2015

Peter Beinart wrote Why Obama Is Standing by the Syrian Refugees, posted at The Atlantic on November 23. The path we’ve been following—and remember, the nativism we’ve been witnessing began long before shots were fired in Paris on November 13—should embarrass everyone. Unfortunately, embarrassment does not seem to be evident among a majority of our fellow citizens. President Obama reminds us, constantly, that we must rise above the ugly, and Mr. Beinart documents the situation very well.

Note that nothing about surprise. Jeffrey Toobin explains why the current mood falls well within the contours of our national history, in… Continue reading


I have many thoughts about the events in Paris, and about the reaction in our country. The thoughts are mine, but they’re based on research and my developing perspective on how stuff works. Organizing those thoughts has challenged me, so the structure may not be great. Anyway, here goes:

Nothing Justifies the Actions of Those Who Killed 140+ People and Wounded Hundreds More. I know I’m offering up a “duh” comment. I state the obvious, however, because many of my words will upset people, and I want to be clear about the fact that explanations do not justify murder. For… Continue reading

Stupid from Governor Rick Snyder

I’m busy writing my lengthy piece about last Friday evening in Paris and its aftermath. I need to digress, however, to challenge some serious stupid coming from Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.)

Steve Inskeep interviewed Governor  Snyder today. Here’s the link. Michigan has the country’s largest Arab-American population, excluding California. Governor Snyder was advocating for accepting refugees, until last Friday. And after the attack? He was first in line to say: ”Not now.”

So why stupid? Three reasons, beginning with the response to Steve Inskeep’s first question.

INSKEEP: What concerns you, if anything, about the security check that’s currently… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 11/18/2015

The Curator will not be sharing any pieces concerning Friday in Paris, or related matters. Look for a long essay, over the weekend, about the broad issue.

I know many people believe MRW is a Leftie site, committed to lots of bad stuff. (Truly, “committed to lots of bad stuff” is kind, compared with what some say about me and my site, To. My. Face.) Anyway, and in support of Slate—another site that many challenge for its general left of center POV—I offer you Phil Plait’s post, GOP Senators and Representatives Band Together to Combat Climate Change and Its Denial… Continue reading

San Diego

“Oh my gosh, you’re home already,” was the comment from my San Diego landlord, whose name is Mom. I was gone a total of 49 hours, of which 12 were spent driving and 14 sleeping. (Although I was alone, some part of the sleeping hours may have occurred during the driving hours, so total hours are approximate.)

My 23 hours were mixed. My trip had for its primary purpose visiting someone who’s ill. Our visit was delightful, but there’s no pleasure in seeing someone suffer. Alas, I’m glad I went!

The balance of my 23 hours was spent walking, reading,… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 11/11/2015

Happy Veterans Day. Thanks, all of you, for stepping up!

I guess Dr. Ben Carson represents the gift that just keeps giving. Here’s Dr. Ben Carson Is Not Smart by neuroguy for DailyKos. Neuroguy provides as fine an analysis of “smart” as any I think I’ve ever read. For non-clicker, neuroguy is a neurologist who defines “smart” as:

a multifaceted cognitive feature composed of excellent analytical skills, possession of an extensive knowledge base that is easily and frequently augmented, possession of a good memory, and being readily curious about the world and willing, even eager, to reject previously… Continue reading


The New York Times featured an excellent three-part series on arbitration in the last several days. The pieces were written by Michael Corkery, Robert Gebeloff, and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, and they’re definitely worth an hour or so of your time. (Part I is Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck. Part II is In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System’. Part III is In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law.)

MRW has written twice on the subject of arbitration, in Arbitration. Mediation. Settlement Conference. Huh?—an informational piece—and, briefly, in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way… Continue reading

Comfort Food

Comfort food has a Wikipedia page (So, actually, does one of my clients, but he pitched for the Milwaukee Braves and Houston Astros for nine years.) Wikipedia describes comfort food as “traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer, and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation.”

Baloney. Comfort food is tasty food you like, made simply and easily. For me, recipes are a distraction. If instructions are required, I’ll eff them up and ”easily” won’t be part of the mix. (I had my tech guy come by… Continue reading

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