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The Latest From My Blog

A Piñata of Miscellanea. Go On, Take a Swing!

“And now for something completely different,” as they used to say on the old Monty Python show. Duriing any given week I receive heaps of emails containing bits of wisdom, humor, anonymous information, and lots of weirdness. Normally, I give these things a quick read and delete them. Today, however, … Read more…

This is NOT My America

The other day I was taking stock of what is going on in our country and I realized that this is no longer the country in which I was born and reared. It is an alien place that seems to have embraced George Orwell’s vision of nationhood—a place filled with … Read more…

More Than Three-Fourths of Americans Say our Nation is in Decline

A new poll released Thursday shows that three-fourths of Americans believe American society and culture are in a state of rapid decay. Is anybody surprised by this? I certainly am not. Just look at what is happening since Joe Biden took office. Crime is not only up everywhere, it is … Read more…

It’s a New Year & Time to Explode Some Erroneous COVID Myths

For two years we have been bombarded with misinformation, misperception, and one lie after another when it comes to our seemingly never-ending battle with the COVID-19 virus and its apparently endless variants. First, we were told cloth face masks didn’t work when it comes to avoiding infection from COVID. Then, … Read more…

Good Riddance to 2021: Another Annus Horribilis

At the end of 2020, I posted a commentary in which I said: “In all my years on this planet, I never experienced a year as horrible as 2020. I am sure there are others with six or seven decades under their belts who feel the same.” Guess what, 2021 … Read more…

Do racism and “white privilege” dominate America?

Today, I am turning my blog over to Steven Baldwin, a former California State legislator and executive director of the Council for National Policy in Washington. Steve, who happens to be my cousin, makes some significant and indispensable points about race and America’s unrelenting myth of “white privilege.” I hope … Read more…

A Short Conversation with Bob Dole

It was 1967 and I had recently enrolled at the University of Kansas in Lawrence on the G.I. Bill after serving almost four years in the U.S. Army Security Agency. At the time I was working at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in the composing room. My job was to “kill” … Read more…

Japan’s last war leader tells of lifelong regret: “Japan should never have attacked Pearl Harbor”

Three days ago the U.S. remembered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. I was going through my files a couple of days later and ran across this story that I wrote in 1989 when I was the Chicago Tribune’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Chief Asia Correspondent.  … Read more…

My Interview re Historical Fiction on the New Books Network

The link below will take you to a podcast/radio interview I did a while back with C. P. Lesley of the New Books Network about writing historical fiction. Ms. Lesley is herself the author of six historical fiction novels set in 16th Century Russia during the reign of Ivan the … Read more…

Misremembering Pearl Harbor

Today is the 80th anniversary of Imperial Japan’s attack on America’s 7th Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I lived in Japan and covered that nation for 10 years as the Chicago Tribune’s Chief Far Eastern Correspondent and Tokyo Bureau Chief. Naturally, Pearl Harbor was never far from the cusp of … Read more…

More Predictions From the Past: “Oranges will grow in Philadelphia”

In my continuing examination of the way people of the past predicted the future, here is yet another look at some interesting forecasts from long ago. My previous post on predictions from the past was posted earlier this week. Why am I blogging about this? Because, as an author of … Read more…

Famously Wrong Predictions From the Past

Predicting the future can be a daunting, if not a sometimes embarrassing occupation. I have already posted on this topic a few times because as a writer of historical fiction I think it adds something when characters look ahead and wonder what the world will be like in one hundred … Read more…

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