Cover-Australia September 17, 2014

Hostage Rescue Operations: Not So Simple

September 19, 2014


Some of the US wreckage left behind at "Desert One" in Iran, 1980.

Obama’s detractors would have us all think that one need only snap one’s fingers and tell the military to just go rescue the hostages, and it’ll be done. In reality, hostage rescues are notoriously difficult and dangerous, and often get the hostages killed.   I haven’t seen this complaint from any credible news organization, but […]

Bridge the Divide Between Young and Old: Write a Book For Your Family

September 15, 2014



It never fails that at family reunions, the “old folks” are sitting around reminiscing about grade school and about people that the younger folks have never even heard of, much less met, and maybe the time that old Fred turned the school bus over in that ditch down by Carl’s place. The young think it’s […]

The Ray Rice Assault Case: Can A Man Be Separated From His Actions?

September 12, 2014



Just like in the Steubenville rape case, a hometown leaps to the defense of their native son who has committed an egregious offense. I don’t approve, but I do sort of understand where the NFL is coming from on the Ray Rice case. There’s a lot of money in professional sports, and if your athletes […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: California Dreaming – The Allure of La Jolla

September 10, 2014



By Joan Larsen   Fall is definitely in the air . . . and, if you are like me, you wait out the packed highways of summer travel, knowing that a far less crowded season awaits– with all the hidden delights that California seems to pull out of its sleeve for the visitor “in the […]

In Defense of Dictators… and Stability

September 8, 2014



The US has a history of embracing a lot of not-so-benevolent dictators.  We also are swiftly establishing a history of promoting “regime change” with visions of democracy dancing in our heads, but what emerges instead is all to often a dangerous brand of Islamic extremism.   Back in the 1970s and at the height of […]

Safety Tip From Lila’s Dad: Drive Like You Know Where You Are… Even When You Don’t

September 5, 2014



Lila has had the misfortune to live in one of the nation’s worst-rated cities when it comes to traffic. The traffic gurus define this as congestion and length of commutes. I would like to add to that: the sheer density of clueless drivers, who seem completely incompetent to maintain a steady speed or even to […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Cavorting With Hippos in Botswana

September 3, 2014



By Joan Larsen By the time our very small plane had landed on a remote airstrip in the African country of Botswana, I felt I had researched every bird and animal we even had a sliver of a chance of seeing. However, it always seemed that the zoo hippos, heads peeking out of water, had […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

No, We Are NOT All Getting Taller or Growing Bigger Feet

September 1, 2014


Hey manufacturers: remember that there are plenty of us still around who haven’t grown much in the last several decades. Lila is a mere five feet tall with size 5 feet, a situation that has not changed since… oh, probably about age 13 or so. So when headlines trumpet that we are getting taller, or […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… If You Are Pro-Life, Then You Are Anti-IVF

August 29, 2014



All, one more look back at a Lila-Encore!  Lila and Hubby are still unpacking and unboxing, and the new house is finally starting to look more like a house and less like a hurricane-mauled refugee camp.  Lila’s computer is up and running so I will soon be back to blogging! Meanwhile, here’s a look back […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Get Lost in Iceland

August 27, 2014



By Joan Larsen So close yet so remote. So magnificent that it beats out all comers on our planet. Until now, it has been my own secret hideaway on this earth – Iceland, the magnificent. For years, Iceland has drawn me back again and again like a magnet.   And once you too have received the […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… Afghanistan, 13 Years On: Why I Want a Draft

August 25, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to…. The Unpretentious Elitist

August 22, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

Joan Larsen’s Dream of Late Summer: The Hidden Getaway at the Lake House

August 20, 2014



By Joan Larsen I believe down deep we are all alike. Deep inside us, unbidden thoughts take over our quiet moments in the early darkness of winter. The two of us find ourselves talking – the kind of conversation that usually comes late in the evening when the lights are low. It is then we […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… I Never Wanted to Be a Mommy

August 18, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

There Has Been Too Much Abuse. Demilitarize the Police NOW.

August 15, 2014



Ferguson, Missouri is only the latest case of local governments unleashing military-grade weapons and military tactics against their own people. How is this any different from the abuses we criticize in other countries? In 1992, this is what riot police looked like during the Rodney King riots, which were among the most violent and destructive […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Close Encounters of the Grizzly Kind

August 13, 2014



By Joan Larsen   My lone standoff with an extremely large grizzly bear in Alaska’s Denali Park has gone down in the annals of park history.   The tale has been used as a strong warning to visitors to our national parks that we should never – EVER – hike alone.   My park guide – who […]

We are Nest-Soilers, and Now the Grand Canyon is Under Threat… From Us

August 11, 2014


The Confluence.

Once word gets out about some particularly beautiful or unusual place, the beauty or uniqueness is doomed as we crowd in and stampede it to death, or worse – try to slice it up into individually-owned bits. We admire a thing, then ruin it with our meddling or by our very mass. It never fails. […]

Can We Avoid Dumb Marijuana Legalization?

August 8, 2014



By Laura Chapman Controlling drug abuse: is legalization really the right answer? After plummeting crime rates in Washington and Colorado, the legalization of marijuana in the US is looking increasingly likely by the year. Over half the American public believe the change in law will have positive results and are pushing for personal use of […]

Joan Larsen Celebrates: My First Two Years – Forming the Thread

August 6, 2014



By Joan Larsen How could I not believe in serendipity? When the first major websites were attracting readers – readers by the thousands – with a diversity of topics to comment on daily many years ago, smart women by the hundreds – more – gravitated to a site aptly called WOWOWOW for their daily “fix”. […]

Another Reason to Oppose Fertility Treatments

August 4, 2014



What if you could have several children, pick out your favorite, and throw the others away?  Now you can! In general, Lila is not a fan of fertility treatments. First of all, there is the population issue:  extinction from lack of people is pretty unlikely; on the other hand, a population collapse may very well […]

Dear Federal Trade Commission, Exactly WHAT are You Doing About Unwanted Calls and Scams??

August 1, 2014



Too little, I suspect.   It has been The Year of Juggling Houses. Lila’s Brother has finished his new place in a neighboring county, and moved out of Dad’s old house; Lila and Hubby have just finished our new place and will soon be moving; and Dad’s old house was recently sold. When it comes […]

Joan Larsen’s Story of Ethan: Should Being A Doctor Be in His Future?

July 30, 2014



By Joan Larsen The phone rang. As I answered, I would never have believed that – with my answers – I could be changing a life at the other end. Ethan – my friend’s newly 16-year-old son, a boy brilliant in my estimation – was counting on me for help. Those in high school honors […]

Happy Eid al-Fitr 1435

July 28, 2014



Today, 28 July, is the day that U.S. Muslims celebrate the Feast of Breaking the Fast, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan this year. Eid mubarak!  Today begins a three-day holiday of prayer, charity, feasting, visiting, and gift-giving as Muslims celebrate the end of the difficult month of Ramadan, which requires abstaining from […]

Immigration Crisis: Why Should Honduras Get Special Consideration?

July 25, 2014



Perspective: the fact that a “refugee” can walk to our border does not make him more deserving of asylum than other sufferers around the world. Now, with an unmanageable flow of underage, unaccompanied illegal immigrants overwhelming US facilities near the border, the Obama administration is thinking about screening thousands of children and young adults in […]

Joan Larsen Encore: The Grand Days of London – An Interlude with Ingrid Bergman

July 23, 2014



By Joan Larsen Another world, another time…  a time when we were young, eager to grab for the stars along the way, and then – then – an opportunity to go to London.  LONDON!  Well, London was like being given the world.  Two weeks in London was to be a glimpse of heaven and we […]

Hey South Carolina: I Was a 7-Year-Old Latchkey Kid

July 21, 2014



Thank God it was the 1970s, so my Dad didn’t end up in jail, and I didn’t end up in foster care.   In the news we hear of a South Carolina mother who was jailed and lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter for allowing her to play unsupervised at a local park (with a […]

Online News Sites Beware: Advertisers That Act as Reader Repellent

July 18, 2014



If your ads are too distracting, you’re just making me leave the page I am on to seek out my content elsewhere… the opposite of the desired effect.   Lila is a big consumer of news articles. I know that sites have to be funded by something, and since most people don’t want to pay […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Living Your Life With Passion – The Holstee Manifesto

July 16, 2014



By Joan Larsen   Each year in my home,we celebrate a day that is private only to us. This year it began in early morning. A long thin wrapped gift lay on the dining table. On top, the heavy cream-colored envelope said only “My Love”. The note paper was heavy. My husband obviously had spent […]

Hobby Lobby and IVF: Inconsistent Thinking

July 14, 2014



By now we all know that the Supreme Court ruled that “closely held” for-profit employers may decline to pay for contraceptive coverage if it goes against the business owners’ religious beliefs. This, in spite of the ACA’s stance that contraception is an essential part of women’s reproductive health in this day and age. Hobby Lobby, […]

Law Enforcement Has Officially Gone Insane: Teen Sexting as Child Porn

July 11, 2014



Teens experimenting with their budding sexual urges is normal. Cops giving a 17-year-old boy an erection against his will and then photographing it as “evidence” is just SICK.   By now most of us are aware of “sexting,” that indiscreet practice of sending nude or partly nude photos of oneself to one’s love interest.   As […]


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