September 26th


Re:  On Leading from Behind

Dear  Friends,

This is my first personal newsletter that's not a travel blog. It contains teasers that link to three recent essays posted on, my website. You can post a public comment on the website if you have something you want to say on the topic, or you can reply to this email to send me a private comment.

The public comment option may prove problematic.  The last time I opened an essay up for comment I got thousands of bogus comments from Russians selling fake UGG products. Though I have a very effective spam filter, I still have to screen the spam to make sure no comments posted by friends are inadvertently blocked.

Enjoy, and feel free to share anything I post on the site.

Mind the Light,


Gandhi Quote

Lead From Behind?

As I write this the conservative media are pushing the meme "he leads from behind" as a negative characterization of President Obama. 

Read more.

If the GOP spent only 'it's own money.'

Who "Spends Like a Sailor?"

There is a famous quote of President Reagan saying that it is unfair to sailors to say that Democrats spend like drunken sailors.  (Video below.)

Read more.



For about 10 seconds our conversation was impossible. Two Navy jets on final approach to the US Naval Station just a couple of miles from where we are camped made a deafening roar that it was impossible to talk over. “The sound of freedom,” Mark declared after they passed.

That sentiment has provided me with a lot of food for thought over the last several days. It’s is emblematic of the widely held belief that our overwhelming military strength alone is capable of safeguarding our freedoms. Although I recognize our need for strength, I question the scale of our military and the focus. Russia and China together spend half what we do each year. I think a great deal more than military power is required to keep us free. In fact I’m coming to believe that the greatest enemies toward freedom lie within our own society.

Read more.