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Global citizen. Author. Thinker. Polymath. Climate change. Progressive. Loves photography, beauty, dancing, and believes benevolence is a survival mechanism.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.“

Me, outside San Diego Library, next to Ikea, about 10 years ago. Own photo

Those of us who are geeks or, perhaps, sci fi addicts, will recognise those words immediately. They are from Frank Herbert’s immortal book, Dune. The full fear litany is:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

I am not Paul Atreides. Whereas in my youth I…


Some people are convinced that other people just aren’t trying, or they’re weak, or have a victim mentality…

When strong, healthy men think they won’t die from Covid, they sometimes do. Fair Use

In the day to day comments, on various social networking sites, I often run accross people who tell me that someone is just playing at being a victim. Or they tell me that they dragged themselves up by the bootstraps. I just tell them that the reason they feel that way is that they haven’t suffered enough, that they have only met challenges that they can overcome, that they have never yet met a particularly difficult challenge.

Right now, there are so many people who are dying of Covid, who say that they want the jab now, that they never…


It’s not a show of leadership — It’s a slap in the face to responsible citizens.

Michelle and Barack Obama are a great couple, but they’re human, and they’ve had good lives. Surely, in the interests of setting an example, this past POTUS could have forgone a large 60th celebration. Fair Use.

Obama lost my support shortly after he became president. Unlike the liberal masses, I was stunned when he selected candidates that prolonged the neoliberal monetary system within weeks of him beginning his mandate as POTUS.

Leaders lead through example, and what Obama’s actions are saying loudly and clearly is that if the occasion warrants (and he clearly thinks that a 60th birthday celebration warrants it), then to hell with the fact that socializing with others is a great invitation to a constantly mutating virus.

Yes, he apparently has indicated that everybody needs to be vaccinated, but as the Delta variant…


Not unless you’re okay with cheating, lying, stealing, and manipulating…

Sometimes, a monster is very difficult to kill. Dragon Wallpapers Free download.

On Friday afternoon, I went into one of Portugal’s leading banks in order to open an account. I had all the paper work I needed — ID, income tax number, proof of address and proof of residency. It should have been a twenty to thirty minute job.

I had spoken to that particular banker some two weeks previously, so I knew he was fluent in English, and as he was the only person who opened accounts at that bank, I was happy to deal with him. That said, I was a bit taken aback at his approach when he saw…


There comes a point when the Have-nots have not had for so long that they reach a turning point. Then the Precariat is born.

The beheading of the royalty and the aristocrats during the French Revolution was the outcome of extreme inequality. Remember, winter is coming. Public Domain.

We often speak carelessly about the Haves and the Have-nots, but have we ever seriously defined the differences between these two groups? I think not. I certainly have never read anything like that, so I thought I would take a stab at it.

The Haves

The Haves have a tertiary education that increases their status on the pecking order. Within that tertiary education, there are wheels within wheels, levels that climb to the ultimate — a Ph.D.

The Haves have their own house, or they are able to afford a lovely brownstone rental in the middle of Manhattan. Sometimes, they have a…


There is never a good reason to write bad English — no matter what they tell you.

Mostly when people mention to me that one can break the rules, what they mean is that they don’t know the rules, and it doesn’t matter if they break them. Yes, it does, and I’m going to tell you why. Wikicommons

Let’s first start with that supposed rule about never ending a sentence with a preposition. That rule came about because a 19th century grammarian was trying to establish that the same rules were used in English as were used in Latin. It’s perfectly true that one shouldn’t end a Latin sentence with a preposition. However, that is simply not true in English.

To quote from the Oxford Dictionary, “There’s no necessity to ban prepositions from the end of sentences. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a perfectly natural part of the structure of modern English.”

So stuff that rule…


They own all your copy, regardless of whether you win or not, for a year. No payment for you!

When earning a living means demolishing others. Pixabay

I read all the comments and I shrink inside me. What is so exciting about pitting your skills against someone else? It scares the hell out of me. I have always hated competition. I can only win when I demolish someone else. Someone else can only win when they demolish me.

In the past, when I was doing well in sales jobs (generally running well ahead of others), my security in my job came to an end when competitions were announced. I would resign shortly afterwards. Management never understood why, and I didn’t either. I just didn’t want to be…


The tone for property ownership was set in 1215. Why have we lost it?

A home should not be there for profit. It is there primarily for shelter. Pixabay.

One of the aspects of capitalism that separates it from every other economic system is that people can own property that they don’t live on. When the king of England tried that in the 13th century, there was an uprising. The king felt it his sovereign right to tell his subjects that they couldn’t hunt in the forests or graze their stock in the fields — he claimed it was his land. It took a bit of back and forth, but eventually, it was settled. The king could not own ‘the commons.’ The ‘commons’ was the land that was open…


In the sixteen months I’ve been on Medium, I’ve never been able to bring myself to read a single article in any of the official Medium Publications.

Own artwork

Having encountered yet another of these badly written essays this morning, I began to analyze why that was. I looked at the topics, and I looked at the writing. So here are my conclusions.

  1. The editors of these magazines, all of whom probably have some sort of equivalent English or communications degree, don’t appear to be able to recognize good writing.
  2. There is the assumption that just because one has an English degree or a communications degree, one is adept at language and has the ability to write well. Nothing could be further from the truth. …

Tessa Schlesinger

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