Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Freedom of Speech: Je Suis Charlie

In our country, in the West, open discussion is a part of life. Your point of view may be ignorant, or repugnant to me, but I will defend to the death your right to express your opinion. One of the great weapons of freedom of speech is humor. It’s hard to maintain a dignified moral high-ground when one of the cartoonists piques with a cartoon showing the emperor has no clothes. Or at least the emperor has flaws, as do we all.


Pensacola is blessed with such an editorial cartoonist, Andy Marlette. Andy Marlette is controversial, and in a state with lax gun laws and pistol-packin-mamas, he risks his life daily, skewering the pomposity of us all. Occasionally, he is outrageous. Occasionally, he is offensive. That’s OK. If an editorial cartoonist isn’t skewering someone, or all of us at once, he isn’t doing his job. His job is to elicit discussion.







I have lived for so long in Moslem world that I take a risk now, offending my Moslem friends, by printing the cartoon of Mohammed weeping. It’s the cartoon that touched me to the bone. I have listened and learned in the Moslem world, and I have never met with hatred. The Mohammed I have read about in the Qu’ran and in hadith, and heard about in legend and stories from my Moslem friends portrayed a prophet who, like Jesus, was all about loving and serving the one true God. He would weep at what has been done in his name, as Jesus weeps for us, when we kill others in his service.


January 8, 2015 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Arts & Handicrafts, Bureaucracy, Character, Circle of Life and Death, Communication, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Faith, Free Speech, Humor, Interconnected, Kuwait, Language, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Political Issues, Quality of Life Issues, Social Issues, Spiritual, Values | , , , | 2 Comments

10 Degrees Colder Than Juneau

Screen shot 2015-01-08 at 8.08.57 AM

We slept in this morning. It’s Thursday, the happiest day of my week, no water aerobics, no obligations, a day when I can plan, prepare and execute. It just gave me a laugh when I saw today’s temperatures, to see that we are colder than Alaska.

AdventureMan wrapped our lemon tree, and we dragged all our potted plants in near to the house, undercover but not inside. We thought we lost everything last January, when the same major temperature dip came – and stayed – but most of our things surprised us and struggled back, albeit a month or so later than usual. Note to Pensacola gardeners – don’t be in a hurry to dig out and toss after a hard frost, be patient. Your plants may be more resilient than you knew.

January 8, 2015 Posted by | Gardens, Living Conditions, Statistics, Weather | Leave a comment