I think I’m wearing out my keyboard

I began a new writing project in early December.  I finished the first book (just shy of 100,000 words) in only a few weeks, and accepted a challenge from Miss D. to keep it up and write the complete trilogy before publishing any of it.  I accordingly sent out the first volume to alpha readers (there’s a teaser excerpt at that link, too), and began the second.  Yesterday, I finished the main arc of Book 2.  It’s too short, at about 86,000 words, but there’s an additional plot/character arc I haven’t yet included (I started work on that this morning).  By

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“Grunts in the sky”

Here’s a great video tribute to the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground support aircraft, and the work it’s done on behalf of US troops in Afghanistan.  Having been in need of support like that from time to time (but mostly not received it – that was a different war, on a different continent, where our air support was extremely limited), this was eye-opening for me. I suspect that since aviation became important on the battlefield, any number of soldiers from any number of armies would applaud the A-10 pilots for what they did – unless they were on the receiving end

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Tribalism in the United States – it’s more common than you think

Following on from my first post today, about tribalism in the rest of the world, let’s consider it in the USA.  We’re accustomed to thinking of Native American tribes such as the Apache, Comanche, Sioux and so on – but there are vastly more tribes than that.  Just consider any inner-city area with conflicting street, prison and criminal gangs, some Hispanic (e.g. MS-13, Latin Kings, etc.), some Black (e.g. Crips, Bloods, etc.), some White (e.g. Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Lowriders, etc.), some of Far Eastern ethnicity (e.g. Born To Kill [now said to be largely defunct], Wo Hop To Triad, etc.).  Many,

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Tribes, tribalism, and security

Being from Africa, I grew up understanding the importance of tribes in traditional African society;  how they offered a social cohesiveness and security, a sort of über-family bond that transcended even national loyalty.  I saw that play out during war and peace, in politics, business and social relations.  When I served as a prison chaplain in the USA, I found prison gangs could best be understood if I treated them as the equivalent of tribes.  They exhibited many similar behaviors, albeit more violently and more criminally than most tribes in Africa would have been allowed to get away with. I’ve

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