Archives - September 2011


Sep. 19

My, How We've Stayed the Same


The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce started his Devil's Dictionary in 1881 and completed it in 1911.  It was a huge, satiric undertaking.  I was reading over it last week and was interested to see that so much of it is still relevant today.  As Americans, and human beings, we haven't changed much over the last 100 years.

ABORIGINES, n.  Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country.  They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.

ACQUAINTANCE, n.  A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.  A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

AIR, n.  A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.

BELLADONNA, n.  In Italian a beautiful lady ...

Sep. 17

You've Got Mail -- Real Mail


Letters Home

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat,nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."  Unfortunately, they might be stopped by a government imbroglio.  We like to complain about the U.S. Postal Service, especially when standing in a long line at the post office, but we definitely take it for granted.  As John Stewart quipped on his Comedy Central political show, "Someone comes to your house, takes something you've written, and brings it to a person that you want to give it to anywhere in the world for like fifty cents."  Then he adds, "Oh, but it's going to take a couple days."

The Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) was sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Davis and signed into law by President Bush in 2006.  It mandated that within 10 years the U.S. Postal Service ...

Sep. 5

War is Hell


The War Poet

The War Poet

The month of August 2011 was the bloodiest since our military has been involved in Afghanistan.  American troops suffered 66 mortal casualties, including the deaths of 22 Navy Seals in a downed Chinook helicopter.  Of course, this doesn't even count the number of soldiers wounded and maimed, whose lives have been irrevocably changed.

I understand Colin Powell's thinking when he warned President Bush, in reference to invading foreign countries, "If you break it, you own it."  But we seem to be throwing soldiers and money at the problem of an entrenched Taliban that has no intention of leaving its homeland.

I wish I had a solution.  I don't.  The Middle Eastern culture remains a mystery to me.  The only recourse I can see right now:  Let's bring these men and women home, President Obama.

Maybe it ...

Sep. 1

Do You?


I Read Banned Books

"In the beginning was the WORD."  Has it ever been said better than that?

I was born in the rolling hills and whispering pines of rural East Texas and blessed with a total of ten grandparents.  All ten of them, like most East Texans, loved to tell stories.  Because of them, I grew up with a love of words. 

My love of the spoken word transferred to the written word as soon as I learned to read.  My teachers always encouraged my prolific reading, and I try to do the same with my own students now. 

That's why September is special to me.  It's the beginning of a new school year, and the last week of the month is Banned Book Week.  The list of books that have been banned at one time or another in the United States is ...

Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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