04 June 2016


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Quite a philosophical tour, Richard. Your comments on interacting with strangers struck a chord. I don't particularly enjoy socializing but one exception is interacting with strangers. Especially those from different cultures. You can almost always find something to like and truly appreciate in a stranger and when you do it can turn into a most interesting afternoon. You don't learn much hanging around the same friends all the time but from people with different experiences and beliefs.


Richard, thank you. Look and Overlook. I will try to remember.

William R. Cumming

There once was a time when lawyers offered information [hopefully accurate] and professional judgments [as to the best of all possible legal approaches]. Now only a signature is offered after bargaining over a price of that signature.

Wisdom the goal with calibration of judgment the mechanism?

After all looks can be deceiving, especially in an age of television!

Richard Sale

I absolutely agree. Our driver was from Morocco, and we ended up talking about Mohammad and what a great man he was. Another thing that helps is if you have learned about their civilization or their poets, etc.

People are always proud of their countries and histories. It helps to listen.


Richard Sale

It does work.




The famed Ron Unz has this Viet gentleman contributing to his blog.

He has random conversations with strangers aplenty across America & abroad.

May this be of interest to you.


Mr. Sale,

Thank you for your stories: it makes a [boring] Sunday after-noon more tolerable.

'Tis pleasure learning from you (& others your age -- thank you too, Mr. W. R. Cumming).

I reside in a backwater neck-o'-the-woods surrounded by Asiatics (ragheads, Ginks & Chinks) for whom opening up to total strangers about their past is nigh impossible as well as taboo.

In addition, they have not lingua franca save that raghead tongue which I've little inclination/enthusiasm...


Just a lovely bit or writing, Richard. It provoked many reflections.

One random thought. I am a colorblind and my defect is in red/green and combinations thereof. At times, I long to see what others see and know that I miss much. In a sunrise, a field of lavender, in a blush or in temper. It gets downright comical when some cashier asks me to push the green button. It gets a little harrowing when trying to figure out which toll booth is open on a highway. Or being asked to follow a green line in the floor of a medical clinic.

And, mostly, I just don't think about it and greet the world as it comes along. I try to remember that when I speak to anyone, particularly strangers.

Richard Sale

Thank you.


Richard Sale

Your comments were extremely moving.

Thank you.


Babak Makkinejad

Arabs strangers in the cities of Morocco or Tunisia will engage you in conversation and frequently share with all sorts of personal details and problems - something that would never happen in UK.

Also, in Germany and in US, you can go on for days getting things done without needing to say anything to anyone. A colleague mentioned to me that while working in Germany, no one spoke to him. He was from Tamil Nadu.


Mr. Sale
Off topic but have you considered covering
either the Democratic or Republican conventions?
I recall your 68 Chicago articles. This might be
a reprise of that period possibly more turbulent
and certainly historic. Your first person accounts
were riveting. I could smell the tear gas!


Richard Sale

Those people you met in Du Quoin and the ones who have left in the town's steady decline in population are going to vote in the belief that not only did their government abandon them to their Malthusian destiny but it also actively sought to destroy the industry that provided their income and stabilized their lives. IMO most will vote for Trump. pl


Yes, the Perfidious Albionians hate everybody else...

But that too depends where they're from, I was told (the Welsh & Scots differ from their English counterparts?)

Moroccans are [curiously/strangely] friendly towards Jews.

(Germans & Americans detest their own brethren?)

Sadly, we now live in an era where TV images enthrall/enrapture many who have basically reptilian mindsets & needs.

An iPad or iPhone shall suffice. "Human contact" is very much undesirable...

As for your friend from Tamil Nadu, p'raps his skin tone 'puts off' those arrogant Krauts whom he had the misfortune of encountering. Either that or they heard too many ugly stories from the subcontinent (i.e. rape of female tourists, swindlers, thieves & such).


That was very moving. I'm a lefty, but also a Christian and need these constant reminders that God values humility much more than my supposedly correct political opinions.

Babak Makkinejad

nah, I think it was just that German culture at the present time does not encourage intimacy.

There is also a lot of loneliness in US - see here:


In the recent American novels and in much of the TV drama, there is no context to the wider world and, furthermore, "Family" does not exist.

It is a curious thing since in Mexico both Death and Family have a very strong presence in public space, the former, in fact, in all of South America.

Knowing of the importance of Family in the Far East, I am sure you share with me my astonishment in this observation about US.


Yes, my great grandfather was killed in the mines, my grandfather worked them for 30 year, had black lung and got nothing from the coal company for his trouble. Your are right, the sundown counties of Southern Illinois will vote for someone who is of the same ilk as Peabody. They will still lose.


The Du Quoin "Evening Call" July 1 1914. Hiram Thornsberry Killed at Majestic>




Yes, many poor souls in these dystopian times suffer loneliness.

People now die alone in their homes & shelters across America.

Their neighbors unaware of them leaving this realm.

(A horrid trend that also afflicts the Nips since the late 80s.)

[I bet many envy the brown people across South America where deaths in the community are a concern for all - remnants of native culture prior to the arrival of conquistadors.]

At least the atomic family model & church Sundays in the 50s & 60s allowed communal living & close ties.

But the past 3 decades or more of 'civil rights movements' (e.g. "feminism," lgbt, "liberalism," etc.) across Yankee America have slowly eroded these essential binds amongst people.

In addition, wages-per-hour have gone down drastically since the late 70s (since oil crisis?), forcing breadwinners to sacrifice family time for more dollars.

If women do not marry & conceive (like they do these days in Germany & other 'liberal' parts of Europe), when marriages do not last, where there is no fear of God or Retribution, where TRADITIONAL rôles amongst men & women cease to prevail, the "total net worth" of societal disorder is the result to-day.

The antiquated Chinks (old Confucius) quipped: "A liege not behaving like a liege; a minister not like a minister; a father not like a father; a son not like one."

Speaks volumes about the mess the occidental west faces.

Thank god! for Redneck "hicks" in the Confederate South.

Richard Sale

Thank you very much. I'll try and put together some more articles.

When Mohammed Ali died, I spotted his photographer, Howard Bingham in the pictures. He and I had each other's back. I'll see if I can get in touch with him.


Richard Sale

Most of them will. They detest President Obama.\


The Twisted Genius


I always enjoy your stories. Your lesson to look and overlook should indeed be taken to heart. It would be good for our sanity and souls.

Richard Sale

God gave us each of us souls. I try and honor that gift.


Richard Sale

Thank you.



"Coal mining has been an economic motivator in this part of southern Illinois. In 1855 the first shaft mine was sunk near St. Johns, and with the rest of southern Illinois, coal mining became important to the region at the turn of the 20th century. However, since the late 1980s, the coal industry here has suffered significant decline due to the decreased demand for high sulfur coal. Mining facilities continue in operation near Du Quoin still today."

So coal mining has been in decline since the 80's and the people hate Obama because of what he's done to the industry. Uh huh.

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