Barbara Clarke

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
~ Mark Twain

My Blog

Enquiring Minds Want to Know

Enquiring Minds Want to Know

I was never a reader of what my mother called “the little paper” and surprised that The National Enquirer is still going strong. And, then again, I’m not surprised given the quality of journalism, shouting-match referees i.e., tv commentators, and hyped stories that...

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What Kind of an American Female Am I?

What Kind of an American Female Am I?

I’m writing this on the eve of another Fourth of July and dreading it even more. If I wouldn’t feel completely silly waving sparklers like a baton twirler, I might be more enthusiastic. I can still feel those pinpricks on my bare arms so many years ago. The list of...

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Big MO and Me

Big MO and Me

I didn’t know until 1965, when I arrived in California, that I grew up in a place that didn’t count for much--Missouri. Not as good as Wisconsin with their cheese or Minnesota of ten-thousand lakes. We had the Big Muddy that only Tom Sawyer and Huck could love. And,...

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Dazzling Data

The rate of literacy refers to the ability to sufficiently read and write. Many factors, such as self-reporting, accessibility and quality of education, contribute to these rates. “From the countries where literacy rates are the highest, we see that proactive public instruction policies and the emphasis on educational spending within government budgets can go a long way in increasing a population’s knowledge base.” *

#1 – Andorra and Finland 100%

#13 –  Cuba 100%

#21 – Russian Federation 100%

#125 – U.S. 86%

*From the World Atlas at

Andorra and Finland


Russion Federation


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Barbara L. Clarke