An Introductory Note to Readers:           This current corona-virus pandemic, though it will eventually pass, will also completely transform our world.  That change could be very positive—if we choose to make it so.             A long or severe illness can often result in a serious re-evaluation of our personal life and values. There is a... Continue Reading →

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Of Deadly Snakes and Other Dangers

Photos by David Clode on Unsplash Life is full of lurking dangersTo lurking threats, we are no strangers Still, if you should venture from your doorJust a few things to be watching for… The fearsome fer-de-lanceCan almost kill you with a glance Countless species of venomous vipersCan kill you deader than a sniper The lethal... Continue Reading →

Democracy on the Ballot

Very shortly, Americans will vote in the most important election of their lives. All elections matter, but rarely is Democracy itself on the ballot. Those who know some history will know that both Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections. Many other countries have let their freedoms slip away like this. Elections are great—if... Continue Reading →

The Silence of the Shams

Capitol building, Salem, Oregon Politicians talk a lot. You can take their measure partly by paying attention to how little some of them actually say. In my view, the “Betsy” campaign has been notable in that regard. Rarely has an independent had so much money, so saturated the extremely expensive media market, and yet said... Continue Reading →

The Great Divide

A great deal of ink has been devoted to the fact that America today is deeply divided. Most people blame the problem on “partisanship.” Inevitably, each party has its extreme fringes. Yet our two major parties are no longer remotely comparable. Democratic “extremists” want to fund healthcare, education, and prescription drug relief. GOP extremists want... Continue Reading →

Hot Buttons and Lethal Outcomes

From a larger painting, Commiseration by Gilbert Schramm Over the last forty years or so, Republicans have built their election strategy around two hot button issues, banning abortions, and promoting gun rights. As a quick review will show, they don’t have viable policy on either issue. They simply use them to inflame emotions and divide... Continue Reading →

Humanity: A Plug for a Great Book

Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century by Jonathan Glover An old Peace Corps colleague sent me an excerpt from this book. I found it very relevant to the times we are living though. I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I read enough to recommend it highly. The excerpt is as follows:... Continue Reading →

What Ukraine and Palestine Have in Common

Shireen Abu Aqla and the national flower of Palestine, the Faqqua Iris Written in honor of Shireen Abu Aqla and Nakba Day I thought I would take some time to share my recent reflections on two continuing conflicts that trouble the world (or should). These are the ongoing aggressions in Ukraine and Palestine. The brutal,... Continue Reading →

Democracy vs. GOP Malpractice: The Fight of the Century

          The contrasts between Biden and the Trump/GOP administration couldn’t be clearer. In 170 days, Democrats have passed Covid-19 relief, vaccinated 65% of the population, brought unemployment down, kept the stock markets happy, created jobs, rebuilt important alliances, and partially restored America’s standing in the world. Meanwhile, Republicans have tried to block every effort Biden... Continue Reading →

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