Are We Literate Yet?

Originally published in 1994 in The Times of Trenton as “African Americans in the year 2000: then is now.” At that time we were all looking ahead to the new millennium with some trepidation. now that we have surpassed 2020, has anything changed? It broke my heart a few weeks ago to get a letterContinue reading “Are We Literate Yet?”

Enough

Of all the words that might unite us across the political spectrum, the one I have heard most often over the past few days is “Enough!” Enough dividing and conquering Enough violence Enough cruelty Enough isolation due to COVID-19 Enough meddling from foreign powers Enough lying Enough fear Enough loss Enough immobility Enough being takenContinue reading “Enough”

The Great American Fears

Being SecondBeing DefiledBeing SeenBeing VulnerableBeing JudgedBeing PunishedBeing MortalBeing ImmortalBeing Annihilated Here they are, right up front. The fears of: Being Second Being Defiled Being Seen Being Vulnerable Being Judged Being Punished Being Mortal Being Immortal Being Annihilated The Roots of The Great American Fears My earliest notes on the subject of what I call “TheContinue reading “The Great American Fears”

Immigration Issues Are Not Just for the Mainland

Immigration Issues in Hawaii Asylum, border security, and comprehensive immigration reform are not just issues for the mainland. In August 2019, three non-profit organizations co-sponsored a forum on issues of immigration and sanctuary here in the Hawaiian Islands. Panelists spoke of the historical roots of anti-immigration sentiment in the United States since the Seventeenth Century.Continue reading “Immigration Issues Are Not Just for the Mainland”

Count Me In!

The morning was filled with politics. What are we for, what are we against? What matters? What could touch the heart of any individual anywhere on the planet? What slogan could unify a divided country, a divided world, a divided self? At the end of a recent local political meeting the phrase “Count me in!”Continue reading “Count Me In!”

Guilt As a Cornerstone of American Exceptionalism

As I see it, the most significant difference between the United States of America and other developed countries is the public expression of guilt when its ideals are not met, when it slips up in its efforts to become “a more perfect union.” That guilt goes all the way back to the Declaration of Independence.Continue reading “Guilt As a Cornerstone of American Exceptionalism”

Budget Cuts to Education: What in the World Are We Thinking?

When we look for ways to respond to danger, loss, economic challenge, and threats to the future of the planet itself, why are educators and schools the first target for budget cuts, as if education were a “discretionary” expenditure? These are the people and institutions to whom we entrust our prized legacy – our childrenContinue reading “Budget Cuts to Education: What in the World Are We Thinking?”

My Teacher Was a Cottontail Rabbit

I was literally propelled from the chair where I had been sitting. NOW!!! Release Teacher now! I jumped up, took Sam the cat’s kennel, stuffed it full of goodies and water, and took this tiny creature outside on a hill near the house.

Optimism

I continue to be an optimist. I continue to believe that human nature is fundamentally good, regardless of evidence to the contrary. After all, judgment and interpretation are matters of perspective: time and distance are likely to increase my understanding. “Ah, that’s what was going on!” “Ah, those are the consequences of my action orContinue reading “Optimism”

Slouching Towards Fanaticism

Broken Friendships It broke my heart when a dear friend of some 25 years, a soft-spoken, devout pacifist and Buddhist, suddenly began shouting obscene remarks about a political candidate: not just about her politics, but also about her person! It was hard to believe I was talking to the same individual I had known forContinue reading “Slouching Towards Fanaticism”

Just Say Yes: A Millennial Guide to Ease

The following audio recording is a speech I gave on January 23, 2000, at the Music, Musings and Meditation Fellowship in Albuquerque NM. The talk is about choice and ease at a time when folks were beginning to realize that the anticipated Y2K technological bug did not bring about the end of the world asContinue reading “Just Say Yes: A Millennial Guide to Ease”

This Is How He Does It: Buffering as Trump’s Secret Sauce for Control

“Witch hunt!” “Fake News!” “Crooked Hillary!” “It’s a Disgrace!” Few people can sling around incendiary phrases like the current President of the United States. He engages in what seems to be crazy behavior, eventually wresting control of any situation through surprise, redefinition, name-calling, and denial, at least for a time. This shocks the opposition intoContinue reading “This Is How He Does It: Buffering as Trump’s Secret Sauce for Control”

The Appropriate Use of Procrastination and Deadlines

The Great Procrastinator For years the L. in my middle name stood for “late,” “lazy,” “loony,” and seemingly downright “lackadaisical.” My negative inner voice was relentless and the outer voices were often a match. I would put things off and put them off again until I had frustrated everyone around me and myself as well:Continue reading “The Appropriate Use of Procrastination and Deadlines”

Intuition Hot Spots IIA: The Kitchen

Several years ago I attended a conference during which one of the presenters introduced us to muscle testing games about deeply held beliefs. I used to complain a lot about being in the kitchen and often found myself in full martyr mode: “Nobody else is cooking or cleaning up after themselves! I‘m having to doContinue reading “Intuition Hot Spots IIA: The Kitchen”

Kudos to Teachers!!

There is an old saying that has stuck with me my entire life: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” On the one hand teachers are canonized (sometimes called philosophers and prophets, professors, almost always male, who are initially ridiculed and later revered). Some are teased affectionately (absent-minded professors). On the other hand someContinue reading “Kudos to Teachers!!”

Consent

Consent is a very tricky issue. How do I know if consent is real or even possible? How do I tell if what I am consenting to and what you think I am consenting to are the same? What recourse do I have to change my mind and take back my consent midstream for anyContinue reading “Consent”

Stranger in a Not Entirely Strange Land

Nothing makes us more aware of our similarities with others in our own country or town than travel abroad. No matter how marginal I felt in the United States for much of my younger life, trips to my West African ancestral home in the 1960’s and 70’s made me intensely and even painfully aware howContinue reading “Stranger in a Not Entirely Strange Land”

Dates to Notice

24 March 2017. Awakened from dream with this date to watch. No insight as to the reason or source. 11 April 2017. It turns out that March 24th was the date the attempted repeal of Obamacare failed in the U.S. House of Representatives, dealing a major blow to the Republican Party and the agenda ofContinue reading “Dates to Notice”

2016 Elections a “Stunning Upset?” Nope.

Below is a verbatim text message I sent to a friend dated 24 July 2016 at 3:23PM. Fast forward to 13 November 2016: Mike Pence is now Vice-President Elect, Paul Ryan was “drafted” to be Speaker of the House, and Reince Priebus has just been named White House Chief of Staff in the new TrumpContinue reading “2016 Elections a “Stunning Upset?” Nope.”

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