The Coward Who Would Be King

Once again, Trump has shown his true colors, dispatching the intelligence inspector general in the middle of the night. If it were not for the Congressional protocol for firing an inspector general, Michael Atkinson would, like others cast off by Trump, learned about his fate through Twitter. In his case, the news came via a late-night letter to the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress as required by law. His firing comes on the heels of the removal of Captain Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt, on the basis that a letter he wrote complaining… Read More

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Can’t Fake Empathy

Michael Gerson wrote an opinion piece in the WaPo yesterday about the lack of empathy expressed by Donald Trump. Much of the article was aimed at showing how important empathy is at bad times like we’re are going through. He pointed to examples of past leaders. I wholeheartedly agree. At the end he urges the president to “fake it.” There is a hole at the heart of Trump’s rhetoric where empathy belongs. How must the marginal in our society — prisoners, migrants, the homeless and destitute — view a president who seems most excited by stock market gains and welfare… Read More

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A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.

  Not since WWII has there been such an opportunity for self-examination and behavioral change. The COVID-19 pandemic poses the same unsettling force to societies around the Globe, with one big difference, the enemy is not some other nation, but an invisible, still mysterious force. If the US is an example of what is being done in other nations, the immediate responses have been to isolate individuals to slow down the spread of the virus and pump money into the economy to soften the blow, caused by the first step. As I write this, the number of cases of COVID-19… Read More

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Another Big One Is Coming

COVID-19 has exposed the core of almost every national ethos around the Planet. It is causing untold harm to the health and well-being of virtually everyone. Economies that were chugging along have come to an abrupt halt as people are retreating indoors to avoid exposure to the virus. Medical facilities are beginning to become overloaded, even in highly developed countries. Here in the US, President Trump, worried about the political fallout, is said to be weighing the lifting of the social distancing strategy that, so far, has been the primary public health response to the virus. Congress is about to… Read More

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Reality Always Prevails

I had started to use the word “wins” in the title of this post, but recognized the implication of a “contest” that I did not mean to convey. We humans generally claim success when the future turns out to be just what we had intended it to be, but forget to credit reality for its essential part. Nothing we ever do turns out the way it does by itself. The real world is always involved, because every human being is merely a part of a complex system of an untold number of interconnections among us human beings and between humanity… Read More

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Amazon and Climate Change

In what has to be one of the more ironic, if not oxymoronic, moves of the times, Jeff Bezos announced today he would devote some $10 billions of his estimated $130 billion to fight climate change. Full details of the program are not yet available, but here are a few tidbits I was able to glean from the Washington Post announcement. Amazon has committed to ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, which it expects to start using by 2021, and has also donated $100 million to reforestation efforts. It has promised to being plastic-free in India by June. During an Amazon… Read More

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Back From the Bush

We are back from our African adventure. It was what we hoped for and more. Our travels took us to Zimbabwe, Zambia,  Botswana, and to a series of national parks and game reserves. The total experience reminds us that we are also animals, sharing the same planet and, but for some random genetic mutation, might be out these among the many species we saw. We were quite fortunate and saw the big five: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and water buffalo. Plus many kinds of birds and other animal species. I has only my trusted iPhone for photos, but we were… Read More

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Away for a Few Weeks

I would like to say I am running away from everything that is going on in Washington and our political system, in general. I can see that very little, if anything, positive is going to come out of the impeachment process. I hope I am wrong. The Constitution needs a little help these days to recover what I believe was the dream of the founders of the US. But the truth is that my wife and I are heading tomorrow for southern Africa and a few weeks in the bush hoping to spot the many wondrous birds and animals that… Read More

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Thomas Kuhn, Iain McGilchrist, and the Divided-Brain

I am always looking for examples of dichotomous situations that add to the credibility of McGilchrist’s divided-brain model. The more instances that it explains something important, the more likely it will be accepted as a new, paradigmatic design model for attacking those “big,” persistent problems in our individual and cultural lives we are struggling to overcome. Last night, as I was in bed, trying to quiet my thoughts, one really good one popped up. I have been reading a series of essays by Richard Rorty, collected in his book, Philosophy and Social Hope (great read). One is devoted to a… Read More

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