The Pruitt Syndrome – What Do You Value?

Scott Pruitt is gone, finally. A lot of people lost bets on this one, figuring about 10 ethics investigations would be his end.It took half again as many. This might be a good time to think about what – or in whom- we invest our support.

There are people who support the policies that Pruitt & Company purveyed. Fair enough; people can argue policy with passion and substance. Challenge reasoning and call out  facts from opinions. Anything less would be downright Un-American.

Some also defend Pruitt and others whose conduct or performance fall short.

We Stand With Four Rivers All Around Us – Sink or Swim, America?

In every period of history, people living at that time feel “We have never had so many challenges.” We are no different today – many of us have that exact feeling right now.

We have had great divisions in our past (we did have a civil war, after all). Still, one could make the case that critical factors are now coming to bear in dangerous ways.

It feels as though we as a nation are standing on a piece of ground surrounded by four mighty “rivers.” Rivers are powerful and full of potential to nourish, clean,

Happy Birthday, America!

Today is the United States of America’s 242nd birthday. Much is not well on this occasion, but let’s take a moment on this day in particular to celebrate much that deserves our attention and offers us some reassurance.

For the first time since they began asking the question, a major poll found that there is not much of a majority of Americans that are proud to be Americans. Even among those who remain proud, a majority is “not proud of America as it stands today.”

Still, there is much to celebrate on this day. This is a democracy well into its third century,

July 1st is One Busy Day in History

calendar-1847346_1280.pngcalendar-1847346_1280.pngMore than most calendar days, it seems like a LOT happened in this date throughout history. 

Thanks to the This Day in History site and other assorted sources , we note the following events among those that took place on JUL 1:

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte captures Alexandria, Egypt. People named Napoleon probably should stay focused on places other than Russia…

1804 – George Sand is born. Still great reading!

1838 – Charles Darwin presents a paper on the theory of evolution to the Linnean Society in London.

Left-Handed Presidents and Wine Grapes

Challenge Often Brings Strength – Beware the Easy Choice

Challenge.jpgChallenge.jpgWhile attending a wine dinner recently, the sommelier expounded about the conditions in which the grapes that produced the wine we were enjoying that evening.

One group was grown in dry, chalky soil and the other in soil with heavy clay properties. In other words, not very good conditions by standard agricultural standards.

It is a story I heard often while living in California and in France – the vine needs to be challenged a bit, to suffer and overcome some challenges to produce wine of great character.

What Have We Learned – So Far – from the Zero Tolerance Policy?

Some lessons clearly jump out – and some old ones are reinforced

Time Cover 2018-06-21 .pngTime Cover 2018-06-21 .pngThere is a key phrase in the title above – “so far.” This sorry saga is far from over; some hard lessons are surely to come for just about everyone. But some useful lessons have already arrived. Let’s look at a few of them.

  1. Grass Roots Resistance has Power:Let’s not kid ourselves. While the executive order is indeed a reversal, it creates new problems and uncertainties, and leaves some old ones in place. But there is little doubt that sustained and spreading repulsion stopped the advancement of a singularly ill-conceived approach.

The Mountain Chat

Lessons Learned in a New Home Town

About a year ago, we made the great and wise decision to move to Asheville, NC, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a decision we have celebrated every day since moving – the mountains are a place apart, and people who live here know that.

Still, any relocation comes with surprises, challenges, and adaptations. We thought we knew this area pretty well, but upon becoming residents, we learned something new that would take on importance as we settled in.

I am referring to The Mountain Chat.

Of Tribes, Truth, and Our Country

We have some decisions to make about how we connect with our fellow Americans.

The 21st century has, so far, harshly demonstrated to us the fragility of democracy.

The train wreck that is the Republican Party of today and the Trump presidency, both built on fear, resentment, and a wholesale dismissal of facts as just one of many approaches to life, has been coming for a while; they did not start just last year.

And so, one of the big questions is:

How does this situation get corrected; or does it?