Do You Hear What I Hear?

In the Middle of All the Political News This week, I hear a Christmas Carol in My Head


The last few days have been dizzying in the speed and complexity of revelations about the Trump administration. To say anything less would be the Mother of All Understatements. It is coming fast and furious now, from all directions. More – much more – to follow, and at an increasing pace, I would wager.

I was trying to sort through the latest batch of all this a couple of days ago. Suddenly, in the back of my head (kind of an echo chamber effect – apparently,

Tell Me a Story and I Will Tell You Mine

Nothing Comes Close to the Power of Storytelling for Human Communication


This time of political divisiveness and isolation reminds me of the power and grace of storytelling. It is, at once, a social convention and an art form. We need it now more than ever.

Like most people, I have always enjoyed a good story. I am fortunate at this point in life to live in an area that revers good storytelling. Here in Appalachia, storytelling is celebratedand practiced widely. It is still a primary means of communication and of social bonding.

The Business Roundtable: Is This the Future of Capitalism?

We May Have Been Offered the Right Question at Just the Right Time


A New Vision of Economics in America

The Business Roundtable is a visible powerhouse in the American business community. It represents an important level of leadership within that community. It represents a significant amount of economic power.

The Roundtable pronounced last August that the purpose of a corporation is to promote “An economy that serves all Americans.” People took note; a different dialogue began.

This statement of purpose is a dramatic change from those that preceded it since the first such statement in 1978.

Guns and Health Care: Touchstones or Third Rails?


Yes, They Are

Some interesting currents are afoot as we approach a presidential election year. The Democrats have choices to make on two defining issues. Guns and health care are at once rewarding and dangerous for Democrats

Whether one agrees with her positions on these two issues, Elizabeth Warren has done an admirable job of defining the question. Will her party go bold or go home?

There are plenty of nuances at work, of course. But in general, there are two Democratic approaches. Some lean toward modest positions. They do so,

Funny Thing About Church Services…


People Come Together on Sunday (or Friday, or Saturday…) for Very Different Reasons

First, an acknowledgment. I am likely the least religious person you will ever encounter. Still, I maintain an active membership in the Unitarian Universalist community. I attend services and other activities with some measure of regularity. I support the organization with time, talent, and treasure in a conscious manner.

I attended a service this past Sunday (and a fine one it was). I reflected, as I often do during a service, on why I was there. What was it that made me decide that this was where I wished to be?

Immigration, Refugees, & The Human Condition – Who Are “The Others?”


We have Learned – or Relearned – Some Hard and Important Lessons

First, a Correction

A few days ago, I mentioned three areas in this subject domain that are especially egregious. One of these became known the day I published the blog. This was denying automatic citizenship to children born of US parents serving overseas.

Two days later, the policy was clarified. While still reprehensible and immoral, it is much more narrowly focused than originally thought. Read more about it here:  

Now, on to today’s discussion.

It Has Come to This – And They Are Not Done Yet


If What You Are About to Read Doesn’t Enrage You, Relook Who You Are

Immigration – Big Scale, Human Scale

We will be talking in the coming days about immigration writ large. Not just current issues, but the broader and deeper nature of this part of humanity and how we might think about it. That should be a conversation that is balanced and reflective.

But before we get to that, we need to call out the worst of what is going on now in our name. There is not a lot of room for balance and reason for what we will discuss today.

Safe, Secure, Trustworthy Voting – It Is Here for the Taking

Three States Show Us How It Is Done – Russians Be Damned!

We Know What Works

We have talked before about how Washington and Oregon have responsive, secure, and low-cost voting systems. This happened because Democrats and Republicans decided this was important. They worked together to make it happen. Voter turnout  is unimaginably higher than in other states. Stacey Abrams is continuing that effort in Georgia and nationwide, as are others.

Add to that list of states doing it right, Colorado, a state whose 2018 elections were models of effectiveness in every measurable area.

And So, the Winnowing Begins in Earnest


The Lists of Viable Candidates and Key Issues are Coming into Focus.

As expected, the list of those running for president is beginning to thin out. This is about on the timeline one would expect, although many were anxious for it to begin earlier. Most of us are eager for it to accelerate. Until we get a candidate (or a small handful of candidates), the issues and strategy will be ill-defined. So, let’s get on with it.

In recent days, we added a candidate (Steyer) and lost two (Swalwell and Hickenlooper).

Words are Magic. Writers are Wizards

Two Recent Events Remind of the Power and Universality of Great Writing

The title from this blog post comes from an anonymous source. Whoever first said these words has my undying gratitude. Truer words have rarely been spoken– or written. This phrase runs through my mind often. Partly as confirmation of a known truth, partly as a challenge to write better.

Two recent experiences underline this truism for me. I am thinking you can relate to both.

A Lesson Close to Home

The first is more local and personal. The community I live in has a small gathering once a month called Writers Read.