Core Issues – Balance and Perspective

Deciding Issues of Rights, Responsibilities, and Governance

Two Topics Dominate the News – More is at Stake Than the Obvious

 While Ukraine and other important issues continue to be important and visible, two new topics have seized the headlines and our consciousness: the sale of Twitter and the risks to reproductive freedom, especially for those without economic or political power, in today’s America.

Both issues have some components that often are overlooked but are key to why there is so much energy around both issues. Let’s take a look.

 Twitter

The still to be finalized but likely to go through purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk,

Humor, Humility, and Hubris in High Places

A  Demonstration This Past Weekend of Important Qualities

A Long-Delayed Event

The White House Correspondents Dinner happened last weekend, the first time in several years, and the first time in 6 years one has been held with a sitting president in attendance. It is very much an insider’s gathering, but this one had some useful observations for us all.

A confession: I have a soft spot for this event. I was a guest for it one year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the Washington version of the Oscars and the Met, rolled into one,

Four Great Reasons to Quit Carbon Energy

No Matter Your Politics or Economics, Now is the Time

Energy Remains a Defining Element of Human Life

The ability to harness energy has been a defining qualify of human existence for a very long time. So much of what we know, do, and assume is based on harnessing energy. That is not going to change any time soon. More likely is that it will never change.

While I admire, and to at least some degree support, calls to minimize energy usage, it is most unlikely that we will economize our way out of the problems this posting highlights.  

What We Need Is Trust

Part II of the Discussion – The Workplace and, Meeting Space Deficits

 

Trust Writ Large

We talked earlier this week about the serious erosion of social trust, including the all -important but often unrecognized weak link trust that makes for a functioning society. We discussed that while a bit of this is a part of human nature, the downside of such distrust got a long term and deep boost from the Reagan era, which fed right into what the conspiracy theorists and far righters have brought to maturity over the last 4-6 years.

So Much Comes Down to Trust

It Seems a Rare Commodity These Days. That Hurts Us All

 

First of a Two-Part Commentary

Let’s take a bit of time to talk about trust. Today, the general nature and specific outcomes from whether we have trust or not. Later in the week, we will talk a bit about how this is being reflected in the workplace and in other gatherings. Some important rumblings are happening that we should take account of, and address.

Trust as An Essential Social Element

A lot has been written of late about the element of social trust perhaps being another long-term casualty of the pandemic.

See, Here is the Funny Thing About History….

It’s Never Over. We Should Do Better at Teaching It

Do We Learn from History?

Apparently, not much. Or not many of us. We all know that famous old line “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” Less well known but equally true is the one that says: “Those who learn history are doomed to watch those who do not, repeat it.” Yes, indeed.

The whole point of recording and passing on history, one assumes, is to pass along the lessons contained therein. Yet, we continue to make the same mistakes,

Reflections on Memorials

Memorial Services Remind Us of  Important Truths and Priorities

A First Such Gathering in a Long Time

 Last week I attended a memorial service for a friend. It was one of the first such gatherings I have participated in since the pandemic began. After such a long absence, I remembered of why such assemblies are important to us all.

By “us all,” I refer not only to the memory of those lost to us, but also to their families, friends, acquaintances, and the larger community.

Different Communities Do This in Very Different Ways

I am a  Unitarian Universalist,

People are Worried About Four Big Issues. Should They Be?

The Economy, Crime, Immigration, and National Divisions Loom Large

Is That All?

Well, no. The list of what people worry about runs long, but these four seem to top most polls. There is, as is always the case, a mix of reality and perception going on here. We will look at each one momentarily, but first something unique should be noted.

As I look around the country, talk to people, read a lot of inputs, it seems to me that a couple of things not historically common are shaping public opinions in powerful ways.

Short Observations on a Busy, Weird Week

The Last Few Days Have Been Long on the Sublime and the Ridiculous

 

Starting with the Easy Stuff

The Academy Awards

I have long found it increasingly harder to care at all about the Academy Awards. It seems a party of self-congratulation among people whose lives have zero relevance or connection to the rest of the world. But, hey, I have my favorite movies, too and and sometimes the outcomes are interesting. The Big News this time, of course was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Four VERY short observations:

  • Way too much has been written and discussed on this little dustup already.

At What Levels Do We Connect and Decide?

What Properly Belongs as Global, National, or State Level Decisions – The Balance is Not Easy

The Traditional Answers

The standard answer for years, to the question of at what level of government should laws be passed, and rules made, has been at the lowest level possible. The underwriting principle is that such government is more likely to be close to the people and more subject to their desires.

Sounds right, and a case could be made that this a good starting point for any such discussion. But the reality demonstrates this is often not the best solution.