Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Woman at the well

I am posting this picture here so I can link it to Lent Madness (www.lentmadness.org -- just about done for this year, but well worth getting familiar with if you aren't already).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

State of the Union

I'm always surprised when Donald Trump says something I agree with.  I'm in favor of lower drug prices, for example.  If his statistics are accurate and both African-American and Hispanic-American unemployment are at record lows, that's a good thing.  We urgently need prison reform.  OK.

But I was SO DISAPPOINTED that nobody stepped out into the aisle and took a knee, after the President's appallingly ignorant comments about proudly standing for the National Anthem.  That, for me, was the turning point in the speech and so much afterward was chauvinism and sabre-rattling and appeals to fear and ego.  Oh, how I wished someone would step out into the aisle and take a knee.  I would have, if I had been there.  Guess that's why I would never have been invited, huh?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thank you, voters in Alabama

How nice to have good news on the political front for a change.  Had Moore been elected, I was getting ready to say the counterpart of "yellow dog Democrat" (somebody who would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for a Republican) was "pedophile Republican." 

From the election analysis, it appears that voters of color were the ones who brought the whole country this victory.  Well done, y'all.  (I spent 7 years living in North Carolina; some of it stuck.)

The reason I'm blogging today is to say:  Let's all take this as a great example of WHY EVERYBODY NEEDS TO VOTE.  I really do think people of good will outnumber the me-first-last-and-always crowd.  I really do think the majority of Americans want to see the marginalized cared for:  the poor, the aged, the sick, the outcasts.  I am absolutely positive that the 99% outnumbers the 1%.  WE ALL NEED TO VOTE.

I am going to repost this next October or so.  Between now and then there is lots of work to do to make sure we are really represented.  As opposed to having some [probably] white [probably] man sitting in Washington claiming to be our representative (in Congress or the Senate).

I can't do much about any of this from Nicaragua.  So I'm "using my words" (as we tell little kids who are throwing tantrums).  Thanks for "listening."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Not really a travelogue

One time, Pat and I took our two-week vacation in the state of Utah.  We went to Arches National Park. 

Then we went to Bryce Canyon and Zion.

We also drove through National Forest land.

And we ended up at one of my favorite places in the world, the Grand Canyon.

Almost every day, I would look out the window of the car and demand, "What state are we in now?!?"  And it was always Utah.  And we didn't even get up to the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City.

What an amazing state.  And I could do the same thing for our nation, couldn't I, from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam.  We are blessed with such a wealth of splendid diversity.

So why can't we appreciate the diversity of our fellow citizens as much as we appreciate the diversity of our landscapes?  How splendid that we have neighbors -- whether literally next door or across the country -- from so many different cultural backgrounds, of such a palette of skin colors, with interests varying from NASCAR to NASA.  Wouldn't it be boring if everybody were the same?

Diversity is a resource and a blessing.  We need to come around to a new appreciation of community.  Try not to think of people who don't look like us as a threat.  Try not to think of people with different lifestyles as inferior or wrong.  In a community where people value each other, nobody is shooting at anybody.  Hate crimes are not making life bitter.  People with power are not abusing people sexually or any other way.

It just breaks my heart how little genuine community there is in our splendid country.  And it thrills me when I read stories of incidents that demonstrate the community we could have if we decided to do it.  Please.  You know the song:  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me?  Let there be community on earth, especially in the good old USA.  And let it begin with each one of us.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How many more shootings?

I haven't added to this blog in a long time, but the recent eruption of shootings has motivated me.

I believe that there are LOTS of people who would like to see a better system of gun control in the U.S.  I have read many posts by gun owners who think we need better gun control.  But the answer always seems to be:  But the NRA . . .

OK.  The NRA has a lot of members.  And a lot of political clout.  Congresspeople and Senators don't want to get the NRA mad at them.

So it seems to me that gun control needs its own organization.  I'll call it the National Gun Control Association (NGCA) -- but I'll bet somebody can think of a better name.  I'll bet the NGCA could end up having more members than the NRA.  I'll bet there are people willing to put their money where their mouth is to make sure the NGCA could run its own ads to counteract the NRA's.  I'll bet there are people familiar with lobbying (or willing to learn) who could go to the halls of Congress and tell folks:  You REALLY need to take the NGCA seriously.  And get out there ahead of the 2018 elections to let every Representative and 1/3 of the Senators understand that being wishy-washy about gun control may get them NRA votes, but will lose them LOTS MORE VOTES from the NCGA.

So how about somebody with organizing experience and charisma and time get out there and make this thing happen?  I, unfortunately, have none of those things.  But I'm willing to put out the word.  And I would join.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


In the beginning of the 19th century (and for many centuries before that), slavery was more or less taken for granted.  By the end of the 19th century, slavery had been outlawed just about everywhere.  Although we are learning that slavery still exists today, especially as a result of human trafficking, I think most people have the clear sense that slavery is unacceptable, simply wrong.

For some time now I have been eager to see a new abolitionist movement rise up, so that by 2117 (or maybe even sooner!) most people have the clear sense that poverty is unacceptable, simply wrong.   To me it is simply inexcusable that, in a world with as rich resources as we have, there should be people without the basic necessities of life, including clean water and adequate food.  Inexcusable.

Today I received a copy of the following document, which I want to share as widely as possible.  It doesn't appear to exist as an on-line document, so I have printed it out and scanned it so I can insert it here as an image.  I have made it as large as I know how, and I hope it's legible.  I can send you the original document by email if you want it -- just let me know.

Would you please share this post with as many others as you can?   Thank you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A kind of crazy idea

     So I was thinking about school shootings, small children accidentally shooting their siblings, people who shoot a home invader that turns out to be a relative, etc.  It seems really clear to me that we need better gun control laws, but how to do that?
     Then I had this crazy idea.  I think it would be a bureaucratic nightmare, but maybe it will intrigue somebody who can edit it for the better.
     Suppose everybody was given a week to turn in ALL their guns.  They would get receipts specifying exactly what they had turned it, and everything would be kept safely for eventual return.  If the guns they were turning in were not legal (licensed, whatever the correct term is), then they could be legalized as part of the process.  Then let there be a six-month period when NOBODY could legally have a gun.  (I guess there would be exceptions for the police, military, etc.)  During that time, it would be very easy for the police to get search warrants only and specifically to search for guns.  Any gun they found would be confiscated forever.  Any time a gun was used in the commission of a crime, the crime would automatically be a felony.  Really make an effort to get rid of all illegal guns, so that nobody can say "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."  After the six months, everybody who turned in (and licensed) their guns could get them back.
     Would that help?  I don't know.  But I couldn't get the idea out of my mind, so I thought I would share it.  What do YOU think?
     [P.S.  Some people have had difficulty leaving comments to these blogs.  I don't know why; I consulted with the technical people on the site and they were able to leave comments just fine.  If you find yourself in that position, I always share these postings on Facebook, so you can find them there and make your comments that way.  Sorry about that.]