Political Realities

I started political life as an Eisenhower Republican. I was in the 5th grade, and one of our assignments was to study the presidential election of 1952 and choose a candidate to vote for. Eisenhower was the Republican. Stevenson was the Democrat. My parents liked Ike, so I liked Ike, too. Others in my class also aligned with their parents—understandable given our age. It is only in retrospect I can see and understand how those early influences began shaping my political philosophy. Eisenhower is remembered primarily for initiating the Interstate Highway System and for warning us against the Military-Industrial Complex. . . . → Read More: Political Realities

Social Media and Our Collective Well-being

A long time ago (1985) a New York University professor, Neil Postman, published Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. One of the principal ideas is that television is “entertainment,” even when the subject is serious. The “news” becomes just another “show.”

From time to time I have wondered what Professor Postman would have thought about social media. His principal complaint about television was that it turns “news” into “entertainment.” Rational discourse was replaced by video and sound “bites,” with the focus of attention increasingly fleeting and fragmented. I remember the history of television . . . → Read More: Social Media and Our Collective Well-being

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

My guess is that readers of this blog already know that oxygen is a principal key to the health and well-being of life on Earth. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a way of delivering oxygen directly to the blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids. Although it is often done in a hospital setting, especially in burn units, some individuals have purchased units for their own use. HBOT chambers come in two varieties, hard chamber (HBOT) and soft chamber (mHBOT). Hard chamber units are able to employ higher pressure to address certain kinds of problems best treated in hospital settings, although . . . → Read More: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Are We There Yet?

The question, “Are we there yet,” is a clichĂ© of traveling with children. We expect adults, even those grown weary with traveling, to have a better understanding of how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B. This blog entry is about our collective journey from racism to a “postracial” culture. It was prompted by recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, following yet another police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. The policeman, as is usually the case, was white. One such shooting isn’t the real issue, of course. The problem is that this one was just one . . . → Read More: Are We There Yet?


“Evolution” refers to change occurring over time, typically in a positive direction. As Darwin envisioned it, species changed (gradually) over time to enhance their ability to survive. These days the word is commonly used for any change that seems to be for the better. Not everyone, of course, agrees on what’s “better.” When President Obama says that his views of gay marriage are evolving, he means that he is becoming more tolerant and accepting. Not everyone, including members of the Westboro Baptist Church, however, would agree that’s a change for the better.

One of my favorite writers, Steven Pinker, . . . → Read More: Evolution

True Believers

I recently had two online exchanges with “True Believers.” In my case, both were Christian “literalists” whose “true belief” was in Biblical inerrancy, believing that the Christian Bible is literally the “Word of God” and therefore contains no errors. The belief in inerrancy is more complex than the phrase implies, as there are so many different versions of the ancient texts. My concern is with inerrancy in general rather than which particular form it takes.

Christians aren’t the only ones who have an inerrancy faction. Muslims have one, too. Sunnis and Shia are currently in the news for their . . . → Read More: True Believers

In My Family…

An old story whose origins are unknown to Google is about a relatively newlywed couple who wanted to divide chores evenly having weekly arguments about whose turn it was to mow the lawn. Other household tasks weren’t a problem. The husband had his responsibilities, the wife had hers, and each was comfortable with the assigned tasks with the exception of lawn mowing. They had agreed to take turns but had trouble tracking whose turn it was from week to week. After months of arguing about whose turn it was to mow the lawn, the wife blurted out, “In my family, . . . → Read More: In My Family…

New Directions

Those of you who have been regular readers of this blog know that we’ve recently been through a winter of discontent and spent some time south of the border. Now that spring has arrived in Michigan I thought it was time to give my blog a facelift with new header images, a new title, and new overarching theme: Embracing Reality. The theme is a result of my having been influenced by a saying from Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, in which she says that When you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100 percent of the time. If you’ve . . . → Read More: New Directions

South of the Border

My midwinter break this year consisted of a trip to see my son and his family in Aguascalientes, Mexico. My time in Mexico provided some welcome relief from what has become one of Michigan’s most brutal winters in a long time. (See The Winter of Our Discontent). My flights down and back were an adventure because of the weather. On the way down, the plane for my flight needed to be de-iced three times, so we were late leaving. As a result, Several of us missed connecting flights. Fortunately, later planes were available. On the way back, the problems were . . . → Read More: South of the Border

The Winter of Our Discontent

I owe the title of this blog entry to William Shakespeare, who put those words in the mouth of King Richard III. Richard’s words were a metaphor for difficult times under the previous king rather than commentary on a polar vortex of the sort we’ve been experiencing in much of the U.S. this winter. For many in the States, this has been the coldest winter with the most ice and snow that we’ve had for several years.

Meanwhile, Melbourne, Australia, has been so hot that those playing tennis in the Australian Open have been wilting in the heat, . . . → Read More: The Winter of Our Discontent