The impetus for this blog is the recent spate of race-based violence we have experienced following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. The history of the US has, of course, a long record of race-based violence. How could it be otherwise when slavery was present from our earliest days. It is easy to forget, for example, that the White House was built by slave labor.
I am old enough to remember early TV news coverage of what were deemed “race riots” in the 1950s and ’60s. The principal minorities in the town where I grew up (Los . . . → Read More: What a Week
The wish, “May you live in interesting times,” is assumed to be an Ancient Chinese Curse because “interesting times” typically meant war, rumors of war, and loss of economic and political stability. Regardless of whether it really is an ancient curse, when you read and/or watch news of today’s events, you’ll see just how many of the factors that make times “interesting” are present today. Here’s a partial list:
In the Mid-East, we have ISIS, an on-going war, the destruction of ancient cities, and millions of refugees.
In Europe, we have millions of refugees seeking a place they can . . . → Read More: Living in Interesting Times
I knew that it had been a while since my last posting, but I had no idea how long it had been. John Lennon is usually given credit for saying that “life is what happens while you are making other plans,” which is included in the lyrics for Beautiful Boy, written for his son, Sean. Since my last blog, we’ve had two major holidays (Christmas and New Year’s), and more than a month has slipped away while I was busy making other plans. And shoveling snow. It is, after all, winter in Michigan….
We have had some winter weather . . . → Read More: Time Flies
In “That Ol’ Black Magic,” in reference to the Ol’ Black Magic of love, Robbie Williams says he’s loving the spin he’s in. Love isn’t of course, the only “Black Magic,” that puts people in a spin. In the U.S., we’ve grown increasingly aware of the “spin” used by major corporations and politicians to influence politics and consumer behavior. “Spin” is basically a biased interpretation. While some form of “spin” has undoubtedly been with us throughout human history, the “father” of modern political spin is usually thought to be canaries in cages down in coal mines so that, when the . . . → Read More: The Spin I’m In
We certainly live in interesting times, don’t we…. Lately, we’ve recently seen a number of complaints about how a percentage of those living in the US are only interested in “free stuff.” The main complaint is that those people will vote for Democrats for political office rather than for Republicans, who want to make sure that no one receives “free stuff.” According to some, we have become a culture of “cheaters.” The original impetus for this blog entry was a comment a friend made about the concern companies have about people who “telecommute” and work from home rather than driving . . . → Read More: Cheating on Our Ethics Test
If you are old enough, you can doubtless remember the rhyme from childhood about the hearse going by: The hearse goes by, the hearse goes by…. I couldn’t find the version I learned in childhood, but all the versions I saw online are highly similar. The main point is that death is the great equalizer. Everyone eventually ends up dead. In the version I learned, you were buried under the “moss and peat.” That suggests that the version I learned originated in pre-Medieval England, where dead bodies were often left in the abundant peat bogs. For our ancestors, the awareness . . . → Read More: The Hearse Goes By, The Hearse Goes By