Archive | Politics

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Buzz Words and the Power of Mob-Think

                        FREEDOM! REVOLUTION! CHOICE! LIFE! JUSTICE! Words that reach deep into the American soul, the heart of the moral order, even when they are demanding liberation from that order. All express the feeling that something is wrong or has gone wrong with society and […]

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habits of the heart

Talking About Religion and Politics

                    I talked last week about my journey from Protestant to Catholic and back again, and as I look back on experiences that shaped my life, I count the study of culture, especially the interweaving of politics and religion as a major force. Sociology and anthropology […]

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Boston Marathon exzplosion 4/15/13 Boston Marathon

What is it About Extremes?

    What is it about extremes that draw us so irrevocably toward our doom? For four years, we were ruled by a man whose love of power and belief in his own greatness took him, and us, to the verge of insanity. Now we watch Putin pull the world with him toward the same […]

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Changing Racial Attitudes

  I ended the last blog by saying that the current race movement is carrying the country toward extremism and further and further from changing racial attitudes. Radical positions like condemning whole civilizations may sound noble, but it accomplishes nothing—except ridicule, perhaps. Consciousness-raising, making America aware that it has a race problem, has been going […]

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Racism and Fear

But allow the power of the internet to fall into the hands of those who deliberately heat fear into hatred, prejudice into racism, and we’ll move further and further from the kind of attitude change we seek.

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An Ode to Diversity: Hema Vasavada

  Hema Vasavada, one of the founding members of the Skagit Valley Writers League, passed away this week. A long-time friend and an active supporter of local writers, I will miss her. As I ponder how to honor her memory, I realize she is a model, for me, of what it is to be an […]

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Ferguson

Race in America: Stuck in a Rut

Browsing through old blogs, I found this seven-year-old blog (Dec 5, 2014) that seems to sum up my feelings today pretty well. Here, with some revisions, it is:     I watch today’s protests and feel very old, very frustrated, and very discouraged. I watched the same explosions and protests in the 1950s, 1960s, and […]

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The Role of Race

    I’ve been hard on identity politics and its role in polarizing the nation, so I want to be clear. Race is a critical issue for the country, and one that needs to be addressed. I understood and supported Martin Luther King and the peaceful protests of the Sixties Civil Rights movement of the […]

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Years of Impending Doom

                I watched the Reagan years with an ever-increasing sense of impending doom. I say watched because I was an outsider to the economic and social changes, living in one of the separate worlds, bubbles–the slices George Packer describes. I was teaching at the University of California, Santa […]

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Last Best Hope

How Did We Come to This? II

Confrontation forces attention on neglected issues. It also polarizes. When people turn the language of opposition into the language of enemies, they have turned the language of democracy into the language of war and legitimized acts of war on the democracy. Too many of the protests for justice, legitimate and needed, have turned into revenge […]

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THE EFFECTS OF FALSE WORDS CAN’T BE ERASED

Fellow writer, Hema Vasavada, responded to my blog about the rhetoric of war with this op ed piece she wrote for the Moscow Pullman Daily News. I think it is well worth sharing as a part of our on-going exploration of the cause of the nation’s on-going crisis.     MOSCOW PULLMAN DAILY NEWS OCTOBER […]

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