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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Time Out to say Thank You

    High time to take time out from spouting opinions and say thank you. Thank you to all who have read my blogs and read my books. Thank you to my daughter for her strength and caring. Thank you my writer friends, particularly my critique groups, past and present for the attention and care […]

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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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Last Best Hope

What Do We Do About it? II

    Last week I talked about unlocking our brains from the media’s toxic fixation on the battle that goes nowhere and instead viewing the values of the two sides as differing in priorities, not in kind. If you’ve unstuck your brain now, take a moment to walk in the other fellow’s shoes—a longstanding habit […]

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house-divided

What Do We Do About It?

    I pondered the title of this blog, then decided to leave it alone. Everyone will know what I mean. Strange, isn’t it? But I think the state of the country is on everyone’s mind. Which is good. It’s high time we stopped taking democracy for granted and give civics—the behavior necessary for the […]

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Trump

Words Matter

                    I’m a writer. I believe in the power of language—for good and for evil. Words matter. In the last decade, the nation has been swept by masters of language, first to believe in itself, then to terror and rage at a huge and overwhelming enemy. […]

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Democracy in America

What We’ve Done to Each Other–and Ourselves

  I once asked my writing class, which was attached to a course in communication, to identify themselves as Republican, Democrat, or Independent, group up, then write a description of their party—the  values that united them. Then I asked them to write a description of what the other groups believed. When they were finished, they […]

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th

The Enemy Within—Demonizing Dissent

If you grew up with Walt Kelly’s comic strip, Pogo, you know the image above became the icon of the age. Americans acknowledging the mess they’d made of the world. This is part of a strip published on Earth Day, 1971. Today we need another such image of the mess we’re making of our democracy. […]

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