Home 2017-08-27T16:50:03+00:00

Ganesha & the art of starting

Ganesha's image offers a way to start. Listen well, keep the sweetness of life in mind, trust in what you know to be wise, and don’t be afraid. In this way, no matter how ridiculous a start you make, it will be an auspicious beginning, simply because you started.

August 24th, 2017|Happiness|

How to fight neo-Nazis & oppressive governments

Charlottesville is only the beginning. Resisting the new Nazis overlaps with the need to resist the Trump administration's attempts to deny health care, widen inequality, worsen climate change, and threaten war. However, liberals just look childish if they lump everyone they oppose into one group. The only way for liberals to win is with nonviolence, because nonviolence is the most powerful weapon.

August 15th, 2017|Peace|

So that’s why the Mooch went nuts and Trump banned transgender people

When outrageous news comes out of the White House, the question to ask is, what else just happened? When Trump doesn't like the news, he makes other news.

August 1st, 2017|Peace|

Drugged, poisoned, depressed: what is America doing to itself?

Free markets & societies need people who can think freely and clearly Imagine if a foreign power or terrorist group executed a long-term plan to get large numbers of Americans addicted to powerful drugs without knowing their dangers, killing over 50,000 of them a year and making millions unable to function [...]

July 24th, 2017|Happiness|

Work, for many, is more like dictatorship than democracy

When you see it laid out plainly as in this piece from Vox, you realize why people are so dissatisfied. Most of us spend our work day, which is most of our day, under oppressive, even humiliating conditions that are more like dictatorship than life in a free country.

July 17th, 2017|Happiness, Profit|

Respect for ex-convicts is a successful business model

Hot Chicken Takeover of Columbus, Ohio serves Nashville-style hot chicken and has a brilliant business model: hire ex-cons and treat them with respect. This 4-minute documentary will give you the feels and the thinks.

July 15th, 2017|Profit|

iPhone co-designer: “What did we bring to the world?”

For my friends who work in design, a powerful question posed by Tony Fadell, Nest founder and co-designer of the iPod and iPhone. His question is powerful not just because design affects us deeply and we ought to think deeply about it, but also because it shows that great designers are so often people with [...]

July 11th, 2017|Happiness|

Wrestling’s new villain is named ‘Progressive Liberal.’ Liberals should understand why.

When liberals can finally understand just why the crowds react to him the way they do, they'll start to get how to change their attitude and approach. Empathy instead of condescension, respect instead of contempt for people who are just plain suffering and refusing to let go of what dignity they have left. You don't [...]

July 11th, 2017|Self-evident|

From one war to the next

The essential problem with armed overthrows is that they rarely win the peace. Victory in the battlefield doesn't create sustainable institutions for a civil society. Pop quiz: when did World War 2 end? The fighting may have stopped in 1945 but the real answer is somewhere in 1947-8, when the Marshall Plan and the Occupation in Japan helped restore normalcy and gave the Japanese and Germans back control. That's why they are such strong allies today. That's why Iraq is not. 

July 5th, 2017|Peace|

Jefferson’s powerful last public letter reminds us what Independence Day is all about – The Washington Post

For me, it's about remembering that we weren't born "with saddles on our backs," we weren't born to be exploited but rather, we were born "to assume the blessings & security of self government" and enjoy "the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion." And that by doing so, Americans give the rest of the world permission and courage to do the same.

July 4th, 2017|Happiness|

Why this blog

This blog is about what I don't know and want to know. I see suffering in so many forms as I go through the day and I want to understand the systems which create it. This is just me talking to myself, but you're welcome to eavesdrop, whoever you are. But I can't promise it will make sense to anyone but me. Let's start with the tomatoes.

July 4th, 2017|Self-evident|

Qatar: not just the pronunciation that’s confusing

One day last week, Pres. Trump joined Saudi Arabia and a few other countries in condemning Qatar as a sponsor of terrorism. Qatar probably is, but the Saudis themselves have actions for which the president assured them he would not hold them accountable. In taking sides against Qatar, he put the US into a fight [...]

June 19th, 2017|Peace|

Iranian women, bicycles, nonviolence & freedom

[su_pullquote align="right" class=""]“It has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” Susan [...]

October 14th, 2016|½ of Us|

4.1 Miles – The New York Times 

By Daphne Matziaraki This film shows that crucial moment between life and death, where regardless of political beliefs, fears or preparation, some people will go beyond themselves to save a stranger. A coast guard captain on a small Greek island is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. Source: 4.1 Miles

September 30th, 2016|Self-evident|

Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis? – The New York Times

Nick Kristof reminds us that in 1938, many Americans and Europeans said the same things about Jewish refugees that Donald Trump and Marie Le Pen are saying about Syrian refugees. (They're lying.) In New York City (where a bomb injured 29 people last night) world leaders are meeting for two days to discuss how [...]

September 18th, 2016|Self-evident|

Accidents of grace

Several people have asked me, including my taxi driver, Moses just now, why Africa, why Kilimanjaro? Since they asked in a way that suggests they want a deeper answer, I tried to come up with one. I wasn’t sure myself at first, but now I can find a few reasons. Among them are another [...]

August 6th, 2016|Happiness|

Creatures of habits

I got passed by an ambulance while riding my electric bike to Edward Hospital yesterday. I knew they were headed there, too, and I knew the person inside was probably about to meet my sister, whose 5am shift as ER physician was not quite up. It was one of those moments we all get [...]

July 2nd, 2016|Happiness|