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Author, columnist, and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I've authored and published six books: "You, Your Self and the 21st Century,"The Flowers Are Talking to Me," and "Faith Stirred Not Shaken," Christianity in America,"The Martian Prelude," Faith Stirred not Shaken, 2nd edition." Something I try to keep in mind when I write: Sometime back I was watching an old movie titled Biloxi Blues. At one point a young man named Epstein, warns the protagonist, a fledgling writer, played by a very young Matthew Broderick, "when you compromise your true opinions you commit yourself to mediocrity."
Announcing: My latest book is coming soon. Unexplained Consciousness Events: Exploring the Possibilities.
Illinois Is Now on Board. We Can Carry Concealed Weapons in Every State.
I don't propose taking guns away from hunters and sports enthusiasts. I have no illusions about getting rid of almost 300 million guns. But I do have confidence that if we were to simply agree that the statistics point to something real and decide to do something productive about them, I believe we can come up with a solution that would honor our 2nd amendment rights and protect innocent people from lethal gun violen
Friday, January 24, 2014(4 comments)
Don't be Fooled: Black Racism Causes White Racism
So even though I've got my theories about why racism is worse now than before President Obama's election, the final question has remained open until today. But finally I found an answer, in of all places, a piece on Fox News by Travis Gettys on rawstory.com.
Monday, April 15, 2013(5 comments)
The Primary American Meme: Be Afraid.
Memes in America are sometimes designed to create a fearful populace and insight emotional responses. Fearful people are easier to convince that your particular brand of protection is needed.
Ethan Couch: An Example of the Pathology of Wealth
Ethan Couch is a victim of an illness that is destroying this country and the democracy we all love to brag about. It's, in Chris Hedges' words, "the pathology of wealth." A pathology manifest in our adulation of the super rich; allowed by the unexamined belief that our day will come and we will join their ranks. Why? Because we still believe in an American dream that's been dying for the last four decades.
If Corporations Are People, Pope Francis is Exorcist.
Well, contrary to the Vatican's official position, I think the Pope is an exorcist. One of the most important exorcists ever. I'll call him an Exorcist Extraordinaire. And he is appearing at exactly the right time in history.
Children, You're Not Welcome Here!
On the surface one might ask what happened to America's big heart? The one that donates time, money, physical help to people in natural disasters in foreign countries. The country that is the home of tens of thousands of young men and women who have given their lives in defense of other homelands?
Wednesday, July 12, 2017(29 comments)
We've Stepped Over the Edge of Climate Change.
If you think this is simply politics as usual, consider this. Our government is protecting the rights of the corporate entities that profit from this disaster rather than protecting us, our children and our grandchildren. At a deeper level, they are protecting their power to deny effective action to keep campaign funds flowing into their coffers.
He's at it Again: Pope Teaching True Christianity!
To these Pauline Christians, the task of extricating extremist right wing politics from their perverted religious interpretations is onerous. An onerous task made more difficult because when their form of religion is used as an ideological pretext to political ambitions, there is no inspirational core on which to stan
Saturday, November 16, 2013(42 comments)
Do We Hate Each Other in America?
The truth is the nation was never unified. It was dominated by an archetype from one of the eleven nations that make up America. And the upheaval we suffer is shaped by a futile effort of that group (think Republican Party here) to maintain domination rather than share power.
And the Beat Goes On: Mega-rich get richer. Society Crumbles
Think of the Mideast. Think ISIS here. Think of terrorism. Terrorists don't attack us because of our freedoms. They attack out of desperation. Out of a frustration that comes with no future, and a feeling of impotence in the face of the continued economic violence committed in the name of corporate profits and greed. Corporations protected by the most powerful military in the history of the world. Ours!
Alternative Facts are Real Facts
During the last several years we have been traveling a road to perdition. This road being the road to different information sources to justify our opinions. So much so that we've arrived at a point where we've diminished the value of facts in favor of strongly held opinions.
Monday, July 18, 2016(19 comments)
Three More Dead! Surprised? Really?
We see these tragic events as single actions committed by individuals and fail to see the dynamics of a system that spawns them. To act as though systemic factors don't affect an individual's behavior is to assure that we'll keep seeing these horrific events unfold unabated in the future.
We Are the Enemy.
While a large portion of the country is frightened of foreign terrorism, the real enemy is our willingness to disqualify each other's opinions because of their political affiliation. We're harming ourselves.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014(4 comments)
Pope Francis = 1: Paul Ryan = 0
A couple of offhand thoughts: Mr. Ryan is a Roman Catholic, so I know he wouldn't lie. I think he just misunderstood the pope. Or maybe he's just so convinced that his party's positions are so correct that he is willing to risk the ire of the Church to correct this pope.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014(101 comments)
Mood of Fear = Need for Concealed Carry
Here's something to think about: "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Government Shutdown: A Ploy of the Christian Right?
It should concern us all that there is a well-funded movement pressing science, intellectual discourse, and reason out of the public domain and attempting to replace them with pre-enlightenment thinking or, in Harris's words, with "a vastitude of ignorance."
Friday, September 27, 2013(28 comments)
Facts Don't Matter In Politics
Why try to provide the facts to support an argument? Why spend countless hours scanning the Internet for information that will expose the truths underlying the artifice we call reality?
Saturday, January 21, 2017(14 comments)
Science, Religion, or Both?
Science tells us one story and religion another. Neither is complete. Neither offers absolutes. Together they offer profound new questions. In union, they can give us a depth of understanding that leads to a new level of comfort and assurance.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014(1 comments)
Willful Ignorance: An American Ideal?
Economist Paul Krugman's, comment explains what will happen, "When faith meets evidence, evidence doesn't stand a chance." And this is the culture media for willful ignorance to flourish.
Should Medicare Really Pay for Seniors' Penis Pumps?
I need to laugh because if I don't, I will cry uncontrollably. Why? I read the above item the morning after I was reviewing charges to Medicare for the foam rubber filter on my CPAP breathing machine. It is approximately 1 & inches by inch by inch and Medicare is charged $13.99. It's a stretch to say it has $.01 worth of material in it.
Saturday, June 24, 2017(5 comments)
The Boiled Frog Story: An Updated Version
Is it too late for all us frogs to jump from the boiling water? Where would we go? No. We're cooked and the Republicans are turning up the heat a few more degrees anyway.
Friday, August 12, 2016(15 comments)
How Did We Invent the Trump Candidacy?
He has no credentials for the role for which he supposedly aspires. He is simply the product of a society that knows not its own power to create the illness he represents.
Does Jan Brewer's Veto Unlock the Gates of Hell?
The very effect the Christian right fears is being caused by their own extreme and misguided ideology. In the void created by the absence of religion, our young people are learning their values from popular culture.
Thou Shalt Have No False Gods Before Me.
I don't believe in a god who only loves the superstitious, anti-intellectual, heterosexual, white Anglo-Saxon, Protestant archetype. You know, the false idol of the extremes of American Christianity.
Monday, January 13, 2014(8 comments)
We Don't Need No Stinking Jobs. We Got Government Benies.
The theory X advocate says most people are inherently lazy, dislike work and will avoid it if they can. The theory Y advocate says that most people are ambitious and self-motivated and will exercise self-control. They are motivated to work. So who's right?
Let's Pause for Sanity.
If you're religious, you might say that meditation and prayer are attempts to experience God. If not, you might say they're attempts to experience the true nature of reality. Either way, we should learn to respect each other's journey toward a common destination that goes by many names.
It might save our shared reality we're so fond of arguing about.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016(31 comments)
An open letter to my fellow progressives,
The time to think of Donald Trump as a joke, an anomaly, is long past. For his loyal followers, he's the king. And they will be at the polling stations in large numbers anxious to bring an end to their misery by electing a man who understands their plight and will lead them back to the American dream that made America great. You can take this to the bank.
Rules? We Don't Need No Stinking Rules!
In corporations the higher you go the righter you are. Now we're seeing how this works in government as the GOP and the Trump administration create their daily pandemonium.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017(1 comments)
China's New Silk Road $1.4 Trillion. U.S. Cuts Education Funding
China is on the rise, and we're stuck with a political system that stays tangled up in its own underwear. No, I'm not proposing the Chinese system would work here, as Mr. Li points out in his TED presentation. But we had better start thinking outside this box of arrogance we live in. We now have some honest to goodness competition from all over the planet, and China is leading the way.
Pope Francis Strikes Again: This Time It's Abortion
Even though I am no longer a practicing member, I was raised and educated Roman Catholic and I still believe abortion is morally wrong for any reason. But even though I abhor the practice, I don't think it's my place to dictate how another person lives her life.Even though I am no longer a practicing member, I was raised and educated Roman Catholic and I still believe abortion is morally wrong for any reason.
Strong Man Leadership or National Disgrace?
Effective leadership is simple and complex at the same time. It is simple because it's based on a natural human connection. It's complex for the same reason. Human beings are complex and emotional, regardless of how steadfastly we insist that rational thinking will always triumph.
Now we have the ultimate challenge to the question of effective leadership.
General Boykin: Owning an AR-15 is Biblical.
So in this unique American version of fundamentalist Christianity, the Lord has cleaved society into at least two camps: Those who will do the slaying and those who will be slain. What better reason to own an automatic weapon, as General Boykin urges, than to be on the side of those doing the slaying, in the name of Jesus, of course?
Saturday, December 10, 2016(20 comments)
Where Are We Going and Why?
We can see the frightening symptoms all around us but few can identify the causes. It might be because they are so deeply embedded they are transparent to the casual observer. But we might have the answers under our noses.
Monday, October 14, 2013(18 comments)
A Reflection on a God in America
Here's the key question: Am I being blasphemous by asking these questions or are those who believe in this particular and peculiar American god? Let's explore together.
Friday, January 17, 2014(5 comments)
The Fading Artifice of American Democracy
The American illusion of a representative democracy has strayed too far from the reality. Regardless of what he or she says during elections, no individual politician's promises will ever shape his or her party's platform. Collaboration for the benefit of our society is an obsolete concept.
Is the Oval Office the Proverbial China Shop?
The jobs replaced by automation won't come back. The terrorism done by American citizens won't be eliminated by banning immigrants. The deregulation of laws that protect us and our environment won't provide clean air and water. The wealth that accrues to the top one percent won't trickle down. The clueless billionaires who head up agencies they don't understand won't be the saviors of the common citizen.
I Took a Trip on a Train and I thought About...
Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer were looking at America in 1939. I was looking at America in 2014. I wondered what had caused so much change. Then it came to me. We were in the southern red states where the Republican economic policies abound in freedoms.
Friday, April 21, 2017(11 comments)
Can I Learn to Stop Worrying and Love This Bomb?
We all have a serious choice to make. And that choice is beginning to look like the last real freedom we have. With the takeover of government by the military industrial complex, only mass voter turnouts will balance the power.
The N word in America
The use of the N word reveals much about the hidden psyche in America. A psyche that was born in the scandalous beginnings of the country that calls itself exceptional among all other nations.
Friday, February 21, 2014(54 comments)
More Guns: Symptom of Illness in Society
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, that the social norms are the reason for the pathology, the evidence is undeniable. We are living in a society that is tearing itself apart, ostensibly to save itself.
Who's Responsible for Your Morality?
Although most elements of our unique brand of American Christian extremism have earned our rebuke, we might dismiss something very important in the process of our rejection. Religion is, in more instances than not, a practical road to individual moral development. The problems show up when people don't complete the journey.
Having Faith in an Enchanted Universe
Is religion as guilty as science for disenchanting the universe. Does faith in the unknown require the universe to be re-enchanted? Or does the long arc of evolution deserve our faith unaided by human stories and explanations?
Monday, December 8, 2014(6 comments)
We're as Sick as Our Secrets
You see, the problem is that until we can openly admit that our country's foundation is crazed through with injustices, we will all continue to be victims. Whether it be the Michael Browns or the people who kill them or the friends and families who suffer their losses; all victims of the same systemic illness we see, deflect, deny, project, and in every other way resist every day of our lives.
Anyone but the deluded, clueless and/or marginally conscious can see the crisis is being created by the very congress that claims it's Mr. Obama's fault for not being willing to negotiate away a law passed by the congress, tested by the Supreme Court and ratified again by an election of the same president.
Trump: "I will totally destroy the Johnson Amendment."
Trump's statement was a nod to the Fundamentalist Christian Evangelical Right [i] who supported him. Their goal is that found in Christian Dominionism. His promise is another step in a well-organized plan that starts with the Home Schooling movement.
Recent History of GOP Foretold Trump.
How can such a controversial character like Trump be in the position to take his candidacy to the voters in November? It has a lot to do with the unstable condition of the Republican party and his equally disturbed supporter.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014(19 comments)
Blame it on Luther.
What we're seeing is society honoring the moral authority of unqualified people who may or may not even be mentally stable. When we decree the individual and his epistemology to be sacrosanct with no further investigations or qualifications we have the moral chaos we see in America today.
Truth is Lost in Our National Hallucination
As we can readily see by the everyday mistruths from the president and the silence from his party, we can forget the truth. The only thing that counts is sustaining the hallucination that is the United States. For instance, "We were once great and we're going to make America Great Again." "We are a Christian nation and are blessed by God above all others."
Monday, December 9, 2013(9 comments)
O'Reilly's War On Christmas
But think about it. Is there really a war on Christmas? Christmas is the longest season of the year, opening up retail stores on Thanksgiving day for pre-season shopping. Those same stores are decorated, some starting in October, with seasonal trimmings from stem to stern.
Open Posthumous Letter to President Reagan
The government didn't protect me from the one threat that still lies at the foundation of the problems in our society remains: A breathtaking ignorance and lack of curiosity that allows lies, myths and superstitions to fill the void it creates.
Power Posing: The Key to Success?
Power posing has shown that we can change our internal experience by changing our external physiology. Is this sufficient for success>
Tuesday, September 3, 2013(8 comments)
Speaking Truth to the PowerLESS
Speaking truth to the powerful is considered a valiant act, although in most instances, it's also futile. The reason seems to be that the powerful have a lot to conserve and aren't much interested in anyone's truth but their own.
Monday, April 22, 2013(4 comments)
GOP: God's Own Party?
Is the GOP God's own party? Or is it simply being co-opted by the Christian extremists Dominionists?
Wednesday, September 3, 2014(13 comments)
Bad President, Bad, Bad!
Recently, I developed two theories about the constant nitpicking complaints and downright obscene insults thrown at this president. The obvious reason is his color. In a country with institutionalized racism, a tan-colored man in the White House is an omen. But the deeper reason that probably exists at a subconscious level: Bush II
Thursday, August 7, 2014(1 comments)
The Obscene Asymmetry in Gaza
There is an obscenity being perpetrated on the Palestinian people as I write this essay. And please don't obscure it with talk of Hamas and its intentions. I'm writing clear-eyed about the inhumanity involved in Gaza.
Monday, September 25, 2017(5 comments)
The Dangers of Free Speech
Do we really want free speech and the expression of ideas that we don't like? What's to be gained and what's to be lost?
Tuesday, August 11, 2015(2 comments)
I'm No scientist. I'm a Worried Grandfather.
Everything is preceded by some causal event. If this is true, it must follow that events today will cause events tomorrow and all the tomorrows of our future.
So given our seeming inability to deal with our real issues and instead focus on simple-minded concerns like some movie star's sexual orientation, one hundred years from now things might look like this:
Tuesday, July 8, 2014(17 comments)
A New Transubstantiation: Contraception Becomes Abortion if One Believes Deeply
Here's a thought experiment for you: Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation; the communion wafer becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ during the Mass. How many of you Protestants, Jews and Muslims think that because a Roman Catholic believes in transubstantiation deeply, the communion wafer actually becomes the body and blood of Jesus? I thought so.
What Happened to Compassion?
I read a quote some time ago, and I can't give credit to who said it. But to paraphrase, if we are going to keep pulling drowning people out down-river, we should figure out how to stop throwing them in up-river.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013(6 comments)
Republican Moral Model: Are We Good or Evil?
Principles are part of the answer to the question: What draws people to one party or the other. A more complete answer must lie at a deeper level; a level that is not apparent upon casual observation.
Because it must be powerful enough to have people ignore their own interests and remain loyal. And it must be powerful enough to defy conventional logic.
Real America is Full of Real Conservatives.
Creating another reality with people to hate has been going on a long time. Like since the old days in the south where even the lowliest white man, no matter how locked in poverty he was by the system, was made to believe he was still better than that "lazy, ignorant Negro" down the road.
Sunday, March 17, 2013(29 comments)
We are a Nation of True Believers
We are a nation of true believers who feel most comfortable affiliated with a group so much so that we'll give up our most important individual freedom - to think of ourselves.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014(3 comments)
Sicker Than Our Secrets
We only need to look as far as the success of Fox News to find a thermometer. Have you ever thought about why a channel independently proven to be falsifying facts and misinforming viewers is the leading cable news organization?
Friday, June 12, 2015(7 comments)
Rosewater, a Film Full of Parallels
At first I was stunned at the ubiquitous display of propaganda all over Tehran; on the side of buildings, signs and bill boards everywhere. But then it occurred to me, there are parallels here too. But in America the propaganda is not about the religion of Islam. It's about Western religion, capitalism.
Liberals Unite! (Tee hee)
What's happening to our overarching liberal purpose while we argue among ourselves about whose personal needs will be met first. If and when we ever get the power back, we can address them. Not in our current shattered state.
Saturday, October 1, 2016(7 comments)
Image or Substance? The Voter's Choice.
This election is far too important to determine your choice using public image. Get the facts. They're out there. Find them and make your vote a well thought-out choice.
Did Senator Perdue Really Pray for the President's Death?
Here we have a perfect storm of inferential leaping and dog whistle politics. Ms. Woodruff's headline leaps to a conclusion that her report doesn't support unless one can hear the dog whistle"or simply concede the old saying, "the large print giveth and the fine print taketh away."
Friday, June 19, 2015(3 comments)
National Illusion Crumbles In South Carolina
Nine black people die at the hands of a young white supremacist. He admitted his motive was to start a race war. And still one half of this nation is twisting itself into contortions to protect the illusion that overt racism wasn't the reason for his actions.
Thursday, February 6, 2014(7 comments)
The Fox News Alternative Reality Makes Any Middle Ground Impossible.
The reality show advertised as the O'Reilly interview of President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday was revealing. As usual, O'Reilly was the star. This time he had Mr. Obama as a prop, there to be interrupted for the purposes of proving O'Reilly's brilliance and improving his ratings (and income, of course), as he pandered to his loyal followers.
Popcorn, M&M's and Ammunition
So this unfortunate situation was the toxic combination I've written about before. This time it was on steroids. A categorical thinking, gun toting, retired cop who hates texting in theaters, in Florida, "the" stand your ground state. Add to this, people feel more aggressive when they carry guns and the pop corn seemed like a drone attack to this good guy.
Impeachment Would Solve Lots of Problems.
Impeachment fever is raging in the Republican party. Or is it defunding Obamacare? Or shutting the government down? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with governing.
North is a Direction. The South is a Place. That's Fundamental!
One factor that distinguishes the South from the rest of the country is the extent to which its form of Christianity influences everything. Now an author is proposing that we and they would be better off is they seceded. Many in the South would agree.
Thursday, October 3, 2013(11 comments)
Where are the Unions?
What was once the gateway to the middle class has become an artifact of a non-existent era: Partly because some unions became rackets and partly because management decided that vast majority of the benefits of healthy companies should go to the owners of the capital.
Thursday, September 12, 2013(4 comments)
Are Christian Principles to be Found in Capitalism? Scalia Thinks So!
As with so many other issues, we Americans like to debate the symptoms and not the causes. In the supposedly best capitalist system in the world, why do so many people need charity, whether it be from the church of government? And why has the number been growing for the last three decades? And exactly what Christian virtues are manifested in a form of capitalism that makes this country one the of the worst for income equality
The Destructive Illusion of Certainty
There is one cognitive bias that is very common in today's world of constant streaming data. It's called confirmation/disconfirmation bias. We find evidence for and against any proposition to validate what we already believe. In a practical sense, we believe the evidence that confirms our point of view and ignore what doesn't.
Monday, August 15, 2016
And We're Surprised???
Are we really surprised at the rise of this man named Trump? Let's look at the culture that gives him nourishment.
Friday, June 3, 2016(10 comments)
Ryan Accepts Trump. Move Along. Nothing to See Here.
Please be assured I'm not singling Mr. Ryan out for criticism. He's a politician and a successful one at that. He's just more obvious because of his elevated status. I'm afraid his quick-change expertise is just an example of business as usual in our political system.
Bombing ISIS or Not.
It shouldn't be difficult to understand the emergence of this wave of religious fundamentalism around the world. When revered models have remained undisturbed for long periods and are suddenly disturbed, any kind of aberrant behavior is to be expected. A return to the most fundamental beliefs of that model seems like the most grounded place from which to defend against the disturbance.
Bombing the Mideast for Fun and Profit
The Bush administration sold us the need for the invasion that created the instability and now we are being sold the fable that the problems in the Mideast are caused by religious extremism. If we think critically about this we will see that, although religious extremism is the apparent reason, it is a symptom of much deeper issues.
Thursday, November 21, 2013(9 comments)
Is This President that Bad? Really?
As an individual non-story being disguised as a news item this seems harmless enough. But when added together with a constant stream, its accumulative effect results in a distorted notion of this president's performance.
"Je suis Charlie" Me Too!
To add fuel to the roaring fire, certain news organizations and individuals have rushed to condemn all Muslims for the acts of an infinitesimal, disenfranchised minority. Some claiming that the Muslim community doesn't do enough to protest these horrible actions being committed in the name of Islam. Wrong again. Tens of thousands of true Muslims have protested all over the world, France included.
Death to the Soaring American Spirit
We are sacrificing ourselves on the altar of enhanced shareholder value while our politicians serve their own interests. What is the cause and is there a solution?
Thursday, September 26, 2013(12 comments)
SAT Scores Under 50 Percent - Again
Is there a causal relationship between cuts in social welfare and education funding and poor performance on the SAT or is it just a statistical fluke?
Saturday, April 27, 2013(4 comments)
Do Nations Ever Feel Guilt?
Should we feel guilty about the elimination of whole native populations, slavery, confiscation of lands? Should the spoils always go to the victors? What about their descendants?
Fifty Dead in Orlando: The Latest Fatalities in World War III
We fail to see that we've lost the objective while we fight about whether "guns kill people" or "people kill people." Whether drones create more terrorists when we kill their leaders. We fail the see that we all victims of this war. Even the perpetrators who pull the triggers or fly the drones are victims.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Not More of the Same on Ferguson, MO
While Americans line up on either side of the events in Ferguson we are missing an important tool for reconciliation. Our racial tensions arise from very fundamental differences in our cultural contexts and the meanings that shape who we are as individuals. The issue is not color of skin. That's the marker. The issues are shaped by historical narratives that create the moods that predispose behaviors on both sides.
Is Duty of Care Dead?
Wikipedia defines Duty of Care thusly, "In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others."
Is the Appeal of Fake News an Ominous Sign?
Much of our inability to discern the truth from a lie is the absence of grounding or a baseline from which to judge. The public domain has been creating this void for years; this void being a "post fact" society.