Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vive La France, Vive Les Etats-Unis

I care about terror attacks all over the world. Why did the attacks in Paris just two days ago touch me deeply enough to inspire me to change my facebook profile picture in support of the French?

Because France is the USA's oldest ally;
Because without assistance from the French in the 18th century, the US would not exist;
Because so much of the philosophy that informs our highest ideals originated in France; and
Because we have so much of shared values and culture with the French.

Yes, both of our countries have problems and have made political and social errors. Putting our high ideals into actual practice is often a dirty business, both maddening and saddening. But for better or for worse, we are on paths that run together at so many important points in modern history.

France, our elder very different from us, yet so very much the same. Remember that the colors of the French flag are also the colors of ours.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


It is just shy of a year since my mother passed away.  2 days shy, to be exact.  My mother-in-law passed away last night.  We lost my father-in-law just 4 months ago, in May of this year.  I find myself in the midst of a cascade of memories and emotions that began on September 18th - my mother's birthday.  I well up with tears several times a day. 

I try to avoid memorializing specific dates, but I have been unable to stop myself this month, so here goes:  my mom reached her 90th birthday on 9/18/14.  She passed away 10 days later, on 9/28/14.  We held her funeral services on 10/6/14.  My mother-in-law's passing date of 9/26/15 adds another stepping stone into the emotional Via Dolorosa of September into October.  My father passed away on 10/30/85.  We held his viewing on 11/1 and his funeral services on 11/2/85.

I don't expect to grieve all of the way through October into early November, though I know there will be moments of tristesse whenever I think about Mom and Dad.  I felt the need to write a little bit about this, so I dusted off my old blog.  Posting about this on facebook feels a little bit too crass.  I don't want thumbs-up facebook likes on a post about this.  I don't want to publish this under my my name, on facebook, for all of my friends, acquaintances and co-workers to see. 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Dear Donald

Dear Donald,

Yes, political correctness is a cultural phenomenon that can get out of control. However, treating people with dignity and respect is not merely a facet of political correctness: it is a sign of good character. We want to see presidential candidates who have the intellectual capacity to navigate complex social and political situations with diplomacy and wisdom.

Fair warning: if you show that you are capable of that by engaging with others respectfully, you will then have to run on your merit as a leader and your knowledge of the world. One uzbekibekibekistanstan moment could bring you down.

Start studying.