November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving is unusual in comparison to the other federal holidays.  It marks no specific event in history, nor does it commemorate any historic figures or honor those who have served our country.  

There are those who trace Thanksgiving back to 1621, when the 50 surviving Pilgrims who had sailed on the Mayflower invited 90 Native Americans to...

November 12, 2018

Fire doesn’t care who you voted for, who you hate, who you pray to, or the color of your skin.  Flames don’t distinguish between those who give charity and those who steal, between those who are “right,” and those who are “wrong.”  They don’t have eyes, morality, or a conscience.  They don’t see good and bad.  They are an equal opportunity destroye...

November 6, 2018

Today, Americans are called on to perform one of our most important civic duties - to vote.  The notion of a civic duty is that citizens have a responsibility or obligation to their government in return for the rights granted them by their citizenship.

Nearly all Americans - left, right, or center - seem to be in agreement that every citizen should...

October 29, 2018

We Americans are getting far too accustomed to tragedy!

But as disturbingly commonplace as these violent and hateful events are becoming, last week - with the mass shooting in Pittsburgh, the Kroger’s shooting in Kentucky, and the mail bomb attempts in various cities - was a particularly bad week.

In the aftermath of these terroristic events, the med...

October 26, 2018

Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, appeared on PBS News Hour yesterday to discuss the risk of escalating political violence in the wake of the recent pipe bomb incidents.  

Lukensmeyer, and additional guest Joanne Freeman, professor of history and American Studies at Yale, were asked to provide a h...

October 25, 2018

Debate is a healthy component of democracy.  Citizens should be able to discuss issues, even contentious issues, to present and explain their perspectives.  Whether the goal is to persuade the other, or simply to inform the other, there is value in the face to face communication of ideas, which, at the very least, conveys the reality that each of u...

October 19, 2018

You might not know it from popular media, and you certainly won’t see it on social media, but the majority of Americans desire more compromise and less political entrenchment.

While our government is mired in partisan dysfunctionality, the American populace is far less divided than many would have us believe.

A September 2018 Gallup poll revealed tha...

October 11, 2018

With the midterm elections looming, we will soon find out whether our country will be moving further toward the poles as voters head to the polls.  Has the antagonism and divisiveness of the past several years inclined us back toward the center or toward ever increasing extremes?

On the heels of one of the most contentious weeks in American politics...

September 28, 2018

Has anyone seen anything on the Kavanaugh/Ford issue - a private post, a news story, a statement by a public official - which doesn’t conform to party lines?  What I’ve seen so far is that every comment or commentary is completely aligned with the commenters’ previously established partisan position. 

Yesterday, I watched part of the live testi...

June 17, 2018

It’s Father’s Day, and in a few hours, after dawn, I will be embraced by my children.  But now, in the darkness before the dawn, I am awake, sleepless, thinking about the nearly 2,000 children we have been reading about who will not embrace their parents today because they have recently been separated from them at our border.  

The images, both...

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