Category: Thoughts

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Holiday Wishes

With historic changes afoot in the coming year, we have much to look forward to. Let’s pray, my friends, that goodness is around the corner for all of us — including folks we might not know. Life may not be consistently beautiful and sublime, but it is always a blessing, and we are fortunate to...

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Poem: Six Fortune Cookies for the Zeitgeist

Have some more. Gluttony will make you too big to fail.  Do not despise the two-faced charlatan. Business is business. He who has a wife is rich. He who has many wives is very rich. It is easier to take offense than to listen carefully. It is more difficult to forgive than to be wounded....

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Too Big to Fail

While we’re genuinely sympathetic to the enormous hardship that accompanies the loss of a job, the spectacle of Detroit automakers pleading for alms from us, the citizenry, from whom they have earned unfathomable wealth over the decades, is one of those macabre spectacles that normally appear in only the most imaginative science fiction. Our compassion...

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Labis: “Too Much”

If there were an easy answer to endemic poverty, the kindest among us would surely have already implented it. There’s no simple solution. But one thing is obvious — at least to an outsider: desperately poor people must stop having desperately poor children, most of whom cannot be fed, educated, and cared for properly.  The...

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Getting it Wrong on Prop 8

This weekend, a number of dear friends, some straight, some gay, will be picketing in front of Los Angeles City Hall, venting their anger at an empty building. The protesters are furious about the passage of Proposition 8, which amends the California Constitution to permit holy matrimony solely between a man and a woman. Prop...

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President Obama: Reasons to Celebrate

For those who came of age in segregationist America, while Jim Crow laws still littered the South and neighborhoods in the North observed pernicious unwritten boundaries, Barack Obama’s victory feels like a hot shower after an interminable day spent toiling in a filthy, disease-ridden swamp. Even for people of my generation, who grew up post-Martin...

Endorsement: Barack Obama for President 0

Endorsement: Barack Obama for President

A cursory search of the archives here will provide numerous examples of my distaste for the sickening charade that passes as American democracy in action. Aside from emotionally charged issues such as abortion, gun rights, and school prayer, the differences between the two major parties are negligible, especially in their comical willingness to subsume ôprinciplesö...

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Jazz Competitions, In and Out of the Marketplace

One of the 20th Century’s greatest artists, a cat named Thelonious Monk, the pianist and composer of countless jazz standards, including “Round Midnight” and “Well, You Needn’t,” left behind, among other things, a brilliant son (the drummer, T.S. Monk), a lucrative publishing catalogue, and a legacy of musical encouragement. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz...

Pentagon Holds Departure Ceremony For Rumsfeld 0

The Healing Power of an Apology

All of us have felt the cleansing and restorative power of a simple apology. Whether offered or received, the words “I’m sorry” tend to make everyone involved feel better, dampening the flame of indignation and encouraging assuagement instead of outrage. When things go badly, someone — or many someones — is usually responsible, and acknowledging...

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Brooding on Death

The remains of my dear friend Ella the dog arrived from the crematorium in a nice fabric-covered box. The ashes themselves were in a plastic freezer bag, which was probably a good thing, since in addition to a fine grey powder there were many pinky-nail-size bone fragments and flakes from the few teeth Ella retained...