When I was 18, I took my English 101 class at Cypress College, the local junior college. It was actually a pretty good experience; I have fond memories of my math teacher, Jack Gill, and my psychology instructor, Jorge Ampudia. As well, my English teacher was named Ambika Talwar. Ambika recently put out a travelogue about her time visiting Greece. In it, she shares thoughts and feelings that are present-oriented, literal, and even pedantic. At other times, she waxes philosophical. I wanted to share a passage that is interesting from her book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses. She is an interesting person, to say the least. You can read more about her here.Read More
December 12th, 2017
December 10th, 2017
Professor Douglas J. Amy is a Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College. On this page, he writes a long and complete blog entitled “Government is Good: Capitalism Requires Government.” Based on my understanding of economics, politics, and the like, I would agree. He has allowed me to hit the highlights here in this blog (his words in blue). Herein you will find some good stuff, such as this quote about government from Professor Amy: “Americans need to realize that our economy has thrived not in spite of government, but in many ways because of government.” Along very similar lines, this time by a noted conservative, David Brooks: “The biggest threat to a healthy economy is not the socialists of campaign lore. It’s C.E.O.’s. It’s politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state.” I for one am interested in a government more like European welfare states and social democracies. We need grassroots change so that government responds to the peoples’ needs, not moneyed interests. This is the progressive hope. Read further to hear plenty from Douglas J. Amy, Ph.D. and also from individuals such as Robert Reich, Joseph Stiglitz, Jared Bernstein, Ralph Nader, and Gar Alperovitz. Let us see if we can convince you.Read More
December 5th, 2017
Did you know that 55% of Americans believe that Christianity was written into the Constitution and that the founding fathers wanted One Nation Under Jesus (which includes 75% of Republicans and Evangelicals) (USA Today)? It is true that Puritan pilgrims came here seeking religious freedom, and that today we are one of the most religious of industrialized nations. But the fact that the vast majority of Americans think we are and are supposed to be “a Christian nation” is disconcerting, for two reasons. One, we certainly are not; America has slowly come to accept that religious pluralism and toleration and separation of church and state are ideals worth striving for. Some of the founding fathers were deistic and not particularly religious. But perhaps even more so, how can we be considered a Christian nation when we have this level of political chicanery, poverty, militarism, materialism, and greed? Those counter-ideals are literally antithetical to the message we believe Jesus was trying to convey during his brief time on Earth. This is a blog about the ignorance many Americans have, and even court.Read More
December 2nd, 2017
Wisdom is the heart of the enterprise Values of the Wise, so I look forward to today’s discussion here on the radio show, Values and Ethics: from Living Room to Boardroom. Wisdom is an apparently simple, yet surprisingly elusive matter, so I’m geared up to interview two capable and conversant individuals who can speak with me and help us all understand wisdom a bit better. First I have Wes Nisker on the program; he goes by “Scoop.” Usually I call the guest by their first name, with permission, of course; however, today I will see if I can call Wes, Scoop! He is an author of a best-selling book called The Essential Crazy Wisdom, an underground classic.Read More
December 2nd, 2017
Henry A. Wallace, though little-known today, was a significant American progressive statesman, scientist, and vice-president of the United States. He was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s VP, and would have probably been elected president if there wasn’t so much establishment Democratic political junk, McCarthyism, Cold War mentality, and red-baiting gripping the country in the post-war era. A book was written about him, and it is like 2.5″ thick. It’s called American Dreamer, by John C. Culver and John Hyde. It is full of details about his early life, his love of and major success with agricultural improvements in the early 20th century, and his political beliefs. He really was a kind of dreamer – he would often put principles over politics, and try above all to look out for average Americans. He wasn’t a “beltway” guy and didn’t play games. Wallace was one of America’s full-throated progressivea. This blog presents some of the best Henry A. Wallace quotes about values in the book American Dreamer.Read More
December 1st, 2017
As this stanza shows, this poem is an attempt to discover the true nature of my existence, my being, my self.
Is there one constant, a part always the same?
Something I would take from one reality to another?
Who shall I thank, or conversely, who to blame?
Do I owe God, chance, society, freewill, or my mother?
December 1st, 2017
“Great spirits” are individuals who exemplify magnanimity and other virtues. This poem attempts to capture a bit of that beauty.
Great spirits exemplify numerous virtues
They view the world in vibrant hues
She personifies the loftiest human values
He knows many elusive and profound truths.
November 30th, 2017
Sigh. I entitled this blog what I did because I am having a difficult time of it at the moment. My dad did die this year. And Trump did ascend to power this year. But $hit has really been hitting the fan, as they say. Today, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor have been caught in the thorny bramble of bad behavior. I was also a bit shocked by Louis C. K., Senator Al Franken, and Representative John Conyers. I look around and institutions seem to be tarnishing, crumbling, under attack, and failing. It feels like we are more divided and that there are more dangers than I am comfortable with. In this blog, I will try to make sense of my angst, and use reliable, positive values as a consolation.Read More
November 29th, 2017
A big fan of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, this poem asks if we will ever reach the level of development as a planet that humans do in the 23rd century. Here is a stanza:
How can we engender a bright future as a global society,
When millions of children are hungry, sick, and poor?
We are swimming in greed, intolerance, bigotry, and anxiety;
Must Star Trek forever remain nothing but lore?
November 28th, 2017
Siddhartha in the ancient language of Magadhi means “one who has accomplished a goal.” This is a very fitting name for a very influential historical figure that is still shrouded in myth and legend — Siddhartha Gautama, also known as The Buddha. While we do know he existed, there is still a lot that we don’t know about him (and will never know). It has been over 2,500 years since The Buddha’s death, and to this day his insightful and inspirational message influences and motivates hundreds of millions of people every day. This is what living a life of value is all about: pursuing a path for oneself that is functional and fulfilling, while at the same time helping, loving, and guiding others the be the best possible versions of themselves. Let me share a bit more about Siddhartha Gautama, and then I will present some very interesting quotes by the man who literally invented Buddhism.Read More