Howard Zinn: A tribute


“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives…If we remember those times and places…where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the...



Unless watching Rachel Maddow every night meets the definition of an addiction, I don’t consider myself particularly prone to them. For a while I smoked cigarettes, probably a Level B or C addiction. How I put it behind me is a story worth telling because it demonstrates the unorthodox ways in which people decide to abandon activities that aren’t good for them. The path isn’t always the one...

New year’s eve


Every religion has holidays (holy days) that contain prescribed rituals, prayers and texts, but there are also holidays that have more secular roots and come unadorned with any ground rules. Such is the case with Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I was thinking about this last night, New Year’s Eve, as we enacted rituals that are deeply rooted in our family history. They may bear some resemblance to...

A holiday gift


On one of the last days of Chanukah, I was the beneficiary of my own small miracle. I had just finished up the piece I was planning to post on my blog this week when I heard from my long-time friend and thought partner Kimberly Folkening. If you’re one of the rare regular readers of my postings, Kimberly’s name may be familiar to you because I’ve written at length about our work together which...

Light(s) and trees


Light(s) Light is on my mind today. It’s overdetermined. The sky is grey, reminding me of a comment my Michigan alum daughter made after she had served her time. Although she loves her alma mater, she had the impression that in four Ann Arbor winters the sun was present for a total of eight days. That takes a toll on the psyche. And here I’ve stumbled into the other factor in that...

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