Blog

  • Fairness. A Sparrow. A Robin.

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    I was driving home from the Conners Emerson Schoolin Bar Harbor where I had spent the day with three first grade andone fourth grade class.For reasons I’m not sure of,I began thinking of this Bible verse: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." (King James Bible) That’s unusual for me. I rarely remember Bible verses. In each class of ten kids we had sat in a circle on a rug andtalked about fairness.
  • Every Cog and Wheel

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    “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” --- Aldo Leopold On reading Jill Lepore’s masterful new history of the United States, These Truths, one cannot overstate the importance of telling a country’s story honestly --for how else, but for all the triumphs, the failures, the ideals, the hypocrisies, the myths and denials do we know who we really are? Ms.
  • Some Reflections on the Portrait Exhibit at Syracuse University

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    Before coming to Syracuse University for the opening of the Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait exhibit, a number of people asked me what it was going to feel like to see all the portraits at once. In retrospect, this question seems like asking a thirteen year old how it will feel to be married, or a medical student how it will feel to save a life.
  • Accountability, History, Identity & the Liberty Medal

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    Recently the Texas board of education decided to remove slavery from its school textbooks. When a story isn't told, or its truth is altered, it slips from memory, slips from the accumulated identity people internalize by knowing their common history. As strong as the desire is for all of us to deny the worst we do, if we eradicate the worst, we have no idea who we are. All the social facts, customs, conditions, injustices, ramifications still deriving from that past are now free-floating, causeless.
  • On the Supreme Court Putting a Stay on Juliana v. U.S.

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    "Government actions knowingly and willfully created the climate crisis. From this crisis young and future generations face increasing dangers. As courageous, creative change-makers we have the opportunity and moral authority to change the social, political, and economic structures that cause injustice and climate chaos. Youth are standing up for our fundamental right to inherit a stable and survivable planet.
  • 17 Years of Getting Afghanistan Completely Wrong

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    While many of us forget, David Swanson urges us to remember. And to do something about it. Swanson reminds us that the war in Afghanistan drags on, even as Americans ignore its ongoing tragedies.
  • The Accusation That Wouldn't Go Away

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    RobertKoehler from Chicago is one of my favorite observers of our complicated culture. What I like so much about him is his clear-eyed compassion for all people and honest assessment of hypocrisy when we fail to live up to our professed ideals. I know of no one who writes more eloquently and economically about social justice - particularly our many varieties of racism, about the insidiousness of militarism, about wealth disparity, and now particularly about the crisis of climate change.
  • Voting for the Lesser of Evils

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    Since I've been old enough to vote -- 50 years now -- I've felt, except maybe once or twice, that I was voting for the lesser of evils.That problem was acute in the run up to the 2016 election, and already I'm hearing people say about the 2018 midterm: no matter who it is, if it's Democrat, you've got to vote for it.
  • The Museum of Liberation

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    This morning I was listening to a podcast by Bryan Stevenson, a recent AWTT portrait. Many of you know that he and his organization, the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, recently opened a new museum which tells two stories. One part tells the story of the ongoing systemic transformations of racism in this country, from Slavery to Mass Incarceration.
  • The Million Women’s March January 21, 2017

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    What happened?This was not a protest. It was a clarification. A realignment.It was not an aggrieved victim struggling to have her lonely voice heard as she implores power to hear truth.It was power speaking to power. Legitimate power speaking to illegitimate power. It was a global, universal tweet speaking to an arrogant twit.The phoenix shaking off the ashes.It was liberation speaking to domination. Diversity speaking to white patriarchy.The heart of freedom speaking to the heel of oppression.