Russia and Ukraine

Three Short Articles on What We’re Not Learning from the Mainstream Media Ukraine and its hero, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Russia and its authoritarian strongman, Vladimir Putin, threatening Ukraine and thumbing his nose at the world. Good vs. evil. The mainstream media, even cable news pundits, all agree. It’s as simple as that. But it’s not as…

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The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule

The 2022 Freedom House Report Global freedom faces a dire threat. Around the world, the enemies of liberal democracy … are accelerating their attacks. Authoritarian regimes have become more effective at co-opting or circumventing the norms and institutions meant to support basic liberties, and at providing aid to others who wish to do the same. In…

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The Pale Blue Dot and Centering Prayer

In addition to Valentine’s Day, I want to reflect on two lesser-known anniversaries we also commemorate this February 14. The first. In the fall of 1977, NASA launched the Voyager I space probe; its primary mission was to explore Jupiter and Saturn, which it successfully did in 1979 and 1980, respectively. In addition to Jupiter…

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Amnesty International Calls Israel an Apartheid State

We Remember Jerry Lawson on Israel’s – and America’s – “Slaughter of the Innocents” Two significant things in my world happened early this past week: On Tuesday, Amnesty International joined Human Rights Watch, and two Israeli organizations, Yesh Din and B’Tselem, in issuing a report not only calling Israel an “apartheid state” committing “crimes against…

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The Neutering of Saints

Belated Thoughts on Martin Luther King Day  In August of 1619, a shipappeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that…

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Two January 6 Epiphanies: Insurrection and “The Second Coming”

Joan Didion, W. B. Yeats, and a Parable for Our Dystopian Times Stream of consciousness: “a narrative method that attempts to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind of the narrator.” That’s how this week’s blog came about, my friends. American author, social commentator, and essayist, Joan Didion, died on December…

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Desmond Tutu Was Badass

Desmond Tutu was badass. For the last week, from political and religious leaders, peace makers and activists, people of all faiths and no faith at all, accolades and tributes have poured out from all over the globe for the diminutive cleric with the infectious smile, a twinkle in his eye and disarming giggle, who often…

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Still

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,” the carol begins. Except it’s not so still in Bethlehem, and while the “silent stars go by,” the little town is surrounded by a 28-foot-tall wall, a concrete (in both senses of the term) metaphor of the Israeli settler-colonial ethnic cleansing of Bethlehem’s people. …

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Commemorating the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights

These are my opening comments, with a couple of additions, for the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace’s annual Commemoration of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Keynote Speaker for this year’s program was US Congressman, the Honorable Andre Carson, Indiana’s 7th District. On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke before…

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