It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

An Apology!

I really dislike having to do this, but too many people are misusing the internet and flooding my posts with spam comments. So I  have set the switch to require review of comments before they go public.

For legitimate commenters, my apologies for any delay in your comments being posted. For spammers, my recommendation is to get a life! You'll definitely be happier for it, believe me. As will we all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On Richard Dawkins, Liberals, and Islamophobia

Last week, the Commonwealth Club of California hosted a discussion with British scientist Richard Dawkins. Moderated by journalist and Stanford media fellow Mary Ellen Hannibal, the main focus of the conversation was Dawkins’ new book, Science in the Soul. Dawkins, a famously devout pooh-pooh-er of all things religious and/or spiritual, was quick to point out that the title of the book did not signal a miraculous conversion of some sort from his own religious beliefs, i.e., atheism, reason, and observation-based evidence.

In the course of an hour-long conversation that touched deeply on many topics relating to science, the scientific method, evolutionary biology, and the future of humanity, one questioner from the audience asked him, “Are liberals afraid of Islam?” 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Of Business, Law, and Love

Upon occasion I reread some of my past journal entries. The following thoughts are extracted and adapted from the entry for September 29, 1998. I’d totally forgotten about it until seeing it again just now...

While meditating, the concept of lawyers and law kept running through my mind. I was thinking about an idea paper I’d recently written and daydreaming that a prominent thinker, teacher, and philosopher (who shall remain nameless here) was adopting my idea for a new project of his and making money with it. We were in discussions about what if any royalty or recognition I would want for having originated the idea.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Without rules, what’s a rebel to do??

Rules of grammar, in this case, but the question could apply in any context.

According to Kory Stamper, a writer of (of all things) dictionaries at Merriam-Webster, there’s no logical basis for a law that says it’s wrong to wantonly split an infinitive. Even more startling, I can even pick any preposition I like to end a sentence with! And, as if that weren’t enough, its historically and grammatically consistent to drop the apostrophe from the “it-is” contraction and to put one in it’s possessive.

Just another sign that the world of order and certainty is crumbling into chaos! Definitely a good time to practice living in the not knowing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Doctrine of Discovery - I Want to Cry!

I am on the verge of tears. Just heard/read about the Doctrine of Discovery that was the legal and “moral” basis for 500 years of European and Christian subjugation of peoples and lands anywhere and everywhere in the world, and is still enshrined and enforced to this day in U.S. case law.