Welcome

WELCOME TO THE GREEN PEN!

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.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

And so here we go once again, almost a weekly ritual of so-called leaders (and all of us) offering thoughts and prayers for bereaved families. When are we going to take some action to avoid future such bereaved families? And by action, I'm not just talking the usual litany regarding controlling the prevalence of guns in our society. Nor am I talking about giving more attention to mental health issues. Yes, both of those are absolutely necessary and long overdue. But even that wouldn't be getting at the root causes of such mass shootings.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The President does NOT speak for the United States

I want the world to know, and I hope others join me in this, that Mr. Trump and his administration do not speak for me, nor even, in my opinion, the United States of America. 

When it is said the "the United States" voted against the UN resolution condemning the United States for its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, or "the United States" has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords, or “the United States” has isolated itself from and lost credibility in the world, it would be more accurate to say "the Trump Administration" has done those things. The majority of Americans, and even of those who voted in the last election, did not vote for him. Even more important, his actions, especially the bullying and extortion tactics, are not congruent with American values or ethos. They are not who we are as a people. So what he says and does, do not represent the United States of America.


I call upon the rest of the world to bear with us while we transit this dark night and can emerge once again into the light.


Love will prevail!


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.