Category Archives: Society

And he lies scarcely at all…

Scene 1: Saint Peter and a few angels are performing the daily ritual with some dice and a chart of the cardinal sins. They throw an 11, look at the chart and see what vice is on special today. Scene … Continue reading

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Juneteenth, 2020

I think I’d like to pay some attention to Juneteenth this year. I remember hearing about it before, but only from a distance. Since last June, I have been thinking about the increasingly wide divisions in this country and how … Continue reading

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Strong women

Where I live, people want women to be “strong.”  That is the official sentiment, at any rate.  That seems to me to be asking for too little.  Maybe I can introduce my concern by coming at it from the other … Continue reading

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What keeps me up at night

It’s not just worrying about things. I get roused out of sleep by new ideas, too. And I don’t really mind that. I wish I got more sleep, but I would hate to miss out on the ideas. I’m better … Continue reading

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The bird needed to be flipped

This very unusual expression was used—I am tempted to say “coined,” because I have never heard it before—by my friend, Bob Nightingale. He was describing a situation I didn’t see, myself, although I was there. But I knew what he … Continue reading

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Are we worth saving?

“Let me tell you something, my friend, Red says to Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, “hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” And that may be true. Or it may be the only thing that gives … Continue reading

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I wanna be a hero

I don’t know how it is with girls, but there is a persistent attraction among adolescent boys toward “heroism.” It can take really ugly forms as well as really attractive ones. I think there is nothing good or bad about … Continue reading

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Selling Providence

In these brief comments, I reflect on the way Providence (formally Providence Health and Services) markets itself.  At every Providence site I have seen—and I have seen many in the Portland area—these five framed posters are displayed.  It is a … Continue reading

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Why hating “religion” isn’t going to help anything

Timothy Egan posted a pointless rant in the New York Times today.  I don’t think it will do any damage because the only people who will get past the first several paragraphs are people who want to see a really … Continue reading

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And thank you, Mr. Tweedly

My niece, Lisa Hess (thank you, Lisa) reignited our family’s love of Stan Freberg’s humor this week.  For her, the occasion was a meeting with women writers in which she was supposed to “share something that shaped my love of … Continue reading

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