Category Archives: Words

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate

I will not be the first to observe that Al Franken—that’s Senator Al Franken to you—is a very funny guy. Bette and I went to hear him here in Portland as part of a Father’s Day extravaganza. [1] Today I … Continue reading

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Why am I doing this?

I would like to thing about two questions today. The first is “WHY am I doing this” The second is “Why am I doing THIS?” I want to think, in other words, about motivation and discernment. Motivation. A motivation is … Continue reading

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Tolerance as position and direction

Tolerance June 6 I want you to picture a scene in which a really dumb guy is having his picture taken at the edge of the cliffs of Moher. “I can frame this picture better,” says the picture taker (probably a … Continue reading

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A “peace flag” for the U. S.

I learned while we in Ireland earlier this month that the Irish flag expresses a hope for peace between Protestants and Catholics. [1] Orange is a color that has been associated with Protestantism every since William of Orange defeated James … Continue reading

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North Carolina. First and Last in Flight

I was an early fan of the saying, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” When I was young, my mother thought that I mostly wasted mine and I wouldn’t want to argue that she was wrong. On the … Continue reading

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What you said is so misunderstandable

The current political climate is so polarized and so hostile that “misunderstanding” is almost taken for granted. What I say presupposes not the common context of communication, but only my own or those of the group I belong to. Liberals … Continue reading

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It’s only natural

“It’s only natural” seems like an easy thing to say. I hear it a lot. Most of the time I attend only to what it does–it excuses things– rather than what it means.  Today, thanks to a comment by Scarlett … Continue reading

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