The past couple of weeks seem to have awakened white Americans to the reality of systemic racism in our law enforcement community. Nationwide protests have erupted after four police officers literally murdered a handcuffed black man while bystanders were pleading for officers to stop their assault on him. With clear video of the murder, there is new hope and growing consensus that this time may be different. I desperately hope that is true. But there is a substantial difference between hope and expectation.
I am sure some Americans, especially younger ones, are wondering how to interpret what is happening in our country with all the rioting, looting, and burning of our cities. We have been here before in the 1960s and sporadically on smaller scales since. So as a person who lived through the worst of those earlier times I offer my perspective, especially for my younger readers.
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn – Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes is one of the founders of Facebook. Through his own experience he came to conclude that hard work mixed with a very large measure of pure luck can produce a few ultra-wealthy individuals nearly overnight. He believes that the same forces that made Facebook possible, however, make it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet. I read this book when it was first published a couple of years ago; I decided to re-visit and reconsider his perspective in light of the our current economic reality.
Why We’re Polarized – Ezra Klein
Author Klein is editor-at-large and cofounder of VOX, the “explanatory” news organization. For those not familiar with that term, it means current news stories presented within their broader context. Klein uses that contextual approach to explain why we as a nation are so politically polarized and what we might do to mitigate it.
Following is a letter I sent to Vice President Biden related to my preferences for a Vice Presidential running mate. Whether or not you agree, I am at least of record with my feelings
Following is a letter to the editor I submitted to the Columbus Dispatch after the Ohio Governor closed all non-essential businesses:
The Green New Deal – Jeremy Rifkin
The author defines the concept of the proposed Green New Deal in fairly specific terms. He makes the case that whether politicians like it or not market forces are already making it happen, though not fast enough. He calls this epoch “The Third industrial Revolution” and says it will fundamentally change humanity.
The Nation City – Why Mayors are now Running the World – Rahm Emanuel
As the name implies the author makes the case that nation states have generally failed to meet the needs of citizens, and that cities under good mayoral leadership are filling the void. He uses Chicago during his two terms as one example.
I sent letters to Senators Brown and Portman as well as Representative Stivers with the following text. I know that and $2 will buy a cup of coffee, but at least I have expressed my feelings. And of course I know the issue is more complex than I describe, but it is the framework for the approach I think we should be taking.
In the first part of this presentation I addressed my thinking about religion in general and my personal spiritual position. In this part I want to discuss Christianity in the United States. Specifically, I want to present my concerns about what I see as serious corruption within part of the Christian community and in one case a dangerous threat to our democracy: