Thursday, September 6, 2012

An Empty Chair

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Commencement Address, May 28, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Strategic Foreclosure (or: When Capitalism Met Socialism, a Love Story)

I’ve been watching, with a vested interest I must add, to the “collective bargaining” legislation that has worked its way through the State Houses of Wisconsin and Ohio and is now the law of both lands.  My interest comes from my not-so-unusual circumstance of having a family full of educators and teachers.  I myself took a turn at that role and found it both harder than I ever knew and more rewarding than I ever knew.  To be fair, I know very few people who do not have a teacher or an educator very near them on their family tree.  I am against these laws, specifically Senate Bill 5 which applies to me in Ohio.  I am not opposed to the law because of my family, however.  I am opposed to any law which decides it can unilaterally determine that a contract bargained for in good faith can be opened and cancelled by the State, in any fashion. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Words and Weapons

My son came home from school today and wanted to have a conversation with me about the events of this weekend in Tucson, AZ.  Obviously, we both agreed that it was reprehensible.   I said it has disturbed me a great deal.  One of our leaders was shot, point blank, in the back of the head, while doing what we asked of her to do.  It was an attempted assassination that caused (among others) a nine year-old girl to part forever from her parents.  One of our leaders lost most of her God-given liberties because someone felt that his liberty to judge her mattered more.  We hear of tragedy similar to this every day.  And murders occur across this land frequently.  Somehow, for me, the context of this event was one that transcended the norm.  It made me feel uncomfortable – almost like I was waiting for something bad to happen or that I was somehow a part of why it could since I am a frequent participant in the national conversation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Block and Tackle: The Right to Debate

It happened today, rather early this morning.  From a computer terminal far, far, away someone logged into to their Facebook group and scanned the postings of its members.  They found mine, a post left wondering if the vitriol spewed forth in my direction was the meaning or intent of the group.  “Choose America First” finds itself with a great patriotic name, a great logo, and a good sounding board.  Aimed at conservatives and Republicans, it is one of many now drowning the voices of reason into deep waters of hateful rhetoric.  It is really too bad, a waste of this broad platform.  “Choose” has 27,000 members, but is dominated by one or two loud voices.  These few voices communicate only fear and hate in their written words; voices of venom rather than ideas.  These are the voices that close doors and shut down the conversations of Americas’ future.  When you hear the cries of ultra-right racism and hate speech, tone deaf orators…it isn’t a universally true accusation; but it is founded in the voices overwhelming debates in groups such as this.  So, not as the yelling but as the yelled at, I was blocked; no longer allowed to participate in the rabid conversation of right-wing poli-speak.  Blocked for what – panic and fear and name-calling?  No.  Removed from the conversation simply for disagreement; simply for providing another view.  For nothing more than simply demanding that conservatives be conservatives, that Right doesn’t always mean right and that Red has a lot to make up for.  Simply, because my speech isn’t free in this smaller world of radicalism and blind fear.