.Columns & Editorials

Aug 3, 2022

The Cynics’ Monkey Wrench: Creating context in an era of chaos

If you depart from an “us vs. them” philosophy of life, your first confrontation is likely to be with the cynics. Last week, for instance, I wrote about the weekend I spent, a decade ago, getting handgun training from the NRA—and what I learned, which is that the things you...
Jun 15, 2022

Humility: America too suffers from nostalgic delusion

Humility is endless.”—T.S. Eliot Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin declared that he wants Russia weakened. Of course, he meant militarily weakened. Still, his words summoned an echo of Versailles in 1919, when the complete humiliation of Germany planted...
Jun 8, 2022

The War Within Ourselves: The heart is mightier than the sword

They’re coming for me! Sounds like a horror movie on permanent rewind through the brain, through the soul. Catch your breath, buy a gun. What other choice do you have? It’s called, among other things, “white replacement theory”—but...
Jun 1, 2022

No Lone Wolves: Beyond gun control, we need hatred control

Another terrorist slips into the classroom, into the news. Does anyone understand this? Even if guns are easily, readily available, why, why, why? I find it impossible even to be angry—it’s hard to be angry under incomprehensible circumstances. Instead,...
May 25, 2022

The Coming Old New Order: From Cold War to Cold War

A principal lesson of the war in Ukraine is that the Cold War never ended. German reunification, the Soviet Union’s collapse, new entries in NATO, democratic springs in Poland and Hungary, Ukraine’s independence, the removal of nuclear...
May 18, 2022

A Promise to Our Kids: We won’t kill you

At a certain point, as I was reading the book I’d recently been sent, a strange transformation began occurring: Gradually, as I moved ever deeper into it, I wasn’t so much reading as quietly singing a hymn...
May 11, 2022

End the Culture Wars: Putin’s war will not be on the ballot, but democracy...

Historical memory can fade over time. Born in 1942, I've watched it happen.  We lost sight of the cruelty of fascism and authoritarian rule and how indispensable free democratic societies are to world peace and well being. Over...
May 4, 2022

Assessing Bad Behavior: Floy Andrews mounts campaign against Contra Costa County’s ‘Bad Boy’

For Floy Andrews, her master of science degree in bioethics from Columbia University is as important as her 15 years as an attorney in her quest to become Contra Costa County’s next assessor. This makes sense, since the...
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