Category: "Holidays"

A Common Enterprise

A Common Enterprise

unsplash-logoMalte Wingen

So here's the thing about labor. We should celebrate those who work hard to give us the life we've got. It doesn't take a lot of imagination, or a long course in history to see that imbalances in power can lead to a pretty gruelling life for those who would be employed.

And working people fought hard and they fought justly for what should have been their natural right to organize and negotiate for fair conditions and wages.

That said, they would not have had anything to fight for if it hadn't been for the visionaries who worked hard to organize labor into productive enterprises.

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Memorial Day, 2018

Memorial Day, 2018

unsplash-logoKapil Dubey

I think it's worth honoring this day not only those who gave their lives, but also that which would compel a person to serve in the first place.

And this is an idea, enshrined in our constitution, that each and every person matters, that each voice be allowed to speak, and that we, all of us, are adult enough to be able to bear the thoughts and ideas of others, that the worst that will happen is that we will learn something.

They died that we may be free, that we may have the opportunity to take responsibility for our own lives, that we may invent, and grow, and pray, and play, and be ourselves.

And we may remember too that we made mistakes along the way, that people died and suffered who didn't need to, that people still do. But this doesn't dim the vision.

We are human. We are not perfect. But we do hold to a vision, to an ideal, to the notion that striving for it is worth our while and our lives.

And it is the men and women who have served that made this life and the near limitless opportunity before us possible.

Thank You. May we live our lives so as to honor what you have bequeathed us.

July 4, 2017

So I was listening to a discussion on about Mayor DeBlasio's plan to shut Rikers Prison.

You all know I come from the right. As you can imagine, Mayor DiBlasio does not get high ratings in my circles. But in this case, I agree with him.

It took me a minute to notice it, but my gut reaction is to dismiss anything out of his mouth or office as a symptom of the sickness of the left. And I do the same with a lot of the mouthpieces of the left. And then I asked myself does this attitude really add anything to the marketplace of ideas?

Yes, I think some people are wrong—especially in their methods—most of the time. But I also believe, at least at some level, that most politicians really do—or at least one time did—have a commitment to create a better world.

And I also know that the best negotiators rarely say no. If you want to keep the conversation going, you are much better with a “Yes, but…”

And when we are talking politics, or bandying about ideas in this marketplace, it seems to me we should always look at what we have in common first.

“I absolutely agree that we should all be able share our ideas, but does that mean I have to agree?…”

“Yes, I also care for every human life, and I agree that people use guns to kill other people, but maybe the constitution guarantees our right for a greater purpose.…”

“I agree that people should have access to health care, but maybe this is an issue best left to the states.…”

“We both want to educate and prepare our kids for the future. Let's take a look at what really has been working.…”

So my invitation to you this holiday is to exercise your independence. Open your mouth. Share what you think. But first, listen. Listen for what you have in common. It's often easy to see our differences. But we've got a lot in common too. And maybe we can learn something that will help carry us all forward, together.

Let's celebrate our Freedoms by using them. Let's talk.

Memorial Day 2017

I'm almost done reading Mr. Tuvia Tenenbom's rather depressing book The Lies They Tell. (Welcome to the real America, a place you call home but don't yet know!) One of his themes is that Americans are afraid.

And it's not that we are afraid of the rest of the world. We are afraid of ourselves. In the land that celebrates free speech, people are afraid to speak their mind, we don't want to tell you who we voted for, or what we really think for fear of how it will look.

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