Category Archives: Commentary

Trains, Trees and The President

I am sitting in a hotel room listening to the President of the United States talking about the economy, the recession and rebuilding America to a strength greater than before. I came to this place in order to participate in a meeting on Wednesday that has nothing to do with the economy and then I will return home. My trip here was via rail transportation. I used to drive to this meeting, but today I chose to come by rail. It was an expansive experience…

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Child Killers

The news headlines are: “An 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy blew away his father’s eight-months-pregnant fiancée – then calmly got on the bus and went to school.” “Arizona 9-year-old pleads guilty in shooting death.” How do we understand children as killers? Reports of kids and guns are all to frequent. The incidents are isolated, but the story is always the same. A kid, a child, gets a gun and shoots someone and we all say to ourselves, how could that happen? Somehow, in our society, we need…

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Memories and Wisdom from Past Friends

I remember interviewing Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon many years ago about aging. They were both in their mid sixties at the time and both still very active and successful writers and actors. They sat on the couch in their living room in New York City. At one point I asked them what was the most difficult thing about getting older. In unison they said, “losing your friends.” Ruth then expounded on the statement. She said, “My advice to all who are entering old age…

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Language

I’ve edited some of the information, but this is the essence of an Associated Press story out of Paris and the genesis of this post. “PARIS (AP) — Only one native speaker of Livonian remains on Earth, in Latvia. The Alaskan language Eyak went extinct last year when its last surviving speaker passed away.Those are just two of the nearly 2,500 languages that UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, says are in danger of becoming extinct or have recently disappeared. That’s out…

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