Fondly Remembering Obama and Edie Windsor – 9/13/2017

President Barack Obama meets with Edith Windsor, February 14, 2014 (From Obama Photographer Pete Souza via Instagram)

Edith Windsor, the gay-rights activist who fought for, and achieved, a Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage, died yesterday at age 88.

Wondering why a few conservative friends are less than impressed.

9/11: Remembering Victims of Collective Hatred

He was the office hothead. He often took it to laughable lengths. One incident in particular produced a permanent image in my mind.

It was a small, struggling company, and it was hard to start an advancement program. It was a technological company with no formal training and development. So I proposed to management a series of lunchtime training sessions organized by employees. We would bring our lunches to a conference room once a week and take turns teaching each other from books we bought together.

Eventually, management began showing some enthusiasm. They offered to buy our next set of books. They began buying lunch for those participating. That’s where my hotheaded friend came in. “Pizza!” he said in disgust. “Every damn week, Pizza! If they don’t give us something different, I’m not coming anymore.”

It was emblematic of his always-on-edge personality. Glass half shattered.

So when I showed up for work that day and was greeted by an especially sour welcome, it made me laugh. “You watch television this morning?” he asked. Nope. Then, shouting: “What the HELL is wrong with you?”

Then my smile was replaced by horror. Someone had rescued a training television from some training room. A tall building was burning. People were dying as we watched.

Future generations who watch replays of television coverage of September 11 destruction will never know how it really was to experience it for the first time.
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Celebration at bin Laden’s Death

What sort of individual would have offered thousands of innocent people the choice of burning to death in an inferno or jumping from buildings famous for their height? At first, bin Laden denied involvement in, or even prior knowledge of, the attacks of a decade ago. But videotapes of this comic book villain were soon discovered as he gloated in the aftermath, boasting that the attacks had exceeded his expectations. He only expected the topmost floors of the towers to collapse, he said on tape to a confidant. He and cronies dined and cheered as entire buildings fell, thrilled as those killed multiplied.

Just as Japanese Americans bore the brunt after Pearl Harbor, unjustly conflated with the militarists of the Empire of Japan, so Muslims became identified by many Americans as terrorists. There are differences, to be sure. The bigotry of today does not have the cover of official action. In those days, Americans of Japanese descent were rounded up wholesale and herded into concentration camps. Today, Americans who worship God at mosque have been subjected to harassment, discrimination, and occasional violence, but President Bush, followed by President Obama, maintained a distinction. We are not fighting against Islam, but rather against terrorism.

Rage is often misdirected. It is a sad and cloudy part of the human experience. A deed so monstrous deserves authorship from a larger evil than mere evidence can show. It has been that way through history. Those of us who felt the pain of assassination knew on a visceral level that some widespread conspiracy had to have been at play. How else to explain the loss of a President Kennedy, an almost President Kennedy, and a prophet of human rights in the person of Martin Luther King? The mafia, or the CIA, or the USSR, or the Klan had to have been behind it.
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alt-Weather, alt-Violence, Missing Tribute, DACA, Ryan Karma

Ethnic Logic: Children to Become Strangers in a Strange Land


I cannot claim to be diligent about exercise.

It has been years since I ran or even walked for any purpose other than getting some short distance away.


It isn’t a defiance of mild medical admonition, exactly. It’s more an issue of time. Sometimes what is most important is not what is most urgent. At least that’s the story I tell myself.

I still see folks as I commute. You can tell the people doing their daily obligation to health and wellbeing. They do the same thing I sometimes did in my less sedentary days. I carried a stick. It was for a couple of reasons.

It signaled to me that it was time to adopt a fitness persona. Tired? Keep running because I had the stick.

But it was also for early morning or late night protection. I’m pretty big and kind of dopey looking. So nobody is likely to bother me. And walking in most neighborhoods is safer than you might think. But why take chances?

So I see folks walking or running with their sticks in hand, and I know they’re exercising.

A few years ago, one early morning walker in Montgomery, Alabama, suddenly found himself surrounded by police. Officers from two patrol cars were joined by another on a motorcycle. They questioned the man. Did he just come from South Perry Street? As questioning went on, the reason became apparent. The police had a report of someone walking with a crowbar.
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