Duck – Duck – Eagle

Remember the game we played when we were little? The one who was “it” walked around the outside of a kiddo-circle tapping every next person on the head. “Duck.” “Duck.” “Duck.” “Duck.” “Duck.” “GOOSE!” Then the running commences. The “it” child takes off like a shot – running around the circle. The “goose” child tries to catch them. If caught, “it” stays “it” – if not, the new “it” starts making the duck/goose… Read More

Unplugged — a guest blog

Gary Ferguson is a writer.  His subject over the past 30 years has the natural world and the relationships we have with it as human beings.  His setting has most often been Yellowstone National Park, but here, in the first of two guest blogs, Gary tells of his three months with 14-17 year-olds in the desert wilderness of Utah.  People living these years are change-on-legs as far as my memory and observation… Read More

The VRA and Racism “the country’s original sin”

What a week. With a 68-32  margin, the U.S. Senate passed immigration reform – a heartening step even in the face of the subsequent response by the usual suspects in the House of Representatives rolling their eyes and offering sound bites that essentially communicate (again…), “in your dreams.”  In what likely stands as a more inspiring demonstration (and interpretation) of democratic action, Texas Senator, Wendy Davis together with thousands of citizens of… Read More

Violence May Thwart Public Voice, but the Ideas Won’t Go Away

My sister in Gainesville, Florida is recently back from Turkey — Istanbul and a rural city where she and her daughter worked a while on an organic olive farm.  The olive work was only perfect for getting to know the culture of rural Turkey a bit, but it was also the only way for these two women to travel together.  The younger is a college student, the older (celebrating her 50th with… Read More

Writing as a Woman in a Body — to T Akin et al

I think it’s time to say ENOUGH! I want to say that on two levels.   FIRST –> I and we (women and men) have had enough of you who persist in the archaic notion that you have dominion over women simply because of the differences in our genitals.  Really? I know and understand from experience how difficult it is to have unearned privilege questioned.  It feels like you’re losing something –… Read More

A Tough Guy’s Good Things List

This morning I had a conversation with a man named Gordon.  Gordon is in his 70’s.  He’s a big burly man who spent working life among the towering conifers of the Pacific Northwest.  To this day he still wears plaids, jeans, suspenders and heavy work boots.  His face and hands are sculpted by decades outdoors and his eyes are gray – brown like chips of smoky quartz. We sat at a sidewalk… Read More

SC to FLA – Why Read the 100 VOICES Blogs on the Primaries??

It looked like a done deal to lots of folks who are paid to make authoritative calls on such things.  Chances were slim, they said a week ago, that Gingrich, Perry or Santorum could stage a comeback in the South Carolina primary that took place last Saturday.  It’s heard of, but none of those campaigns appeared anywhere near as strong as Romney’s given the current playing field with its corporations=people, money=free speech rulebook. Enter… Read More

The Streets of London and a Bridge in Portland, OR

There are weeks when I think, “I have no idea what to write in this week’s blog.”  Really.  Lots of them.  Then, without fail, events turn.  They may be close in like with bus rides, or widespread like weather, or painful like the death of a dear one.  They can also seem to have nothing to do with one another, and then, out of the nowhere of random neuron firings, I see… Read More

Common Courtesy

It’s sunny in Portland OR and already in the 60’s at 12:24 p.m. on Saturday.  People are out everywhere and I’m walking west, nearing the center of the Steel Bridge, one of the ten bridges spanning the Willamette River and operated by the Port of Portland.  The water level is very high – highest since the flood of 1996.  As I walk onto the Steel Bridge, I’m guessing the bridge operators are… Read More


Early this morning, I read email from “a cultural insider of the hacker community.”  He’s a student in a class I’m teaching this term and was writing to clarify the term troll as it applies to internet hackers.  A NYT article I’d assigned had used that word in a story of a man who drew people with epilepsy to an internet site that, unknown to the web surfers, presented a sensory blast… Read More