An Elephant on Fire

From time to time, a bad habit bursts into flame. Most bad habits are, by definition, world views and behaviors that don’t necessarily play well. But, for the most part, they stay at a level low enough to be ignored. Chewing on fingernails, for example. Interrupting is another one. Some of these bad habits arise from social agreements about the worth of people that just aren’t fair – that erase dignity. And… Read More

Death, a Rainbow & Ethical Journalism

Yesterday, my little sister, Nancy Jones, posted another of her brilliant and honest posts as a frequent contributor to Daily Kos.  Her writing was centered on her friend Zot Lynn Szurgot. On September 7, Zot, one of my sister’s nearest and dearest friends was killed on a Georgia highway when a semi ran a stop and plowed into her car. She was just through another good day on site for completing a solar… Read More

Slow Down. Learn. Wake Up and Do What ONLY YOU Can Do to Save the World.

Brussels is in lockdown following explosions that killed dozens last night. ISIS is claiming responsibility. This morning, The Dallas Morning News reported on a Frisco, TX football coach who resigned in January after threatening black and Latino athletes: “You see that rope over there, you see that tree back there? I’m going to hang you in that tree. I’m going to hang you by your toes.” And throughout the day, the most hostile presidential race in my… Read More

Visual Data – Truth or Dare

For all you graphic data nerds out there (and I freely admit I stand among you), a few thoughts on statistics. Perhaps a good starting place – correlation. Correlation is the way fluctuations in measurement of separate variables or outcomes match up. Like the way we keep seeing cigarette smoking correlating highly with lung cancer. The problem with correlation – or perhaps better said, the inherent limitation – is that correlation alone may… Read More

2016 – Heroes on the Threshold

This is in no way a complete list. It can’t be. One distinct generosity of my life is that it has brought so many brilliantly inspiring people of integrity and courage. So while these are the ones I’m thinking of right now, do know there are many many more – lots of you reading this, for example! Michelle Browder – Montgomery, Alabama – was and is tireless in her planning, belief, and… Read More

Report from Afghanistan

Guest Blog:  Zaher Wahab, Ph,D, zwahab@auaf.edu.af NOTE:  This just in from my mentor, friend and colleague, Zaher Wahab.  This is Zaher’s second guest blog to this site.  He continues as the director of the graduate program in Education with American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).  While still a professor in the graduate school at Lewis & Clark College, Zaher gave years of service to the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan.  That led him, upon retirement,… Read More

Privilege Highway

Recently I had the chance to visit with a long time friend, colleague and leader in the African American community.  We found ourselves speaking of the urgently needed, but still largely inactive national dialogue on America’s race history and relations.  He told me this story: “My friend was working with a group of teens at a local high school.  There were black, brown and white students in the group.  My friend had… Read More

Backward Thinking

Since 1996, I’ve included a suggestion in several syllabi for graduate courses.  Each of the courses was required in the curriculum of students preparing as social science practitioners:  therapists, educators, public administrators.  Each had significant content drawn from scientific knowledge bases.  And, because I was teaching them, each had significant content devoted to artistry. It’s been three decades since I made the decision to become an academic and devote my work life… Read More

Afghanistan in the Days around Christmas

  Over the past week, I’ve received three email messages from my friend Zaher Wahab.  Each of them was written across the time he and his colleagues in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) were in lock down – a rather horrifying protective captivity complete with razor wire, massively thick concrete walls, deep basements, and heavily armed guards on the grounds.  And, as Zaher says, a situation that is finally a privilege… Read More

Brain Development in Times of Torture

  What we need here isn’t balls.  What we need is a big collection of myelinating orbitofrontal cortices. And we need it ASAP. Considering the many Elders I know, the many more of whom I’m aware, and the millions I have every reason to trust are out there, it’s my considered guess that we have all the developed brains we need to be far more wise than we are being. Unfortunately, those… Read More