Bring Your Best or Forfeit Your Country

In the January/February 1996 Harvard Business Review, 21 years ago, economist Paul Krugman ran out the ways countries are not businesses. The ways successful business people cannot automatically apply their skill sets to steering a nation and its economy. At the same time, he admitted that economists could not, without considerable extra expertise, run successful businesses. Krugman writes, “Let me begin with two examples of economic issues that I have found business executives… Read More

Eight Years Ago – Listening to American Voices

Today, eight years ago, I was just across the threshold into a giant project. A listening project. Only 16 days earlier, on New Year’s Eve, I’d decided to take time off from work so I could drive around the country with a flip camera to record the voices of  everyday Americans. I would start the day after the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States – Barack Obama. I would… Read More

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

Halloween, 2015: Brought to you by…

A few days ago, Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Oregon.  With that proclamation, she urged citizens of Oregon to join in observances of the vast contributions of American Indian peoples to the well-being of the state and country. Essentially, this is a reminder.  Each state’s governor may issue state-specific proclamations related to designations of months to honor groups of people.  November has… Read More

3084 Miles of Road

“We’ve just driven the entire length of Interstate 84,” Sara said, “and we’re only in Utah.” She was in the driver’s seat at that moment, and we were 500+ miles east of Portland, Oregon – the hometown we’d left at sunrise, encased in a rectangular cube of mostly yellow – a rental truck filled up with Sara’s 28-year lifetime of belongings. For a mom and daughter, this is one of those big… 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

50 Years after Bloody Sunday – Where is Elderhood?

  ANSWER:  It’s in every one of us. Really. Even in the headliners criticized by the vast and varied media.  Overt or latent, Elderhood ™ is in you and it’s in me.  It’s in Obama.  It’s in Boehner.  It’s in Netanyahu. And, most surely, Elderhood ™ is in John Lewis and each of the original Selma foot soldiers gathered today to remember Bloody Sunday – the horror they survived 50 years ago… Read More

Truth & Reconciliation – No Better Time than Right Now

Last night, I saw a video of renown science fiction author, Ursula Leguin, speaking at the National Book Awards in acknowledgement of receiving that august group’s recognition of her life of literary achievement.  In her comments, she said, “I think hard times are coming. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries, the realists of a larger reality.” Right after hearing LeGuin’s words, we heard the news from Ferguson, Missouri that… Read More

Children at the Border

A few updates from Scott: 7.July – Thanks Mary. I am going to be here two more weeks. It is quieter here so far today. The plane load left and the numbers are down from yesterday. I met Caesar this morning, he is by himself, 11 years old and was brought over by a coyote from Mexico. I have an app on my iPhone that helps me communicate with the kids. Since it is… Read More

Billy Frank — This is what Enduring Looks Like

A great man has left this life – the one we know together here on the bold curve of our planet.  Billy Frank, a Nisqually Indian man who was born and lived his whole life long – all 83 years – among the people of the Nisqually Tribe, among the tribal people of the Columbia River, of the Pacific Northwest, of North America, of the globe.  He accepted no slight to Native… Read More