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New York Burning – a Review

Burned at the StakeNew York City, 1741 Worse than the Salem Witch Trials were the reactive trials and horrid executions of slaves in New York city in 1741.  Oh, how thoughts can be twisted to justify unjust cruelty! I got attracted to this topic and author when finishing up my talks on Thomas Jefferson.  Slavery was far more varied and widespread than I had known.  While reading an article by Jill Lepore, professor of History at Harvard, I was so attracted to her easily-readable, comma-laden…

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An Atheist Embalmer Prays for the Pope

https://youtu.be/IZ-wJMIPXX0 I gladly welcome you, Pope Francis, to this video of my prayer for you. Although I wish to speak into your eyes, I know others may tune into this if only for the provocative title, and if so, welcome!  What follows is a reenactment of a sermon I presented to a mall Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Grants Pass, Oregon.  I was hoping to send a video copy to the pope.  However, the camera didn’t work, so I’m reconstructing it here for his and your…

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Thomas Jefferson Then and Now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9526P6UlcJY&t=26s A video of my presentationThe text version is available below Thomas Jefferson Then and Now I am honored to speak to the Jefferson Center here in the State of Jefferson, entertained by Jefferson Public Radio – on the topic Jefferson Then and Now.  The Jefferson Center takes its name from Thomas Jefferson. Among many ideals associated with him, we are especially drawn to the ideals of curiosity, reason, inquiry, learning, and freedom of thought. Jefferson opposed intellectual or moral authoritarianism of any kind, advocating…

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Pope Francis

My shortened version of Pope Francis’ 2015 papal letter on the environment and the poor.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME This is my (BBC’s) paraphrased (shortened) version of Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical Letter. This summary is in preparation for my impending sermon “An Atheist Embalmer Prays for the Pope." Key: My paraphrase of Francis’ letter are written in blue, while the copy/paste sentences are all black. When Pope Francis quotes another, I try to keep the quote marks apparent. My rare comments will be in bold. “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore”…

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My Crash and Ours

Three weeks ago, I had a bike crash I can’t remember.  I’m finally able to walk and cough without too much pain, but other than some scrapes and bruises, I’m okay and grateful.  I’m mostly grateful that I don’t seem to have lasting brain damage (my concussion left me with no memory of the crash, ambulance trip, and most of the hospital).  For the first week I could barely walk.  Rolling over in bed was an ordeal.  Thinking was slow.  But the crash left me…

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Me, You, and War

I was born only two hours before the atomic bomb annihilated Hiroshima, so don’t blame me for it.  You and I are born into hate-ridden tragedies usurping hopeful visions of kindness, justice, and mutual happiness.  Perhaps you agree. Nor should I (or you) be blamed for Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, or the wars on Central America, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or the needless new ones brewing on Venezuela and Iran.  Please don’t blame me for my country’s growing alliances with murderous dictators and dangerous war-mongers…

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The French Broad, Thomas Jefferson, And A Holy Hope

The French Broad, Thomas Jefferson, and a Holy Hope

Sure, Thomas Jefferson was the sort of man who appreciated the French and their women, but in this case, the “broad” refers to a wide, flat ancient river.  Lets review the river and the man towards our honoring both by living up to who we could yet be. I've left the cold of an Oregon winter for the cold of North Carolina's western mountains.  I'm five miles out of Marshall, NC, former Madison County seat, now home to about 400 residents supporting three cafes, two…

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Fake Truth

The truth is all the rage these days - claimed by those who subvert it.  We need to rise above the confusion, collusion, and delusion to be whole with who we are and what we really know.  The Blind Saint of Vrindivan, who I met in India, says we are viveka (inner knowing) that shines on aviveka (untruth, not-us).  By seeing aviveka and renouncing it we grow free from illusions and lies, and we come to live from our own precious center. Dance Freely with…

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Bong Iran!

See at Avaaz and Zazzle/Bonoville We're in the midst on yet another pre-war round of dehumanizing an "enemy."  Iran isn't our enemy.  However, murderous hawks in our own government try to set them up as enemies.  We're supplying Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons currently being inflicted on the hapless residents of Yemen, who the Saudis fear and attack.  This is the same Saudi Arabia that murdered the journalist Kashoggi, hacked apart his pathetic body, and (so far) gotten away with…

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Good Earthkeeping Tools and Trends for November, 2018

Why do this?  I continue to gather news that tells of those tools andtrends that affect our global situation.  While some don't care about newtechnologies and policies, I think both are crucial in rescuing us from theplight of global warming and similar problems for life on earth, primarily for humans, but for plants and animals too.  Positive tools and trends are even more important and are included here along with the blunders and bummers. I used to do these reports at my radio show at KSKQ. …

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