Thursday, May 23, 2024



When I was a child courses in American History included several units on the history and construction of the Constitution and on the governance structure of the nation. Politics and political structure were barely mentioned. Today I looked at a textbook in which political structure and opweration overshadowed the organization and operation of our government.

Political organizations rule the roost. Candidates are chosen mostly as a result of technical evaluations from paid consultants, not by what they stand for. They get a political label. Media reports focus as often on their political affiliations as they do on the stated positions of the elected officials.

And we voters have largely bowed to those patterns. We have stopped choosing candidates on the basis of what they stand for (or say they do) and instead we look at their endorsement labels from a political party. In many place you can’t have your name as a candidate on an official ballot without meeting certain political party status. Party status has become more important than position on issues.

For a majority of voters, it appears to be more important what political labels you wear, than what you say you stand for. And will work for.

The real question that becomes so very important in the coming presidential election is not which political party will win the White House, but whether democracy will suffer another possibly seminal blow to its future. Presidents do not have the power of CEOs, but the Congress of these United States do carry that power and that responsibility.

Saturday, May 18, 2024


It's almost three on a sunny afternoon. Feeding time. The green rustling canopy overhead has nearly reached its maturity. above it, on silent still wings, hawk and eagle soar silently on the gentle updrafts.They peer down, seeking prey. One, my friendly striped and long-tailed critter, pauses, hearing or smelling the danger signs I cannot dcipher. Then she continues cautiously from spilled seeds to spilled seeds, filling her pouches for unseen children in her den. The predator birds soar away and as always happens in our green yard at about the same time every day, the songbirds appear for afternoon tea. One can almost see the downward departure of the feed from the hanging feeders. A lone hummer comes by to check out the new sugar water tube. Crowded on the branches of the oak black walnut trees are four or five varieties of sparrow, six kinds of woodpecker in line at the suet cage and orioles, cardinals, and a host of  other small birds in for afternoon tea. In the background, the purring sound of a distant mower, and a lone black bird with shining head dive bombs the big wind chime, providing musical interlude against squacking jays and goldfinches. Peace abounds in the neighborhood. All is well in the valley.

Thursday, May 16, 2024


 Canadian author, literary Nobel Prize winner and tireless women's advocate, Alice Munro has died at 92. She was a wonderful writer, master of the language, especially the short story. She published collections of her work and was just a lovely person to boot. Everybody who ever reads short stories will miss her contributions. R.I.P. Alice Munro.