Welcome to Ishmael’s Legacy
Summer has always been my favorite time of year. As a teacher, it means I have a few weeks off work, but even when I wasn’t a teacher I dearly loved the hot summer days, warm and breezy nights, the smell of neighborhood barbecues and freshly mown grass, days spent at the pool and enjoying … Continue reading The Order In Which It Was Received
Lin Manuel-Miranda is a musical genius. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. After watching and listening to “Hamilton” dozens of times I read the book by Ron Chernow that inspired the musical and I was blown away by Miranda’s ability to take complex relationships and situations and boil them down to a few … Continue reading Social Media Is NOT News
It seems like every day there’s another big crisis that we’re supposed to do something about. There’s another mass shooting, another forest fire raging out of control, another human rights atrocity in Africa, another hate crime committed against (insert any one of dozens of groups being singled out), more evidence of the horrible things we’ve … Continue reading America Suffering From Cruelty Sickness?
In 1987 Paramount announced that they were launching a reboot (a relatively new concept at the time) of their classic and iconic space opera, Star Trek. Like everyone else, I was dubious. After all, central to the enduring success of Star Trek was the relationship between Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. How good … Continue reading Getting Out of Your Mind
“Spiritual, but not religious” – Frequent pick on multiple-choice demographic questionnaires Over the past decade there has been a steady decline in the number of Americans who identify as Christian church-goes. According to a recent study, only 65% of respondents said they actively attend religious services, down from 77% to 65% in just the past … Continue reading Religious, But Not Spiritual
“A person is smart. but people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.” – Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black.I often sit around with friends talking about “the good old days” of Hollywood, the days when risks were taken, breathtaking advances were made and iconic movies defined our summer vacations. It was the age of … Continue reading Self-Fulfilling Headlines
“We didn’t know who we were, we didn’t know what we did…we were just on the road.” – from “On The Road” by John Denver It seems like these days it’s easier and easier to get caught up in the day-to-day struggle of keeping up with the speed of life. We have the demands of … Continue reading The Power of the Road Trip
“A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on.” – Mark Twain The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and … Continue reading Time To Restore The Fairness Doctrine
“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” – Marilyn Ferguson Not long ago I was dropping my daughter off at play rehearsal when I witnessed something truly astonishing. The procedure, of course, is that everyone has to have their temperature taken before entering the facility, and this is done … Continue reading Be Afraid! Very Afraid!!
“If we truly believe in a vibrant Democracy, then we must have the highest voter turnout in the world.” – US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) For over a week now I’ve been stewing on the voter suppression effort currently underway in Georgia. If you haven’t been following it, last Thursday Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) … Continue reading Voter Suppression Is Not the Answer
No one can save us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We must walk the path alone. – Buddha Working with high school and college students can be both rewarding and frustrating. It’s rewarding because you’re seeing kids in a time of their lives when they are starting to figure out what … Continue reading We Walk the Last Mile Alone
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a remarkable man. No, not because he flew around in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer (nine, counting Rudolph) or because he went down chimneys on Christmas Eve to deliver toys, but the real person was a marvel, nonetheless. In fact, it’s a wonder we don’t have a religion based … Continue reading Santa Claus and Jesus: A Parable
“I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please!”― Dr. Seuss I spend a lot of time walking outside. It’s good for me, it’s great for my young beagle, Twix, and it gives me some time to breathe in fresh air, be in touch with … Continue reading I Speak For the Trees
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw Yesterday afternoon I sat on my back patio, the sun shining brightly and warmly on the Western horizon, a strong breeze challenging my ability to both read my book and hold my drink, and I pondered … Continue reading Most People Don’t Change
“(Prayer) does not change God, it changes me.” – C. S. Lewis One of the first real challenges to my Christian faith came when I started doing some critical thinking about prayer. In order to discuss it, however, we have to set some ground rules and definitions. For the point of this discussion, “God” refers … Continue reading Prayer and Meditation
I really, really love watching The Rise of Skywalker. I know, I know, a lot of people give me the stink eye when I say that, but hear me out. This morning my daughter and I were watching this, the ninth installment in the Skywalker saga (well, really 8th, but I’m about to fix that), … Continue reading One Quick Edit Fixes The Star Wars Sequels
“You try to improve and do better; it’s a journey, not just a destination.” – Hakeem Olajuwon It was an incredibly beautiful day. Sunny, 65, light breeze blowing … it was one of those days where if God reached down out of Heaven and invited you to come for a visit you would ask him … Continue reading The Importance of the Journey
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has long been one of my political heroes. I don’t always agree with his policy ideas, but he always tells it the way he sees it and he doesn’t kowtow to political interests when he speaks about what’s best for this country. In the 20 or so years I’ve been listening … Continue reading A Liberal Questions $15 Minimum Wage
This is not a book review, per se, however it is a response to a book I got for Christmas from my parents. Amy-Jill Levine’s The Misunderstood Jew (The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus) starts off on very familiar ground for me, as I have spent more than two decades reading scholarly … Continue reading Exciting News About Heaven (Really!)
“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media, where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” – Barack Obama Congress shall … Continue reading It’s Time to Talk About the Truth
“You need not attend every argument to which you’re invited.” – Anonymous It is pretty much your knee-jerk reaction, and was mine for years. When someone attacks you verbally, whether accusing you or upset with you for some reason, the natural response is to snap back at them. That’s also the absolute worst thing you … Continue reading The Strength in Silence
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James It’s incredibly easy to be kind to people we like; in fact, it comes naturally. You greet friends with a smile, a warm hug, perhaps a … Continue reading Kindness Is A Super Power
It’s that time of year again; the time of year when people start making resolutions about who they want to be and make promises they will most likely break about drastic changes they will implement. Some makes these resolutions about weight loss, others about giving up one addiction or another, and of course the possibilities … Continue reading Work Hard As Self-Fulfillment
When I was growing up I really thought I had it rough. My parents divorced when I was two years old and then settled on opposite sides of the United States, so I spent holidays and vacations flying back and forth and missing whichever parent I wasn’t with. There were different rules, some easier to … Continue reading An Attitude of Gratitude
“You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.” – Janis Joplin When I was a kid my paternal grandmother was one of my favorite people. She loved to play games, was obsessed with them, even, so time at her house meant time spent locked in mortal combat over Monopoly, Sorry!, Boggle, Upwords and pretty … Continue reading Overcoming Worry
“Anger, fear aggression… the Dark Side are they.” – Yoda This is part 2 of a series, so if you missed part one, link here! I have watched the original Star Wars trilogy many times over the years….probably more than most. I used to keep track of how many times I’d seen the original, but … Continue reading The Magic of Avoiding Anger
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” ― Dalai Lama XIV The first time I encountered the idea of being focused on living in the present I was … Continue reading The Power of Living For Today
A very good friend of mine posted this story on Facebook this morning to demonstrate the “evils of socialism” in our society. It got me thinking, and I felt I had no choice but to have some fun with it. Here is the initial post, which included the picture of the above car: The best … Continue reading Another Fine Socialism Myth
“Good grief.” That was pretty much the universal response to the news that for the first time in 20 years ABC would not be airing the classic Peanuts cartoons we have all come to associate with the holiday season. It also means that for the first time in 65 years those specials will not be … Continue reading Is Physical Media Poised for a Big Comeback?
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:17 NLT For Pop and Bushi No, I didn’t accidentally use the wrong scripture above; I feel like enough has been made of John 3:16 that it would be a waste of time to … Continue reading Meditation on John 3:17 (not 16)
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