Man Thinking

Background Stanley Cavell, the American philosopher and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University, died recently at the age of 91. Coming to philosophy by way of music and film, he authored a diverse assortment of philosophical texts including The Claim of Reason, Must We Mean What We Say?, Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of... Continue Reading →

Out of This World Music

End of Life Songs Suppositions about dying educe meanings for living. Death opposes life. Likewise, life addresses death. Death is for life a grand question and master teacher. What? When? Where? How? Why? Then? Meanings granted to death both enhance and diminish living. I first explored the interrogative quality of death sixty-two years ago in... Continue Reading →

Magnanimous Policing

In Ben Taub’s report, The Spy Who Came Home, published in the May 7, 2018 issue of The New Yorker, subtitled Why an expert in counterterrorism became a beat cop, the story is told of Patrick Skinner—a seasoned CIA counterterrorist expert, with extensive experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan—who gives it all up in favor of a... Continue Reading →

Musings on Democracy

Introduction The right to vote is the basis and spiritual heart of democracy—precious, hard won, sacred. Yet, ninety million eligible voters didn’t vote in the presidential election of 2016. Sixty-six million people voted for Hillary Clinton and sixty three million for Donald J. Trump, who became President by garnering more than the requisite 270 votes... Continue Reading →

Digital Warfare on The Impoverished

Harpers Magazine included an excerpt in its January 2018 issue from Virginia Eubanks’ book Automating Inequality, just published by St. Martin’s Press. According to Eubanks, government officials, using sophisticated computer technology, are now able to routinely ensnare poor people in the digital equivalent of the poorhouse of yore by tracking them down, monitoring them, stereotyping... Continue Reading →

Fake News on Race

Dear Sheffield, Thanks for sharing the commentary supposedly written by Ian Duncan and published in The Baltimore Sun. I say supposedly because Ian Duncan, their journalist on intelligence and military issues, didn’t actually write it, and the piece never appeared in The Sun. The real title is “Ten Percent is Not Enough.” It was written... Continue Reading →

Helseth’s Hurricane Concert

When I joined Facebook a few years back, I entered the name of Tine Thing Helseth, the Norwegian Trumpet player, on my list of favorite musicians. Others included The Grateful Dead, Suzanne Erens, and The Band. Three of my favorite Helseth pieces from that period are Fanfare, Nobel Peace Prize Concert of 2007, Eternal Story,... Continue Reading →

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