Why the Healthy Should Buy Health Insurance
I’m the daughter and sister of insurance agents. I understand that an insurance program is an agreement to provide buyers of insurance with funds to overcome some kind of misfortune. Examples include automobile accidents, house fires, and illnesses, to name a few. For the insurance provider not to go broke, payments into the insurance program… Read More »
You Don’t Have to Know Russian to Read Russian Propaganda; Try U.S. Social Media Sites
Reports are surfacing that Russian interests paid for numerous adds on Facebook before the 2016 U.S. election. These adds reportedly focused on divisive issues in an attempt to polarize the elections to Russia’s advantage. Facebook says it has identified hundreds of fake accounts connected to Russian groups known for trolling on social media. Facebook says… Read More »
Five Hundred Years of History, Repeating? Our Choice.
In October of this year 2017, we mark the 500th anniversary of the day an obscure Christian monk named Martin Luther posted a scholarly document in Wittenberg, Germany. The document questioned certain practices of his church. It was an unsettling time. Armies from the Middle East threatened Europe. Less than a century before, the city… Read More »
Hurricanes and Earthquakes: What Do We Care About?
Our overly active hurricane season illustrates how unprepared most of us are for natural disasters. In our seismically challenged Pacific Northwest, studies indicate insufficient preparation for a major earthquake. An extensive drill found that the region would be unable to cope with the three million or so survivors who would need food, water, shelter, and… Read More »
Battle of the Handshakes
In Western societies, the handshake became evidence of a binding contract to buy and sell. It could also signal a truce or peace agreement between warring parties. Informally, it was a way of welcoming a stranger. Like many other practices, President Trump has upended this friendly gesture of respect. In shaking the hand of recently… Read More »
Deep State: What Is It, and Do We Have One?
A “conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursing their own agenda” is one definition of a deep state, according to Jon D. Michaels in Foreign Affairs. ( “Trump and the Deep State,” September/October 2017). This type of nation does exist, says Michaels. As examples, he includes Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, “where shadowy elites in the… Read More »
Landing of Another Black Swan
Hurricane Harvey developed in a short time to an unprecedented rain maker. These unexpected events, sometimes likened to rare black swans, have a way of changing our viewpoints. As we see nursing home patients waist deep in water in their wheelchairs and families struggling to carry their children to safety, our perceptions change. We do,… Read More »
What To Do When Neo-Nazis Come to Call
When far right protestors picked Charlottesville, Virginia, to hold a rally, Leah Wise, who lives there, wondered what her response would be. She finally chose to go to her church, St. Paul’s Memorial, the evening the rally took place. (“Dispatches from Charlottesville: What Happens When Neo-Nazis Are Outside Your Church Doors,” Christianity Today, September, 2017.)… Read More »
Embassies Without Ambassadors: Who’s In Charge?
About a third of U.S. ambassadors are political appointees under any given president, Democratic or Republican. Massive campaign contributions often count in such appointments. These appointments are normally to European countries or perhaps to Caribbean island nations. Political ambassadors are rarely appointed to what are known as danger or hardship posts, like Pakistan or Sierra… Read More »
How The Hiring Freeze Affects Lives
The White House announced a government hiring freeze soon after the current administration took office in January. Blanket orders often are not well thought out and can have unintended consequences. A recent article in The Foreign Service Journal (July/August, 2017) pinpointed one such consequence. Foreign Service officers, the Americans who staff U.S. embassies and consulates… Read More »
Life after Hate
“Oh, honey, you’re so much better than that.” Such was the comment of a restaurant waitress, an elderly African-American woman, to a young man after she saw the swastika tattooed on his hand. Her concern pricked his conscience. Eventually he changed the focus of his life from hate to helping others. This story is mentioned… Read More »
Digital Servants: Candidates for Spiritual Discipline
Spiritual disciplines aren’t necessarily about giving up evil practices. They deal more with disciplining ourselves to control the neutral or even good things in our lives. Food is not only enjoyable but necessary. So is our need for social interaction. But just as we can overeat, we can overindulge in the time we spend with… Read More »