National Anthem: Arise! Arise!

National Anthem: Arise! Arise!

Jean Rohe’s alternative national anthem “Arise! Arise!” has now been performed by choirs and artists across the country and was published in the popular songbook Rise Up Singing.

Elemental India: Air, Animals, Land & People

Elemental India: Air, Animals, Land & People

As I travelled around India, I kept hearing about aggressive dogs. Someone told me about two girls, who were attacked by dogs at night while they were sleeping.

Regarding Susan Sontag: Film Portrait by Nancy Kates

Regarding Susan Sontag: Film Portrait by Nancy Kates

In many ways, we live in a Sontagian world of complete visual overload, a media environment dominated by the image culture of television, advertising, YouTube, Facebook and instant access to information.

It's Not Just Trump— US Gripped by Anti-Muslim Hysteria

It’s Not Just Trump— US Gripped by Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Trump is not the only one spreading fear and loathing by ignoring facts about Muslims.  Marco Rubio claimed that Islamophobia is fictitious. Under President Obama, thousands of law-abiding people – mostly Muslims – have been denied citizenship and visas.

My Mother's Blue Chevy Convertible

My Mother’s Blue Chevy Convertible

Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation,” wrote John Steinbeck in Cannery Row. “Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars.”

New York State Shook by Power of Bottom-Up Politics

New York State Shook by Power of Bottom-Up Politics

New York makes it hard for citizens to influence policy.   They cannot put an issue on the state ballot no matter how many signatures they gather.  And although the state Constitution has a home rule provision, cities and counties lack authority to undertake some of the most basic initiatives.  Even mighty New York City, with over 8 million people, must go hat in hand to Albany to request permission to reduce city speed limits, install red light cameras, open their courts at night, or raise taxes other than those imposed on property.

Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

In a small town in rural North Carolina in those days a mill job was about the best a blue collar worker could do. Crystal Lee’s grandfather had worked in the mill, as had both of her parents. It seemed to be the natural order of things that she would follow her parents and grandparents into the mill.

What's On Your Commons Bucket List? 1

What’s On Your Commons Bucket List?

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about–and attempting cross off items from–bucket lists. Only a few people are talking about “generativity”–a term introduced by psychologist Erik Erikson, who described it as an active concern for the next generation and a need to leave something of value for people who will live on after we die. But I feel there is a strong connection between the two. The idea of generativity suggests that it might be a good idea to have a bucket list for future generations–not just for ourselves. These too can offer adventure, challenges and fun by making a long-lasting contribution that helps people and the planet.