Category: politics

Doing justice.

Delivered as a guest sermon at First United Methodist Church, June 11, 2017, for Peace and Justice Sunday. Psalm 8: “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou has established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that […]

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The Women’s March: here, there, and everywhere.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 It felt good to be out on our little town’s main street with a sign in my hand again, surrounded by my friends and students and – despite the chilly fog – determination and hope. As I describe in my forthcoming book, The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and […]

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The idiot box.

All sin starts from the assumption that my false self, the self that exists only in my own egocentric desires, is the fundamental reality of life to which everything else in the universe is ordered… And I wind experiences around myself and cover myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself […]

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Yo, Thoreau.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived [….] Our life is frittered away by detail […] Simplify, simplify.”  […]

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The second disruptor: an open letter to our college’s president on the “digitization of learning.”

September 30, 2013 An Open Letter to Our College President on the Digitization of Learning From The Cheapskate Intellectual Dear President, Thank you for being a thoughtful leader and serious colleague who has invited us to wrestle with the challenges and opportunities facing us and all other colleges these days.  At your State of the […]

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In the country of frac-sand mining.

Yesterday, I took an all-day bus tour (sponsored by and including many Allamakee County Protectors) to see frac-sand mining up close in Trempeleau and Chippewa Counties, Wisconsin.  In our group were filmmakers, writers, lawyers, water-quality specialists, Winneshiek County Protectors, journalists, farmers, geologists, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a long-distance hiker, and ordinary citizens from […]

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MOOCs in Citizenville.

What happens when you use technology to “serve people” by taking people and their physical presence in particular places – and thus their sense of responsibility and relationship to one another and to that place – out of the picture entirely?  One result is MOOCs, or “Massively Open Online Courses,” packages of videotaped lectures and […]

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