Friday, June 30, 2017

Ten Years Ago Today

Even though...
still Nature....

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 30, 2007, not one word different.]

Even though violent men continue to murder people and blow things up in Iraq,
and even though the Bush Supreme Court continues to subvert our Constitution,
and even though Cheenie continues to insist he is a law unto himself,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 31 & 32

Kandahar Airport
& The Last Hole

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 31. Kandahar Airport

The black C-17 Globemaster with no lights dove toward the ground and landed at Kandahar at 1 a.m. Max and his team disembarked from the rear of the airplane.
    Four headlights were coming at them from the other side of the tarmac. Two Humvees pulled up and four of the five-man team climbed aboard the first Humvee, while Max talked to the captain driving the second vehicle. “You do know what our mission is and where we are going, don’t you?”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Six Years Ago Today

Nature creates art, reflects Nature
(at the Honolulu Zoo, July 2010)
Culture comes of nature

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 28, 2011, not one word different.]

This morning I finished reading the concluding chapter of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s 2010 book, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. The chapter, titled “Living with Consciousness,” sketches consciousness’s contributions to the success of living organisms; that is, places it in evolutionary context.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 29 & 30

Central Park
& The VP

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 29. Central Park

After Tom and Jake met at the Surf &Turf, they decided to move the meeting to Central Park. After many turns and stops, and several reversals of direction, they determined no one was following them.
    Tom turned to look at Jake and said, “Why in the world did you pick this look?”

Monday, June 26, 2017

Three Years Ago Today

Moral quandary: Omnivorous

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 26, 2014, not one word different.]

What a plight to be of the human race –
grabbing everything, claiming every place,
    eating all kinds of animal
    (no laws yet make it criminal) –
were I pig or cow instead, I’d have no face.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 27 & 28

Jac Truborn
& The Surf Is Up

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 27. Jac Truborn

Jac Truborn had been the first person Rubin thought about calling for help. If anyone could help Rubin it would be Jac. Jac was one of the wealthiest men in the world, and he thought Thad Johnson was the greatest thing to happen in America since white bread. He was a good friend of Rubin and his family, and Rubin was one of the true friends Jac had in the world.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Loneliest Liberal: The Liberal Gun Club takes on the NRA

Man bites dog

By James Knudsen

The standard for selecting which stories to follow in news reporting goes something like this: “Dog bites man,” not a story. “Man bites dog,” a story. Recently I was involved in an event that falls under the latter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 26

Not Everybody Is a VIP

By Ed Rogers

The cab pulled up to the Hilton and Rubin got out. The sidewalk was still wet from the shower that had passed over New York during the morning rush hour. The doorman called the bellman to get Rubin’s bags, and then opened the door for him and signaled the concierge. “You may go right up to the suite, Mr. Johnson, there will be no need to check in at the desk.”

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Three Years Ago Today

A Christian-atheist conversation, Part 1: About animal rights

By Morris Dean 
& Kyle Garza

[Originally published on June 22, 2014, not one word different.]

Morris: In my Thor’s Day post of June 5 (“Value experience for its own sake: It’s an art”), I not only stated positively my view of the sacred art of living in a way that values life and respects one’s own and others’ experience for its own sake, but also outlined six areas in which I found the monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam wanting:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 25

The Brother

By Ed Rogers

Rubin Johnson was two years older than Thad and had been the workhorse of the family. Rubin was named after a very close friend of their father’s, Rubin Goldberg, who became a mentor to his namesake. From the elder Goldberg Rubin had received, along with the name, the wisdom, and the need to work hard at whatever project he took on. Unlike Thad, who had had a very easy time in school, Rubin pushed himself to be the best in every class he took.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Six Years Ago Today

A matter of conscience

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 20, 2011, not one word different.]

My opposition to eating animals probably doesn’t rest “on moral grounds“ but might be more appropriately termed “a matter of conscience.” Opposition on moral grounds seems to imply that I would condemn as immoral anyone who doesn’t oppose eating animals, and I don’t do that.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 24

At the White House

By Ed Rogers

The President of Russia, Victor Putin, was waiting to be shown into the Oval Office to meet with the President of the United States. It was a long flight from Russia and Putin was a little tired, but the message he had for the new President was too important to wait. Time was short and events had a way of running over a person who moved too slowly.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 23

SEAL Team 5

By Ed Rogers

SEAL Team 5 boarded the plane that would fly them to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. There they would undertake special training for a top-secret mission. The only thing the men knew for sure was it would more than likely be somewhere in the Middle East.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Years Ago Today

The hawk was about 250 feet away
[Click to enlarge]
Hawk calls

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 16, 2012, not one word different.]

I had some excitement yesterday clicking the shutter continually as fast as my Coolpix would allow (approximately every two seconds). At any moment I knew the hawk (it might have been a Cooper’s Hawk, or Chicken Hawk) might spot prey and swoop off the limb...and the camera might record it!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 21 & 22

A New Port
& Sister, Sister?

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 21. A New Port

The sun was coming up and its warm rays bathed Tom’s body. Much renewed, he watched the new morning breaking through the big oak tree in the back yard.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Five Years Ago Today

Getting to know the devil

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 14, 2012, not one word different.]

I completed one of those political questionnaires yesterday that, besides seeking numbers to rank election issues, seeks to gauge how likely it is that you might donate money to the party. To a direct question whether I’ll donate, I checked the “no” box and found myself explaining, “I don’t have money to waste on stupid political money wars.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 19 & 20

Just Another Day
& A New Plan

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 19. Just Another Day

It was eleven-thirty on a cold, rainy Tuesday morning. Spring was around the corner, but today it was just nasty. Ted was waiting in his car by the curb. He hadn’t told Tom he was picking him up, so he had to keep an eye out for him. He was in the hospital’s pick-up and drop-off zone, so all Ted could do was wait for him to come out.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ten Years Ago Today

Divine aporia

By Moristotle

[Originally published on June 12, 2007, not one word different.]

I have long regretted that I didn’t study much classical rhetoric in college. My knowledge of technical terms in poetics and prosody has barely kept me afloat as I’ve tried to tread water reading literary essays and criticism. So my interest was piqued last October when a young Hollywood screenwriter [JD Payne] suggested I look at M. H. Abrams’s Glossary of Literary Terms. And I’ve since discovered Chapel Hill’s own English Professor William Harmon’s Handbook to Literature. Not bedside reading for everyone, but I delight in both books.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapters 17 & 18

Oh! The Pain
& The Bug-Out

By Ed Rogers

Chapter 17. Oh! The Pain

Tom got some meat and bread and sat down to watch TV. Halfway through his sandwich, his eyes became heavy and he lay out on the couch with his head on the arm. He was awakened from his nap by a loud voice.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

For fans of artist Susan C. Price

Two paintings in gallery show this summer

By Moristotle

Our talented friend & former contributing editor, artist Susan C. Price, is now a member of the First Independent Gallery (FIG), at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California. She will have two paintings in a group show there this summer, opening two weeks from today (on June 24):

Poetry & Portraits: Mystic

By Eric Meub


It’s simpler than you think. A note will cup
the monastery bell, and birds fly up
as if the vault they soared before was but
a painted blue above a virgin, shut

Friday, June 9, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 16

The Truth Is Known

By Ed Rogers

Jake took Tom into a room off the main hall. It was very Vietnamese in its decor – bamboo was everywhere. Two fans came down from the tall ceiling. Jake said something in Vietnamese into the speaker on the desk and motioned Tom to sit down in one of the chairs placed around a low table. Tom admired the table’s beautiful hand-carving, from what appeared to be one piece of wood – murals of Vietnamese farm life inlaid with jade and ivory.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Adventures from Bulgaria: Questions without answers

Adventures from Bulgaria: Questions without answers

By Valeria Idakieva

In the beginning of April, after I had lost a friend in February, and my friend Dimitrinka, who had joined my adventures in the Rila Mountain (“In the Rila Mountains with a 70+”), suffered a stroke in March and was struggling for her life in hospital, I felt I was stifling in the city.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 15

The City of Drugs

By Ed Rogers

Tom woke to the sound of trucks and people working. Once more, it was taking him time to find his bearings. He hoped that after a while the shock of waking up in a strange bed would go away.
    He sat up and was amazed at how his midsection no longer pained him. The way he had been beaten up lately, he didn’t know how he was able to move.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thunder Down Under: Sophie & Amelia

Photo of scene depicted in painting
Painting by Shirley Deane/Midyett

Text by Vic Midyett

Shirley awoke one morning recently with a strong urge to do a painting of our neighbors’ daughters, using a photo their mother had taken of a favorite place of theirs [photo on right]. Sophie is 2 and Amelia is 5. Without mentioning her project to the girls or their mother, Shirley worked on the 5" x 7" painting for two days before surprising them by offering it as a gift.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 14

Mary Cahill

By Ed Rogers

When Mary arrived at Hans and Gert Duman’s house in Germany, they were surprised but happy to see her. In fact, Gert was beside herself with joy at seeing Mary again. Mary had met the Dumans at the start of her European trip. The three of them were part of a tour group that was traveling to five countries in thirty days. Before the tour was over, Mary had left the group and headed to Finland, leaving a very sad Gert.

Trump is beset upon

And Chelsea Clinton objects

By Tom Harley

Chelsea Clinton tweeted about the woman holding aloft the bloody severed mock head of the President. “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a President,” she said. Her star rose several notches in my eyes. After all, if anyone should be excused for wanting Trump’s head on a platter, it is she, daughter of the woman who went down in a contest deemed crooked.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sketches from Salt Lake: From the day you were born

Reading to Vera

By Geoffrey Dean

Even before our daughter, Vera, was born, my wife and I starting frequenting the children’s section of the main branch of the wonderful Salt Lake City Library and scouring the Internet to reconnect with some of the books that we remembered from our own early days.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 13


By Ed Rogers

Stepen Kabak and his people were at last finished with Warring and Mrs. Cahill. What a mess that turned out to be. Stepen could not understand why “The big fuss.” The American President was dead. They had a new President. The world did not end. None of it was worth Karl’s life. The Americans made far too much out of the death of one of their leaders. In Russia, most of the time, it was a good thing, and they celebrated.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Seeking natural connections in New York City

By André Duvall

In April, I visited New York City for the first time. I traveled with an older friend, a former mentor/professor who lived in Manhattan as a young man and had returned to the city for visits many times over the years. In the five days I had available, I chose to tour museums and skyscrapers, experience cuisines of various ethnicities, observe the architecture of different neighborhoods, attend a concert, seek out nature/green spaces, and spend part of a day with a good friend of mine from Memphis who is currently living in Brooklyn.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 12

The Separation

By Ed Rogers

Unable to sleep, Tom woke Mary at five the next morning, and by the time Stepen came banging on their door at six, they were dressed and ready to go. Mary had been crying off and on for the whole hour, and as they walked down the hall, she held onto Tom’s waist with both apprehension and determination. Saying goodbye to Mary was one of the hardest things Tom could think of doing. In his heart, he knew Stepen was right; they would be after him, not Mary. That still didn’t make it any easier.