This month, Ronan Farrow published an excellent piece on The New Yorker’s site, describing how Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted financial contributions from Jeffrey Epstein after it was clear they shouldn’t have been associating with him. Some people’s immediate reaction may be to ask, “What’s the problem? They need the money, and this doesn’t mean they were abetting his crimes.” There is a problem, though, especially when it isn’t just sincere generosity. Some charities receive small donations from average people with no implied quid pro quo agreement, and those charities might innocently stay ignorant of donors’ backgrounds with no problems. However, when the … Continue reading Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest
There are many theories on how to do this. In San Francisco, we’ve had a local ordinance for a while, demanding a ten cent fee for each paper or “reusable” (thick) plastic bag used by customers when they pay for store merchandise. It’s meant to encourage customers to bring their own bags, or use no bags when buying just one or two things. I got into the habit of using my own bag way before there was a law, and I’ve been making general allowances in my routine to reduce waste since the early 1980s. “Save the dinosaurs,” I used … Continue reading Curbing the Public’s Bag Consumption
EVERYTHING IS FUNNY, AS LONG AS IT’S HAPPENING TO SOMEBODY ELSE. — WILL ROGERS Continue reading Will Rogers on, uh, Empathy?
Like a lot of people who have blogs, I’m a writer whose primary work is not on the blogsite. I write fiction and nonfiction to upload to Kindle, and then struggle to bring these proverbial needles in a haystack to the attention of people who read books on screens. When I tried to promote my first e-book, a novella titled Petra, I showed exactly how naïve a writer can be. The book itself had oodles of adult-level observations on the human condition, but when I tried to persuade others to read it I behaved like a teenager who was shocked … Continue reading An Aging Writer, Finally Learning the Ropes
Earlier this month, I self-published another e-book on Kindle. It’s a novelette (approx. 11,000 words) for sale at 99 cents (USD), and can be read free of charge by Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It’s available in all Kindle markets. Below is the cover image for the book, with a link to buy the title on Amazon. Click the words FREE PREVIEW for, uh, a free preview. Special Needs will appeal primarily to women, but I hope a few men will find something universal in the story and characterizations. Continue reading New E-Book: Women’s Fiction
THE MORE DESPERATE PEOPLE ARE TO FIND A LEADER, THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO FIND A TYRANT. — HELEN CHRISTIE Continue reading One More Reason to Stay Calm in a Crisis
NO ONE WANTS TO LOOK WHOLESOME AT TWENTY-ONE. — GEORGE MICHAEL Continue reading The Agony of Trying to Grow up
I CANNOT MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND. I CANNOT MAKE ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING INSIDE OF ME. I CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN IT TO MYSELF. – FRANZ KAFKA, THE METAMORPHOSIS Continue reading Inner Horror
PHILIP CHARLES IS DECENT, BUT HE’S A HANDFUL. — OVERHEARD ON THE MUNI (SAN FRANCISCO) SUBWAY Continue reading Life’s Challenges
I SWEAR, IF THERE’S ONE MORE WORD OUT OF THAT DUCK… — OVERHEARD ON THE MUNI (SAN FRANCISCO) SUBWAY Continue reading Not One More Word!