“I Am a Sinner”

By now you’ve likely heard about the interview given by Pope Francis to America, a magazine published by the Jesuits in the US.  In this history-making interview, Francis begins to re-orient the church from the corrupt political organization it has become in recent decades to its original purpose, providing the literal body of Christ on earth for its believers.   Read the rest of this entry

Loren Steffy, formerly with the Houston Chronicle, is now writing for Forbes.  He’s just published an article laying out the case for building the Keystone pipeline, with which I agree.  The key points are:

  • Oil from the pipeline will not be exported, which is actually illegal under federal law.
  • Refined products, like gasoline, are being exported, but for economic reasons, due to sagging demand in the US.  It’s either export, or lay off workers.  I’ll take export, which has the side benefit of reducing our trade deficit.
  • The pipeline is essentially insurance against OPEC.  I would rather have the US control more supply, not less.

Great article by Loren.

50th Anniversary of Two Great Speeches

We started this blog almost 2 years ago to discuss issues we believe to be critical to our American society: equality, social justice, energy, nutrition, education and security.  We named our blog this small planet, invoking the the words spoken by John F. Kennedy at the commencement ceremony at American University on June 10, 1963.  At the time, he was talking about the superpowers of the US and Soviet Union, humanizing the lives of those of us on both sides of the ideological divide. Have a look:

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic
common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe
the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all

Those words today still ring true, especially in view of the critical issues we are grappling with in all corners of our planet.  Just as important, though, was a speech he made the very next evening, on June 11, 50 years ago today in a television address to the nation.  In his speech, JFK took on racial equality and civil rights, a battle then unfolding on our television sets during each broadcast of the evening news.  Have a look at a clip from that speech:

We all know that JFK was human and had his own personal flaws.  What he did possess, though, was an uncanny ability to deliver the messages that we, as a society, and indeed the world needed to here at the precise time we needed to here it.

Half a century later, his words still deliver a powerful message that are as, and even more important than then.



I have been trying for months to discuss gun violence in America as a gun owner and adult.  Like so many other critical issues facing the US, though, gun violence has been twisted up into a weird narrative by the NRA and hate radio talkers ranting about a dark world of Somalia-like anarchy, Nazi Germany, Stalin, and other idiotic and irrelevant analogies to prevent a reasoned discussion about common sense solutions that are supported by the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners.  We’ve all heard it, but it’s shocking when mashed into a single video.  Media Matters has done just that.  Have a look (Warning, profanity is in the clip):



In the Kids for Cash case, earlier reported by this blog, Mark Ciavarella, who made millions “selling” kids to a private prison for cash, was sentenced to 28 years in prison and to pay $1 million in restitution.  There is some justice in the world, but often too slow.

Former judge gets 28 years for scheme to unjustly jail youth – CNN.com.

The Dish on Recipe for Success

Gracie’s latest on the Dish

The Dish on Recipe for Success.

I was on Viewpoint tonight with John Fugelsang and environmentalist Bill McKibben, talking about the Arkansas oil spill.  Have a look:

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