All are welcome in this place!


Smack dab in the middle of the weekly bulletin for my church for June 2, More Light Sunday is the message, “All are welcome in this place! New faces and voices are always welcome and add to the spirit of our worship, education, mission, and fellowship.”

I found two news stories in the past six weeks reflecting that element of shalom.

ITEM: Sacramento State’s unique approach helps bring a peaceful end to campus protest

“‘President Luke Wood oversaw a peaceful end to a campus protest over the Israel-Hamas war, one of the many that have taken place at universities nationwide in recent weeks…

“‘I did 92 listening sessions, 75 minutes each, with over 1,500 of our students, faculty, staff,’ Wood said… 

“‘I got to first tell you how I feel as a person, as an individual, and really as a Black man, I get a heightened level of anxiety,’ Wood said. ‘When people are in fear, they respond in a protected mechanism, which doesn’t always lead to the best outcomes.'”

The campus encampments broke up in a couple of weeks, without violence or calling in the police. 


ITEM: A group of Jewish and Palestinian women uses dialogue to build bridges between cultures

“They call themselves Zeitouna — a group of six Jewish and six Palestinian women in Michigan that have been meeting twice a month for more than two* years. The name is the Arabic word for olive tree, and their motto is ‘refusing to be enemies.'” 

*Based on the Zeitouna website and the CBS broadcast story, this should be TWENTY years, going back to right after 9/11.

“The safety of the group and their environment has allowed the women to remain committed to each other in the face of Oct. 7 and the war that followed.”

“‘You absorbed my pain, as I absorbed your pain. It’s important to just have a space, a place where everybody is there with open arms,'” Wadad Abed, one of the group’s members, said during a meeting.

“Diane Blumson, another Zeitouna member, told CBS News, ‘There’s room in a humanitarian way to recognize the trauma of the other. And people have lost that ability right now.'”

Members of Zeitouna were invited to the Arab-Jewish group at a nearby university to share their methodology. 


The Scripture reading for June 2 was Mark 3: 20-35. The last five versions of the NIV selection: 

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

To me, this is saying that community is where you find it, whether it be a college president swimming against the tide, a group of women from different faith traditions swimming against the tide, or churches responding with open doors. 

A “conservative Christian” group called My Faith Votes notes in a recent email, “America is changing fast. We are more divided and intellectually lost than ever before. That’s why it is more crucial than ever for Christians to have a firm foundation and to align their views with the truth of God’s Word.

“Not to mention, when Christians think biblically, they vote biblically — something of grave importance this presidential election year.”

I absolutely agree with this sentiment, although I know that we would not agree with what “the truth of God’s Word” is. My God is a big-tent God.

Not incidentally, my church had a float of sorts in the Pride Parade yesterday. My daughter and I participated. The big mistake I made was falling to wear my knee brace. 

The Race Card Project

Michele Norris

race card projectThe Race Card Project began with a simple-sounding yet challenging premise.

“In 2010, journalist Michele Norris began inviting people to distill their thoughts on the word race to only six words. Printing 200 postcards and issuing a call to action, Norris and her team were unsure of what – if anything – would result. What took root was a groundswell. With just a small footprint, it was clear Norris created a vehicle for expression and voice for which it seemed many were longing.”

You are invited to make your own Race Card. “Race Cards can be thoughtful, funny, heartbreaking, brave, teeming with anger, and shimmering with hope. Some make you smile. Others might make you squirm. You just might wonder why some of the more prickly submissions deserve a place on this website’s Race Card Wall?

“Here’s the answer: The intention is to use these cards to get a peek at America’s honest views about Race, so I must try to honor those people who offer up candor, even if what they share is unsavory or unacceptable in some people’s eyes.”

“The Race Card Project received a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in electronic communications for turning a pejorative phrase into a productive and far-reaching dialogue on a difficult topic. It began as a small experiment encouraging people to talk about race by sharing Six Word essays on their personal experiences or observations. The Six-Word Stories that poured into the mailbox and the online inbox became the basis for a series of reports on NPR’s morning edition, exploring identity, prejudice, pride, and equality.”


I  became aware of the site from this piece on CBS Mornings on July 8, 2022. A study finds a correlation between race demographic shifts and the January 6 Capitol riot. It discovered “that the uniting characteristic of people arrested for the January 6th Capitol riot was that they came from counties that saw a substantial decrease in the white population. Tony Dokoupil visits Allentown, Pennsylvania – a community that saw that decline – and talks to residents about how they feel about it.”

Allentown was over 95% non-Hispanic white in 1970. Now only 31% are in that demographic, with the plurality of the area Hispanic. The oldtimers often are nostalgic for the way things used to be. Of course, the people of Allentown in the 1880s likely said the same thing about the influx of Italians and other groups.

Check out the website and the video.

Lesley Stahl of CBS News is 80

60 Minutes for 30 years

Lesley Stahl
CBS News, 2018

I was watching 60 Minutes in November. Lesley Stahl was reporting on the mountain gorillas of Rwanda making a comeback. “Visiting mountain gorillas is no walk in the park. It’s an uphill hike for more than an hour at an altitude of 8000 feet, through that farmland that once belonged to the gorillas just to get to the park.

“Lesley Stahl: Are you out of breath?
Tara Stoinski: Yes. [LAUGHS]
Lesley Stahl: Or is it just me?”

And I thought that reporter must be close to 80! And she was. She must love the gorillas, which she first covered back in 1987.

It occurred to me that I had been watching Lesley Stahl for nearly half a century. As she noted in her 1999 book Reporting Live (1999), she, Connie Chung, and Bernard Shaw were the ‘affirmative action babies’ in what became known as the Class of ’72.” As such, she was assigned to cover, in June 1972, a “third-rate burglary” in the Watergate complex. Like Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post, the seemingly insignificant story really launched her career.

She was a White House correspondent during the presidencies of Carter, Reagan, and part of Bush 41. Also, she moderated the CBS Sunday morning program Face The Nation between September 1983 and May 1991.

Since March 1991, she’s been a correspondent for 60 Minutes. Thirty years is as long as Steve Kroft and the late Ed Bradley were on the show; only Morley Safer and Mike Wallace, both of whom started in 1968 are now deceased, were on longer.


Lesley Stahl received 13 Emmys, plus numerous other awards. One was for “a shocking 2015 report on how some police recruit vulnerable young people for dangerous jobs as confidential informants.” One was for a series based on her “unprecedented” access at Guantanamo Bay prison facilities. “Another [was] for an eye-opening story about China’s huge real estate bubble… She won her 13th Emmy for her interview with the widow of a slain hostage that offered a rare look inside the technically illegal process of negotiating with terrorists.”

Stahl has gotten the big interviews. Former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the then-new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and many, many more. She has managed to greatly annoy some of the powerful, including Trump (2020) and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007).

“She and her husband, author Aaron Latham, live in New York. They have a daughter, Taylor Latham, and two granddaughters. Jordan and Chloe, the subjects of her book, ‘Becoming Grandma: the Joy and Science of the New Grandparenting.'”

Journalist Jane Pauley turns 70

She’s hosted CBS Sunday Morning since October 9, 2016

Jane PauleyJane Pauley noted on the August 16, 2020 episode of CBS Sunday Morning the 20th anniversary of her bipolar depression. Her acknowledgment of the condition was unsurprising. She’d written about it, and other facets of her life, in a book called Skywriting. The diagnosis came “out of the blue,” part of the subtitle of the book.

On October 23, 2019, Jane had appeared on CBS This Morning’s special “Stop the Stigma” broadcast to discuss when she was first diagnosed in 2001. Incidentally, she hated the term “stigma.”

Like most people, I first saw Jane on the TODAY show on NBC. In fact, I swear that I watched her appearance in 1976, introduced by then co-anchor Tom Brokaw. After Brokaw left to anchor NBC Nightly News, she was paired with Bryant Gumbel from the beginning of 1982 to the end of 1989.

I regularly watched at least the first hour of the program. She also had other assignments, such as anchoring the Sunday edition of the Nightly News from 1980 to 1982.

NBC launched Dateline on March 31, 1992, Jane co-anchored the newsmagazine from the beginning to 2003 along with Stone Phillips. I viewed it occasionally, depending on the topic. Then I largely lost track of her.

The Eye

“On April 27, 2014, following an appearance during a ‘where are they now’ segment and interview on CBS Sunday Morning, Pauley began contributing to the show as a correspondent and occasional substitute host. Pauley has been a guest host on CBS This Morning and has also filled in for Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News.”

I’ve been watching Sunday Morning since it first aired on January 28, 1979, with original host Charles Kuralt. When I first got a VCR, it and JEOPARDY! were the first programs I would record; ditto on the DVR. Charles Osgood was the host of the 90-minute program for 22 years, taking over from Kuralt on April 10, 1994.

When I heard Osgood was retiring, I knew there was only one logical replacement. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. “‘We first got to know Jane when we did a story about her on Sunday Morning,’ said Rand Morrison, the show’s executive producer, in a statement.

“‘Our viewers immediately responded by suggesting she belonged on Sunday Morning permanently. And – as is so often the case, they were right. She’s a dedicated, experienced broadcast journalist. But – every bit as important – she’s a delight to work with. A worthy successor – and a perfect fit.'”

The show has been hosted by Jane Pauley since October 9, 2016. Notably, she has interviewed fellow Indianians such as David Letterman and John Mellencamp. She also got an exclusive with Garry Trudeau, the creator of the newspaper comic strip Doonesbury on its 50th anniversary in 2018. It was an easy “get” since they’ve been married since June 14, 1980. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Still, though the topic of that personal piece she did a couple of months ago she’d discussed before, it was amazingly affecting. Jane Pauley turns 70 on October 31, the same birthday as the late John Candy.

July rambling: 45 es un titere

The Privilege of Being Normal

fake presidential sealWas American politics always this weird?

Lawyers, guns, and money.

The US Gave Slavers Their Land Back. What About Black Folks’ Reparations? and Slavery is also indefensible on economic grounds.

About the Mueller testimony.

Meet the man who created the fake presidential seal; his website.

Data Show Costly Trump Tax Cut Achieved Little

Britain’s New Prime Minister Is Nationalist, Racist and Vain. Sound Familiar?

The Moon Landing Hoax Theory Started as a Joke.

The First Responders, black paramedics in Pittsburgh

The Privilege of Being Normal.

I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.

How to Cancel Amazon Prime.

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

What John Paul Stevens inadvertently taught conservatives about the Supreme Court.

Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player on the Boston Red Sox, has died. He was 85. Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox and one with the New York Mets from 1959-63, batting .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs. But his place in history was made when he stepped on the field as a pinch-runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959. The Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to field a black player.

Safe Deposit Boxes Aren’t Safe.

Binghamton, NY: Valley of Creativity.

Ken Levine interview with director Jim Burrows, Part 1 and Part 2.

Can broadcast legend Susan Zirinsky save CBS News?

Basquiat x Warhol at The School in Kinderhook.

Martha My Dear.

Why Americans Just Can’t Quit Their Microwaves.

New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered.

Carbon Copy

Fireworks with film at Saratoga.

Enough With Hamilton, Say Fans of Other Founding Fathers; Success of Broadway show steals limelight from Jefferson, Franklin and others; ‘not a lot of demand for James Madison’

The Evolution of Harley Quinn.

Now I Know: The Elephant With Empathy? and The $91-Per-Square-Foot Very Tiny Estate and The Great Saudi Beauty Pageant Scandal of 2018 and Why Isn’t This Tennis Ball Bouncing? and The Rainbow Grandpa Who Saved His Village and The Incredible Cause of Tasmanian Crop Circles and Why Do Bats Sleep Upside Down? (for AmeriNZ)


I’m Your Puppet – James and Bobby Purify.

Music from the new Lion King movie.

Indra by Gustav Holst.

Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt and the Muppets, recipients of the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors.

Coverville: 1269: Cover Stories for Suzanne Vega, Simple Minds and Soft Cell and 1270: The Trevor Horn Cover Story and 1271: The Hard Day’s Night Track-by-Track Album Cover.

Windows XP Waltz

K-Chuck Radio: How to enjoy a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack

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