Author Archives: RJ

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.

The Plight of Native Americans in a White America

The White Man’s misdeeds in America towards its indigenous peoples are incalculable in number and cruelty. I was reminded of this last week when Karen and I visited the Grand Canyon and learned from the Visitor Center that Yavapai and … Continue reading

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Why We Name Our Children as We do.

Have you been following today’s trend in baby names? Whatever happened to names like George, Susan, Henry, Robert, Marvin, Kenneth, and Molly? Names typically follow fashion and fashion, of course, changes just like clothing, hairstyles, and music favorites. We’ve this … Continue reading

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Thoughts on a remarkable book I’ve just re-read

This week I re-read Brad Willis Warrior Pose, a book that has lodged in my memory since I first came upon it two years ago. I read a lot of books, but only a few do I read twice. It’s the … Continue reading

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Trophy Hunting Looms for Grizzly Bears

Averaging 800 pounds, powerful and fast moving, voracious defenders of their young, grizzly bears are a North American treasure deserving of our awe and worthy of preservation. Native Americans held them sacred and embedded them in their legends, dances and … Continue reading

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Amy Lowell’s “A Fixed Idea”: An Exploration in Paradox

A Fixed Idea What torture lurks within a single thought When grown too constant; and however kind, However welcome still, the weary mind Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught Remembers on unceasingly; unsought The old delight is with us … Continue reading

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Artificial Intelligence: Will It Take Your Job?

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” (Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita following the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima) Recently, my daughter shared details of her trip as an Amazon employee to Las Vegas to attend … Continue reading

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Alzheimer Breakthrough? Bredeson’s The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

Death has many doorways. Yet most of us go by way of heart disease, cancer, or respiratory disease; in fact, 50%. The good thing is that we can preempt these diseases, if not reverse them through lifestyle changes. Not so … Continue reading

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Does American Sign Language (ASL) Have a Future?

We all have hobbies or special interests. Mine has been studying languages. As a child, it literally became an obsession. I’d buy paperbacks with my meager allowance, seemingly offering a pathway to fluency in German, a language I desperately wanted … Continue reading

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Does the Qur’an Preach Violence?

Yesterday came news of the slaughter of up to 300 Sufi worshippers exiting a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai at the close of prayer, among them, twenty-seven children. It isn’t the first time such a murderous attack on unarmed civilians, even … Continue reading

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Elegy for Iris: A Review

“We can only learn to love by loving.” —Iris Murdoch I’ve just read John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris, his moving memoir of his wife, renowned British novelist Iris Murdoch—26 novels in addition to nonfiction—who succumbed to Alzheimer’s in 1999 at … Continue reading

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