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.

Morning Routine Wins the Day

Yes, I admit to following a daily regimen that some may call being in a rut; but I much prefer its discipline, the empowerment it confers over my many infirmities and the peace it affords in keeping chaos at bay … Continue reading

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Review: Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Not long ago, Hillary Clinton controversially summed up Britain’s Brexit morass as essentially about immigration: “Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/hillary-clinton-europe-must-curb-immigration-stop-populists-trump-brexit A way of saying that only then can Europe … Continue reading

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2020 Draw-Bag Reading List

I can’t believe it! Another year has passed. Last year, I drew up my first annual Draw-Bag Reading List (2019). Happy to say, I’m glad I did it, as it it structured my reading. While I didn’t get to read … Continue reading

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Rupi Kaur: Pop Poetry Phenom

Just read New Republic’s glowing assessment of Canadian Instapoet Rupi Kaur, reflected in its swollen title, “Rupi Kaur is the Writer of the Decade.” (New Republic) Not even thirty, she’s published two poetry volumes, Milk and Honey (2015) and The … Continue reading

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Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day: A Review

I’ve always had an affair with nature, relishing its solitude away from the human world. I’ve loved nature even in its changing moods that can be intolerant of human frailty and frequent arrogance. With every dawn, I relish the birth … Continue reading

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Touching Matters

We cannot thrive without touch. Of the five senses, it’s the one we can’t do without. And oddly, the most underrated. Through touch we are known and make ourselves known. Without touch, we’d not be here at all. Recently I … Continue reading

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A Brief Life Lived Well: Kevyn Alcoin’s Testament to Beauty

You probably never heard of Kevyn Aucoin. I hadn’t either till just recently. How many good people we miss in the stream of life, despite the myriad strands of humanity linking all of us. Kevyn became famous as a celebrity … Continue reading

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William Carlos Williams’ “Willow Poem”: Defying Temporality

“Willow Poem” It is a willow when summer is over, a willow by the river from which no leaf has fallen nor bitten by the sun turned orange or crimson. The leaves cling and grow paler, swing and grow paler … Continue reading

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Is Anybody Listening? Voter Apathy on Climate Change

American media should be ashamed! Here we are, facing an unparalleled survival crisis, yet the absence of climate change from Thursday’s Democrat debate. (No opportunity for discussing the Green New Deal.) Then there is the apathy of many Americans. Three … Continue reading

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Setting an Example: Berkeley Outlaws Natural Gas

The Berkeley City Council has unanimously voted to ban natural gas in all new construction, a move critics say imposes higher utility costs on the poor. Beginning January 1, 2020, new homes, townhouses and small apartment buildings will be without … Continue reading

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