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Showing posts from April, 2020

20 Tiny and Mind-Blowing Documents for Learning

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I recently sent a few documents to a 13-year-old girl that is intelligent, but is annoyed by reading long texts that take too long to get to the point. I've read thousands of books, and the more I read the more I value writing that can change your perspective on the world in just a few pages.


My book list is always changing. I update it every few days, but right now I have 388 things listed in 10 sections. Some of them are large book series. But, some of them are small. Some, very small.

So I looked through my list and pulled out a few small things that I thought might surprise her as to how valuable a small work can be. My selection was excellent. But, there were too many things. And, even though they were smaller than you would think, some of them could still be considered a book. I wanted to make the list smaller, and I wanted the works to be smaller. I went through it again.

This time I guessed at how long each work was and included the length. I got it down to 20 items. And I…

Hope in the Time of Quarantine

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I went for a motorcycle ride a couple of days ago. In Michigan right now that might be illegal. Governor Whitmer has been issuing new executive orders every day limiting people's freedom. It is sad to see the death of freedom. But, something more important is happening.


When you're riding a motorcycle it's common to give a sign to other riders. It's a sign of solidarity, a connection between like-minded people.

I rode from Twin Lake through Whitehall and Montague to Lake Michigan. I saw a few other people on motorcycles and we gave each other the sign. You hold out two fingers. It's a sign that commonly means peace now. In WW2 the sign meant victory. Those two go well together, for peace is the highest form of victory, and there is no peace without victory.

But, those weren't the only people that gave me the sign. People were riding bicycles and giving me the sign. People were walking down the side of the road and giving me the sign. People were walking dogs, a…

Moral Engagement

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Morality is one of the greatest confrontations people have, both with themselves and with others.


Albert Bandura is one of the greatest psychologists of morality in history. In his paper "Selective Moral Disengagement in the Exercise of Moral Agency" the first line of the abstract reads, "Moral agency has dual aspects manifested in both the power to refrain from behaving inhumanely and the proactive power to behave humanely."
Bandura focused on identifying the eight different ways that people morally disengage. Those are the things that we have to work on avoiding. But, in addition to that there needs to be the things that we are aiming for. There's a reverse to each of the eight things that Bandura identified, and in addition to avoiding moral disengagement, which rightly brings self-condemnation, we must also pursue moral engagement.
Moral Justification

This is the basic idea that the ends justify the means. If the end is justice we cannot reach it through inj…

The Short and Long of Grief

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My aunt Deb died a few weeks ago. I received an email the very next day from my friend Don. I'm in a writing group with him and his wife Jean. And he asked me about grief.


Here's part of the email.

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Hi Jeff,

Interesting to browse through your comments on grief, thanks. Question: can one grief about the present, case in point, can we grief that we are stuck in a lockdown on account of a damn little virus that is killing some of us. Given your implied sense of time relativity, I’d guess that grieving the present situation is possible. Today certainly means the future we were anticipating is different. We’ve already had our trip to the Netherlands canceled, after planning on it for more than a year.

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Obviously the trip to Europe is most likely annoying, but not a major emotional issue like the loss of a life. Although emotions are complex things, and it's hard to know what's going to hit people the hardest. Across all of these situations the proc…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 17 of ?

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When it is easier for those in power to violate the rights of citizens than for the citizens to seek redress for injustices, it's time for a change. Two things are necessary to save Dalton Township from the corruption and government overreach that has infected it: better people and better policies.


In a civilized society elections take the place of revolutions. They allow for the peaceful transfer of power, and the reformation of policies. We've had brave citizens step forward to run for office. Without them no progress can be made, with them we have the opportunity to restore rights that have been trampled underfoot by the current township officials. A just government secures the freedom and property of its citizens, rather than attacks it. Now, we must look at what changes are needed to secure those rights.

My mother has always extolled the virtue of balance, and it applies to government more than anything else. The United States was founded on the idea of individual rights …

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