Does Your Tribe Cloud Your Judgement?

You can’t handle the truth


Have you heard this one before?

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

These words should be familiar to fans of criminal justice dramas everywhere. This is what you swear to do in any legal proceeding. You are “sworn in”, just before you “testify”, in a legal setting. It could be as a witness in court, in a deposition, or even in a questioning. Anytime it’s deemed necessary to compel you to speak the truth, completely, and with no lies or spin, you will be asked to swear this.LadyJustice

And, if your “testimony” is not as truthful, complete, and unvarnished as you swore it would be, there are consequences. You could be charged with perjury if your willfully false or misleading testimony impacts the outcome of a proceeding. You could be charged with making false statements, even if all you do is to deny your guilt when asked. You could be charged with obstruction of justice if you willfully cover or withhold the truth from investigators or prosecutors.

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

When did compromise become a dirty word?

Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.

Otto von Bismarck

Compromise. That’s what Bismarck refers to in his quote. Compromise makes life possible. Without compromise there is only intransigent, rancorous bickering. Kind of like the U.S. Congress these days.

For some, a compromise, in the sense of an agreement or a settlement reached through mutual concession, is tantamount to admitting defeat. If not all, then nothing for all. Better to blow the whole thing up than to give an inch.

But why? Why do some feel that any concession, no matter how insignificant, will compromise them, in the sense of  being weakened by accepting anything less than everything? That if they give up any at all, they have given it all up?

Perhaps some have conflated integrity and intransigence. That never compromising, never offering the slightest concession, will be viewed as integrity. One who never compromises is somehow more principled and honest.

But integrity and compromise are not antonyms. They are not mutually exclusive. Those who are principled and honest should, and often do, compromise. Life as a social being demands compromise.

I think those who view a compromise as compromising are themselves compromised.


No, not Vanilla!

Well, it happened. I knew it was just a matter of time. What with the renewed spike in the spittle-flying phobia in this country about those “others”, it was bound to happen. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hit squad finally picked off someone in my little world.

Friday, I’m talking to one of the nicest people in the company. Hell, one of the nicest people on the planet! Always cheerful, always helpful, there for everyone, volunteering to help others, highly competent, one of the best workers in the building. Actually, a far better human being than most of the natural-born citizens in the building.

Monday, I come in, go down to the mail room to say “Hi”, and she’s not at her desk. I track down her good friend and ask what’s up, and her friend confides in me that, even though she had been in the country for many years, she never had the proper immigration status, and that she was deported over the weekend. Boom! Just like that. She gets disappeared!

If you’re one of those “serves her right for breaking the law” types, or maybe you think “she’s just here to steal our jobs”, I’ve got something to ask you. If you were in her shoes, and not one of the big winners in the genetic lottery, and the conditions in your home country were so bad that breaking the law in the most powerful country on Earth seemed like the safer alternative, what would you do?

If you said “I’d stay in my home country”, you don’t know yourself very well. I’d suggest some real deep soul-searching. In fact, I think we all need some!

When You’re Treating the Symptom

Should you have to be wealthy to be healthy?

Here in the United States, we are once again conducting a life and death screaming match about a symptom of a “disease.” We have performed this opus periodically for the last 100 years. And we will likely perform it well into the next century.

BloodPressure2Each time, the underlying disease is the same. And each time, we scream about a different symptom of the disease. Because we are too timid, too courteous, too lazy, too selfish, or too invested in treating the symptom to even recognize the disease. The disease is health.

Sounds funny, doesn’t it. I’ll bet you thought health was the absence of disease. Well, you are correct. And for 100 years we have been treating symptoms without acknowledging the fundamental question about the disease. Read more ruminating

To All My Buddies

When are you no longer BFFs?

Just what constitutes being a buddy? A bud. A BFF. Can you be a buddy with someone you just met? Or is there some unwritten rule that says you can’t be best buds until some certain period of time has passed? Is it like a probationary period, are you like “buddies in waiting”, or maybe “provisional buddies?” And if you’re buddies, can you fall out of “buddy-ness”, like we humans fall in and then out of love?

I’ve had lots of buddies over the years. There was my buddy Peter, who lived across the alley when I was a kid. I look back on that time, and I think we were inseparable, but then, we weren’t, because I haven’t seen him for decades. Were we really buddies?

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Spring Forward

We moved our clocks ahead this morning, those that didn’t move by themselves. Here in North America, in the areas that do so, we began observing Daylight Savings Time. Many areas around the globe have adopted this shift in time. Not all agree on when, or if, it should happen, or on how long it should last. I’m certain that there are some peoples in some regions of the world for whom Daylight Savings Time comes and goes unnoticed.

Stonehenge, before Daylight Savings Time

My phone knew what to do, probably from the nearby cell tower. So did the little wireless weather station, the one that talks to the temperature sensors installed outside the kitchen window and in the garage. I think the satellite network told it when. I forgot to tell the coffee maker, so it wasn’t ready when the rest of us were this morning. Maybe I should tell it about the satellites.


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