Kansas City protest – March 20th

For the first time in nine months I came back to the same protest area in the park at 47th and Main in Kansas City. This place has become all too familiar. Two years ago today we stood on the north side of 47th street. Back then I wrote:






"China’s Economic Miracle Will End Soon" (redandexpert)

Written by redandexpert at her blog, The Paper Tiger, and reprinted with her express permission.  Redandexpert will soon launch her own diaries here.

  You know, I read a series of articles about government control of public discourse in China, and I think, maybe things haven’t changed that much since 1979, when the closest thing there was to public dissent was Democracy Wall, and we know how that turned out.






Why I, an atheist, love the UCC

First, a preface to a preface.  I am an atheist.  I am not agnostic, I am not confused, I am not searching.  I do not believe that there is a greater power or a greater being or some grand scheme of existence.  I believe that humans are animals just like the rest of them, and that we evolved to become what we are today.  

But I am not writing this to discuss my beliefs, and I personally don’t care to discuss the beliefs of others.  To each her/his own, and I sincerely mean that.






Brothers and Sisters,

I bid you pray* for our community, the world, and all in need.

For our community:

  • For the unemployed, for those who cannot attain independence, for those who struggle with financial insecurity;
  • For parents and their children, that their homes may always be nurturing and loving;
  • For those who suffer from addiction or mental illness. May we always provide loving support in their struggles;
  • For those who have experienced illness, whether serious or run-of-the-mill;
  • For those who are heartbroken, lonely, or isolated.

And we give you thanks for:

  • Our families and friends;
  • Satisfying work, access to health care, freedom of speech, and all good fortune brought by living in the developed world;
  • For spring.

*Meditate, hold in good and active thought.






What does it mean to be a teacher?

NOTE: posted this afternoon on dailykos, but it scrolled by without much notice.  I really think it is worth the read

What does it mean to be a teacher?  I am often asked why i became a teacher, which question is far easier to answer.  I can give the history, which I will not here recapitulate.  I can, as I often do, say that I wanted my life to make a difference, which I think it has.  But that does not answer the far more difficult question with which i began this essay:  what does it mean to be a teacher?

This will not be an intellectual exploration.  I could offer that, but there are others far more capable and far more experienced than am I.  It will instead be a personal reflection, drawn from my experience in this time and place, inspired in part by the self-examination I am undergoing as part of preparing to submit my portfolio for certification by the National Board for Professional teaching Standards. It will also be influenced by the active role I have taken in writing about educational issues here at dailykos.

Consider yourself forewarned.  Should you choose to continue reading, below the break, you now have some idea what you will encounter.