Category Archives: Social Commentary

Low Wage Grind

A co-worker asked if I needed to borrow another water bath canner to survive the season. This year’s abundance of vegetables has been stunning. There is a lot to preserve including apples, pears, celery, peppers and a couple dozen pints … Continue reading

Posted in Social Commentary | Tagged ,

Connections to Virginia

I was stationed at Robert E. Lee Barracks in Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany during my military service as an infantry officer. It seemed odd at first — that the American kaserne would be named for the commanding general of the Confederate Army … Continue reading

Posted in Social Commentary | Tagged , ,

Summer Weekend

Dan and I visited the Ciha Fen Preserve across the Cedar River in Johnson County on Saturday. “The Ciha Fen Preserve is a sand prairie/savanna complex on a wind-deposited sand ridge,” according to “It contains the Ciha Fen, which … Continue reading

Posted in Social Commentary | Tagged , ,

Defining Community

Each of us defines community through our engagement in society. Whether participation is passive, active, or in between, our lives and how we live them contribute in a meaningful way to how we live with others in a community. Not … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Social Commentary, Writing | Tagged , , ,

Living in the United States

All at once the United States is coming together and the convergence is upsetting. While members of the white privileged class engaged in the seventh game of baseball’s World Series, a black church was burned in Greenville, Mississippi. While members … Continue reading

Posted in Social Commentary | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Can Hipsters Live With Congolese Cobalt?

The lithium ion battery is becoming ubiquitous. These rechargeable, portable batteries power our mobile phones, tablets, laptops and cars, providing longer battery life, low self-discharge, better recharge life and comparatively low weight. Many of us take these benefits for granted, … Continue reading

Posted in Social Commentary | Tagged ,

Protect Environment; Stop Nuclear Weapons

(Editor’s Note: When this guest column ran in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on Wednesday, Sept. 21, its abstract nature became real as heavy precipitation events pummeled Butler County and other parts of northeastern Iowa, disrupting lives there and downstream. Living … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Nuclear Abolition, Social Commentary | Tagged , , ,