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Practically Idealistic blog
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

“Convention Memories: Another Clinton, Another Age”

The New Haven Independent published my reflections nearly a quarter of a century after attending the 1992 Democratic National Convention: “Convention Memories: Another Clinton, Another Age.”

A version, with additional photos, also appears at Medium.

9:04 am edt 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Decrying Violence, Seeking Peace

Alas, violence in every city and state, not to mention atrocities abroad, can happen on a daily basis.  This blog has decried it before.

Still, it was sad to learn of the shooting deaths last week of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the Dallas police officers protecting a peaceful protest.

President Obama always seems to strike the right note and balance when he makes statements under the pressures of such events, but it’s awful that he keeps having to do so. 

Friday morning, I texted a friend of mine (whose birthday had been the day before) who happens to be a police officer as well as African American.  I wrote of “terrible news this week from Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and now Dallas.”  He replied, “It surely is my friend – some individuals in society just don’t get it…”

9:40 am edt 

Monday, July 4, 2016

“Those Who Serve,” Every Day

July 2012 (July 4) post cited a series of NPR reports on “Those Who Serve.”

The volunteer members of our military depicted in such stories merit more attention, more gratitude – not just on holidays like July 4, but every day.  Thanks to them, and to their families.

4:10 pm edt 

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