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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, November 6, 2016

"'Revolution' Talk Serious, from Shays' Rebellion to Today"

Controversy over the acquittal of Ammon Bundy's crew of federal-land occupiers, and talk among some Donald Trump supporters of “revolution” if he doesn't prevail in an allegedly “rigged” election, inspired me to write a brief opinion piece.

A slightly longer version, with additional illustrations, is at Medium.

8:17 am est 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Dads and Daughters

The Huffington Post published the comments of "13 Fathers of Daughters," including several dads who mentioned their support for feminism and the advance of gender equality. 

My own reflections are excerpted at number 13.

8:42 am edt 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Climate Change, Air Quality

UNICEF published a discouraging report on toxic air pollution afflicting hundreds of millions of the world's children in particular -- as conferees prepare to gather in Morocco to pursue implementation of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Meanwhile, the already awful air quality in New Delhi has worsened due to a combination of seasonal weather conditions, Diwali holiday fireworks, and illegal burning of agricultural waste. 

My parents-in-law are among the Delhi residents enduring the pollution, which was an element of a spring 2016 account that followed my family's most recent visit there.

7:12 am edt 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Remembering Diane "Cookie" Polan

Sadly, civil rights lawyer Diane "Cookie" Polan recently died.

There will be a memorial service for Cookie Polan on Sunday, December 4 in the auditorium of a New Haven public school for which she was a strong advocate.  Donations may be made in her memory to the New Haven Legal Assistance Association or New Haven Reads.

7:57 am edt 

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