How I became interested in government and politics
To promote my play “Practicing Democracy” https://practicingdemocracy.org/ I have given a dozen talks around town to non-academic audiences. The question that has surprised me the most is “Whatever caused you to study politics all your life?” My ears heard a tone of a mixture of disbelief and sympathy, almost like “whatever made you think you could fly like a bird off the top of the state capitol?” Continue reading
“One Community, One Columbia,” a local Columbia, Missouri blog, gave some attention to my forthcoming play “Practicing Democracy” to be performed at the Missouri United Methodist Church September 21-24 2017. Take a look https://1community1columbia.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/building-bridges-practicing-democracy/
“Practicing Democracy,” which I wrote, will be performed in Columbia, Mo September 21-23, 2017 at 7:30 and September 24 at 2:00 at Missouri United Methodist Church (9th Street). Below is a synopsis and list of characters.
Tickets are at https://practicingdemocracy.org/
Two ambitious young candidates aspiring for the state legislature meet an elder statesman aspiring to restore democracy. The mix of campaign practices and information technology provide challenges and opportunities affecting the election result. The play is in two acts—pre-campaign and the campaign and Election Day.
SETTING: Almost any medium-sized town in America.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MR. ADAMS, 75, military hero, Marine in Viet Nam, former two-term legislator, retired bank president.
TOM KELLY, mid-30s, insurance salesman, family man.
RYAN BROWN, mid-30, had a variety of jobs, mostly politics; an Army Vet.
CONNIE SCHMIDT, early 40s, an experienced campaign consultant (could be a man–Charlie).
JENNY TURNER, young, TV reporter (could be a young man–Jason)
Preparing for the Community Discussion of the film “Detroit” Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7 PM at the Boone Home (next to Second Baptist Church on 5th Street) in Columbia, MO, I have collected several reviews and comments below. The podcast below is a compelling oral review of Detroit 1967 and its aftermath. Continue reading
ESPN had excellent segment about homeless basketball player
ESPN’s E-60 had an excellent segment by reporter Shelley Smith July 30, 2017 about a woman who went from college basketball star to a schizophrenic homeless person. In 2000, Schuye LaRue was ACC Rookie of the Year at the University of Virginia. After her sophomore year she abruptly decided to turn pro and ended up going to Italy to play. After a brief time, she returns home to the Washington DC area to live with her mother. Continue reading
Columbia MISSOURIAN David Webber Jul 28, 2017
Guest Commentary: Death of a homeless man focuses assessment of local effort.
Last weekend a homeless man collapsed and died two days later. His name was Michael; he was 46 years old and an alcoholic. Continue reading
I changed the background of this blog from a panoramic view of the U.S. Capitol to George Caleb Bingham’s County Election painted in 1852. Bingham (1811-1879) is well-known in Missouri for his depictions of ordinary life in the mid-1800. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives in 1848. It is an era piece for it shows only white males participating in elections. If all citizens had been paying attention to their responsibilities the past couple decades maybe we would not be in today’s chaos.
Looking for Faith and Fellowship at Chautauqua 2017
I spent July 8-15, 2017 at the Chautauqua Institution listening to first-class lectures and discussions examining “Is there a Crisis in Faith?” Chautauqua is a beautiful 740 acres on a lake in western New York, isolated from social reality, opened for nine weeks a year with a different theme each week. It was founded in 1874 to train Methodist Sunday school teachers and has been non-denominational since 1890. It was nationally known before World War II and has hosted several presidential speeches. President Theodore Roosevelt supposedly said that Chautauqua “is the most American thing in America.” One speaker this week said “it is a little slice of heaven” to which someone replied “Heaven will certainly be more diverse.” Alas, the more than 5,000 participants were Christian or Jewish, highly educated, mostly over 50, and . . . white. The speakers were much more diverse. Take a look here: Chq.org or www.ciweb.org Continue reading
Carl Update: I found Carl after three months
After three months of casual looking, I finally happened upon a homeless guy I call Carl. I was happy to see him. A week ago, his daughter had told me where to look.
I first met Carl last February 1 when he was dropped off by a taxi from the hospital at closing time at a soup kitchen where I volunteer once a week. I did not know what to do that cold night and dropped him off at the bus station that was due to close in 30 minutes. I was disappointed in myself, the hospital, and almost everyone who I spoke with about what I should do. I described this in a March 10, 2017 op ed essay in the Columbia TRIBUNE