Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

Johnny Dankworth RIP

Jazz legend Johnny Dankworth dies aged 82 BBC 7 Feb 2010 Sir John Dankworth, a mainstay of the British jazz scene for over 60 years, has died. Saxophonist Sir John, 82, served as musical director to the likes of Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald. Sir John, known as Johnny, died in a London hospital […]

A Hospital Story

There was a woman who was dying in a hospital; a double organ transplant gone wrong. Six months now her body had wasted away. Eighty pounds in weight now and her entire lifetime allotment of anti-rejection shock-drug therapy used up. After four exploratory surgeries to untangle this and untie that, everybody was at a loss. […]

I hope this site was helpful

A search string someone used recently to find their way to “How many times should I turn a blind eye to dodgy practices before I blow the whistle?” Great question! I hope you found something on this site that was helpful.

Congratulations, boys.

NZ rocket launches into space NZ Herald | Monday Nov 30, 2009 New Zealand’s first space rocket has launched this afternoon. The Atea-1 took off from its launch site at Great Mercury Island just before 3pm, after technical problems delayed this morning’s planned launch. The launch company, Rocket Lab Ltd, started up three years ago […]

Bob Dylan Chronicles vol 1

Just read it. Wow, what a beautiful book. Some of the writing is exquisite, and the insights into his journey, his influences and his drive to be the musician he wanted to be are extraordinary. His homage to Woody Guthrie and later Robert Johnson are brilliantly convincing, and it’s worth reading the book just for […]


I love the sound of the word Vendetta! Vendetta! Say it with me, Vendetta! It has such a lovely ring to it. It almost feels as if you’re in Italy, with a great big knife, pumping it in and out of your worst enemy’s chest. Vendetta! Vendetta! Vendetta! But the word itself, dissected by dictionary […]

How to protect yourself from extortion: Er, live a ‘clean’ life

David Letterman Reveals Extortion Attempt Over His Affairs – By Bill Carter October 1, 2009 David Letterman, the late night talk show host, said on his show on Thursday that he had been the victim of an extortion attempt over charges of sexual affairs with staff members, claims that he conceded were true. Mr. […]

The Internet, Robin Hood, and his Merry Men

Let me tell you a fairy tale, if I may. There was once a man named Robin Hood and he had a band of Merry Men, and yes there was also a Sherriff of Nottingham, and a contingent of motley Hench men. One day Robin Hood and his Merry Men did something very bad and […]


Once, in a hotel in California, I stepped onto an elevator in which a large well-dressed black man, and his equally large wife, stood. “Going down?” the man asked. “Yes, thank you,” I answered. Quietly the elevator slid downwards. The couple did not know me and so had stopped their private conversation. Because, I did […]

A loss of moral authority

There is added moral authority when someone who hasn’t had to struggle sounds a call to help those less privileged. Beyond mere noblesse-oblige, Teddy Kennedy became a leading voice of ‘liberal’ ideology, with an emphasis on equality and innate justice best expressed in the civil rights movement of the 1960s — but applied far wider […]

The power of an appeal to decency

A recent reference to a made-up threat of ‘Death Panels’ led me to recall a famous political showdown. Legend tells us this interchange sparked the beginning of the end for Senator Joseph McCarthy. While McCarthy was not without opponents to his paranoid demagoguery, lawyer Joseph Welch went down in history as a giant-slayer. Welch was […]

Falling into error: when we think we know why…

Fundamental attribution error It’s intriguing how often you will stumble across someone’s hallucinations about another person’s motives for action. In earlier posts I’ve discussed the character attacks that a critic (any critic) can commonly expect to endure in response to them giving their gift: ‘Oh you’re just saying that because you’re … [fill in the […]

Remembering Karla

They can be strange lands, the pathways of our memory. Our recent discussions about animosity and forgiveness and letting go of disappointment and anger has provoked recollections of a case which I haven’t thought about for long time. When I was a news reporter twenty years ago I covered the search for a young girl […]

“Do I believe in the forgiveness of sin?”

I heard this question in a BBC Heart & Soul documentary today about a family where the father had sexually abused his young daughter. The wife described how she had come to a place where the question, “Do I believe in the forgiveness of sin?” arose when considering her husband’s actions towards her daughter. Her […]

The Paradox of Animosity

I’ve been thinking, prompted in part by a comment from Chowbok who said: Hatred is the easiest of emotions to invoke. Is it possible to be trenchantly, even violently opposed to what you perceive as wrongdoing without slipping into HATRED of the perpetrator? If we agree (you and I) that bitterness of spirit is a […]