Archbishop Tutu’s Treasured Seattle Connection

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Words of the archbishop, read Sunday night at Epiphany Church, spoke to his country’s struggle and today’s world: “True reconciliation is based on forgiveness, and forgiveness is based on true confession, and confession is based on penitence, on contrition, on sorrow for what you have done."

Remembering Stan Barer, 82, Architect of Trade with China

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“He was  the one who really enabled the trade and commerce between the U.S. and China, and especially the Pacific Northwest,” ex-U.S. Ambassador to China (and Gov.) Gary Locke said in a UW Law School tribute to Barer. The connection stuck.

Remembering Author Charles Morris, a Master Revisionist

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Reviewing a later book, the journalist Michael Kinsley (a Morris-like sensibility), noted Morris's neoconservative aspects "but with generosity and good will." There are always lots of "saints and sinners" in his histories.

The Dark Wit and Complicated Wisdom of Bob Dole

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Dole “has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man,” opponent Walter Mondale retorted. Dole later acknowledged: “I was told to go for the jugular and I did – mine.”

What, Me Happy?

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Yuval Levin writes: “A fuller understanding of flourishing would see it as achievable not by a proper sequencing of solitary choices but by a proper layering of embedded commitments to others."

A Tribute to Congresswoman Jolene Unsoeld, Dead at 89, and her ‘Life of Wild...

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She would serve six years in Congress.  Unsoeld refused to be addressed by her title and insisted on being called Jolene. 

How Jerry Grinstein Saved Maggie and Also Rescued Delta Airlines

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Grinstein's most important maxim: “Focus on a circumscribed objective that is attainable.” I asked Jerry how we could direct public attention to the problem. “Find a fire-hydrant to piss on,” he said.

Inside the Funeral of Colin Powell

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It was a bipartisan affair of a kind one doesn’t see in America much any more, but it was not “political.” The former presidents didn’t speak.

Goodbye to Dick Kelley, 71, Renaissance Man of Local Politics

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Last week, Seattle laid to rest a true renaissance man, and one of the best local politicians we managed never to quite elect.

Rules for Leadership: What I Learned Interviewing Colin Powell

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I first interviewed him at the Pentagon when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our country was engaged in the First Gulf War. For that interview, we sat around a small table, and a chest full of medals gleamed on his uniform.

Post-COVID: Quality of Life and the Great Resignation

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Post-pandemic shut-downs, many employers are having a hard time filling positions, even with several increases in pay. “The pandemic,” said one employee, “accelerated or accentuated all the feelings I’d had about work/life balance.”

Why Seattle Declared an Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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Our flawed hero Columbus has been heralded over the centuries for a discovery that came at a terrible cost to those he found inhabiting that world.

Masks: Fashion Statement or Reason to Protest?

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Never before (not even during the 1919 flu outbreak) has a piece of flimsy fabric taken on such broad, far-reaching significance -- on one hand adopted as a fashion statement and on the other sparking such outrage. 

Making Waves: Remembering Kay Bullitt

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Characteristically, whether she was Kay Muller or Kay Bullitt, she preferred the “second row.” Certainly she could occupy the spotlight, and effectively, but Kay did not need and did not seek prominence.

Those Spam Scammers Deserve a Special Kind of Hell

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to be necessary for getting me “the refund to which I was entitled,” I thought “this is nuts . . . this is a scam . . . goodbye.”

Remembering Northwest Poet/Architect Grant Jones (1938-2021)

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Grant Jones and his life’s work were formed by the Pacific Northwest.

When I Swam with Juan Peron at the “Hotel of the Dictators”

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We embarked on what we envisioned as a lark; an exotic adventure. It turned out to be far more.

Eulogy: Rev. Jean Kim, “Mother of Seattle’s Homeless”

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It's easy to make light of the Church of the Good Bra, but it is simply impossible not to stand in awe of the incredible work that Rev. Kim did to nurture the homeless and unsheltered, especially over the years of her several unsuccessful attempts at "retirement."

Goodbye to the Germy Handshake

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Folklore has it that extending an empty hand was a sign of trust, showing that one's hand was free of weapons. The gesture of "shaking" hands did double duty, serving to dislodge knives or other objects concealed in a sleeve.

Present Tense Perfect — Focusing After COVID

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The pandemic and aging have led me to question those not very wise, largely unexamined, assumptions. Things change. Sometimes radically. Things end, including lives. Things don’t always get better in the future. If they do, it’s a bonus not a certainty.

Wealthy Women Giving Generously: MacKenzie Scott

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Women are more visible in philanthropy today because they've been fighting for a seat at every table for decades. Gender matters in philanthropy. Men and women engage in giving differently; not necessarily better, but differently.

Tired of Paying Taxes? Try Philanthropy!

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During the last 40 years, as the rich have gotten richer, and the poor and middle-classes have lost ground or, at best, stayed even, there has also been an explosion of philanthropy and the creation of a boat-load of foundations.

Two Minds: What to do about Crime Rate Rise?

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We have a hammer problem with policing. As in, “when every problem is a nail, every solution is a hammer.” We have asked the police to do too much. Or to put it another way, we send police to deal with stuff that is better dealt with by other people using other methods.

In the Absence of Packaging… A social life emerges

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Sometimes it’s the thinnest of membranes that separate us from each other. This came to mind when I was contemplating our dramatic change of...

Canada loses a Legal Giant who served the Cause of Indigenous People

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Why should we note Tom Berger’s passing on this side of the 49th Parallel? Because past mistreatment of Native peoples knew no boundaries, and redress in the form of empowerment and justice came in the 1970s on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Which Relationships Survived the Pandemic and Which Didn’t?

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Our whole history lives with and in our oldest friends. If we hadn’t excluded less meaningful, casual acquaintances before the pandemic, we’re likely to do so when it’s over.

The Classics and our need for Ambiguity

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We seem now to be in a time when fewer people are willing to consider life’s complexity, and to the truth that “human existence is not easily divided into good and evil, but filled with complexity, nuance and ambiguity.”

Why We Should Stop Calling it the Salish Sea

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Originally, the two straits and Puget Sound were known as the Gulf of Georgia, a name given by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 to honor his sovereign and patron, George III. It was a patronizing term then, much as the Salish Sea is now.

Nash Collection Farm Worker Photos Get Front Page Treatment

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The Nash Collection had been locked away in a sub-basement of the Washington State University Library since the early 1990s, with only about 100 low resolution images from the collection posted on the library’s website, until a Seattle couple posted a few of those images on Facebook.

Navigating the Messy In-Between Before the End

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Maybe a good time to take stock, to ask ourselves what have I learned? Are there things we have learned to take forward with us on the next leg of the journey? Are there other things that need, now, to be left behind?