Mugwumps Rising

I’m a Mugwump. That is, a person who remains independent, especially refraining from party politics. Mugwumps abhor political machines and the stench of patronage spoils.

Both parties today (or the “permanent governing class,” as I call them) nominated unworthy candidates who will not get much done for Americans. Instead, they cater to lobbyists and party wingtips. They mouth “middle class,” but prefer to kindle class wars, rather than creating common ground.

I’m sick and tired of Republicans and Democrats presuming that they rule over us. Given the wealth that DC denizens take in during and after government jobs, greed and power-mongering explain their behavior. What explains ours?

Arise, Mugwumps! We have nothing to lose but the usual suspects.

In Loving Memory

My great-great-grandfather, Abraham Van Orden, was Harbor Master of New York in 1851.

He could not have imagined that his city would look like this 150 years later (in August 2001, when this photo was taken).

In 2012, I can still barely comprehend that our city no longer looks like this, ever since 9/11/2001. This September, as every September since that day, my heart and prayers go out to families, loved ones, and neighbors of Americans who died that tragic day. May we always hold their memories dear, and honor the devotion of our countrymen who came to serve in dire times. May God bless America.

Purpose, Continuity, and Empathy

Barbara Krasner interviewed me today for her blog, ~ the words in the heading of this post are three key concepts I emphasized in our discussion. So check it out and see what you think.

Interview with John Bowman, CEO of The Bowman Group.

Both. Sides. Now.

For decades, clouds meant my commute might become rainy. Ugly prospect.

Yesterday, I lay on my back for hours watching clouds on a bright blue sky, scudding across the horizon.

I was wrong. Judi was right. There are two sides. Clouds are beautiful, too.


Freed By Fire


This is the tiny cone of a lodge pole pine. The trees stand tall and straight in the woods of Wyoming. Until a forest fire snuffs out their lives. But intense heat is required for the cone to open, germinate, and begin a life cycle anew. No fire, no future.

Makes me realize how this can be a metaphor for our own human lives.

Best. Athlete. Ever?

Phelps Phascination. The next month will tell the world whether (or not) Michael Phelps will be as big a winner at the 2012 London Olympics as he was at Beijing in 2008 .

Who knows how much of his approach-avoidance was ginned up by the media. Doesn’t matter. If he wins 4 more medals, it makes him the most prolific Olympic athlete in history. The possibility of seeing that is irresistible. And inspiring.;videoMetaInfo

Old Glory, Ever Aloft

‎”Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”


On this day, when we celebrate our nation’s independence, I honor my ancestor, Betsy Ross, and her beloved husband, a brave minuteman who willingly sacrificed his life for the freedom of his homeland.

My Front Yard

It starts with one hundred yards of sand. Three hundred feet from my home to the Atlantic Ocean.  From there, it stretches to the horizon. Ever changing, sometimes terrifying, usually glorious, and always inspiring.

Mind Your P’s & Q’s

There are varied origin stories for this expression, ranging from typesetting to barkeeping. A recent article in Forbes points towards the importance of what I call Personal Quotients. Even more vital to one’s success in life than IQ, are EQ (Emotional Quotient), MQ (Moral Quotient) and BQ (Body Quotient). I am resolved to strengthen all four.

To learn more, see–what-you-really-need-to-succeed.html

Trending Tonight?

And the winner is … ?

Or, as William Penn so memorably penned:

“Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.”

Therefore, I hope this post isn’t.

Isn’t popular.