Whom do you Trust - Really?

By Lynn Gerlach and Steve Leahy

We like to get together for coffee every few weeks and gripe about the state of the union, the pain of polarization, the danger to democracy, and the dearth of wise, open-minded leaders. We finally decided to do something positive about it: Together we assembled a list of thought leaders with whom we’d be willing to trust our democracy – with no concern for political affiliation or line of work. We simply listed individuals whose perspectives and judgments we’ve grown to trust, demonstrably respectable leaders who seem to us like true, loyal Americans. And then we invited America to weigh in.

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The Mystery of the Postman, the Detective and the Unrelenting Sewer Flies

Wednesday: Today a detective knocked on my door. What a thrill – a first for me. I had just finished reading Michael Connelly’s newest detective novel, The Late Show, so I was well prepared. When the man (dressed in shorts and tee shirt and wearing a baseball cap) introduced himself as Detective Someone from the Redmond Police, he immediately showed me first his wallet badge and then the badge clipped to his belt. I knew that was the right protocol, because, in The Late Show, Detective Renee Ballard always makes sure to show both of them right away. (See how my reading of contemporary fiction gives me context for real life challenges?)

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Has Fiction No Place in Our Lives?

Oh, for a good, old fashioned soap opera – a mindless, unrealistic, silly daytime TV show one could easily turn away from. You might know what I mean if you’re of an age. In fact, as I recall, in the heyday of soap operas (TV dramas largely sponsored by detergent companies selling to bored housewives), most of us didn’t even have our TVs turned on when “soaps” were airing. And we felt darned good about that. Silly old soaps! Waste of time! Who would watch that?

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Optimism and Abundance

Let’s kick that “scarcity” perspective for 2017 

Yes, I know this is meant to be a space to talk about communication. On the other hand, what element of human interaction does not involve communication? So I’m giving myself wide latitude here today, and I’m going to share with my readers the bounty – the uplifting, optimistic, promising bounty – I have discovered over the past year in two works that nicely bookend a world perspective based on positive expectations.

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Post-Election Reflections

Read 'em and weep.

Well, just a few post-election observations, tossed out at random. Draw your own conclusions.

Sixty-two percent of Americans now say they get their news from social media. Social media! News! And forty-four percent of Americans say they get their news from Facebook, specifically. Have you ever, in your wildest dreams, considered Facebook a source for news? I must be a real dinosaur!

Twenty percent of Americans still claim to read newspapers.

Last summer Facebook apparently got rid of the humans editing its trending topics list. Now veracity is checked by an algorithm. (And I’m sure “al” is smart and all.)

Last July Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States. I know it’s true because I saw it on Facebook.

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Lets Take Stock

How about an update on some recent Speakeasy themes?

I suggest we take a few minutes today to revisit some of our favorite topics over the past few weeks and see what’s new. Here are ten rather interesting random “updates” I encountered quite by accident:

1.     I saw a glimpse of The Essential Hillary Clinton which included video from many years ago.

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