Faith and Fear and Courage

Listen to Audio My father Sam grew up in Gaffney, South Carolina, during the Great Depression. In those days, Gaffney’s economy centered around textile mills. The Owensbys worked in one of those mills and lived in one of the company-owned little houses in the mill village.  Sam was the youngest of thirteen children. He was…

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The Charleston Martyrs

Last night a gunman entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine people. Authorities have since apprehended the assailant after an intensive 14-hour search. Photos on the killer’s Facebook page indicate that he espoused a white supremacist ideology. Hatred and violence anywhere and at any time are repugnant. But the…

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Power, Love, and Leadership

Listen to Audio Josef Stalin led the former Soviet Union from the mid-1920’s through the early 1950’s. Within the first decade or so of his autocratic rule, Stalin transformed the Soviet economy from a premodern relic into a model of industrialization in the factory and on the farm alike. With the world in the grips…

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Getting Off The Crazy Bus

Listen to Audio She pointed at me. Repeatedly rocked left and right with an imaginary steering wheel in outstretched hands. Pointed at herself. And concluded her brief pantomime by spinning her hand and extended index finger in circles around her temple. “You drive me crazy,” was the message. I didn’t need her to explain what…

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