Welcome to COBS Web

pontificating goherHi and welcome to this new Free Thought Blog blog. I am Rowan Wolf, and that rather multi-gendered name is a woman’s moniker this instance. I am a lifelong activist starting as a wee tyke of 17 working in the women’s liberation, farm workers, and then young environmental movements. I did not realize at that point that I was signing up for a lifetime of struggle. I thought that at some point we would ‘win.’ Well, there have been ‘wins’ and also ‘losses’, and now? I’d say we are in a BIG backslide.

I admit that after almost 50 years of wrestling for social justice and a better world, I saw the success of Trump’s campaign (way before the election) with sadness. His success was legitimating the blatant bigotry that I knew would cause lasting harm – even if he had lost his run for President.

He did not lose, and now that bigotry has been institutionalized at the highest formal levels of out society. We have a lot of work to do. Which brings us back to FtB and COBS Web,

When I was made aware of the opportunity to join the collective of writers here at FtB, I put in my application. It is a time when I think that working collectively is critical. Working together more than amplifies our individual efforts. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As I noted, and if you do the math, I’ve been at this social change business for awhile. I am also a sociologist, and I have learned that there are changes that happen very fast, and changes that happen very slow. Changing hearts and minds on a societal basis is slow – for a whole array of reasons. Changing the way we live (driven by technology) can move us in a direction, reshaping many aspects of out lives and interactions, at virtual light speed. Weird, huh?

I’ll stop here for now, before you decide that this is just too long to read. I’ll return to this and other topics shortly.

I am leaving the commenting feature open (unless we get a bunch of trolls and I am forced to close them).

So once again, welcome! Glad to be here.


  1. Donna Duvin says

    Thank you for bringing your personal journey and convictions to many of us who hunger for others of like mind and value. So gratifying to be introduced to your voice here, Rowan. Also so happy to join you in today’s ongoing fight!

  2. says

    I’m so happy to see you here and thrilled to be working with you again, Rowan! ♥︎

    I hope you find FtB a welcoming place, with synergies that boost diverse voices into a louder and more powerful whole. Like you said, we have a lot of work to do. We need all hands on deck.

  3. Cheryl Berube says

    Welcome! I agree with you about the gains and losses. We gained so much in the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s and now it looks like its going to be erased in one orange swoop.

  4. cobsweb says

    Thanks to all of you for the warm welcome. It is much appreciated.
    In this society, and in many others, it takes constant effort and then enforced vigilance to even approach social equality. This is for two primary reasons (IMO). First is that deep and multi-faceted inequality is deeply engrained within every social institution. Second, that multi-faceted inequality is also engrained within our culture. Lastly, those two interact, reinforce, and recreate that inequality.
    Therefore, during ‘calm’ times we see to make great strides towards equality (though rarely do we address justice), and during challenging times it takes seemingly little to go back to near our starting place. Thus, the reaction to September 11, 2001 set us back decades. We were literally ONE day away from passing legislation to address the institutionalized racism in the criminal (in)justice system.
    It has taken all the time since, too many deaths, and millions of people taking action to bring that same inequality to the surface of the public consciousness again. Likely, in part, because of this, we see a massive push back in the rise and election of trump, who footed his entire platform upon blatant bigotry – most especially racial bigotry.
    So here we are, and we must bring our passion, and our selves, to the forefront of the struggle for these ideas, these people, this earth. We must do this with focus, intensity, and most of all LOVE, for the forces pushing the other way are fighting with FEAR (which generates hate) on their side. We must redefine the battlefield or we will lose and there are lives and the planet on the line – in my opinion.
    I am honored to be here and feel that I am among not just potential allies, but friends.

  5. StevoR says

    Welcome and look forward to reading here. Trump’s election – dubious as it was – horrifies, disgusts and deeply worries me and I’m the separated by the planets largest ocean from him. (Aussie typing here.) I only hope it marks a nadir in global trends and a turning point from which we collectively globally – thanks to the much needed work of a lot of good people like I think you and try to be me – start recovering ASAP.

    Carl Sagan for me sums things up superbly here :


    You may already be familiar with it but still.

    Question please – what is the mammal on the fencepost in your OP’s image here?

  6. cobsweb says

    Hey StevoR,

    Thanks for stopping by. Trump’s election may unravel, or we may be watching a coup. Increasingly that is feeling more literal and less figurative. Trump’s ‘cabinet’ is looking like a junta with retired generals in every pocket. Who knew what when are starting to be ‘real’ questions and not just those of ‘conspiracy theorists’ (though I prefer the label ‘conspiracy analyst’) like me. I am both too suspicious and too literal for my own good. The breaking news is that ‘the conscience of the Congress” early civil rights activist, John Lewis, has stated that he believes that Trump’s position as President-elect is ‘illegitimate.’ That is going to rattle a few windows for sure.

    I agree with you on Sagan’s Blue Marble. It is all a matter of perspective. Regardless, though, I think it is a spectacularly bad idea for humans to be terraforming the only planet we have to live on – the one we all are living, loving and dying on.

    That fair mammal is a North American gopher. I refer to it as my ‘pontificating gopher’ and it has been associated with my personal site (Uncommon Thought Journal) since its inception in 2002.

    Before this is over we may need to call in these guys. The gopher mafia! gophers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.