Roots & Shoots


Fostering Family Connections	
Friday, 10 March 2023

Language is a necessary but troubling challenge to exchange ideas. I have found the use of “liberal” to be confusing and often mistaken for both political and economic discourse or conversation. Last Wednesday evening I found and related a quote from Francis Fukuyama, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Here is what he said in a Harper's interview.

    I would start by saying what I don’t mean by liberalism. If you call someone liberal in the United States, you mean that person is left of center, prioritizes equality, and wants government to do more to promote it. If you call someone liberal in Europe, you mean that person is right of center, prioritizes liberty, wants free markets and less government intervention. I don’t think these economic definitions are the essence of the thing. To me, liberalism revolves around a presumption of basic equality of dignity that applies to all of us as members of our species, and the idea that this dignity is ultimately based on our moral autonomy, our ability to make moral choices. You institutionalize liberalism through a rule of law that puts constraints on the use of political power such that the government does not interfere with this basic autonomy.

Since its beginnings in the seventeenth century, liberalism has also been closely associated with a certain cognitive mode—that of modern natural science, with its belief that there is an objective reality beyond our subjective consciousnesses, a reality that we can come to know through the scientific method. We can then use the resulting knowledge to manipulate that reality, moving from science to technology, and finally to the engineering of economic and social life.

If you use the term this way, Sweden, Denmark, and other big social democratic states qualify as liberal, but so do the United States, Japan, and other countries that have smaller welfare states. Liberalism has much more to do with this fundamental recognition of individual rights.

The highlights coincide with mental models I have held since my undergraduate days.

    AFIB or Atrial Fibrillation was discussed last Wednesday and Dick Lindgren used an illustration of an EKG to explain how diagnosis of AFIB may be made and how it can be fraught. He had found the $100 portable devices attached to an iPhone to be of questionable value. Drugs to treat AFIB can be expensive, so Dick has some recommendations on reducing costs.
    Dave Lindgren was finally able to tell us about his findings regarding Swedish Coffee. He presented a nice slide show to explain how he used the recipe. I'll be editing the video and posting it on the website along with Aunt Hazel;s recipe for Apple Cake.
    Snow (and weather) is always close to mind on our Zoom calls and this week the Minnesota Mafia was ranting about the record setting snowfalls (approaching the tenth highest historically) in Minnesota.
    Jon and Elaine Lindgren are planning a drive to New York City to see granddaughter Lily perform for her ballet studies at Fordham University.
    My daughter, Erika Rivers, is anticipating a trip to Hawaii and the Volcano National Park on Maui. She will be leading a group sponsored by Wilderness Inquiry.
    Because of feedback I received by eMail and a question about how to contact the entire distribution list, I will post Roots & Shoots on the LONet website each week. This will provide readers with a way to comment. If you have anything by way of rebuttal or additional information, please post your comments there.
    Steve Lindgren has been monitoring the proposed merger of our Minnesota-based Fairview Health System with the Sanford Health operating out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Because University of Minnesota physicians associate with the UMN Medical School are opposed t the merger, it has attracted a great deal of attention in the TC area.


Our NEW SCHEDULE for Zooming begins nest Tuesday, March 14th at 7:30PM. We're not abandoning Wednesday evening but want to try out other days and shorten the time. Our tentative scheule for the rest of March is posted below. Days and starting times are going to move around, with hope that it will be easier for some to join that have not found Wednesday a good fit for participating. We have found over hte many months of doing these Zoom sessions, that no matter how big or small the group, we always have fun. We always hope you will be able to join us.

Here is connection information for TUESDAY. :

You are warmly invited to join our Zoom meeting on TUESDAY.

Topic: Family Zoom Conversation ... Steve Lindgren will facilitate a discussion focusing on our accomplishments as we approach 150 Zoom sessions.

Time: Mar 14, 2023 07:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 653 136 3825
For the remainder of March our Zoom sessions will be as follows:
Sunday, March 19th, 3:30 PM Tentative pending availability of a presenter.)
Thursday, March 24th, 7:30 PM
Wednesday March 29th, 7:30 PM

Let's Keep in Touch!

Warmest regards,


(218) 348-3325 or

One reply on “ROOTS & SHOOTS—V1N6”

I am not sure of where to post this. I just read Jon Coss’ article on the Hedstrom’s. One of my best friends from college married a Hedstrom. Her husband’s father was Herbert Hedstrom. Herb was a Evangelical Covenant pastor in Glenview, IL and Elgin, IL.

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