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Barnie, sentry, connectivity, individuality, violence, peace, love, play, comedy

Evergreen State Blues

One of the things many people no longer understand about these United States is its — their — peculiar genius: decentralism. The extreme of this is that contentious notion of state nullification of federal law, which most “smart” people deride (contra Jefferson and Madison) as itself made null and void

MAGA, white, hat

Hat Hate

I will concede — at least “arguendo”  — that President Trump is awful. But I will not concede that he is uniquely awful. His Tweets and signature verbal provocations aside, he is arguably better than his predecessors.* Arguably. Which means that his cribbed campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” affixed

building a divide, wall, immigration, ideology, Trump, Pelosi

The Obstruction

The federal government “shutdown” — now on reprieve — has been and continues to be a rather strange charade. Various political players make motions towards one another, and we, the people, are supposed to guess the real meaning.  Which is usually conceived as All about President Trump’s “Wall”; All about

smirk, smile, Covington, MAGA, PC

Toxic Smile?

Smirking is a subset of smiling. But what is a grimace?  Nick Sandman, the offending Covington, Kentucky, Catholic high school student who triggered so much outrage last weekend, smiled. The effrontery! Seeing a snippet of video, a social media mob formed, leaping to the conclusion that young Mr. Sandman was

green new deal, AOC, money, folly

Re-Packaging Nonsense as Wisdom

When committed to folly, clever people make it look wise. An article last week in Forbes, “The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay For It Isn’t ‘A Thing’ — And Inflation Isn’t Either,” by Robert Hockett, says that “how could we pay for it?” challenges have already been answered

women, woman, march, inclusion, in group, out group

Inclusivity Not Included

The 3rd annual Woman’s March strolled by over the weekend — a tiny fraction of its former self.  Two years ago, close to a million protesters converged on Washington, D.C., while this year’s event “appeared to attract only thousands,” The Washington Post reported, “mirroring lower turnout at marches . .

denier, climate change, globlal warming, skepticism, science

Skepticism in Order

It is not a question of “belief,” says Anastasios Tsonis.  In “The overblown and misleading issue of global warming,” this emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee explains that in a “scientific problem ‘believing’ has no place,” going on to clarify:  “In science, we either prove or disprove.” And

self licking ice cream, war, foreign policy, government

What Kind of Ice Cream Cone?

When I wrote about the Donald’s change of troop positions abroad last week, it was less than completely clear that the US President aimed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as well as Syria. But multiple reports on the day I posted “Strategic Disengagement” make it clearer: about half of America’s

Donald Trump, Trump, Syria

Strategic Disengagement

The policy was announced in a Tweet: President Trump said it was time to pull out of Syria. We won, he explained. “After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home!” There is, of course, much outcry among Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and pundit

Bernie Sanders, Walmart, Tucker Carlson, socialism

Creeping Bernie-ism

If you have been watching Tucker Carlson, recently, on Fox or in his bizarre interview with Ben Shapiro, you might have noticed something peculiar: the conservative newsman-commentator sometimes sounds awfully similar to Bernie Sanders. Both think that if some of Amazon’s and Walmart’s employees are not paid “enough” to live

Trump, Santa, NAFTA, trade

Christmas Is Coming

When I was a kid, every December day was like a rocket-launch countdown ’til Christmas. Republicans in the House of Representatives have fewer days to tick off: the days remaining to do something before Democrats take over. Days left in session? Eight. We know what Trump wants them to do:

Maine, Ranked Choice Voting, black box, elections, democracy

The Rank Reality of Math

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) doesn’t like Ranked Choice Voting. Last week, I suggested that’s because he lost his re-election to Congress in his state’s first use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Perhaps I spoke too quickly? Congressman Poliquin argues that RCV is a “black-box voting system.” “We heard from

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