Skip to content

Category Archives: Political issues

The long, winding road to Denmark

A festive business dinner in Denmark with a technology team from the San Francisco Chronicle and employees of the Danish company CCI International. That’s me in the black shirt, second from the right. The year is 2002. The curmudgeon H.L. Mencken left us a rich legacy of fine quotes. One of his best is about […]

For your worry list, with apologies

Raven Rock: The Story of the Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die, by Garrett Graff. Simon & Schuster, 2017. The Medical Implications of Nuclear War. National Academy of Sciences Press, 1986. Our worry lists are long. As a friend recently said in email, “…[W]e probably all have a […]

It’s inevitable

The March cover story of The Atlantic probably marks a turning point in the long process of bringing Donald Trump to justice. The Atlantic is a centrist publication that often speaks for Washington’s centrist think-tank establishment. This article makes it official: the centrist Washington establishment is done with Trump. They now understand what he has […]

Rethinking the unthinkable

Those of you who recognize the quote in the image above will guess the subject of this post: thermonuclear war. The quote is from the 1983 classic film “War Games” starring Matthew Broderick. First of all, I’m not the only person with a renewed concern about nuclear weapons. It seems to be in the zeitgeist […]

Turning points in right-wing propaganda

Source: Axios. The red components were added by me and are explained below. This morning, Axios has an optimistic piece with the headline “Trust in the media is starting to make a comeback.” The article reports on several polls and studies, including a study by the Knight Foundation released in September 2018. Axios says nothing […]

The yield curve and the coming Trump recession

A Facebook meme One of the first rules of managing your money is never to give, or to accept, advice about money. I’m not giving any advice in this post. But I am suggesting that now is a good time to take a good hard look — according to one’s own lights — at the […]

The global rot of billionaires

The list of things that make American deplorables so deplorable is very long — racism, vile religion, anti-intellectualism, appalling ignorance, love of propaganda, and tolerance for violence, to name a few. But one of the worst vices — taught by their sorry politics as well as their sorry religion — is the glorification of the […]

The authoritarian lust for scapegoats

Transgender teenager Ally Steinfield, who was murdered last year in Missouri. Her body was mutilated and set on fire. We live in a strange society in which a rather sad, vulnerable, harmless teenager like Ally Steinfield is seen as sick and dangerous. Whereas the people who have a mysterious need to scapegoat people like Ally […]

Privilege and humiliation

The American people are getting some excellent — and I suspect lasting — new insights into the ugliness of unearned privilege. But unearned privilege is only half of the problem that requires fixing. The flip side of that coin is undeserved humiliation. The two things together — the increasing humiliation of the many and the […]

Loyalty vs. justice

Matthew Trudeau Photography via Wikipedia Regular readers here know that I find Jonathan Haidt’s “moral foundations theory” a very useful tool for understanding the minds of conservatives vs. the minds of liberals. However, I part company with Haidt when Haidt asserts that the moral foundations of conservatives and the moral foundations of liberals are equally […]