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Category Archives: Political issues

Martin Chuzzlewit

Pinch starts homeward with the new pupil. Hablot Knight Brown (also known as Phiz). Source: Wikimedia Commons. In our era, Charles Dickens is neglected and undervalued. Martin Chuzzlewit surely is one of Dickens’ most neglected and undervalued novels. For reasons that I was completely unprepared for, now would be a good time for a Dickens […]

How to keep on losing

People in these parts are still flying their Trump flags. Many are faded and tattered. This one has fallen and has been down for days. The Republican Party, as it is currently constituted, and, given the course it’s on, cannot win another national election. The 2020 election made that clear. And yet, with the exception […]

An international recipe for progress

Scotland 2070: Healthy, Wealthy, Wise. Ian Godden, Hillary Sillitto, Dorothy Godden. College Publications (London), 2020. 218 pages. What would it take for Scotland to attain the same level of wealth and wellbeing as the Nordic countries? This book lays out a fifty-year plan for accomplishing that. What’s remarkable about this book, though, is that its […]

Can we have some nice things now?

Pete Buttigieg at Washington Union Station. Source: Wikipedia. With “Amtrak Joe” in the White House, and the new U.S. secretary of transportation wanting to lead the world in high-speed rail (we’re now 19th) can we Americans now have some nice things? To people like me, who have ridden thousands of miles on trains (President Biden […]

The squeals of the formerly dominant

David Hume (1711-1776) from a portrait by Allan Ramsay “Generally speaking, the errors in religions are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” — David Hume As a liberal and firm believer in free speech, I am willing to take my lumps from what others say and think. But whether on principle it strengthens my case […]

Who, and what, deserve our attention now?

If you ask me, boring government is the best kind of government, though, judging by the grin on his face, Biden is far from bored by rides on Marine 1. White House photo. Scott Rosenberg has a very good article at Axios this morning: After Trump, the attention economy deflates. Rosenberg writes, “Donald Trump used […]

And I thought it was spring fever

Pale greenhouse basil bought from Trader Joe’s gets a boost from some rays before it goes into pesto. Where did all this energy come from? Why am I spending more time outdoors instead of in front of the computer doom-scrolling? At first I thought it was an ordinary case of spring fever, because January has […]

And the home of the brave

And brave we were. We lived through four years of crime, treason, lies, and trash-talk from some of the worst human beings ever born. We did what we could to limit the damage. And then we got rid of the bastard. I wish I knew who should get credit for this photo. If I can […]

The return of sanity and decency

Though it happened only yesterday, volumes already have been written about the violent desecration of the U.S. Capitol. All sane and decent Americans understand what it means, so there is hardly anything that I can add. But I am reminding myself that, in spite of the obscenity of what we witnessed yesterday, and in spite […]

Could it happen again?

Decent Americans are horrified by the fact that 45 percent of American voters would vote for a con man like Donald Trump. Having lived in the American South for much of my life and having known many Republican jackasses, and having observed as these people have been manipulated and misled since the televangelist days, I […]