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Category Archives: Political issues

Turning our political radar north

The countries of the Baltic Sea. Source: Global International Waters Assessment via Wikimedia Commons. Today, Sweden and Finland formally applied for membership in NATO. (Washington Post story here.) This is a very big deal. Remember when the Neocon war hawks of the Bush-Cheney administration tried to teach us that diplomacy no longer matters and strove […]

Centrist misdirection

After an 18-year-old with an AR-15 killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket, The Atlantic was quick out of the gate with a piece typical of its radical centrism. The article was “America’s Gun Plague,” by David Frum. Was the shooter a left-wing extremist? asks Frum in the first paragraph. A vegan animal-rights zealot? But […]

Who’s afraid of the Ninth Amendment?

May 3, 2022. Source: Wikimedia Commons. There is an unspoken rule among legal eagles that ordinary people (like me) should not try to interpret the Constitution. The reason is that constitutional law (legal eagles use the term “jurisprudence”) is very complicated and embodies a long history of Supreme Court case law about which we non-experts […]

The world we’d like to live in

A Brief History of Equality. Thomas Piketty, Harvard University Press, April 19, 2022. 274 pages. Is much of the world better off now than it was, say, 200 years ago? Yes, undoubtedly, says Thomas Piketty. He does not use the words “the arc of justice,” but I would. The transcendentalist theologian Theodore Parker was quite […]

Why do the media try to scare liberals?

Presidents Macron and Biden in Cornwall, June 2021. White House photo. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Before the people of France voted on Sunday, the media were filled with stories suggesting that Marine Le Pen just might win. Bunk. Marine Le Pen was never going to win. The result was 58.5 to 41.5. In the United States, […]

Oil: Why can’t we ever learn?

The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 770 that belonged to Emperor Hirohito. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Here we are once again in that most familiar of geopolitical pickles. The advocates of progress and democracy still have the oil leash tight around their necks, jerking them around and holding them back. The other end of the leash is held by […]

The Urkainian national anthem

The historian Heather Cox Richardson, in her daily post on Facebook, writes this morning: “The Ukrainian people have done far more than hold off Putin’s horrific attack on their country. Their refusal to permit a corrupt oligarch to take over their homeland and replace their democracy with authoritarianism has inspired the people of democracies around […]

Beneath the tips of the iceberg

Jill Stein (1) and Michael Flynn (2) with Vladimir Putin (3), December 10, 2015. Source: Wikimedia Commons. The historian Heather Cox Richardson, in her daily post this morning on Facebook, is clear about the right-wing plan: “Today’s invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of […]

The academic left

Those of us who identify with the left are, to a remarkable degree, intellectually on our own. We read a lot, certainly, including the output of liberal and even leftist pundits. We may be members of the Democratic Party’s coalition, but the Democratic coalition includes a broad range of political interests, and thus the party […]

New York Times v. Palin (updated at end)

Source: Wikimedia Commons It’s easy to see what right-wingers are up to here. They want a lower court decision that they can take to the U.S. Supreme Court so that the Supreme Court can change the legal standard used in libel cases, thereby clamping down on the First Amendment. Then, as the right-wing mind sees […]