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Rules of the Game

The thing about history is that in retrospect, from tens or hundreds or even thousands of years after the fact, events seems like they happened quickly when in fact they almost never do. The dinosaurs probably weren’t rendered extinct in one cataclysmic event. More likely there were a series of huge storms over a number of years that became the icy onslaught from which they never recovered. The mighty empires of yore were neither created nor decimated overnight. But took scores of years to build, and usually several decades to fall. In this country, for example, the 13 colonies didn’t just jump up one day and say “To Hell with King George.” No, it was a series of upheavals, large and smal

The Imperial Presidency 2.0

We should by now know the signs. Disregard for governmental agencies and institutions intended to act as a check on power – you know, like Congress or the rule of law, or common decency. Or erratic mood wings and foul-mouthed tirades. Or outbursts against the press, and attempts to curtail its access and speech. Or dog whistle political rants aimed at some foreign population – or population of foreigners – same difference to too many people. Megalomania on steroids, fear-mongering and threats to our way of life – these are straight out of the playbook for every despot, mogul, strong man and dictator since the beginning of time. The last time the label attached to a U.S. president was with

No Moral Equivalency

In our quest for the appearance of fairness, we have developed the unfortunate tendency to ascribe equal value to opposing points of view. And that can be a laudable trait when dealing with matters that can be rationally argued from either perspective. There are sufficient grays in our world of black and white, and the contours of the truth are not always crystalline in their clarity. We should strive to understand an opponent’s point of view, because from thence springs empathy. (Yes, I used the word “thence” so I can cross that off my bucket list.) When we can assume the mantels of our opposite number, we can peel back the layers of our diverse identities and harmonize the humanity withi

It All Seems so Clear to Me

The wholesale onslaught against free, public education. The widespread attack on unions and collective bargaining by workers – first private and then public. The crass pandering to our vilest emotions, logic be damned (as if critical thinking was even an option for those deliberately deprived of those tools). It’s so clear that we’re being herded down the killing chute – lambs to slaughter. Back to our rightful places beneath the rich and powerful. Grist for the mill of the corporatocracy that has replaced the fiefdoms of old: peasants to the feudal lords, cogs in the wheels of the machine. It all seems so clear. We’re being overrun by people who don’t look, or think, or talk like we do

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