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    February 2018
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Something changed

Maybe it’s the snowball effect of the Portman domestic violence/security clearance scandal with the Devin Nunes memo (they seem related somehow) combined with the proposed Harvest Boxes mixed with the latest school shooting. Have we reached a tipping point?

I got that impression yesterday when I saw a CNN analyst break down in tears and one by one, cable news guests were genuinely angry at yet another senseless shooting claiming the lives of innocent victims. This time, there was more of a sense of frustration that the young adults who carry out these violent acts are not getting the help they need, that their anger and emotional state is going unaddressed, and that their access to firearms was an unacceptably dangerous situation that demanded action this time.

Something changed yesterday. I think it’s a despair that anything can be said or done to get through to the party in charge to dial it back even a little. It’s not learned helplessness anymore. That’s what we had before when there wasn’t such a clear target, excuse the expression. Now, we can all see who is responsible, who is holding things up.

There’s only one party in charge right now and the rest of us are being held hostage to its conscienceless opportunists and the paranoid base it has provoked over and over again with anti-government rhetoric. They think we want to take their guns away but they aren’t saying what they’re afraid of that necessitates having mini-arsenals in the first place. They are preparing for a war but against whom? And who is inflaming them with this fear, uncertainty and dread?

They’ve resisted talking about the problem or coming up with a solution. They’ve cynically thrown out accusations of “playing politics” when a tragedy like this happens. There was a wave election predicted for the fall anyway. I get a sense that a bigger backlash is on its way. We may finally have hit the point where we are no longer disposed to suffer while we still have the means to abolish the forms to which we have become accustomed.

The Second Amendment people have overreached. Before these outrages, no one wanted to take their guns away. We only wanted regulation, a nasty word to the political minority in charge.

Regulation not being forthcoming, the choice is clear now: the political minority is an obstacle to our safety. They need to go. That’s what I heard yesterday.

It’s going to be a big wave but this last triggering event is significant. There were already stresses building up with the tax cuts amounting to very little, the elections possibly being hacked while the executive branch does nothing, officials of dubious character having access to our most secure intelligence, chemistry teachers and landscapers separated from their children and deported without hearings, extortion, pornography, money laundering, domestic violence, the denigration is women, Las Vegas shooting and now this. This was the event that shook us and released the stress and added to the mass and momentum behind the wave. I think it’s too late to stop it now and it’s going to be more powerful than expected.


Lento e Largo- Tranquillismo by Henryk Górecki

Translation (from Polish)

Where has he gone

My dearest son?

Perhaps during the uprising

The cruel enemy killed him

Ah, you bad people

In the name of God, the most Holy,

Tell me, why did you kill

My son?

Never again

Will I have his support

Even if I cry

My old eyes out

Were my bitter tears

to create another River Oder

They would not restore to life

My son

He lies in his grave

and I know not where

Though I keep asking people


Perhaps the poor child

Lies in a rough ditch

and instead he could have been

lying in his warm bed

Oh, sing for him

God’s little song-birds

Since his mother

Cannot find him

And you, God’s little flowers

May you blossom all around

So that my son

May sleep happily


Podcasts are where it’s at, people. That’s where the philosophers, policy wonks and data analysts are these days. If you’re not listening to Trumpcast, The Ezra Klein Show, The Weeds, Pod Save America (millenial paradise that one), Stay Tuned with Preet or FiveThirtyEight, you’re missing out on some of the best critical analysis of current events. That’s especially important if cable news feels like just another pie fight.

The latest podcast I’m listening to is The Good Fight with Yasha Mounk who teaches government at Harvard. This podcast is more in the philosophical mode. The latest episode is an interview with Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist at The Washington Post. Rubin reminds me of a John Dean or Norm Ornstein. The scales have fallen from their eyes and they’re now seeing that in spite of all they’ve been taught for years, the Party defending the constitution is NOT the Republicans. If you’re interested in hearing what an ethical conservative with a conscience sounds like, check it out.