All posts in Politics

Designing the Democratic Candidate for President

The Trump presidency is ripe for coming to an end, but only if the Democrats can get themselves together to nominate a winning candidate. What should that candidate look like? I have no favorites in either the sense of “someone I like a lot” or “the most likely to win the primaries.” So I will design my own. Of course this doesn’t necessarily predict who will win the nomination, but it is just my musings on who should.

If the Obama and Trump elections tell us anything, they tell us that the electorate is looking for someone out of the ordinary.

The power of words

I am trying to get my head around this latest mass shooting in Christchurch (not ironic), New Zealand by trying to understand “why.” In most mass shootings the why is clear. Some loner thinks he has been wronged and so shoots up his place of employment, school, or public place. Or, some person feels that their country has been wronged by some other country and some act of terror is the only way they can strike back. This shooting doesn’t quite fit either of those explanations. All the details are not in yet, but it seems this shooter was an

You are what your record says you are

In his closing statement to his committee’s hearing of Michael Cohen, Rep. Elijah Cummings said “We are better than this. … We really are. As a country, we are so much better than this.” Sadly we are not. I was disgusted at the sight of Republican representatives attacking the credibility of Mr. Cohen rather than trying to get to the bottom of what he had to say. The charges he made are serious ones for our president and our country. Congress should have been doing as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortes did and looking for the evidence that would prove or disprove Cohen.

They all look alike to me

Whenever someone says they all look or sound alike to me they are really saying that they haven’t seen or heard enough to differentiate one from another. One race often says this of another, but it just means that they don’t know enough members of the race. The cure is obviously to meet more people of that race. The problem is that some people never take enough time or have enough opportunities to do this. This applies to other things as well. For example at first I thought that all jazz music sounded alike. As a child I had an

Numb and Number

This was the week that was: this week we had school shooting number 22 of 2018. This is week 20 of the year. Let that sink in for a minute. We have also had incidents where police roughed up an innocent black person, though thankfully haven’t killed anybody this week. I don’t know how many people of color that makes for the year. Another black man was exonerated and released for jail after serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. White people have again called police when they see black folk doing innocuous things and businesses have accused

America WTF is wrong with you?

In my final blog entry on the George Yancy situation I will presume to take a stab at analyzing America’s current situation. My analysis is free, take it for what it is worth. It’s just my two cents added to the conversation. What we have seen since the end of the 1970’s is twofold:  a belief among many folks that we are living in a zero sum game where if someone else is winning they must be losing; and a loss of a sense of community that people outside of our “tribe” are part of our community. “Tribe” can be

You are who your record says you are

“You are who your record says you are,” is a famous quote from football coach Bill Parcells. It should be applied to all aspects of your life. This is not to say that people cannot change and they are bound by or should be judged by past behavior. It is to say that you should judge someone on their deeds not their words or what they want you to think about them. If you want to change your behavior from your past behavior then your current deeds will reflect that. We can apply it to relationships for example and it

Faith and Epistemology

Out of the blue my friend asked me “What do you think of faith and epistemology?” He was an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years and we were having a pleasant lunch together. In his youth he had earned a master’s degree in philosophy before turning to a 35 year career as a middle and high school teacher. We were both seeking to exercise our intellectual chops as we hadn’t done so for a while. By faith he meant belief system and by epistemology he meant an investigation of our knowledge of what is true or false.

Thoughts in the Time of Trump

Before the presidential election a few months ago I mused about whether it is more upsetting to live in a country where Donald Trump was president or in a country where people would elect a Donald Trump to office. I have decided that it is the latter. The election of Donald Trump reveals that my fellow citizens are not only desperate, racist, and selfish, but they are incredibly ignorant of how things work in America. I am not talking about the 1% who have a rational interest in Trump because he will protect and advance their interests. The ideological conservatives

Health Care: Private or Public Good?

The narrow approval of the House of Representatives to repeal the ACA and replace it with a new health care act that will ultimately leave millions without health insurance, is an act so callous and cruel that I struggle to understand why the congresspeople did it. A New York Times editorial savages it: (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/opinion/obamacare-house-vote.html?smid=tw-share ) Yes there is a large money saving element to it and it will probably pay for a tax cut that will benefit the wealthy most. However that is not all there is to it. The conservative argument is based on the idea that health care is