Republicans play politics for fun, not progress

Gridlock, contentiousness, do-nothing …. these are all good descriptors of what the Republican Party has recently done to American politics. To progressives, this is very frustrating because we see government as an instrument for positive societal change. For Republicans, it’s rather meaningless. It’s difficult these days to locate a Republican who really cares about improving…

Six dimensions of post-election solace

We live life within at least six dimensions: the spiritual, the political, the personal, the familial, the professional, and the communal. Whether you are celebrating or despairing after this extraordinary election, you might find perspective, even solace, by reflecting upon all six. When one collapses, it may be best to dwell within another for a…

With Trump, is there a line between business and government?

The idea of a Donald Trump presidency has me musing about what we were supposed to learn in school. We were taught that capitalism (the force that always wore the white hat) was good because the invisible hand of competition ensured that consumers always had choice and low prices while good businesspersons made money. What…

George Carlin

Reflections on George Carlin, in the era of Donald Trump

Before capitulating to misanthropy, George Carlin delighted many of us by eviscerating the meritocracy’s treacherous rhetoric. Towards the end of his life, he tragically appeared to love words more than humanity. One of Carlin’s best riffs explored the linguistic evolution of “shell shock,” a World War I phrase vividly describing the psychological damage of combat.…

Make the pie higher: nostalgia for W in a Trump era

Recent references to Donald Trump’s bizarre ramblings in interview transcripts (Trump’s NYT transcript: Read it, and weep for our country) make one yearn for a kinder, gentler time. In 2001, Richard Thompson, a cartoonist for the Washington Post, published “Make the Pie Higher.” It is a wonderful mashup of actual quotes from George W. Bush.…