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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See http://WALiberals.org and http://TruthSite.org for my writing, my musical creations, and my animations.
Hillary was swift-boated: Blame the GOP Propaganda Machine
The most striking and scary thing about the 2016 election was that a candidate as bad as Donald Trump could win. How could that happen? Yes, Hillary and the Democrats made policy and tactical errors that suppressed turnout and allowed Trump to pursue his populist playbook, but the main cause of GOP victories is the formidable propaganda machine of the Republican Party. Almost half the country live in an alternate reality.
Thursday, November 10, 2016(3 comments)
Obama and other reasons for the election debacle
As leader of the Democratic Party, President Obama bears a large proportion of responsibility for the election debacle. Though he saved the economy, he sold out to Wall Street and the Pentagon, and he allowed the GOP to set the agenda and blame Democrats for the decline of the middle class.
Thursday, April 21, 2016(3 comments)
The Revolution will not be pleasant
Millions of young, motivated progressives are participating in Democratic Party primaries, caucuses and meetings, thanks to the leadership of Bernie Sanders. But many hard-core leftists (Socialists and Anarchists) still insist on fleeing from the Democratic Party. What are they afraid of? Dealing with unpleasant corporate Democrats? Majority rule? A little hierarchy?
Is Sanders' democratic socialism compatible with capitalism?
Bernie Sanders has said that he's a democratic socialist and that he's not a (casino) capitalist. And he lists Scandinavian countries as models that the U.S. should emulate. But Scandinavian countries have private wealth and corporations. Does Sanders support capitalism as long as it's regulated? Or does he want to do away with private ownership unless the owners are worker cooperatives?
Tuesday, May 12, 2015(3 comments)
How President Obama and his supporters damaged the Democratic Party
In 2008 I donated hundreds of dollars and many hours to the campaign of candidate Barack Obama. When he won on Nov. 4, 2008, I texted "Happy day!" to my brother. Within a year I had sorely regretted my support for Obama. I wrote articles, submitted resolutions, and advocated for accountability, to save the Democratic Party from looming catastrophe. In this article I collect evidence showing how Obama betrayed his party.
Look who doesn't pay their fair share
An analysis of publicly available, aggregated income and tax data from the IRS shows that residents of rich zipcodes manage to avoid progressive taxation. They pay little or no more in taxes, as a proportion of income, than many poorer zipcodes.
Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes -- Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them
A book review and summary of Joshua Greene's book about psychology, philosophy, politics, and ethics.
The central question of the book is: In a modern, pluralistic society, how can diverse groups who disagree on fundamental issues come to agreement on matters of morality and public policy?
Greene argues for a liberal (progressive) morality in contrast to the libertarian morality of philosopher John Rawls.
Sunday, September 21, 2014(60 comments)
The two Democratic Parties: corporate Dems versus progressive Dems
On facebook, in comments to articles, and in person I often hear socialists, anarchists, and independents say things like "The Dems are as bad as the Republicans."
Such views represent a gross exaggeration or distortion of the facts, but they contain a kernel of truth.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party desperately needs the help of socialists, anarchists, and independents.
Thursday, June 19, 2014(6 comments)
Visualization of US lawmakers based on similarity of their voting records
The following images show US Senators and Representatives clustered according to the similarity of their voting records in 2013 and 2014.
What's most notable is how different the Dems are from the Repugs.
Please realize that the two dimensional images below are projections from a high-dimensional space of data, and so there is loss of information. The images represent approximate summaries.
Sunday, June 1, 2014(3 comments)
Bloomberg is intolerant of reasonable protests
Michael Bloomberg criticized cases in which liberal students prevented speakers from speaking at universities. "In each case, liberals silenced a voice -- and denied an honorary degree -- to individuals they deemed politically objectionable. This is an outrage."
He compared students protests to the efforts of gun rights' advocates in Congress to prevent research into gun control.
The comparison is unreasonable.
Anarchism, libertarianism, and the way forward
How does anarchism differ from libertarianism? How should a progressive liberal who supports government programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, public education, and public transportation) respond to libertarian and anarchist attacks on government? Finally, how do anarchists expect to defang corporations without government power?
Wednesday, August 7, 2013(22 comments)
Blame poverty, not public schools
Conservatives love to hate public schools and try to blame public schools for low educational outcomes compared to other countries. But a closer look shows that poverty, now public schools, are to blame for the problem.
Should we call gun nuts "gun nuts"?
Are gun nuts really nuts? Is it counter-productive to insult them? How can progressives win in the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans on this issue and other issues dear to us?
Thursday, December 27, 2012(11 comments)
Battle over the facts concerning Chuck Hagel
I have been engaged in an ongoing edit war concerning the Wikipedia article on Chuck Hagel, whose name is being mentioned as a possible nominee for Secretary of Defense. Hagel is coming under criticism from Republicans and neocons who are unhappy with Hagel's statements critical of defense spending.
The Republicon con game, and why impeachment mattered
The Republicons are masters of propaganda. They construct vivid alternate universes, populated by imaginary demons who must be battled to the death. Republicons are able to convince tens of millions of Americans that their imagined worlds are real. Even when their ideas lead to disaster, they are able to blame their ideological opponents. The Democrats have not done a good job at holding them accountable or refuting them.
Saturday, September 15, 2012(63 comments)
Are anarchists in Occupy aiding Grover Norquist?
Like Tea Partiers, many Occupiers hate government. The Occupy movement has raised awareness about gross injustices in our political and economic system, but the anarchist tendencies perplex me. I explain why and solicit feedback from Occupiers about why they're attracted to anarchism.
Amazon.com shareholder proposal for disclosure of political spending; company meeting
Amazon.com has come under criticism for working with ALEC, a corporate lobbying group that writes model legislation in favor of corporate and conservative causes.
For consideration at the company's May 24 company meeting at the Seattle Art Museum, an investor has submitted a shareholder proposal that would force Amazon to disclose political spending.
The company's May 24 shareholder meeting is a worthy protest target.
The Mitt Romney Weather Vane
Buy the Mitt Romney Weather Vane. Tracks the winds of political expediency. Yours for only $399.99 (plus installation).
Sunday, November 27, 2011(51 comments)
On Occupying the Democratic Party
Can the further Left (Occupiers, anarchists, and Socialists) work, in some fashion, with the nearer Left (progressive Democrats, Labor, and groups like MoveOn.org)? Can the Occupy Movement find allies without getting co-opted?
Occupy Denver Elects a Leader
In response to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's insistence that Occupy Denver choose leadership to deal with City and State officials, and drawing inspiration from the notion that corporations are people, Occupy Denver's General Assembly has elected a leader: Shelby, a three year old Border Collie. "Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion. Either Shelby is a pers
Saturday, October 15, 2011(12 comments)
Tea Party versus the Occupy Movement
Republicans were able to absorb, co-opt, and be transformed by the Tea Party movement.
But it seems that many people in the Occupy Movement don't trust the Democratic Party and are suspicious of its support.
Can this be fixed?
Friday, August 26, 2011(18 comments)
How to stop the Tea Party: a response to Sam Harris
To stop the Tea Party, progressives need to both take over the Democratic Party and market the ideas of good government and fair taxation. To win that argument, progressives need to frame the issues correctly.
Coverups concerning former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel
There are credible allegations of a coverup concerning former Republican US Senator Chuck Hagel. He hid his ownership in AIS (a voting machine manufacturer), even though his machines counted the votes in the election that Hagel won in an upset. Someone removed this story from the wikipedia article about Hagel.
The Market for Progressive Groups and Websites
The sale of HuffPost to AOL raises questions about corporate ownership of progressive infrastructure. House Republicans' efforts to defund NPR and CPB further threaten the Left's ability to get its message out.
How can the left build an effective media and political infrastructure outside the market system?
Saturday, January 15, 2011(2 comments)
Washington State's Unconstitutional Initiative: I-1053
Constitutions exist to protect the People from unjust laws and initiatives.
The Washington State Constitution specifies that a bill becomes law if a majority of legislators support it. Hence I-1053 (the voter initiative requiring 2/3 majorities of legislators to approve tax increases) would appear to be unconstitutional, as would many or all of Tim Eyman's similar initiatives.
Friday, December 24, 2010(1 comments)
Thoughts on Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars"
Bob Woodward's book "Obama's Wars" concerns not just the war in Afghanistan but also the ideological war in the White House between hawks and doves, as well as the war that occurred inside the President's head.
Thursday, December 9, 2010(3 comments)
The straw that breaks, or strengthens, the Donkey's back
Is President Obama's compromise on the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich the final straw, the one that breaks the Donkey's back?
In fact, it's a great opportunity for progressives to revitalize the Democratic Party.
Will the Party allow progressives to share some power? Will progressives flee to a third party?
The Reagan Revolution Redux
The Right Wing plan to drown government in a bathtub is coming to fruition right before our eyes, especially here in Washington State. Here's how conservatives did it, with help from the feckless Democrats.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010(17 comments)
How the Left can better market its message
The disappointing outcome of the 2010 general election was a result of various factors: the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, an influx of corporate cash into the elections, superior organization and party discipline on the Right, and weak leadership, messaging, and media access on the Left. We can ameliorate the problem locally, in various states: adopt standard, shared, community-owned websites.
Sunday, October 24, 2010(16 comments)
Why do believers pray?
If God is all-knowing and all-loving, why should believers need to pray to Him for results?