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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST. His previous books include The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution, for which he was awarded the Erik H. Erikson prize by the International Society for Political Psychology.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, April 27, 2009 Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique
An interesting article says Colbert is ambiguous, and that it's an example of "confirmation bias," operating on both right and left. I say no on both counts, that it shows something about what's amiss in the consciousness of today's American right.
(39 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue
In two steps, I argue that the Mel Gibson's recently revealed ugly rant is a most telling clue to a big earlier controversy in America's culture/political war, and beyond that a glimpse into the heart of darkness in a major component of America's political landscape.
(125 comments) SHARE Monday, May 17, 2010 To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right
Even if Obama is the moral bankrupt you think he is, it doesn't matter. In the America of today, this is inescapable: it is HIS victories that can move things in the right direction, and it is HIS defeats that allow the dark forces of the right wing to advance their destructive agenda.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 31, 2008 How Important is the Loss of Friendship?
I share here a train of thoughts triggered by my noting how frequently I give thought to a couple of friendships that have failed to be the life-long bond my wife and I had expected they'd be.
(62 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 29, 2010 The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power
Anyone who gets to be president can be assumed to have a strong desire for power. Yet as soon as Obama achieved power, he began to give it away. He gave it to his allies, he gave it to his enemies, and he ceased to connect with his main source of power. What explains this strange pattern?
(79 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 13, 2014 Can America Be Saved? Not If We're Blind to the One Force That Can Turn This Battle Around
We won't be able to out-spend, or out-propagandize, or out-organize the forces of the right, or be more eager for conflict than their wounded minions. But what we do have we have that can turn this battle around is a moral and spiritual truth - a truth aligned with the deepest values and interests of America and one that can tap into the power of the spirit.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, September 15, 2014 # 2 The Republican Party's Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness
This force is expressing itself in many different ways--all of them destructive, all of them degrading of America, all of them ugly. It is important that we see the forest, and not just the trees, asking ourselves the question: "What should we call something that expresses itself in all these destructive and ugly ways?" Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(34 comments) SHARE Monday, July 27, 2015 What's Taking Over America
In a piece running in newspapers in my conservative part of Virginia, I argue that we are well on the way to losing our democracy to the corporate system, and that this system is revealing in several ways that the spirit that animates it is morally very dark. Indeed, within living memory, it seems that the corporate system has undergone serious moral degradation.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 22, 2014 # 9 Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?
Americans think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. My biggest worries are 1) that our democracy is increasingly being transformed into a plutocracy, and 2) we are failing to address the pressing emergency of global climate change. On both issues, the Republicans are playing a destructive role, while the Democrats are failing to press the battle with the needed vigor. This pattern shows the core of America's crisis.
(34 comments) SHARE Monday, April 25, 2011 "Let's Talk About THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!"
Here is a fuller explication of my message for my two-track campaign, which is an effort to change the present destructive political dynamic in the country. Here's why I believe the "Elephant in the Room" image captures the heart of our national crisis, and why I think TALKING about it --exposing the destructive force on the right for what it is-- can be the key to turning things around.
(18 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Is It Me, or Has the Spirit in America Been on Hold Lately
For more than two weeks, the spiritual battle that is America's most important business these years --the war between good and evil-- has been on hold, awaiting the next battle in the war: tomorrow's nationally televised "bi-partisan" meeting on health care. Let us hope that Obama has done a good job preparing a good trap for the Republicans.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 14, 2008 By Their Fruits: How Can We Know What's Right to Do?
This is the third chapter of my book NOT SO STRAIGHT-AND-NARROW. This work --which contains some surprising twists and turns-- is an exploration of morality that addresses a core part of the moral divide around which American culture has polarized.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, September 14, 2009 THE PARABLE OF THE TRIBES After a Quarter Century: A Revision
In one area, because of new knowledge that's become available in the past 25 years, I would feel compelled to speak differently than I did when I wrote my theory of social evolution back in the 1970s and early 1980s. This has to do with the question of how violent or peaceful were the societies in which our species evolved, prior to civilization.
(61 comments) SHARE Monday, November 3, 2014 Why the Republican Party Loves the Abortion Issue
Single-issue voters have fallen into a trap created and exploited by a savvy political force. The abortion issue is disconnected from the grab for money and power that's the true business of the GOP. So, by making that the defining issue of morality for a large class of voters, the GOP is freed to pursue large-scale immorality without fear of losing their support.
(31 comments) SHARE Monday, April 14, 2014 Our Corrupt Supreme Court
With its recent decisions gutting campaign finance regulation, the Roberts Court represents the return of the disgraceful and hypocritical spirit of injustice that gave us the Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Bush v. Gore decisions. It is a "justice" -- the very opposite of justice -- that is merely "the advantage of the stronger."
(106 comments) SHARE Monday, January 26, 2009 Prosecuting Bushite Crimes: It's a Genuine Dilemma
It's true that a failure to prosecute the Bushite crimes and usurpations would set a dangerous precedent, making it more likely that future president would make similar assaults on the rule of law. But when we look at other dimensions of the damage the Bushites inflicted on America, we see that the issue of prosecution is complex. An optimal strategy for repairing America must therefore be similarly complex.
(86 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 2, 2015 Dylann Roof and a Culture that Turns the Truth on Its Head
"You rape our women," Dylann Roof is reported to have declared just prior to shooting nine black people in a Charleston church. And in that, he showed a mentality that reflects something deep in the culture. It is a mentality that deals not only in falsehood, but in proclaiming the very opposite of the truth. And this template of standing the truth on its head extends far beyond the specific issue of interracial rape.
(17 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Why the Republican Party Demonized President Obama
The Republicans had to demonize President Obama because of a combination of three things: 1) Theirs is a hierarchical society: 2)in such a society, those below are trained to credit, not question, those above them: and 3) Their politics of total war, not compromise, could not work if the president had any standing with the Republicans' base.
(14 comments) SHARE Monday, August 3, 2009 The Toxic Stench of Hateful Lies
Another in the series of pieces I venture in my effort to find the most constructive ways to engage and challenge the conservative audience for my radio shows in Virginia.
(47 comments) SHARE Friday, February 22, 2013 Thinking About George W. Bush, Who So Darkened a Terrible Eight Year Period in American History
In W, we can see how personal brokenness got transmitted into breaking so much else in our world. But this destructive force is much bigger than Bush. He was its instrument. The same destructive spirit that worked through his presidency continued its work after Bush's gang left town, in this equally ugly Republican opposition. In this shift from one vehicle to another, we can see an "It." That It is important for us to see.
(17 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 8, 2013 "Was George W. Bush a Good President?" What a Question!!
That this question can be asked in a generally excellent news magazine, and that GW Bush now has a 47 percent favorability rating with the American public, tells us something very troubling about the state of the Union.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 17, 2010 Illustrating the Costs of Obama's Failure to Confront the Right-Wing Lying
A couple of recent news reports --regarding public opinion and belief-- show the price being paid by the president, and his party, for not making the pernicious dishonesty of the disloyal opposition the main issue of our national discourse, as it so profoundly deserves to be. This reluctance to confront the dark forces has been Obama's most costly strategic error throughout his one-plus year in office.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 15, 2015 All Anyone Should Need to Know about Scott Walker
How telling it is that more of our national income than ever goes into corporate profits, and less than ever into wages, Scott Walker has handed more money to the corporations and waged war against the workers.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 10, 2008 Combatting Republican Propaganda Is Core to Addressing ALL Our Problems
If Obama is to be the leader America needs, he must harness all his rhetorical skills and all his moral passion to combat the deceptive and primitive Republican propanganda now directed against him. That debasing and dishonest form of political combat is part of what has created all the other problems our nation faces today. Fighting the culture of lies and distortions is key to winning back the soul of America.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, August 10, 2015 How to Steal a Democracy
Here's a how-to manual that describes what has happened in America in our times, as a group of rich and powerful people, eager to become still richer and more powerful, have followed a clever, long-term strategy to turn the United States into an altogether different -- less just, less humane, less honest, and far less democratic -- society than what it has been, and what is called for by American ideals.
SHARE Tuesday, March 8, 2011 Interpreting the Beck Card in the Republican Deck
Beck is one instrument in the overall Right-wing band. He brings in the crazy, primitive fears to prime the audience for the more sane fear-mongering propagandists. He primes people for fear and hate the way a Halloween teller of frightful tales makes people afraid of shadows, afraid to look under their beds.
(12 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 12, 2017 A Global Counter to the Global Rise of Fascism
Trump's rise to the presidency in the United States is part of a larger global trend toward what might be called "The Rule of the Thug" or, as I'd propose, "The Rise of Fascism" in various democratic, or once-democratic, nations. This dark global trend calls for not only political struggle at the national level, but alsoo a global movement to combat it. This article describes what such a movement might most effectively do.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 2, 2015 The GOP's "Religious Freedom" Fiasco: What Is, and Is Not, the Good News
It's great that the pandering to the bigots backfired. But the role of Big Money in bringing about this welcome spectacle reminds us about where the real threat to America's future lies. The GOP distracts its base with these culture war issues, but we should not let ourselves also be distracted from the main battle.
(31 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 16, 2017 The Why of "White Supremacy"
The profound human brokenness represented by "white supremacy" can be seen in both moral-spiritual and historical perspectives.
(51 comments) SHARE Monday, February 2, 2015 How the Democrats Let America Down in the Shameful 2014 Elections
In the 2014 elections, the American people handed still more power to a political party that, in the previous Congress, had betrayed the nation right out in the open, trampling on the norms and traditions of our Democracy. That should have been the main issue in the campaign. But the Democratic Party failed to press that issue, never bothered to call out that disgraceful behavior to help the American electorate see that truth.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, May 24, 2010 Constructive Criticism for Keith Olbermann, A Hero of Mine
I will always be grateful to Keith Olbermann for being the only voice in America at his level prominence to denounce the Bushite regime in the plain language we needed to hear. But I also think he could make some improvements in what he does on his show.
SHARE Sunday, November 14, 2010 Revenge on the Wall Street Bull
This begins with an image, something witnessed by my brother while being a tourist last week on Wall Street. Then there are some comments inspired in me by my brother's write-up of that vignette. The topic is Americans' righteous anger at the forces symbolized by that famous sculpture of the Wall Street bull, forces that drove us into the ditch with their greed and irresponsibility.
(13 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 6, 2014 Divided We Fall: Stop the Corporate Takeover of Our Democracy
Power is being shifted from the people to the corporate system. These so-called "persons" are so structured that it is inevitable their conduct will be sociopathic. The American people have been divided against each other by the forces they should be united in opposing. "Divided we Fall" must be replaced by "United we Stand."
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 19, 2015 Taking on the Man Who Would Be Virginia's Scott Walker
From the way the Koch Brothers have invested in this politician, one can reasonably infer what he would do with the power he's expected to seek two years from now. Hence a larger possible significance of the decision of my wife, who has never before run for political office, to challenge him in his race for the state Senate-- challenge him on the basis of his being a tool of the plutocracy, helping steal power from the people.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 25, 2014 # 3.5: This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President
Republican obstructionism has given us the most dysfunctional government maybe ever. The American people are quite dissatisfied with the performance of their government, but they need help understanding where the problem lies. I ask President Obama: Why are you not using this last opportunity to tell the voters what's gone wrong, so they can use their votes to get back a government that does the people's business?
(22 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 5, 2014 Shame on Us! (Giving Still More Power to Such a Party)
Shame on us, the American people, for giving more power to a Party that has blatantly betrayed the nation. Shame on us, the Democratic Party, for being so blind and timid as to fail to make the election about that betrayal. Are we in the grassroots willing to step forward and do the job the Democratic leaders are failing to do? See the evil. Call it out. Press the battle. If not, shame on us.
(18 comments) SHARE Friday, February 27, 2009 Problematic Southern Culture: The Lost Cause Movement
The second of a series on the region most deeply tied to the Bushites, this article consists of a couple of passages from an article about the "Lost Cause Movement," by which the culture of the South has worked since the end of the Civil War to create a mythology about that struggle and what it was about. I conclude by asking whether Southern culture is any more prone than others to distort history in self-serving ways.
(8 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 6, 2016 In the Madness of the Right, Reality is for Losers
For years, the right has been engaged in a war on reality. Now the base is fully caught up in this form of madness. Hence the rage at the Republican leaders for not accomplishing the clearly impossible. And the enthusiasm for Trump, who sells patent nonsense. Underlying this denial of reality is a profound form of human brokenness: the lust for power, a refusal to bow to anyone or anything, even inescapable reality.
(37 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 13, 2014 Koch Brothers Capitalism
"Koch Brothers Capitalism" is a phrase that by labeling a kind of capitalism, implies that there are other kinds of capitalism. And that means that capitalism doesn't have to take the terribly destructive form people like the Koch Brothers are giving it. The Koch Brothers name quickly conjures up the monstrous nature of what too much of American capitalism has become in our time
(22 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 4, 2010 Fat Years and Lean: Keynsian Fiscal Policy Explained for Religious Conservatives
Most conservatives-- who reflexively think that government should just stay out of the economy-- reject Keynesian economics, with its use of fiscal policy to pull a prostrate economy out of the ditch. But, in my experience, they reject it without really understanding it. Here's a vivid way of explaining, drawing upon a Biblical image that at least religious conservatives might resonate with.
(14 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 2, 2014 Tea Partiers' Response to My Ferguson Piece Provides a Glimpse into the Darkness
I wrote a piece saying that Missouri officials should have made it their top priority to conduct the Ferguson case in a way so as to minimize the chance of inflicting an unnecessary wound on their community and America: do everything possible to make everyone confident in the integrity of the process. Responses from Tea Partiers show something very disturbing that's a window into the dark force on the right.
(9 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 12, 2009 Problematic Southern Culture: Venerating Disastrous Leaders
The darkness of the Bushite era is a problem with America, but it is especially a problem with the American South. Here's one foray, in what will likely be a series, into the culture of the American South: why, for a century and a half, has the South venerated those leaders who led them into a terrible catastrophe?
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 29, 2015 Big Money vs. The People: The Main Political Battle of Our Times
Published as an op/ed in newspapers in my very red congressional district in Virginia, this piece argues that the major battle in America today is not over the issues many focus on -- abortion, immigration, gun rights, etc. -- but over whether the United States will be governed for and by the people, or whether Big Money will transform America into a different kind of society altogether.
(22 comments) SHARE Friday, October 1, 2010 The "Enthusiasm Gap" Reflects a Spiritual Reality
"Enthusiasm" means, at its root, "possessed by a god." Today's "conservatives" are plugged into a spiritual power. It is the power of darkness, or evil, but it is a spiritual power nonetheless. Today's liberal leadership, by contrast, has lost contact with the spiritual level. They therefore cannot "in-spire" their followers. We are compelled therefore to find our enthusiasm in the repudiation of evil.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 20, 2006 Wanna Make This About Whos Hurting America? Bring it On!
"So if the Republicans, like Senator Allard, want to make the Feingold resolution to censure the president an issue of who's taking the side of people who are threatening to destroy our way of life, I say, Bring it on!"
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 17, 2017 A Better Human Story #4-- Humankind's Perilous Step into Terra Incognita: The Rise of Civilization
If we look back at history, we take civilization for granted, and we -- mistakenly -- conclude that the history of civilization represents human nature writ large. But if we look at the rise of civilization in the perspective of the almost 4 billion year evolution of life on earth, we see that humankind stumbled into an unprecedented and impossible situation we did not choose and could not avoid, dictating our destiny.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Scalia is a Fraud, Undeserving of Moral Respect
The recent hearings on the Voting Rights Act provide but the most recent illustration of why this Justice is a fraud. Perhaps we cannot get him off the bench, but by showing what a disgrace he is perhaps we can knock this hypocrite off his high horse.
(14 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 10, 2015 If I Were Bernie Sanders I'd Challenge Trump to a Duel
Bernie Sanders challenging Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate has promise of boosting Bernie, exposing what's gone seriously wrong with the Republican, and improving the political health of our troubled nation. Here's why.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, May 1, 2009 Same Dark Spirit at Work
This is the second installment of my series, "Craziness in America." Here I try to do two things. First, to illuminate the destructive forces at work in the American political system. Second, to illustrate a concept that's I've regarded as the most fundamental to understanding this dark period in America: that in human affairs there are patterns and forces that act AS IF they were "spirits" working for good or evil.
(14 comments) SHARE Monday, November 15, 2010 * A Constitutional Argument Against the Filibuster as Used by the Republicans
A Senate rule ought not be allowed to subvert the clear intent of the Constitution-- in this case, the intent that a majority should be able to pass legislation in the Senate. When the Republicans use the filibuster not, as intended, for special circumstances but rather across the board, they render the filibuster unconstitutional.
(18 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 9, 2013 The Spirit that Drove Us to Civil War Is Back
In our times, a destructive force has emerged in the American political system. This force --- or spirit -- should be understood as the re-emergence onto center stage of what drove the United States to polarize, break apart, and fight a bloody Civil War a century and a half ago. This destructive force is damaging our nation now just as it did then. Series: The Spirit that Drove Us to Civil War is Back (8 Articles, 8455 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 17, 2008 No Man is an Island
In this latest installment of SEEING THINGS WHOLE, the focus is on the famous lines of John Donne. Donne asserts a deep wholeness to humanity --"every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main"-- and thereby raises some important questions: is he talking about the way things factually ARE, or about how he thinks we should FEEL them to be?
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 8, 2015 Antonin Scalia, No Judge He
Supreme Court Justice Scalia wrote a whole book on how the meaning of a statute should be construed. Following his stated principles, Scalia should unhesitatingly reject this latest challenge to Obamacare, argued last week before the Court. Instead, according to observers, he seems determined to ignore principle to get a victory for his side. If or when he does that, he will show once again: he's a political hack in robes.
(8 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 29, 2009 Suffering in the Culture of the Shenandoah Valley
The audience of the radio show I've long been doing in the Shenandoah Valley expresses, when it discusses politics, what I presume to be its own cultural form of suffering. The signs of this suffering are the lack of a sense of positive possibilities, and the anger. But what is the source and nature of that underlying suffering?
(41 comments) SHARE Monday, October 27, 2014 When Bad Politics Are Supported by Good People
A recent wonderful visit with our Republican cousins underscored a stark contrast between the goodness of those people and the nature of the political force to which they give their support. So I wrote about that contrast in this piece published in several newspapers in my conservative Virginia congressional District.
(14 comments) SHARE Monday, May 16, 2016 This Precedent Must Not Stand: New Thoughts on the Crisis over the Supreme Court Vacancy
Two adventures I have had in the two days since I posted "How the President Can Break the Impasse on the Supreme Court Vacancy." One involves thinking like a detective about Mitch McConnell's swift response to Scalia's death. Another concerns how politics seems to dictate supposedly "constitutional judgments." And then, in conclusion, why it is of great importance that this obstruction of the process go to the Supremes.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, August 31, 2015 Trump: An American Caesar
George Will, for a change, has it right: the Trump phenomenon represents the rise in America of "Caesarism": A strong man, rising in power, based on a cult of personality. Trump's postures are like those of the 20th century "Caesar," Benito Mussolini. Arrogant, full of himself. All about power and winning. All about a kind of greatness that is not what genuinely has been great about America.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, May 26, 2017 The Sacred Space of Lovers (Third in the Series, "A Better Human Story")
This third entry in the series "A Better Human Story" builds upon the previous discussion of how evolution crafts us to find fulfillment in what has been life-serving, and how fulfillment is the only sensible basis for "value." Here, "the sacred space of lovers" is explored-- a place of deep fulfillment that has been central to the perpetuation of our kind.
(20 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 27, 2017 A Better Human Story (First in a Series)
Would you be interested in hearing about a way of understanding our humanity, and the story of our species on this planet, that
" Explains much about the overall trajectory of human history; and,
" Offers insight into why our history has been as tormented and destructive as it has been;
" Presents a plausible way of comprehending the nature, source, and modus operandi of what has tradtionally been called evil?(And more)
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, July 13, 2015 A Culture of Dogma
We see a political culture in which there is a remarkable -- and unhealthy -- uniformity of belief, or at least of political positions expressed. This "culture of dogma" is visible in the history of the South, from the days of slavery onward, and it now pervades the Republican Party, whose base is in the South. This political culture is a sign of an anti-democratic abuse of power.
(8 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 11, 2011 9/11 Ten Years Later
For many people, 9/11 "changed everything." They discovered that the world was a lot more dangerous place than they'd believed.
It didn't change everything for me.
(57 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 22, 2014 Can America Be Saved? # 4: The Two-Sided Dynamic of Our National Crisis
The dynamic that is damaging our America, therefore, seems to have two main parts: 1)The Republican Party has become the instrument of a destructive force; 2)The response from Liberal America to this threat has been woefully weak. To drain the power of the right, and strengthen Liberal America, requires addressing the different "spiritual" errors the two sides make concerning "evil."
(19 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 27, 2013 Think Horses, Not Unicorns (a message to people who have bought the Republican line on climate change)
One can believe that we have a huge conspiracy --- bigger by many orders of magnitude than anything ever seen before -- to commit a scientific hoax. Or one can believe that we have powerful corporations and the political party that serves them following a well-established pattern of deception for the sake of profits. Deciding which to believe shouldn't be that hard. Think horses, not unicorns.
(8 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 1, 2009 The Obama-ites Are (Wisely) Using Limbaugh as a Weapon Against the GOP
I've heard it say that it was a mistake for Obama to take on Limbaugh, but I disagreed. And now, as this article from Huffington Post shows, through Rahm Emanuel, the Obama administration seems to agree with me: he's something to hang around the necks of the Republicans.
(16 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 13, 2013 President Obama, Please Stop the "Both Sides" Nonsense
The President keeps depicting our toxic politics with a phony even-handedness that is contrary to the truth and counter-productive. It seems to be part of the wimpiness besetting today's liberalism --a refusal to stand and fight-- that's contributed to the rise in our times of a political force more destructive and more dishonest than anything that's ever made it to center stage of American politics before. Cut it out!
(44 comments) SHARE Monday, February 8, 2016 A Much Better Way for Hillary and Bernie to Compete
Rather than competing like boxers -- against each other -- they should compete like contestants in a talent show. Or like members of a team, each wanting to be MVP. And they should work together to take power away from those who we know will stand in the way of any Democratic president making progress toward any of the accomplishments that either Bernie or Hillary are calling for.
(13 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 25, 2016 A Win-Win Way for Bernie to Lead Now
A strategy for Bernie that should be liked both by those who are still hoping for Bernie to get the nomination and those who want Bernie to strengthen the Democratic cause for the fall campaign, or at least stop weakening it. It is a good way for Bernie to make a case for himself. And it sets the stage for a strong party after the convention, no matter who is the nominee.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 14, 2015 Thou Art the Man: A Message to the Republican Base
I don't know which is more troubling: to have a political party that has gone rogue, that respects neither the will of the people nor the norms of American politics; or to have the base of a supposedly conservative party rewarding conduct from its leaders that would formerly have been regarded as disgraceful and destructive of our democracy and its traditions.
(36 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 4, 2015 Bernie's Movement, Hillary's Challenge
The strong turnout for Bernie Sanders campaign events suggests a popular movement may be gathering behind his campaign. This will pose a challenge to Hillary Clinton, even if she secures the nomination: will she persuade those in Bernie's "movement" that she is more part of the solution than of the problem? It's a problem akin to that faced by Hubert Humphrey in 1968. That one ended badly-- for Humphrey and the nation.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 3, 2017 A Better Human Story: #11-- Humankind as Tragic Hero
The story of the creature that breaks out of its biologically-evolved niche moves forward with an inevitability characteristic of tragic drama. Biological evolution -- which chooses life over death -- lays the foundation for the good. The breakout from that order into civilization inevitably creates a disorder transmitted through the system, working like what's always been called "evil." A drama in three acts that unfold here.
(23 comments) SHARE Monday, February 11, 2013 A Sick and Broken Spirit
we are up against "a sick and broken spirit" in today's Republican Party. What is most important in each issue that arises in our politics these days is to see and attack that dark spirit that the Republicans are expressing. That spirit is visible behind their position on climate change, and on guns, and just about every other issue on our national agenda.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, March 7, 2016 How the GOP's Spirit of Strife Has Damaged the Nation
[Running in newspapers in my conservative congressional district in VA] It only takes one of our major political parties to be dedicated to the idea of politics as war, and to consistently choose conflict over cooperation, to make America's political system dysfunctional. For a whole generation now, the GOP has insisted on conflict, and badly crippled our nation's ability to deal constructively with the challenges it faces.
(84 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 23, 2014 It's a Mistake to Think of our Fellow Americans on the Right as "Stupid" People
What looks like "stupidity" is really something else. Often, it's a constellation of ways of thinking and feeling that's been learned. And it's a program that becomes operative specifically in the realm of politics. It's one of the ways in which the Spirit of Brokenness can such the power out of people in order to magnify its own power.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 7, 2017 How "the Good" Emerges Out of Evolution (Second in the Series, "A Better Human Story")
Many who arrive at their beliefs in a wholly secular and rational way -- believing what is shown by evidence processed by reason -- have concluded that "value" is not really "real," that one cannot get from "is" to "ought," that issues of right and wrong or good and evil are merely matters of opinion. Such conclusions are non sequiturs. This piece shows how "value" that is very real EMERGED out of the evolutionary process.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 17, 2013 How Christian are the Republicans? A Sunday Sermon on Community According to Jesus
When he says, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," Jesus gives clear indication that the punitive righteousness that pervades today's Republican Party is NOT the spirit that should animate the human community. It is that punitive spirit in the crowd, not how the adulteress they want to stone to death, that he chooses to address.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 4, 2008 Searching for Bedrock: What Makes Something Good?
Here's the second chapter of my book, NOT SO STRAIGHT-AND-NARROW: How Well Can We Know What's Right to Do? It's a work that explores the moral challenge we face as human beings, and some deeper issues issues underlying America's moral divide. In this chapter, I propose what is that irreducible good about which, if asked "why is that good?" we ought to respond, that's just what the good ultimately is.
(21 comments) SHARE Friday, November 7, 2014 The Democrats Should Come Out Swinging
The Democrats lost not because they were wrong but because they were weak. Weak in their fighting. And weak in presenting a vision for America. This is not a time to become deferential because of the rebuke from the voters. It is a time to call out the Republicans when they violate our norms, and to inspire the people with a vision of a better America.
(11 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 21, 2011 I Am Running for Congress
I am running for Congress with the slogan, "Let's Talk About THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!"
(28 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 9, 2014 Sorry Mr. Krugman: Obama Came to Office Holding a Royal Flush, Then Declared His Hand "Ace High"
Krugman's judgments are generally unusually good. But not this week's, where he calls Obama's presidency one of the most "successful." Six years into Obama's presidency, the American political system is a dysfunctional wreck such as we've never seen before. At one level, that's the fault of today's terrible GOP. But it is also the result of this president's failure to expose, fight, and defeat that ugly force.
(12 comments) SHARE Friday, September 16, 2011 The Spike in Poverty Tests America's Spirit
This week we learn that the poverty rate in America has gone over 15 percent. It's not been this high for almost two decades. The numbers in Virginia are not as bad, but they're plenty bad enough and getting worse.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 29, 2017 Malign Alignment: How an Alliance of America's Darkest Forces Made the GOP Break Bad
For a hundred years, the political force that had served the Slave Power and the force that was the instrument of the corporate money power had been opposed to each other along partisan lines. But then, beginning with Nixon's "Southern Strategy," the two became allies, as the Solid Democratic South became the Solid Republican South. The two darkest forces in America then turned the GOP into the force of darkness we see today.
(32 comments) SHARE Friday, October 30, 2015 Dealing With the World As It Is to Make It More as It Should Be
A Follow-Up to my piece from earlier this week in which I argued that we are obliged to try to help the Democratic Party prevail over today's Republican Party. That piece provoked considerable opposition, and I further engage that opposition here.
(18 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Brexit: A Setback in One of Humankind's Most Important Projects
If we look at what provided the initial impetus for the unification of Europe, we can see why what the Europeans have attempted to do over the past several generations is something that prudence -- indeed possibly human survival -- requires that civilization as a whole attempt to do in the next century or two.
(46 comments) SHARE Monday, October 26, 2015 Why We're All Obliged to Help the Democrats Prevail
For years, there's been a running point of contention here on opednews between me and some other here on this point: should we support the Democratic Party, with all its defects, against today's Republican Party? I say yes, and here I offer what seems to me an airtight case for my position.
(26 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Capitalism's Proper Role
Capitalism as a political force in America seems to have abandoned what sense of "citizenship" it had in the decades right after World War II. It no longer accepts that it is one major player among several others that represent other legitimate values besides corporate profit. America needs for these persons to have more of that "republican virtue" our founders thought essential for a democracy to be healthy
(15 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Can America Be Saved? # 3 We Are Losing for Want of Seeing What's Winning
The point needs to be stressed. The status quo is not leading us where we need to go. At the level that matters most, even our "victories" are not winning the battle. We are losing at the level where, fundamentally, this battle is being fought. That's at the level of the spirit.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, September 30, 2013 Fruit of the Same Tree: How to Understand the Tea Party
The Tea Party is not some alien thing grafted onto today's Republican Party. Sure there's a battle going on within that Party. But, more fundamentally, the nihilism and the craziness and the destructiveness that we see going on with the "extremists" within the Party represents a fuller flowering of what the Republican Party establishment sowed and cultivated.
(11 comments) SHARE Friday, April 1, 2016 How Bernie Should Push His "New York Values" (in the New York Primary)
The issue of "New York values" has already arisen in this presidential season. That provides an opening for Bernie to pitch himself to New Yorkers by describing how his most important political values grew out of the cultural milieu in which he grew up in New York. In this way, he can seize some of the "home field advantage" most think that Hillary Clinton enjoys in the state to which she came belatedly and served as Senator.
(49 comments) SHARE Monday, September 29, 2014 # 4 Not Our Finest Hour: Why Is Liberal America Falling So Far Short?
We in Liberal America are now embattled. America has been in kindred battles before, and on those occasions to which we look to see our finest American ideals expressed and embodied, great American leaders have shown the way: "See the evil. Call it out. Press the battle." But in this crisis, in this battle, Liberal America is falling far short of our nation's finest ideals. Why is that? Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 18, 2013 A Strategy for Progressives in Very Red Districts
There are a lot of congressional Districts in the country that are virtually unwinnable for Democrats. Paradoxically, the very difficulty of winning these seats presents Democrats with an important opportunity. Democrats in those districts may not be able to win that battle, but they can help win the war. Here's how.
(10 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Did the Spirit of Donald Trump Help Assassinate Jo Cox in Britain Last Week?
Thomas Mair pulled the trigger. But like all human actions, Mair's lethal attack took place in a context. There are quite plausible ways by which the rise of Donald Trump, with his message of bigotry, in the United States, could have contributed to pushing the bigoted Mair over the edge into assassinating the pro-EU member of Parliament, Jo Cox.
(10 comments) SHARE Friday, October 10, 2014 The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes -- Why Don't We Emulate Them?
We all know how to respond to evil. Again and again, our popular stories and mythology take us vicariously and gratifyingly through the process -- e.g. in films like "Avatar," "Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," where our heroes risk everything to defeat an evil force in defense of sacred values. Why is it, then, that as we face that same essential situation in America's contemporary reality, we fail to respond as our heroes do? Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, February 29, 2016 The Death of Scalia as Biblical Morality Tale from a 1950s Movie
The unfolding of events -- the Supreme Court's putting a stay on the Clean Power Plan, the death of Scalia, and the fight that the GOP has picked since over the filling of the Court's vacancy -- form a narrative that could be made into a biblical tale like movies used to tell during the era of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and BEN HUR.
(18 comments) SHARE Monday, October 6, 2014 # 5 Liberal America, You Don't See What We're Up Against, and It Matters
Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, its way of working, the disposition of its forces - has enormous implications for devising the best strategy for defeating it. Providing a good understanding of what it is we are up against is a central purpose of this series. Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 8, 2016 I Was Wrong About Trump
A piece appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional district in Virginia: Previously, I thought Donald Trump was an accomplished actor, who could choose what role to play to achieve his purposes. Now it seems I was wrong. The needless, counterproductive fights he has picked lately,show that rather than being in control of his belligerence, Trump is controlled by it.
(23 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 4, 2007 An Alternative to Impeachment
It does not appear that Congress will impeach these Bushite thugs, as it should. But here's a proposal for another approach that might accomplish at least some of the same purposes.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 29, 2009 What I'd Say to Obama (in 800 Words)
This piece appears in this morning's edition of THE BALTIMORE SUN. Dear President Obama: You were elected not to avoid the confrontation with the evil powers still ruling the right wing, but to fight that battle and win it.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 15, 2006 The Challenge of Affluence: A Root of Our Moral Crisis?
Our unprecedented affluence gives us choices for which our moral traditions --which developed to guide the lives of people much more constrained by necessity-- do not give us adequate guidance. The resultant loosening of the hold of moral thinking on our decision-making has opened the door to the degradation of our culture and now to the rise of evil, fascistic forces.
(19 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 14, 2010 What Liberalism Needs
Liberalism was originally built upon a deep vision of the good in human life. American liberalism needs to regain the capacity to articulate that vision of the good --one that resonates and inspires-- and to tie that vision together with its political program.
(27 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 7, 2015 God or gods, a Train of Thought That Ends Up Illuminating What We Need Illuminated
My mind wondered into the question: why is it that the ancient Greeks and the ancient Hebrews, though they lived in essentially the same world, came to such different conclusions about the fundamental nature of reality-- conclusions represented by the choice of many gods versus One God? That train of thought leads me to speak more directly to the challenge of our times here in America, at a time of national crisis.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 22, 2016 If I Were Bernie, Here's the Speech I'd Give Now
Democratic primary voters have a choice. Which is the better choice depends on what they believe is possible to achieve? Do we need to accept the basic status quo about the distribution of power in America? Or is a political revolution possible?
SHARE Monday, September 22, 2014 # 3 Calling out the Republicans. Obama Hasn't So We Must.
President Obama should have made it a top priority to help the American people see what the Republican Party has become, so they'd take away that Party's power. Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems ill-equipped by temperament and character to fight that battle. When our leaders fail to do what is urgently needed, we the people must find a way to get it done. That is what this "Press the Battle" series is about. Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2016 "Seek Peace While Preparing for War": Going to/after Trump about Climate Change
Here is the first application of the overall strategy -- develop moves toward/against Trump -- that are apt both for attaining a positive outcome and for framing the battle, if it must be fought, advantageously for our side. Here it is applied to that most crucial issue: meeting the challenge of climate change (regarding which all the signs thus far from Trump are deeply troubling).
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 21, 2010 * Had Lincoln Not Been Shot, I Might Not Have Become a Blogger
Sometimes small things, like an assassin's bullet, can reverberate powerfully through major dimensions of subsequent history. Had Lincoln survived to help "bind up the nation's wounds," perhaps that dark force that has blighted our times would never have been able to achieve such power over this nation.
SHARE Friday, October 6, 2017 A Better Human Story # 9-- Understanding Evil
In our times, a destructive force has arisen quite visibly in the American power structure. Trump is of course part of it, but he is also a symptom and product of what has been emerging on the right for years. Liberal America has been blind to this bigger picture-- a blindness that has enabled that force to gain power. Here's a way of understanding "evil": a coherent force that spreads a pattern of brokenness-- call it "evil."
(14 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 10, 2016 Should President Obama "appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing?"
An op/ed in the Washington Post makes a most intriguing case for the idea that if the Senate refuses to act on the nomination of Merrick Garland, it can be said to have "waived" its right to be included in the process, and that the President would therefore at some point be entitled to make the appointment on his own. I find the argument appealing, and ask for others to give their view of the case made in that Post op/ed.
(11 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 2, 2014 The Right-Wing Trolls Have a Strategy. What's Ours?
To engage with right-wing trolls is to play into their hands.
Many of us in Liberal America learned to regard ideas as a way to capture the truth. But ideas in the world of the right-wing troll don't seem to be about truth. Instead, they are tools to use in political combat.
We should think as strategically about our discussions as they do.
(16 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 11, 2008 Good Omen: Reading Obama's Planned Move to the Muslim World
Obama has a plan for initial moves to help transform America's troubled relationship with the Muslim world. It shows a capacity for marrying visionary and creative capacities to achieve a constructive impact on the world: a good omen not only about this particular relationship but also about the general promise of this Obama presidency.
(18 comments) SHARE Monday, March 23, 2009 Obama's Missing the Opportunity the Banking Crisis Presents
Obama treats the economic crisis as a regrettable distraction and impediment to his addressing his "real" agenda. Instead, he should recognize that this economic crisis presents him with the ideal field of battle against the same forces he'll have to overcome to achieve all the other parts of his agenda.
(11 comments) SHARE Monday, October 13, 2014 # 7 Dispirited Liberal America
In Liberal America these days, one encounters a good deal of hopelessness about the future of our country. Why the hopelessness? The difficult circumstances certainly play a part. But they are not answer enough. Hopelessness is also a sign of disconnection from the realm of the spirit. In that realm, there is no sense of "impossible." And this disconnection from the spirit is also at the root of Liberal America's weakness. Series: Press the Battle (8 Articles, 12909 views)
(16 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 12, 2013 The Power of Standing Up to Bullies
Obama these past few weeks, like Lincoln in 1861, has demonstrated that the best way to deal with bullies is to stake out the appropriate, defensible ground, and then stand that ground. The bullies, in their reckless over-reaching, will founder on the rock of your resolve.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 18, 2014 Angry White Men on the Right
To be white rather than black, male rather than female, straight rather than gay, meant -- in the old order -- to feel superior to most of the humanity around you. Then liberalism took that good feeling away.
(10 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 18, 2016 What Should a Morally Responsible Republican Do Now?
This article, which is appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional District in Virginia, is addressed "to those Republicans who have regarded Mr. Trump unfavorably because they saw him as lacking the character and temperament necessary for our nation's highest office." Having seen what they've seen, I ask, can you vote for Trump. And then I deal with reasons they may have for doing so.
(24 comments) SHARE Monday, May 23, 2016 Are We on the Democratic Side Going to Blow It Again?
The Democratic side has a history of not seeing the battlefield well, and of either fighting the wrong battle or fighting the right one weakly. In recent weeks, this unfortunate pattern has been repeated, with a squandered opportunity to make the most of a moment when Trump and the GOP could have been weakened by a unifed Democratic voice delivering the right message to the Republican world and to the nation.
(23 comments) SHARE Monday, November 10, 2014 How Did "Yes We Can!" Become "No We Couldn't"?
Can America be saved? It is going to require a lot of people in Liberal America to expand their notion of the potential sources of power available to turn our current dangerous political dynamic around.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, April 20, 2009 Understanding Systems vs. How the Human Mind Seems Wired to Think
It may be that important truths about how our world works run against the grain of how our minds are wired to work. And it appears that traditionalist/conservative minds --in America at least-- find the understanding of systemic forces an especially difficult stretch.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 8, 2015 Why Voters Think Trump's Act is Honest
Voters think Trump is candid, means what he says. But there are two obvious ways that Trump is anything but candid. Which raises the question: how is it that such an obvious poseur is seen as honest? I offer an answer here.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, December 14, 2009 Expose Joe Lieberman's Amoral Primitivity
Joe Lieberman is a Republican mole. He's a spy, a saboteur, a traitor. Out of primitive vengeful feelings, he's sacrificing the values he used to say he cared about. Possessed by vengance, to the point where he's aligned with the dark side in order to get it, and because destructive vengefulness is right at home under the Republican tent.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 23, 2016 They've Given Us a Great Battlefield. Let's Mass for the Battle!
The Republicans declared war with their declaration of unwillingness to consider anyone nominated by President Obama to fill the vacancy on the Court. In this, they have given us a battlefield we should welcome, and that warrants bringing all our forces to bear: 1) the stakes are very high, and 2) this provides an apt way of exposing a whole world of Republican darkness.
(10 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 7, 2010 A Religious Dimension to Environmentalism? Nothing Ridiculous About It
People speak dismissively about the spiritual aspect of environmentalism --"environmentalism is a religion" they say, as if the ridiculousness of the notion were patently obvious. A closer and more honest look shows that an environmentalist sense of the sacred, and its corresponding spiritual ethic for human conduct, far from being ridiculous are legitimate and important.
SHARE Monday, December 19, 2011 American Values and the Christmas Season: Intro & "A Christmas Carol"
The holiday of Christmas has become deeply woven into American culture, expressing both the nature of our country and its ideals. In this series, I will be discussing four of the main imaginative works that Americans have made into important parts of the Christmas season in America. I'll explore here how these stories connect both with Christmas and with the political crisis we now face, and with my run for Congress.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 2, 2015 Why Climate Change Should be a Conservative Issue
Historically, one of the basic insights of conservatism has been that it is often dangerous to disrupt the established order, and that it is a responsibility to preserve one's heritage and pass it down intact to the next generation. In this piece -- one of a series I've published as op/eds in my conservative area in Virginia -- I argue that any true conservative should know we must protect the stability of earth's climate.
(15 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 5, 2016 An "Intensity Gap": The Nation's Problem Crystallized
It is reported that there is more passion on among Republican activists to support the blockade against any nominee from President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy than there is on the liberal side to insist that the confirmation process be conducted in accordance with America's traditional norms. In that "intensity gap," we find crystallized part of the heart of America's political sickness.
(15 comments) SHARE Monday, April 26, 2010 How Goes the Battle Under Obama
I pay tribute to the growing list of Obama's political accomplishments. But besides the political war, there's the deeper war, which is a spiritual one against the forces of darkness that have arisen on the political right. Why does Obama remain reluctant to wage this most essential conflict? Two aspects of his character help answer it: 1) Obama is averse to conflict, and 2) he seems to lack the capacity for moral outrage.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, February 25, 2013 Swinging for the Fences: How the Market Economy Shapes Our Destiny
The market economy, when it is truly competitive, is a great mechanism for processing certain kinds of information and producing results that are beneficial within the range of the values that it registers. But it has its blind spots. And a society that utilizes that economic system, and fails to correct those blind spot, will create future chosen by the system and not by the people, and sub-optimal for meeting human needs.
(17 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 30, 2009 What I Hope Will Happen with the Peace Beer at the White House Today
Obama should convey to Gates and Crowley: "The three of us can do something good for the nation today. We can help show that our racial divisions can be overcome by goodwill." They should work their way toward brotherhood over that beer, with repentance and forgiveness and good fellowship. ANd then they should go out and manifest the spirit of that movement, modeling for America the blessings of brotherhood over enmity.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Rising Craziness in America: I. Obama Has to Address It
The rising craziness on the American right may not be a threat to our body politic in terms of electoral calculations, but there's more to politics than just elections and the legal framework. The time is here, or soon will be, when in order to protect the health of the American body politic, Obama will have to address this craziness.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 6, 2017 Better Human Story # 5-- The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution
When humankind broke out of the niche in which our species had evolved biologically, and thus began to create a new kind of life form, we inadvertently created also a new kind of disorder. And the consequence of that disorder was -- and has been -- that the evolution of civilization has inevitably been driven in a direction that humanity did not choose but could not stop: driven by a selection for the ways of power.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 4, 2009 Why I've Been Looking at the Greatness of Robert E. Lee
Here in Virginia, in the wake of the Bushite darkness that captivated the area I live in, it buoys my spirit to delve into the life and character of a man who perhaps best realizes the ideal of the region's conservative culture. And perhaps it would do my neighbors some good, too, to study his example and ask, "What would Robert E. Lee do?" It sure wouldn't be to follow the counsel of a scoundrel like Rush Limbaugh.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 8, 2006 Moral Endo-skeletons and Exo-skeletons: A Perspective on America's Cultural Divide and Current Crisis
Some people have their moral structures deeply internalized,while others depend on external moral structures to keep them within the moral confines in which they believe. Neither group understands well the other-- nor themselves either. That lack of understanding helps to illuminate our present cultural polarization, and also sheds light on the present rise to power of dark and fascistic forces.
(35 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 24, 2015 When Events Amaze
What is happening with regard to the emblems of the Confederacy is striking in its speed, and beyond anything I would have predicted. Why is it happening-- particularly among some on the right who have shown for years a shameless inability to admit error or change directions? It is one of those events that show us that our idea of what's possible is likely way too constricted.
(10 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 20, 2009 A Father's Mortification at Growing Old
A poignant part of my feelings about growing old has to do with my children (who aren't exactly "kids" anymore). And it connects with my own experience of having and then losing, too soon, my own father.
A Father's Day piece.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 12, 2016 What I Think Paul Ryan Is Trying to Do
Paul Ryan is in a difficult position, given that the Republicans are nominating a problem candidate in Donald Trump AND that Paul Ryan wants to become president himself some day, perhaps as early as 2020. What we see is a clever politician trying to navigate his way through a landscape with pits on both sides.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 13, 2007 The Dog that Didn't Bark: The Story I'd Like Bill Moyers to Cover
Why have the mainstream corporate media devoted FAR less time to the massive pattern of Bushite crimes than did their predecessors to the lesser crimes of Watergate, and given them but a tiny fraction of the attention than they did to a president's sexual indiscretion a decade ago? Why have the media served a lawless president more than the citizenry? Here's a huge story Bill Moyers, a journalist with integrity, could cover.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 11, 2007 John Wayne as an American Archetypal Figure
The characters John Wayne played on the screen both embodied an already-existing American archetype, and helped to define and strengthen it. It's a figure over which Americans tend to polarize along right-left lines. Here's an invitation to help bridge that divide: what is the nature of that archetype and what in it is worthy of appreciation and what warrants criticism?
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 20, 2008 Justice or Reconciliation: Alternative Approaches to Healing
It looks as though, when it comes to dealing with wrong-doers, Obama has chosen the path of unifying through reconciliation rather than that of punishing through meting out justice. That's not the approach my gut would prefer. But Obama may well be choosing wisely.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, September 14, 2015 A Sad Love Story: The Conservatives in My Area and Me
I got to engage in meaningful conversation with a conservative radio audience for more than a decade before the pull of the destructive force that's taken over the right led them into the darkness. I feel a sense of loss, and I have not stopped seeking ways of re-awakening the better angels of their nature.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Two Problems with Anti-Abortion Politics
Even if the anti-abortion activists are right about the moral seriousness of abortion, they are wrong in what they are doing with this issue in our nation's politics.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Bernie, Get the Job by Doing the Job--Now!
THe "realists" say the political revolution you say we need is impossible. The good news is that you can prove them wrong and you don't have to wait to be president to do it.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, November 24, 2014 Can America Be Saved # 5: Neither Side in America is Seeing an "Evil Force" for What it Is
The people on each side of America's political divide are making a fundamental error at what might be called the level of the spirit. On the right, the error is mistaking one spiritual force for another. On the left, the error is failing to recognize the importance of such forces - not directly visible, but vast and powerful - in human affairs.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Strike While the Donald is Hot
Donald Trump's rise to frontrunner status in the Republican presidential race, not just despite but because of his disgraceful rhetoric, provides the Democrats (and Liberal America generally) an excellent opportunity to expose the atrocity that the Republican Party has become.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 7, 2013 If These Are the Early Stages
I turn from consideration of my own aging, in its early stages, for comfort in the idea that we are part of something bigger than ourselves that carries forward the stream of life. But then, that larger view has also become disturbing, in the light of these early stages of climate change that are increasingly visible and palpable in the world right around me.
(10 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 16, 2016 Bernie, It's Not "the Billionaire Class" You Need to Defeat But Its GOP Minions
A political leader succeeds by overcoming opposing political forces. Bernie calls out "the billionaire class" and "giant corporations," but his political revolution can succeed only if the electorate is educated to understand which individuals and parties -- which appear on the ballot -- are the agents of the plutocracy. Bernie should shift his rhetoric to educate the public about that.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 21, 2013 Koch Brothers' Bid for Tribune Newspapers Should Be Blocked
Consider the damage done to America by Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire. Consider the damage done to America by the Koch brothers' funding of reverse-Robin-Hood policies and climate-change-denial. This nation cannot afford to have the reservoir of our public understanding poisoned still further by the likes of these men. People should mobilize to block this acquisition of historically important newspapers.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 28, 2016 Why Bernie Should Draw Right-Wing Fire Now
To get the nomination, Bernie needs to demonstrate to the superdelegates that he is their best bet for victory. To accomplish that, Bernie should demonstrate BEFORE the convention that he can successfully parry the low-blow right-wing attacks that would come his way in a general election. This gives him a second good reason to take on Trump and the GOP now in order to bolster his case for the nomination.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 14, 2016 Possible Scenarios for the GOP Convention in Cleveland in July
This lays out the various possible paths the Republican nominating process might take at the convention, assigning probabilities based on the collective wisdom registered in the political futures markets. None of the possible paths are entirely clear, and all of them are fraught with dangers to the Republican Party.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 21, 2009 MLK's "Black President" Prediction-- A Very Lucky Shot
The election of an African-American to the presidency --though it has come when Martin Luther King said he thought it would-- is not a reliable indicator of how far the United States has progressed in fulfilling King's dream. It is, rather, the result of two extraordinary --and unforeseeable-- factors.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 6, 2010 The Plight of the Hummingbird
Not a speck of politics in this piece, folks. It's just a little story about a hummingbird, and me.
(20 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 18, 2016 Hey Republicans! We Won't Stand for Your Stealing What We Won Fair and Square
Millions of people --on left and right-- understand that part of what is at stake in a presidential election is whose guy will get to shape the Court if a vacancy arises. We who worked to get President Obama re-elected in 2012 won the right to have our guy fill such a vacancy. Accepting that sometimes you lose is at the heart of our constitutional order. You lost, and Obama's naming a replacement is one result. Get over it.
SHARE Thursday, November 12, 2015 Cry the Benighted Country: What's Gone Wrong in America
(This is the op/ed I've written for the purpose of launching my new book.)
In every society, both constructive and destructive forces are always at work. But the balance of power between these forces is not constant. Many Americans sense that there has been in recent times an adverse shift in that balance in our nation in recent years. Here's how the various components of the American body politic reflect that degradation.
SHARE Sunday, November 16, 2008 Barack, Blow on the Embers
Barack, much of your potential power is based on a spiritual force you've tapped into. That force manifested itself in jubilant celebration around the country and around the world the night you were elected. Don't let that spiritual fire die down. Keep blowing on those embers.
(31 comments) SHARE Friday, September 26, 2014 How I See What We're Up Against in our Nation's Time of Brokenness
The first thing is for us in Liberal America to see clearly what it is that we are up against. Then it becomes necessary to find ways to take that understanding and use it to defeat this force -- and part of that is to figure out how to bring our fellow Americans back from that place of darkness and confusion and into a constructive way of using their force in the world.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 27, 2016 Any Self-Respecting Supreme Court Would Have Struck Down the Texas Abortion Law
The Texas law was clearly an attack on the authority of the Supreme Court. That alone should be enough for a Supreme Court justice -- even one who doesn't agree with what the Court has previously said about the right to an abortion -- to strike down that law. (But only Kennedy, of the four "conservative" Supremes, put the integrity of our constitutional system ahead of their partisan policy position.)
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 17, 2015 The Strange Political Culture of Today's GOP
In a political culture suitable for a healthy democracy, a party will accept that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In a healthy political culture, those leaders whose decisions accomplish nothing or even lead to disaster will be repudiated. The political culture of today's Republican Party is strange -- and destructive -- in both respects.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 14, 2016 How Obama Can Break the Impasse on the Supreme Court Vacancy
The status quo is working for the Republicans, creating a real possibility that they will be rewarded for their disgraceful abuse of the Constitution to stonewall the process of appointing a Justice to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Fortunately, there's something the President can do to breakthrough the impasse the Republicans have created.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 2, 2005 How Can They Not See It?
Here's the puzzle: How is it that many remarkably decent people can support leaders who are remarkable precisely for their lack of such decency?
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 22, 2016 Why Trump's Lies and Transgressions Appeal to His Followers
Donald Trump breaks the rules. For his followers, that's part of his appeal. Trump specializes in the lie. That, too, draws his followers to him.
That's because Trump's movement is an appeal to the authoritarian personality, which is built around a fundamental lie, and which is, at its root, a rebellion against the order it pretends to serve.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 29, 2009 Crawling Out from Under the Rocks
Some thoughts on the ongoing exposure of Bushite crimes: a couple of lines of exploration that may expose as a lie the idea that the crimes of warrantless wiretapping and torture had anything to do with "protecting the American people."
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Never Trust Those Liars Again
This is another in a series of approaches to my right-wing radio audience in Virginia. Before we can have meaningful dialogue, "as if we might actually learn from each other," you've got to stop putting your trust in people who just make up lies to feed your fear and outrage.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 11, 2014 The Police Shootings: A New Chapter in an Old Story of Racial Oppression
There is a long history of violence against black men being used to intimidate the whole race and, thereby, maintain white dominance. These recent shootings by police of unarmed black men looks like part of that history. Meanwhile, America's first black president seems himself to have been intimidated. In choosing his successor, our prime question should be: who will take on the party of the oppressor?
(24 comments) SHARE Monday, April 25, 2016 Isn't It Obvious Hillary and Bernie Should Be Campaigning Against the Republicans?
We voters don't need to know which candidate is better at lacerating the other. We need the one who can best defeat the real roadblocks to progress. The differences between H and B on the issues won't matter unless they can get the obstructionists out of the way. With every political incentive to take on the GOP, why aren't they pounding the Rs the way Elizabeth Warren is doing?
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Do We Give Too Much Attention to Terrorist Attacks?
We may be sending a dangerous message to those who'd love to make as big a splash as those two young Chechen immigrants: if if you want to completely capture the attention of the world's leading nation for days on end, just come and blow up a few of us.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 3, 2007 The Betrayal of the Disabled NFL Veterans
Here's a story that suggests that the NFL stiffs its disabled former players. (It suggests that the Players Union is serving the league at the expense of the players it supposedly represents.) Does this story tell us something important about the spirit of our times in America?
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 26, 2008 The Barracuda Bites the Hand that Fed Her
As if we didn't already have enough evidence of the unscrupulous and ruthless person under that folksy hockey-mom exterior, Palin seems to be committing, right before our eyes, an act of betrayal, in service of her unbridled ambition, of the guy who just two months ago made her a national figure.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, March 16, 2009 Today's Republican Party is a Central Part of our National Crisis
The dark spirit of the Bushites lives on. What the Republicans have been doing is what they, were the positions reversed, would call treason. Obama is pursuing a strategy to compel the Republicans either to transform or to be marginalized and weakened still further.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 5, 2015 The Civil War Was Lost. It's Time We Finally Won It.
Some said that it was a distraction when, in the wake of the Charleston church massacre, the conversation focused on the Confederate flag instead of on the problem of inadequately regulated guns. I don't agree. The gun issue is important. But the Confederate flag issue points to the heart of our present national crisis.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 10, 2014 A Path to Democratic Victory this Fall
The Democrats should unite to run this year behind a pledge to enact a constitutional amendment that clearly and unambiguously not only overturns these recent decisions but also goes further to establish a system of public financing for all our federal elections.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 29, 2016 The GOP and the Constitution: The Grotesque Mismatch Between Walk and Talk
The GOP is loud in its claims to be defenders of the Constitution, while at the same time assaulting the Constitution in ways unprecedented in American history. One form of brokenness in the human world is when people act the opposite of their claimed values and principles, marching off under the most noble of banners to do ignoble things.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, March 6, 2009 Worrying and Puzzling Over Obama and the Banks
Obama's success as president seems to depend on his rescuing the country from this economic crisis; the key to this in turn seems to be dealing effectively with the banking/financial crisis. But the Obama team seems to be sticking with an approach that's manifestly not reducing the fear that's paralyzing the system. I worry, and I wonder: why are these smart guys undertaking half-measures when aggressive moves seem needed.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 20, 2007 Honoring the Presidency Requires Dishonoring this President
The American people need to be helped to understand that when a president disgraces and violates his office, he's not entitled to the authority and respect Americans usually grant their presidents. Indeed, to honor the office, we Americans are obliged to treat this president as the travesty and abomination that he is.
(12 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 9, 2016 Who Is the Better Bet to Beat Trump, Hillary or Bernie?
I've encountered many who think it's crystal clear that Hillary is the more electable candidate. Could be, but maybe not. Here are some reasons for thinking that Bernie might be the better bet for avoiding having a President Trump.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 3, 2006 The Butterfly Effect: Reflections on Chance and the "It Might Have Beens" of History
It is disturbing to think that major turns in the course of history can hinge on seemingly fortuitous and trivial factors. But there it is. Were it not for an accidental fluke in a ballot designed by a minor public official six years ago in Palm Beach County, Florida, we would be living now in a very different world. The "Butterfly ballot" and the "Butterfly effect." Scary.
(31 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 15, 2013 Post Trayvon/Zimmerman Trial: Thoughts on Race in America
What is most disturbing in this whole sad affair is the complete lack of empathy, by many on the right, for the feelings that these Trayvon/Zimmerman events understandably brings up for black Americans. These events are a recapitulation of generations of traumatic history, from the era of slavery to the era of Jim Crow. How can people NOT understand, and feel compassion for, how this would feel? Do unto others...
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 22, 2009 If Krugman Doesn't Have the President's Ear, Here's What He Should Do
It's not clear whether people, like Paul Krugman, who think that Geithner/Summers are on the wrong track in addressing the vital financial crisis have been heard by the president, except filtered through those who disagree with them. It also appears that Obama may be dooming his presidency by blowing the handling of this crisis. Here's how Krugman could use his own bully pulpit to get the president's ear.
SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2016 "Seek Peace While Preparing for War": A Strategy for the Outset of the Trump Era
In this extremely dangerous moment in our nation's history, we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to seek best-case scenarios with the new president, rather than merely assuming that all that we fear will come to pass. Because we have good reason to fear the worst, we also need to prepare to fight What this calls for is moves that simultaneously test for the possibility of peace, and that also position us well for battle.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, February 5, 2007 How Congress Can Speed the Downfall of the Bushites
Having watched how Congress eventually brought down Nixon during Watergate, I feel more confident now that the Bushite regime is heading toward its downfall. It won't happen as quickly or decisively as we would wish, because the politicians are like a flock of birds, figuring out on the wing where they're going. But the dynamic of the regime's defeat is now unfolding. And here's an idea on how to speed it along.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, December 5, 2008 A Remarkable Sign of Humanity in a City
Just as I was getting into my antipathy to what cities do to the natural land, I came across something that reminded me of the beauty that's possible in a human community.
SHARE Monday, June 19, 2006 They Swore on the Bible: What an Oath Means
An oath is as strong a commitment as it is possible, in our civilization, to make. And the Members of Congress --who swore an oath to defend the Constitution-- must be pressed by us, the American people, to stop breaking the sacred promise they made.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, March 9, 2009 WHY LIMBAUGH MATTERS
Limbaugh matters because he is an especially clear manifestation of the dark spirit that's taken over the Republican Party in the past two decades, and exposing his moral ugliness offers a means of either further destroying the power of that Party or exorcising that Party's demons and helping it regain its soul. Either way, America benefits.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 27, 2008 McCain and the GOP Drag Each Other Down
Here, GOP strategist blames McCain for dragging down the whole GOP slate. That may be true, but as I argue in my introduction to the passage from Frum, it's also true that McCain is dragged down by the increasingly recognized reality that the GOP has disgraced itself.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 24, 2009 2nd Piece: Re-Connect with the Force from Whence Came Your Power, Mr. President
Mr. President, the path you took in your campaign, by inspiring millions of Americans, brought a moral and spiritual force behind you that brought you to the presidency. But as president, you've taken a different path that's disconnected you from that Force. That's why you're on the defensive in a fight you should have dominated. But it's not too late to change paths and empower your presidency with the force that gained it.
SHARE Tuesday, August 25, 2009 How Obama Can Put the Force Behind Health-Care Reform
I've argued that Obama has dissipated his power by abandoning his pre-Inauguration approach to getting moral and spiritual forces behind him. Here I lay out how he can turn the health-care-reform struggle around by re-connecting with that Force in specific ways I describe.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, September 29, 2006 Thoughts on the Spiritual Condition of America's Leftward Half
Following up on a previous discussion question, here are some of my own thoughts. In particular, while the right side of America is in thrall to a spirituality ruled by evil, the left side has lost the spiritual awakening that arose in the late 60s and 70s. Emblematic of that is STAR WARS saga, in which between the first three films and these most recent three, a profound loss of soul is evident. Big picture in miniature.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, July 3, 2009 Mark Sanford's Dilemma and the Quest for the Good: II
The topic of this installment is the apparent inadequacy of how Mark Sanford's conservative Christian spiritual advisors see his situation. (The previous, first installment was about the importance of what Mark Sanford seems to have discovered in his extra-marital love relationship.)
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, September 19, 2008 Shaken to My Moral Foundations PART II
How well can we humans know what's right to do? Here are some experiences from my own life --especially from my youth-- that made these questions both urgent and difficult. This is the second half of the autobiographical preamble with whith I begin here to share my book exploring the moral challenge we face as human beings, and some deeper issues issues underlying America's moral divide. NOT SO STRAIGHT-AND-NARRO
SHARE Thursday, May 30, 2013 National Review Pitch Points to America's Political Pathology
The National Review sent out a pitch to its potential right-wing base, declaring: ""RESIST! He may have won the election. But he hasn't won the fight." That pitch shows us why the American political system is broken, and what true conservative patriots should be doing to restore our ability as a nation to meet our challenges.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 14, 2005 The Concept of Evil
Why It's Intellectually Valid and Politically and Spiritually Important
(10 comments) SHARE Friday, May 25, 2007 Why Didn't You Stand Your Ground, Mr. Carter?
Former President, Jimmy Carter, spoke the plain truth but then, two days later, he backed down. I ask him: Why did you back down and thereby squander the opportunity to teach the American people an important truth about this disastrous regime?
(32 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 7, 2009 The Cynicism of the Commentariat?
What does it mean when good solid progressive simply assume that even a president they admire and support would want to hold onto powers usurped by a criminal predecessor in violation of the Constitution? What does it mean when journalists whose approach has a moral dimension don't expect a good president to be content with the powers granted him by the Constitution, if unchecked power is available to him?
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, April 11, 2016 Bernie and Hillary, Give Us the Campaign We Need
The differences between Bernie and Hillary are important. But there are two extraordinary national circumstances that make those differences way less important than that whoever becomes the Democratic nominee win the presidency in November. We need to have them conduct their campaigns with that urgent priority uppermost in their minds. That means changing the nature of their competition to "Who's best at taking down the GOP?"
(18 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 3, 2007 Can't You See? Crucial Differences Too Many on the Left Seem to Miss
It's true, a lot of Democrats voted in 2002, with the Bushites, to authorize the use of force in Iraq. What's a mystery is why it is that so many on the left --out of some shallow understanding of human beings, perhaps, or of the world of politics-- simply ASSUME that means that the actions of those Dems were no different from those of the Bushites who wanted this war.
SHARE Friday, March 16, 2007 When Loyalty Is Not a Virtue: A Glimpse into Bush's Amoral World
The new scandal of Alberto Gonzalez and the politicization of the American system of justice is a reminder of how the idea loyalty, with the Bushites, is not part of a moral system. It is, rather, a symptom of a fundamentally amoral worldview in which power is really the only value.
(45 comments) SHARE Monday, December 18, 2006 Reason and Emotion in the Anti-Bushite Movement, Or, Hey Democrat-hating Lefties, Get Real
It's good to envision the IDEAL. But those so angry about how the world falls short of the ideal that they ignore the POSSIBLE do not serve the ideal well. We can see this problem in how many among the what should be the Democrats' base reject and denigrate and weaken the very instrument that, though flawed, is the best too available for defeating the evils of this Bushite regime.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 7, 2013 Bad Combination: Abuse of Power over Prisoners and America's Misguided "War on Drugs"
My wife April, with other climate change activists, recently committed an act of civil disobedience that brought her to experience some of the workings of the "system of justice" in Washington, D.C. I focus here on one part of her experience: that being arrested for ANYTHING in D.C. apparently strips an American citizen of the right against unreasonable search: despite no "probable cause," all prisoners must pass a drug test.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 26, 2016 Will Trump Be Able to Reverse His Unfavorables?
Is Trump the capable actor he sometimes seems, who might be able to exploit the short memories of the American people, as he pivots toward the general election? Or is he so compelled by his insecurities and ego needs that he will continually remind the perhaps two-thirds of Americans who regard him unfavorably why they don't want him to be their president?
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, March 8, 2013 Swinging for the Fences: The Transmission of Culture Through Time
This is the fourth of the forces that operate in civilized societies like ours that I am introducing on my way to explaining 1) what has happened in America in our times, with the rise of an extraordinarily destructive force on the American right, and 20 more generally how "the battle between good and evil" is a valid concept for understanding the human drama.
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Questioning Obama's Strategy Against Evil: Letting His Foes Be the Focus of Ugliness
Here's one way of looking at Obama's strategy: it creates a learning process for the American people. It's at a basic, almost Pavlovian level: on one side they see balance and reason and goodwill, on the other side it is fear and irrationality and ugliness. Over time, repetitions of this experience impart visceral knowledge that will condition political trust and preference.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 27, 2016 Trump's Rise: Not just a Threat but an Opportunity
The threat is that Donald Trump could become president of the United States. The opportunity is to use Trump to bring down the GOP in general. For Trump is not just something that happened to the GOP: his being the frontrunner is a manifestation of the sickness the Republicans have been fostering in their base for a generation.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 8, 2007 How Does the Moral Order of the World Work?
The religions and the foundational philosophies of Western civilization try to claim too much about the moral order of the human system. But there IS a moral order --in which virtue tends to be its own reward, and sin its own punishment-- but that moral order is just rather incomplete and thus not entirely reliable.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 10, 2013 Here's How to Keep Defeating These Republicans: Open Letter to Pres. Obama
As the Republicans try to find the least humiliating way to surrender on their blackmail ploys, Mr. President, I hope that you will resist the impulse to revert to Mr. Nice Guy. What America needs for you to do is to press the battle, and use every opportunity that presents itself to show the American people the destructive and dishonest force that the Republican Party has become. The people are ready to see that dark truth.
(10 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 23, 2007 A True Patriot Watches A Perfect Anti-Democracy Storm Reach Full Fury
This is the danger our Founders sought to equip us to meet: the rise of a lawless, tyrannical president. But America has failed to meet this vital challenge. The people have failed to rise up in their millions. The free press has failed to tell this major story. And now we see the Congress has failed to rise up to fight these criminals.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Bush and Rove: Collaborators in the Theater of the Moral Lie
If evil were to take over America, it would have to do it with a smiling face and postures of righteousness. As Karl Rove --perhaps the most pernicious figure in the political history of the United States-- announces his departure from the White House, we do well to look at how he and the destructive president he has served and used collaborated to deceive America with their phony postures of false righteousness.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, November 17, 2008 Barack, Use Cabinet Announcements to Rekindle the Vision
In this, the second part of my effort to persuade Obama to "Make the Most of Your Magic Moment," I lay out a plan on how to transform the usual, dull announcement of cabinet nominations into a means to blow on the embers of that spiritual fire he has ignited in the hearts of millions in America and around the world.
SHARE Thursday, January 31, 2008 The Zeitgeist as Evidence of Subtle Patterns and Connections
Here's another suggestive glimpse into how the elements of a cultural system interwoven together in ways deeper, more subtle, more intricate, more organic, than most of us generally imagine. Looking into the phenomenon of the Zeitgeist --"the spirit of the times"-- is one of the ways of SEEING THINGS WHOLE.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 10, 2007 The Limits of Outrage --Part I
How should we think about the way Americans like their leaders to possess the toughness and skill of a good warrior? This is one of those complex, two-sided issues on which people in our polarized nation tend to seize upon one side and just ignore the other. The reality is that there are both crazy and wise aspects of this aspect of American consciousness.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 23, 2006 'Class Warfare' and the Abbott-and-Costello Routine
A few years ago, it seemed to me that a turning was under way in the direction of enabling the American people to see that it is the Republicans who have been waging class warfare. Here's the piece, as published in the BALTIMORE SUN, that I wrote at that time.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 27, 2006 Liberal Christianity Has Not Yet Risen to the Occasion
Although America was not founded as a "Christian nation," as some of the theocrats would have it, it does matter to America what form of Christianity is dominant in our public realm. In recent years, in the political domain, the God-as-Warrior Christians have pushed aside the Sermon-on-the-Mount Christians. America needs liberal Christianity to respond more vigorously to this challenge.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 18, 2008 A Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party?
Here's a news item about Republicans criticizing other Republicans for their smear tactics against Obama on the Blagojevich matter. It is followed my my ruminations on whether the Republican Party may at last be starting to escape the grip of the forces of darkness-- out of self-interest, if not out of genuine moral concern.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 19, 2013 An Unwelcome Driver of Social Evolution: The Parable of the Tribes
Continuing my series here to provide an integrative vision that can help us --in America and in civilization generally-- to achieve a desirable future, I begin here a delineation of some of the main forces that must be controlled or overcome for us to have greater control over our destiny.
SHARE Monday, April 18, 2016 One Glimpse of Liberal America's Role in Enabling the Right
Taking off, here, from an article about the success of right-wing lies. The problem isn't that we're spending too much attention on liars like Trump, but that we're spending the wrong kind of attention. The right kind of attention would be directing people to see the profound dishonesty of the right. Liberals need to learn how to go on the attack, and learn how to attack so that power flows away from the liars.
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 9, 2009 The "What a Planet!" Experience
Occasionally the world reveals itself to me as the amazing planet this place is. These experiences are among the most moving --and spiritual-- in my life. Here, I tell of a few of these "What a Planet!" moments, and I invite others to share any they have had.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 23, 2015 When Disgraceful Political Conduct Becomes Acceptable
In this op/ed piece running in the newspapers in my conservative area of Virginia, I argue that an important part of the dysfunctionality in our political system is that politically disgraceful conduct is nowadays often rewarded. The Republicans' refusal(e.g. in Virginia)to expand Medicaid is a case in point. That rejection has no justification, but is motivated solely by the insistence on turning our politics into war.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 9, 2008 Restoring Good Order to a Disturbed Land: Introductory Thoughts
I begin a brief series on the how what my family and I are doing to our damaged place in the mountains (in the wake of six years of abuse and neglect by tenants, while we've been gone), might help illuminate the taskwe as Americans are called upon to do to restore our damaged country (in the wake of this destructive Bushite regime).
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 17, 2016 What Bernie Should Do Now: Good for Bernie, Good for Hillary, Good for the Nation
Hillary supporters might want Bernie to suspend his campaign and rally around her for Party unity. Bernie seems headed for doing more of the same right up to the convention. Here, in view of the overall situation in the presidential race, is something better for both of these candidates and for their supporters.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Questioning Obama's Strategy Against Evil: Premise
It is my premise --a conviction I make explicit but don't seek here to make a case for-- that Obama is committed to advancing the Good as best as he can. (The issue, then, is whether he's chosen the best strategy for accomplishing it.) Here I name just one place where the character of the man can be seen.
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Benghazi Talk: Call It Out for What It Is
The Republicans are about one thing: getting more power for themselves, regardless of how much that pursuit degrades the country. Two items in the news of yesterday reminded me of the need for us to keep this consistent pattern in mind, and to respond to it appropriately-- i.e. like we're in a battle in which the stakes are as high as they can be.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 3, 2009 We're About to Learn Something Important about Obama
His usual M.O. worked for a while, but it has failed him lately. We're about to see whether he has the perceptiveness, the creativity, and the adaptiveness to come up with a new way of fighting his enemies, suited to the new realities.
SHARE Wednesday, October 29, 2014 #10 Ideas That Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value Is at the Heart of Our Humanity
It's a mistake to believe that clear, intellectually responsible thinking proves that "values" are not real, are just "subjective," just matters of opinion. Such beliefs in Liberal America contribute to its weakness in this time of crisis. A real understanding of what we are and how we came to be shows "value" is real the only way it can be-- and is at the heart of our humanity.
SHARE Wednesday, June 6, 2007 The World 50 Years Hence
I hope for great things. I can't say that I EXPECT them. But history surprises not only on the downside, as we have lately seen, but also on the upside.
SHARE Thursday, October 30, 2014 The Right's Urge to Kick Down: Doing Unto Others as Has Been Done Unto You
That template of the downward kick is so ingrained in the culture - at multiple levels, and especially in some parts of the culture - that even many who, in socio-economic terms, are in dominant positions have had profound -- but often unintegrated-- experiences of that kick-down pain. That helps to explain why even members of the elite, especially on the right, have the urge to deal with those on the bottom punitively.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 15, 2016 How GOP Obstruction of Scalia's Replacement Could Backfire
Somebody on Slate wrote the piece I was planning to write, about how the Republicans' apparent choice to stonewall any nomination from the president may be a major mistake for them. But that Slate piece has one point to which I object, and fails to make another point I think is important.
(13 comments) SHARE Friday, August 7, 2009 The Spirit of the Christians? Another Possible Radio Show
What does it mean that the political force that most loudly declares itself to be Christian manifests a spirit that's so diametrically opposed to what the biblical movies in the 1950s taught me to regard as the spirit of Christianity? Another possible way in to constructively challenging my right-wing radio audience.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, October 19, 2009 Maybe It's a Blessing: Facing Evil Till We Get It Right
I hate having to see this right-wing ugliness every day. But maybe it's an opportunity for America --especially liberal America-- to learn what it needs to know about what evil looks like and how it must be defeated.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, January 21, 2008 Order vs. Chaos in the Flow of Events
In this latest installment of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series, I look at a couple of the levels of the question: how much of wholeness --of order, and of a web of patterns and connections-- is to be found in the flow of events?
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, March 14, 2016 Violence Against Protesters at the Heart of Trump Theater
Trump has shown a genius for getting attention, and nothing is more attention-getting than a fight. Which also fits into the particular flavor of attention Trump seeks: being seen as the strong man who cuts down the "losers."
SHARE Friday, October 11, 2013 Cutting One's Losses Comes Hard
Human psychology works in some other than rational ways. One of them makes it difficult to accept a loss for sure, so people keep trying to escape the loss, even if that makes for a bigger loss in the end. That's part of how to see the situation the Republicans are in, thanks to their own reckless and destructive choices. The problem is compounded by the Republicans' non-acceptance of democracy's "you win some, you lose some"
(13 comments) SHARE Friday, May 15, 2009 Questioning Obama's Strategy Against Evil: A Missed Opportunity?
In this, the third installment of the series, I offer my critique of Obama: in making his compromises, he has diminished himself and forfeited the "power of purity." Whether these costs outweigh the advantages of his more cautious strategy, I don't know: the terrain is too complex, the correlation of forces too uncertain, for certainty. But this sense of the clarity Obama might have represented is the root of this series.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 10, 2006 The Predator State
A variety of statistics indicate an ongoing assault on the people of America by a relative handful of the rich and mighty. A recent essay by James K. Galbraith helps illuminate the nature of the corrupt regime that's arisen to bring about this plunder and injustice.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 14, 2009 Challenging the Conservatives: Let's Go Viral
It's time to move beyond just talking amongst ourselves about the darkness on the right and find constructive ways of challenging those of our fellow countrymen who have followed that dark and manifestly dishonest leadership of the Republicans and their media allies.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, July 20, 2009 Obama Starts Fighting Back: Is It Too Late?
Obama's gotten his way so far by being Mr. Nice Guy, but now it looks like Mr. Nice Guy is losing ground on his primary agendum, health care reform. Now he's fighting back. We'll soon know more about this guy, like how he is in the ring.
SHARE Wednesday, December 21, 2011 American Values in the Christmas Season: "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
The second in a series of pieces on imaginative works that have become deeply woven into how Christmas is celebrated in American culture. These pieces connect with Christmas, and they connect with the moral heart of America. And moreover, the issues they raise are central to the crisis that we Americans now face in the political realm, and that are at the heart of my campaign for Congress.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 8, 2008 Shaken to My Moral Foundations: Part I
How well can we humans know what's right to do? Here are some experiences from my own life --especially from my youth-- that made these questions both urgent and difficult. With this posting, I begin here to share my book exploring the moral challenge we face as human beings, and some deeper issues issues underlying America's moral divide. NOT SO STRAIGHT-AND-NARROW.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 25, 2008 In Defense of (Some) Pornography
In an ideal world of undamaged people, would there be some forms of intensely sexually arousing media that would play a role in people's lives? I believe so.
SHARE Wednesday, August 9, 2006 "Weltanschauung"-- A Story of THE PARABLE OF THE TRIBES and Academe
By leaving the beaten track in my way through academia thirty-five years ago, I got to see something about the real nature of America's academic institutions. It was painfully disillusioning. And I now believe that it was one little glimpse into the moral rot that's advanced through American society in recent generations. Here's the story.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 14, 2013 Swinging for the Fences: Hunting for Very Big Game
Some of the most important dimensions of the human world cannot be seen clearly up close, but must be seen from a level of elevation above the day-to-day that allows the giant footprints of things like "spirit" and "good and evil" to be seen.
SHARE Wednesday, March 2, 2016 Warped Views of President Obama Push "Conservatives" Into Bizarre, Unconstitutional Territory
This piece is written to the conservatives of my part of Virginia, where it is appearing in newspapers. It asks how it is that people who call themselves "conservative" support leaders who trample on our political traditions, as with the current unprecedented move of Senate Republicans to block ANY possible Supreme Court nominee from the president. It answers that question in terms that are challenging to today's GOP base.
SHARE Wednesday, April 17, 2013 The Parable of the Tribes--Step Three: Selection for the Ways of Power
This third step reveals the social evolutionary force that's warped the development of civilization. From the breakout from any order, represented by the breakthrough to civilization, came the inevitability of a struggle for power. Out of that struggle for power, combined with open-ended possibilities for cultural innovation, came a selective process that mandated that humankind live in societies dominated by the ways of power
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, May 18, 2009 Questioning Obama's Strategy Against Evil: Correlation of Forces
Obama is acting as if he thinks the Bushite forces continue to be very powerful, capable of inflicting considerable damage on his capacity to lead the country. (That belief substantially equates to the belief that not enough of the American people cannot be trusted to side with him against the Bushites in a battle for their hearts and minds.) Is he right?
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 13, 2009 Frugality as Adaptation
For forty years, I've put pursuing my calling ahead of making a living. That's made frugality a necessary adaptation for my survival. Some of my frugality is rational, some of it feels like a spiritual practice, or a ritual to please the God of Waste-Not.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 13, 2008 David Spangler and Me on "Winning at All Costs"
Not just for our destructive leaders, but also for a great many Americans, the "low-road" has become "the road" because of a belief in "winning at all costs." This is not just a problem, it is an issue that just cries out for Obama to make into an overarching campaign theme, embracing not just campaign tactics, but unjustified wars, torture, usurpation of power, and exploitation of the people for the rich and mighty.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 2, 2009 Mark Sanford's Dilemma and the Quest for the Good: I
Setting aside what we think of Mark Sanford as a politician, there's something in the story of his (apparently) finding a soul-mate --albeit outside his marriage-- that's worth discussing. Indeed, the question of what from here would constitute the Good for Mark Sanford can take us into understanding both the sacred and the limitations of the Conservative Christian worldview in which Sanford is embedded.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, February 26, 2016 The Speech President Obama Should Give in Announcing His Nominee
The President needs to do more than just put forward a nominee, introducing him/her to the nation, as presidents usually do. This is an unusual situation calling for an unusual announcing speech. The Republicans have declared war on the President -- and the sense of the Constitution, and the good of the nation --yet again, this time with the control of the Court at stake. The president needs to join and frame that battle thus:
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 18, 2013 Are the Liberal Leanings of Gov't Bureaucrats an Explanation of the IRS Scandal?
David Weigel, conservative-leaning columnist on Slate.com, thinks the answer is yes. I say: Maybe, or maybe not. The ethic of fairness may be dead on the right, but it is alive in liberal circles, even to the point of going to excess in a bogus kind of even-handedness in an America where the pathologies are far from symmetrical.
SHARE Monday, December 11, 2006 The Pro-Life Position on Climate Change
One can surely judge the godliness or lack of it-of any political leadership by the attitude it brings to the needs of life. The issue of climate change is one where we as a people show whether or not we will recognize the sacredness life and act to preserve the wholeness of the systems of life on earth.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 30, 2007 Winners and Losers in America: An Observation, A Question, A Hypothesis
Something has shifted in American culture. That's what's suggested by comparing the game shows of the 1950s with such blockbuster successes as SURVIVOR, THE APPRENTICE, and AMERICAN IDOL. It's worth asking: what does the change at the level of popular culture tell us about deeper changes in American society and in the experience of the American people?
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 9, 2007 You Swore on the Bible: What an Oath Means
An oath is more than an ordinary promise. It is an unequivocal commitment. To break it is a crime against God, inviting damnation. Everyone in Congress has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution. Well...?
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Understanding Israeli Motives
There's a part of the left that disables itself by construing all the world's problems as simple matters of the good guys against the bad guys, with those who have power almost always cast as the bad guys. This over-simplification of the world, removing moral ambigiuties, is manifest in how much of the left regards Israel and its motives.
SHARE Thursday, January 8, 2009 FROM OPPOSING EVIL TO SUPPORTING THE GOOD
Four years ago, what was needed was to alert Americans to the Evil nature of the power ruling this country. Now what's needed is to help people see how Good is the Obama leadership about to take the helm.
SHARE Thursday, November 16, 2006 Our Pathways Into Deep Meaning: A Vision of Wholeness
Before my seeing the threat to America from the evil of the Bushite forces, I was engaged in a much lovelier exploration. A spiritual breakthrough had given me an insight into a deep truth that our most meaningful experiences point us toward. In this piece, I share my experience, and what I inferred from what I then saw.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, September 18, 2006 An Open Letter to My Old Harvard Classmate, Tom Ridge
America urgently needs to hear from you, Tom, about what you witnessed: what did you see about the Bush administration's using its "war on terror" --and heightening our fears-- for its own political advantage at the people's expense?
(11 comments) SHARE Monday, May 11, 2009 Questioning Obama's Strategy Against Evil: Overview
Obama is on the right side of the battle between good and evil, but he's choosing to avoid sword-on-sword combat. There are costs to that choice, and it may be a strategic blunder. But it also might be what's necessary for long-term victory. I urge Obama to do a little more testing of how much strength the dark forces can bring against a morally more pure approach from his side.
(16 comments) SHARE Monday, December 31, 2007 A Fighter: What the Dems Most Need in a Presidential Candidate
The year now ending was disappointing-- particularly in how unwilling or unable the Democrats in Congress were to fight. Even if the Bushite face-cards leave office, the forces behind them will remain, which means that they will still need to be fought. And that, in turn, means that the main thing we need in a Democratic standard bearer in the coming election, and then from the Oval Office, is a effective and willing fighter
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 13, 2015 We Need a Different National Conversation
We Americans lurch, amazed, from one unprecedented -- and damaging -- political spectacle to another. About each,in turn, we get all abuzz. Surely a whole series of developments in our nation's power system that are both unprecedented and damaging must indicate that something new and destructive has arisen in the country. And surely that should sound a powerful alarm and become a focus of our national conversation.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 14, 2009 The Bushite Policies of Obama's Department of Justice: II. Protest!
Second in a series. This one takes Obama's DOJ arguments at face value, and says he's put himself on the wrong side of a most important line and should be called on it with loud voices of protest. Tomorrow's installment offers a possible more benign interpretation.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, January 27, 2006 Is This 'Strict Constructionism' in Action?
The Bushites talk the talk of strict constructionism, but when it comes to how they act, they are the very opposite. This striking pattern of contradiction reveals it's not principle that governs them, but only the lust for power.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 17, 2008 The Spores of Evil
The way the McCain campaign is planting fear and rage and hatred in the hearts of susceptible Americans can be seen as the result of the wrong choices of individuals but also --and more fundamentally-- a part of the way that evil works. In this perspective, the forces of evil that have worked through this Bushite regime are preparing--even as they are about to suffer a defeat--for a kind of spiritual guerrilla struggle ahead.
(10 comments) SHARE Friday, February 15, 2008 Obama Is Not Naive About Power
Do you wonder if Obama may not understand how power works in the world? Wonder no more. Here's strong reason to believe he understands power far more deeply than most.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 15, 2009 The Bushite Policies of Obama's Department of Justice: III-Justified?
In this last installment of a three-part series, I offer a benign interpretation of Obama's having his DOJ argue for the legality of terrible Bushite policies: here's a strategy Obama may be pursuing that is in its purposes the opposite of what on the surface it appears.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, October 14, 2013 Strike While the Iron is Hot
The GOP's recent terrible polling numbers show that millions of people are in the process of changing how they see the Republican Party. That picture is in flux, meaning that it is an opportune moment to mold it. After we come to the end of this "iron-heating" crisis, it will be time not to back off, but to continue to strike, exposing the profound defects of the GOP to a public ready to have its new perception solidified.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, February 23, 2009 Obama's "Centrism" is Protective Coloration
Some see Obama as a centrist. I think he's actually quite radical. But he's also strategic and, as I interpret it, appearing as a centrist is the means by which he positions himself to transform America over the next eight years.
SHARE Tuesday, November 27, 2007 The Put Up or Shut Up Challenge
In this final installment of my series on "What Should Be Happening Now," I suggest a strategy with which the Democrats --whose job it is now to thoroughly strip this Bushite presidency of all its authority and respect-- can turn to their advantage the counter-attacks from the Bushites that are sure to come.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 30, 2009 Will Teddy Speak One More Time from the Grave?
It's clear that Teddy Kennedy did some serious planning about how best to advance his political goals even after his death. Might there be one more statement from him, soon to be announced, composed to use this posthumous moment, when he looms most large, to help achieve "the cause of his life"?
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 7, 2007 Hey, Media! You Should Be Putting the Impeachment Story Front and Center
The Founders put freedom of the press into the Constitution for precisely moments like these, when the people need help in protecting their freedom. But you --the big media-- continue to shirk your responsibility by not covering the urgent question of impeachment. Where --oh media-- is your patriotism?
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 6, 2006 The Message in the Coming Lieberman Defeat: It's More than the War
Grassroots Democrats are poised to send a message to their elected leaders. And the evidence suggests that this message is less that they should be "doves" about the Iraq war than that they should be hawks about reining in this dangerous Bushite regime.
SHARE Tuesday, March 26, 2013 The Parable of the Tribes--Step One A Breakthrough Unprecedented in the History of Life
One of the strongest "magnets" that pull civilized societies off the path that people would choose is a force that arose with a major breakthrough roughly 10,000 years ago: the emergence, for the first time in the history of life on earth, of a living system not governed by the biologically evolved order. This is the first of three entries showing how humans' apparent freedom created a new and harsh necessity.
SHARE Thursday, December 27, 2007 Patterns of Weakness
Continuing my "What is Spiritually Wrong with America" series, I reflect here on the failures of vision and of courage of the Democrats in the face of the Bushite evil, and on the strange pattern of poking the beast but avoiding outright confrontation.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, December 4, 2006 The Democrats and the Anti-Bushite Movement: How This Important Alliance Should Work
For the achievement of the vital goals of defeating the Bushites and repairing the damage they have done to America, the Democrats in Congress and the anti-Bushite movement are natural allies. And how well both sides of this alliance manage their relationship, and perform their complementary roles, will be one important determinant of how successfully this task is accomplished.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 29, 2008 The Testing of Caroline Kennedy
I'm rooting for Carolyn Kennedy, for reasons expressed here previously. But I also think it fitting that her opponents and the media are making her run a sort of gauntlet. Politics isn't beanbag, and it's appropriate for her to have to prove she can handle the roughness of the world she now wishes to enter.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 8, 2008 Weak and Strong Paths to Victory
In this, the final installment of a series --"What Is Spiritually Wrong with America?"-- first begun here several weeks ago, I ponder what the implications may be of the weaknesses shown by the American body politic for what might realistically be the best way for the nation to prevail over Bushite fascism.
(28 comments) SHARE Monday, July 16, 2007 Impeachment: The Time Has Come!
Till now, I've disagreed with the notion that Congress should proceed full-out with the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Fine for people like us to call for it, fine for a few fringe elected officials to introduce measures that go nowhere. But a mistake for the Democratic Congress as a whole to make impeachment their main business. Now it's different. Now's the time for that ultimate showdown. Here's why.
(21 comments) SHARE Monday, January 1, 2007 Our Next President Needs to Be Well-Seasoned
The challenge in the international sphere that will face the next president will be of great difficulty and of enormous importance. America's next leader needs, therefore, to be someone with deep understanding of the workings of international affairs.
(18 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 9, 2007 Explaining the Weakness of the Dems in Spiritual Terms
Just as "you can't beat somebody with nobody," when it comes to explaining the way the Democrats are still getting rolled by this lame-duck, unpopular administration, "you can't beat some spirit with no spirit." The spirit of the Bushites may be evil, but it's something. It is the liberals lack of spirit that makes them weak and afraid.
SHARE Tuesday, February 14, 2006 S.O.S. (Save Our System): Our Choice of Battlefield is Now Clear
Recent revelations have made it clear that our attack should be focused on the legal/constitutional front. This issue is not "liberal vs. conservative" but "American vs. unAmerican," and that makes it ideal for gaining the wide swath of public opinion necessary for overturning this Bushite regime.
SHARE Thursday, January 24, 2008 Dimensions of Wholeness (from the PARABLE OF THE TRIBES)
Wholeness is an essential property of the systems that life has created on earth in its four billion years of development. Here --as part of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series-- I present a way of conceptualizing two life-serving dimensions of that wholeness.
SHARE Monday, April 13, 2009 The Bushite Policies of Obama's Department of Justice: I. Illustrated
This is the first of a three-part series: 1) presenting the problem of the Bushite arguments Obama's DOJ is presenting in the courts, 2) calling upon those who hated the lawlessness of the Bushites to press Obama on this (to appear here tomorrow), and finally to present a possible strategy that MIGHT explain Obama's wrong-looking choices in a more benign way. One thing for sure: these policies look very wrong.
SHARE Saturday, December 16, 2006 The Mind of the Breadbaker *
And suddenly I understood: The minds of those who conceived this process of turning grain into bread had themselves been cultivated by generations of experience turning earth into crops of food to eat. What I saw was this: the baker of bread is farming, and what he is growing is yeast.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 9, 2008 Metaphor and Reality
We use an expression like "strike when the iron is hot" in a great variety of situations. In this latest installment of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series, I ask: Are the relationships and patterns suggested by the way we use such metaphors REAL?
SHARE Friday, February 15, 2013 Swinging for the Fences: The Fable of the Magnet
To understand how the human world works, and in particular what leads civilized societies to go in directions that fail to meet human needs, it's important to understand what I'm calling "magnets": forces that are not visible, but that shape human action and the evolution of civilized societies.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Caring for Future Generations
In this installment of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series, I ask: in American political discourse, have we not ceased to talk about what kind of country we're building for future generations? And if so, what accounts for this lack of concern for --and connection with-- our descendants?
SHARE Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Patterns of Thought
I'm attempting in this opening set of SEEING THINGS WHOLE postings to lay out --through illustration-- a number of the many DIMENSIONS OF INTERCONNECTION. This one has to do with how the patterns instilled in human minds by culture and experience tend to recapitulate themselves from one realm of endeavor to another.
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 20, 2009 What Does it Mean Not to be Hoping for these Iranian Protestors?
A couple of comments I've lately read lead me to declare: is this not as likely an opportunity for the Iranian people to shake off their dark regime as they're likely to get? Should people in the situation of the Iranians simply acquiesce in the unfortunate theocratic nature of the power system that constrains their lives?
SHARE Saturday, October 11, 2008 Restoring Good Order to a Disturbed Land: Erosion as a Natural Tendency
This is the second piece in a series I'm writing making the connection between my working to restore my beloved home in the Virginia mountains, in the wake of six years of neglect and abuse from tenants, and the task that confronts us Americans in repairing our damaged country, in the wake of eight years of misrule by this dark and destructive Bushite regime.
SHARE Tuesday, July 24, 2007 A Way of Seeing Dick Cheney for What He Is
The man has shown a life-long interest in being as close as possible to the summit of power. That, in itself, is no indictment of the man. But now, in the ugly picture of what he wanted to DO with that power, we can see the dark spirit that drives him.
SHARE Monday, June 24, 2013 Caring About What? Manifest Insincerity of the GOP on Abortion
Some of the same Republicans who make a big issue of protecting the "unborn" have made it pretty clear this past week, by their indifference to the plight of already-born children, that their reason for pressing the issue of abortion must not be about any real concern about protecting "innocent life." I'm talking about their drive to gut the food stamp program that helps keep millions of children from going hungryl.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 22, 2007 The Flaws in Two of the Arguments of the Climate "Skeptics"
"Skeptics" --real and pretend-- argue 1) that we don't know with certainty what's happening to the climate, and 2) that even if the planet is warming, we don't know that it is caused by human activity. Therefore, they say, we ought not make sacrifices to change our ways to address the threat of climate change. Neither argument holds water.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 6, 2008 SEEING THINGS WHOLE: Launching a New Project
There is nothing more important, or more rewarding, than attending to the vast and profound interconnectedness of things. It's important intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 12, 2007 The Evil and the Good, the Power and the People: An Exchange
To what extent is the present crisis in America to be understood as a function of the basic nature of "the American power system" as a whole? And to what extent should it be seen as due to the failure of the American people to be sufficiently vigilant in protecting their system from corruptions?
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 12, 2006 The Bush/Gore Contrast: How They Direct Americans' Attention
One important measure of a leader is what he wants us to pay attention to. While Al Gore is calling our attention to "an inconvenient truth," G.W.Bush wants us to be preoccupied with an all-too-convenient distortion. While Al Gore tells us about something we all need to know and act on, Bush tells us about something that we'd be better off thinking less about.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 18, 2008 Gambling on Obama is Our Safest Bet
In normal times, the "safe" bet on conventional leadership may be prudent. But America is no in deep peril, and steady-as-you-go is a recipe for disaster. What America desperately needs is TRANSFORMATIONAL leadership, and of the three candidates who now might become the next president, only one MIGHT give America that kind of leadership. Going for that chance is the best chance America now has.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, February 16, 2007 It's Got to Be Gore: Part III-- There's No Adequate Alternative
This historical moment makes it essential that we be as sure as possible of getting leadership adequate to the task ahead. None of the alternatives to Gore are nearly so good a bet for us as he is. This is no time for gambling, as too much is at stake.
SHARE Wednesday, June 3, 2009 Revisiting "Revisiting the 'Muddle Through Scenario'"
Since 2007, I've been wrestling, at periodic intervals, with the necessity of America's having to "muddle through" this time of national crisis. That necessity, as I saw and see it, is the result of the failure of the American body politic to deal with the Bushite evil --the lawless and usurpatious presidency-- as our Founders had in mind. Now we have a different kind of president, but with the battle still to be won.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, July 6, 2009 Sex and the Sacred (3rd in My Sanford Series)
The spiritual culture in which Mark Sanford is embedded won't be able to give Sanford good guidance because its concept of the sacred is top-down and calls for conquering the body in the name of the spirit rather than integrating the spiritual and animal dimensions of our humanity. The sacred is about Wholeness, not domination.
SHARE Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Applying the Theory of Obama's "Protective Coloration"
Yesterday, I posted a piece here arguing that what seems to some to be "centrism" in Obama is really a form of "protective coloration" that is part of his long-term strategy for achieving genuine and non-centrist transformation in America. Here I apply that idea to several areas of policy, especially the one I myself find most troublesome-- the ways in which, in the national security area Obama has not yet broken with Bush.
(15 comments) SHARE Monday, June 25, 2007 Do We Not All Want This?
Do the disagreements among factions on the left prevent us from uniting behind a commond political message? Some --those attached to continual disputation-- say yes. But I say that's wrong. Do we not all agree on these important statements?
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 25, 2006 Message to Israel: Being Tough May Be Necessary, But A Good Jew Must Be More
It is never enough just to deal with the terrible way things are. One must also always work with a vision of how things should be. This is one meaning of the basic Jewish idea of tikkun olam-- the injunction to heal the world. And regardless of what actions may be justified in Israel's struggle to survive, Israel needs much more of that healing dimension in its relationship with its neighbors.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 12, 2008 What Hillary Has Now Revealed About Herself
Hillary has lately shown us that on the central historical challenge of this particular historical moment in America --lifting us out of the dark mire into which the Bushite regime has degraded the nation-- Hillary Clinton is not on the right side.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, November 6, 2006 The Fault Lies Not in Our Stars ("Luckless Nation") But in Ourselves (the American People)
An article in NEWSWEEK declares that, with this Bush presidency, America's famous luck ran out. But that misses an essential feature of these dark times, the part that is not about "bad luck" but about "character is destiny." These dark forces could not have risen to power but for their exploitation of the degradation of America's national character. With tomorrow's election, the American people can begin their repentance.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, October 29, 2007 OK, Don't Run, Al Gore; But Do Speak Out!
The words of the Awakened Fringe are generally ignored by America's complacent and complicit body politic. But there is one person whose voice that could break through that wall. And here's how he could --and should-- proceed.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 13, 2008 Connections Through Time
Here's the second installment of my new project, SEEING THINGS WHOLE. In this one, I offer an illustration of how patterns in the human system endure through time.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 14, 2006 How the World Might Begin to Heal
With the world spinning out of control, it's time to strive for something other than more of the dynamic that has brought us to this point. Imagine a world conference guided by the best of humankind's wisdom, directed toward the highest of humankind's aspirations.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, June 1, 2009 A Possible Logjam-Breaking Move for Obama to Make on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
Obama speaks in Egypt this week. Millions will be listening for some promise of substantive movement in the American brokering of the long-stalled "peace process." Here's a move Obama could make that might break the log-jam, raise American credibility, put worthwhile pressure on both parties, and conceivably create some momentum for real progress toward the two-state solution the world in general sees as the best future.
SHARE Monday, November 3, 2008 So Much at Stake
For four years, I have been writing about how nothing less than the soul of America is at stake in our struggles against the forces that took over this nation through the Bushite regime. Here's why I see this election as the culmination of that fateful battle.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, October 5, 2007 The Biology (or Is It?) of Political Orientation
Research shows that liberals are more likely to notice evidence that something has changed than are conservatives, and that there are even differences between the two groups in terms of activity in relevant parts of the brain. The researchers offer the idea that this difference is hard-wired. But it seems more likely to me that it's learned.
SHARE Wednesday, December 27, 2006 Sequel to the "Good Will Toward Men" Essay
Some additional thoughts about how recent experience (especially witnessing the acquiescence of so many Americans in the Bushite evil) has shaken my faith in --and damaged my feelings about-- my fellow human beings.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 20, 2007 The Loss of the Ideal, the Failure of the Heroic
When a culture stops investing energy into an image of the human ideal, one of the consequences is that its members stop training themselves to be heroes. This is what has happened to America, especially to liberal America. And that is part of why our representatives have proven weak, cowardly, and ineffectual in the face of the Bushite evil.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 4, 2006 Get a Grip, America! It's Dangerous for a People to be Ruled By Fear
Here's one piece of the puzzle of how the Bush regime has been able to destroy so much of what's best about America. Even before these fear-mongers came to power, we've been a people ready to panic. How did we ever get to be a nation of such scardey cats?
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 15, 2006 Disagreement about Zbig: Acknowledging the Problem of Power
Some people find it easy to condemn pretty much everyone who has ever wielded American power. I wonder what would happen if some of those people were compelled to go beyond such criticism and actually take on the responsibility of trying to survive in an intersocietal system that has been in a Hobbsean state of war since the first kingdoms arose in Mesopotamia more than 5000 years ago.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 1, 2006 GOP Nonsense: Fighting Them Over There So We Don't Have to Fight them Here at Home
Seemingly intelligent people buy this ridiculous Bushite propaganda. But even on the face of it, this Republican slogan is palpable nonsense. The war in Iraq has increased our enemies' choices of how to injure the United States, and taken away American options on how to defend ourselves. That a slogan like this could work points to a void where citizens' critical thinking skills ought to be.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 17, 2008 America's Dangerous Imbalance of Power
Back in the 50s and 60s, America had what the economist Galbrait called "countervailing" powers: labor, business, and government all seeking to shape the nation. In recent decades, labor has withered and business has used its power to seize increasing control of government. Unchecked corporatist power has brought us to the threshold of fascism. Obama represents an opportunity to create a new countervailing power.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Barack, You've Lost Your Way
Here's a message to Barack Obama from one who's believed in him: Don't forget the nature of the force that's brought you to within reach of the presidency. For you, the costs of opportunistic positioning far exceed any political benefits.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Financial Glimmerings
There may be a couple of reasons to be more hopeful about the economy. I'd like to know how much weight to give them.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 28, 2007 An American "Ground Hog Day"
I'd love to see a film that shows Americans as a nation --like the Bill Murray character in the film GROUNDHOG DAY-- compelled to relive a stretch of time (say, the last six years) until they learn what must be learned and can then redo it right.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 22, 2007 Bogus Arguments: My Next Radio Show in Bush Country
Here are four bogus arguments the Bushites are using to manipulate the public and prevent Americans and their representatives from meaningful deliberation about our real choices in Iraq. I plan to try to persuade the conservative radio listeners of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley that their leaders' arguments are just a smokescreen for protecting themselves from the consequences of their failed policy.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 15, 2008 Evil and Wholeness-- Resolving an Apparent Contradiction
In this latest of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE seriess I ask: If Evil is to be understood as the operation of vast interconnected patterns working through the human system over the generations, how is that to be squared with the idea that Wholeness is profoundly connected with the Good?
SHARE Monday, December 19, 2005 Bush and Rove: Collaborators in the Theater of the Moral Lie
If evil were to take over America, it would have to do it with a smiling face and postures of righteousness. As a result of Karl Rove's scripts and direction, and George W. Bush's acting, in dramatizing moral falsehood, evil has ascended to power in America disguised as the good.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 12, 2007 It's Got to Be Gore: Part I The Challenge Facing the Next President
In this first of a series, I lay out what I believe is the historicaly momentous challenge facing the next leadership for America: to teach Americans about the meaning of this dark Bushite episode in our history, and to begin to repair the damage these dark forces have done to America and to the world.
SHARE Monday, September 24, 2007 Imagine Living in a Time When Things Are Moving in a Good Direction
A passage from Goethe prompts me to reflect on how different his time was from ours. He describes the trend toward greater "humanism" --compassion, tolerance, idealism-- coming to infuse the society around him, in its various dimensions. How different from the trend in our time, when darker spirits have ascended in power.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, February 19, 2007 Is Al Gore a Man of VIsion: An Exchange
There are two reasons that Gore's failure to recognize how evil the Bushite gang was, back in 2000, does not contradict the idea that Gore might well be the man of vision to whom America should now turn.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 30, 2007 On Polarization and the Moral Pathologies of America: Two Thoughts
At the root of America's problems is the polarization that has developed in the culture at large, creating two opposing camps that go to battle against each other wielding their half-truths as if they were the whole truth. This is the larger context that the Bushite forces have exploited to come to power. Here I offer two thoughts about this problem of polarization and the means by which it must be overcome.
SHARE Monday, January 28, 2013 Toward an Integrative Vision for a Better Human Future
I am beginning a project to put the pieces together to provide an integrated understanding of how the human world works, and in particular of what are the destructive forces that we need to understand in order to bring them under better control, and that we need to bring under control if we're to be able to move our civilization toward a future that we would want.
SHARE Wednesday, July 19, 2006 Another Dimension to the "World Falling Apart" Piece
As I originally envisioned how Bush has weakened America and thereby destabilized the world, an important piece of the picture was the spiritual dimension. I left that piece out to focus on the level of geopolitical analysis. But here, as a separate essay, is that missing piece.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 7, 2006 The Bushite Regime and the Collapse of Civilizations
Jared Diamond's book, Collapse, alerts us to the possibility that bad leadership can drive a society over a cliff into catastrophe. With respect to the two greatest threats to the future of human civilization, the present American leadership is doing just that.
SHARE Wednesday, February 1, 2006 Field Notes from Bush Country: The Closing of the Bushite Mind
I've been doing talk radio shows for years in a conservative part of a conservative state. My experience last week --doing a program in which I attempted to discuss what's being done to our constitutional system-- revealed something appalling.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 3, 2008 Making the Race One about Spiritual Transformation
It is the yearning of many Americans for a fundamental change in the spirit of power in America that has brought Obama to where he is. For the wave behind Obama to grow, he must intensify and modify that message to resonate with new constituencies that are not so easily in touch with that longing.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 26, 2006 The "Newsweek Cover" Story
In case you haven't seen it elsewhere, here it is in words. NEWSWEEK's covers around the world tell a story that would be shocking, if we didn't already know that the corporate media are loath to tell the American people that the Emperor has no clothes.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, May 11, 2007 The Limits of Outrage-- Part II
Nuclear weapons have changed many things. But the challenge of maintaining the peace remains substantially the same. The leaders of great powers still need to possess various strengths, among which are some of the virtues of the warrior. That does not mean, of course, that a nation needs its leaders to possess the vices of bullies and thugs like Bush and Cheney. The virtuous warrior is not a war-monger.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 7, 2008 The Wholeness of Nature
In this latest installment of my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series, I describe an intense experience of seeing a wholeness beyond the individual pieces of a forest growing around me. And I connect that experience with what is known, or believed, about a Wholeness embodied in the earth's living systems.
SHARE Monday, November 13, 2006 Waging Battle, Building Peace: The Paradox Confronting the Democrats
The Democrats face a paradox, in that they need simultaneously to continue to battle to defeat the Bushites and, as part of overcoming the imprint of the destructive Bushite forces, they also need to build a basis for more peace and more consensus and not just more strife. This two-sided challenge has implications regarding what kind of issues and measures that the Democrats should take up and enact.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 6, 2007 You're Doubtful About America's Moral Degradation? Did You See Those Super Bowl Ads?
Judging from the creative decisions a variety of ad agencies made for how to sell to American men during the Super Bowl, American men delight in violence, and don't mind if it's spiced with sadism and a dash of sociopathy. Do you suppose that might connect with America having become a society where a bunch of thugs can come to power?
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, September 25, 2006 Discussion Question: Why This Desire to Torture, Anyway?
The U.S. military (and others) have determined that torture does not yield reliable information. So why do the Bushites insist so strongly on their having the right to engage in such horrific, disreputable practices?
(10 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 19, 2007 Organize to Push Congress Toward Impeachment
The recent actions of the Bushite regime have made it clear, like never before, just what a people's movement must do. Only when the public sentiment for impeachment manifests itself in an undeniable and impassioned DEMAND that our elected representatives honor their oath of office will the Congress and the media treat impeachment as they should: not as a partisan power struggle but as a sacred duty. Here's a way forward.
SHARE Friday, January 5, 2007 New Scandal, New Opportunities: A Possible Strategic Opening for the Democrats
This latest "signing statement," which is also the latest manifestation of the lawlessness of the Bushite regime, provides a possible strategic opening to begin to flesh out, in a way compelling to the American people, the central truth of our times: a lawless bunch of fascist gangsters have been running America, and their power needs to be checked and wrested from them.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, January 8, 2007 Message to a Conservative Christian About the Homosexual Morality Issue
A traditionalist Christian has observed that the gays he has known have good character, other than their homosexuality which he condemns as immoral. Here I invite this gentleman to follow the evidence of his own observation to its logical conclusion, even if that means questioning a source he may regard as unquestionable.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Which Would Be Better? Getting These Judges Confirmed or Getting the Filibuster Rules Reformed?
It would be good to get some good judges onto the bench of the D.C. District Court of Appeals. But it would also be good to change the rules regarding the filibuster so that they cannot so readily be abused, the way the Republicans have been doing in so unprecedented a fashion. Which ever would be better, it is at least encouraging that the Democrats are fighting back and should gain ground in one way or another.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 29, 2008 Here's How Obama Should Challenge John McCain
In a recent speech,Obama neatly tied McCain to Bush. Here's a way he can up the ante on that approach: it's a way that will help make the terrain on which the campaign is fought one that is dangerous for John McCain and advantageous for Barack Obama.
SHARE Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Our Relationship With Our Imperfect World: Part I-- Acknowledging the Good in the Imperfect
We who are fighting the dark Bushite forces ought to give some thought to how much our task is to repair the damage the Bushites have done and how much is to effect fundamental and long-standing characteristics of American civilization. Two points in this installment: the imperfect can still be, in important ways, the good; and those who seek change should recognize "the persistence of culture."
(22 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 8, 2008 I, Too, Have Been Damaged by the Evil Bushite Forces
A person's traumatic confrontation with evil tends to leave on that person an imprint of evil's pattern. A few days ago I suggested that was true of Hillary Clinton, who has emulated some of the fascists' tricks. I observe myself also becoming --albeit in a different sense-- more like the forces I detest.
SHARE Friday, March 3, 2006 Americas Place in the Struggle Between Good and Evil
There are only imperfect tools --defective societies, flawed people-- available for us to use in trying to build a better world. We need to recognize that America, as imperfect as it was even before the Bushites, was such a tool-- if we're to able to make it into such a tool again.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 9, 2007 The Difference Between Bush and Blair
The poll numbers from Great Britain show that Blair will be remembered most for Iraq. But they also show that most Britons think that on the whole he has been a good prime minister. That will not be the case when Bush leaves office, and there's a good reason for the difference.
SHARE Thursday, October 26, 2006 THe "Prophetic Social Movement": Then and Now
It turns out that our movement has been less about awakening the Bushites than I thought, and more about keeping the fire --of outrage, of determination, of moral truth-- burning in the movement itself.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 3, 2006 Proof that the 9/11 Commission Didn't Do Its Job and Evidence It Doesn't Care
A central task of the 9/11 Commission was to create a national consensus of understanding regarding a profound national trauma. Opinion polls prove they failed to accomplish this. In the face of that failure, their refusal subsequently to confront their challengers seems to admit of no benign interpretation.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, October 1, 2007 Exploring the Spirit(s) of Our Times
The poltical process seems to have stalled. The failure of America --Democrats, media, public-- to respond adequately to the challenge of this dark Bushite regime is to be understood, I suggest, in terms of a "spiritual" failure. It is to that level --what I'm calling the spiritual level-- that I am now turning. And it is to realms of American culture other than politics that I am now directing my attention.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, November 17, 2006 Vignettes of the State of Culture
It is said that the universe can be seen in a teaspoon. Likewise, the corruption of American society can be seen in a few small scenes.
(12 comments) SHARE Monday, March 24, 2008 The Assignment Now (As I See It)
Here is the task at hand: to issue a challenge to the American people to see rightly what this presidential choice is and to choose right.
SHARE Tuesday, March 13, 2007 The Shamelessness of Ann Coulter and the Shame of the Right
What is shameful about Ann Coulter is not so much that her conduct is atrocious and vicious and fundamentally dishonest. That simply proves that there are terrible people in the world, which is not any great revelation. What is most shameful is that there are important and powerful parts of our world that grant her so high a status and so prominent a platform.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, March 19, 2007 "Bogus Arguments": Report on the Radio Show
Can there be constructive dialogue with the true-believer Bushite supporters. My recent experience on the radio in Virginia makes me doubtful. At least it does not seem that I --whose approach has to do with logic and reason and evidence-- have anything in my repertoire that penetrates the trance state.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 21, 2006 A Discussion Question: What Kind of Sacred Principles Do We Need?
The spirituality of the right has been hijacked by daemonic forces. Meanwhile those opposed to such forces lack the power that comes from deep sense of the sacred and from a shared vision with spiritual resonance. What might such a vision look like around which the forces of goodness in America might rally?
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Shrinking from the Necessary Battle
I begin here a series on the theme, "What is Spiritually Wrong With America?" The presenting symptom is the failure of the American body politic to stand up to the evils of Bushite fascism.
SHARE Wednesday, January 30, 2008 Justice as the Antidote to Power
In this latest in my SEEING THINGS WHOLE series, I describe that virtue in social arrangements that strives to achieve the Wholeness that, since the beginnings of civilization, the workings of power have tended to subvert: namely, that man-made virtue called "Justice."
SHARE Tuesday, April 10, 2007 Fear Factor II: A Worldview Pervaded By Fear
It is not coincidence that a regime that rules by manipulating and exploiting FEAR in the people finds its support predominantly on the traditionalist right-wing part of the American public.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 6, 2007 What Bothers Me About the "Issue" of Romney's Mormonism
Here's one more instance in which a great many supposed "patriots" show an ignorance of --or an indifference to-- the essential nature of the American constitutional democracy our Founders were attempting to create.
SHARE Thursday, December 13, 2007 The Muddle-Through Scenario
While there are some dark possibilities that can be envisioned for America's future, in the wake of this criminal Bushite regime, another scenario --not very satisfying but a lot less dark-- seems to me more likely. It's the "Muddle-Through" Scenario.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Obama Should Challenge McCain to a "National Security Match-Up"
Conventional wisdom would have it that John McCain is better eqipped to deal with that "3 AM phone call" than Barack Obama. I doubt it. There's a way these would-be presidents can be tested before our very eyes. By challenging McCain to such a "national security match-up" as I describe here, Obama can benefit whether McCain accepts the challenge or declines it.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 8, 2007 Follow the Pressure: Some Questions About the U.S. Attorney Firings
Deep Throat told Woodward, "Follow the money." When it comes to this developing scandal about the unprecedented political purge of the U.S. Attorneys, who apparently resisted pressures to politicize their conduct of their office, the operative word for the investigation should be: Follow the Pressure.
SHARE Thursday, November 15, 2007 The "What Kind of Man Could Do This?" Dramatization
In this latest installment of my "What Should Be Happening Now," I present one piece of the very large picture of Bushite evil. It's a small piece, but it reveals something quite basic and dark about this president.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, November 5, 2007 How Congress Should Deal with the Iran Issue
Congress should say: "It would be unconstitutional for the president to initiate hostilities with Iran without congressional approval. It would also be folly for us Americans to leave such a decision to a group that has blundered so badly in making such decisions in the past." Both the constitutional argument and the pragmatic argument expose the terrible defects of this regime: its lawlessness and its incompetence.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 27, 2009 Fight Back, Mr. President (Fifth Piece)
Your enemies are coming at you with lies. You address their lies but you do not attack their lying. Re-Connecting with the Force that brought you to the presidency requires that you fight back against the dark forces trying to bring you down.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 16, 2006 Can this Bushite Era Become an Innoculation Against Such Evils in the Future?
William Rivers Pitt, in an otherwise fine article, worries that the Bushites have provided future American would-be tyrants with a blueprint on how to do it. I think there are reasons to believe that the Bushite pattern can function not as a blueprint but as an innoculation against the recurrence of the such evils in the future.
SHARE Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Seeking Peace of Mind Amidst Insecurity
Like most people, I generally rely upon my own little "personal empire" to feel safe and comfortable in my life. The way my own "empire" is deteriorating these days --I can't sell my house, my financial assets are losing value-- has led me to ask if there's some place within myself where that good feeling can be found despite the tough times.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, December 16, 2005 Riff on the Theme, "This is about evil"
The problem isn't the animal that hasn't been properly civilized, it's the human being that's been twisted into a channel for that specifically human problem: evil.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 6, 2008 Here's How Obama Should Fight Back
Yes, Obama should get tougher on his opponents. But not in the "old politics" way, but only in the way that reinforces his case for the "new politics" he's offering the country.
(12 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 3, 2007 Feinstein and Shumer Are Dangerously Wrong
What's at stake here is not the man, Mukasey, but something much bigger. It's a matter of answering the question, "Will the attorney general's office be an agent of the rule of law or an agent of its subversion?" And by how we answer that question, we answer too the question, "What kind of nation are we?" These two Senators either don't understand or don't care enough about these vital stakes.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 22, 2006 A Tellingly False Assumption
Some people on the left seem regard the purpose of political communication as being the achievement of the satisfaction that comes from pure self-expression, rather than the achievement of some goal in the political arena. Presented here are the latest clues about this cluelessness.
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 27, 2007 When Bush Accuses the Dems of "Wasting Time"
Virtually every Bushite attack on their opponents, virtually every issue that is contested between the regime and its critics, is an opportunity to expose the crimes and lies and moral bankruptcy of this regime. It's a matter, in each case, of finding the right strategy to turn the energy of the confrontation into a weapon to discredit the Bushite regime in the eyes of the American people. Here's one example.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, January 22, 2007 How to Cope with the Bushites' "Who Lost Iraq?" Game
Chickens are coming home to roost. It's important that they roost where they belong. The Bushites are evidently willing to sacrifice lives and treasure to have the blame for their disaster fall on someone else. It's important that these efforts to pass off the Old Maid card of this Bushite failure be defeated. Here are some thoughts on how to thwart this dishonest and irresponsible Bushite game.
SHARE Thursday, July 6, 2006 Manhood and the Fate of the Earth
Why does our society respond with hypervigilance to the threat from external enemies but with indifference and neglect to the threats from our own environmentally destructive behavior. Here's a solution to this riddle.
SHARE Tuesday, October 16, 2007 What's the NASCAR-Bushite Connection?
People who go for NASCAR apparently overlap considerably with people who support Bush. Is there any reason for this at a deep level, or is this just an artifact of, say, geography? Is the spirit of NASCAR connected in any meaningful way with the spirit of this regime? In a spirit of seeking comprehension, not mere denigration, I invite your insights.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 24, 2008 An Interesting Instance of Contagion
My SEEING THINGS WHOLE series explores the ways in which our world is densely interwoven with patterns and connections. "Contagion" is one of the processes by which such interconnections are made. Here's an interesting instance.
SHARE Tuesday, October 3, 2006 The Tragedy of the Good Soldier
The moral habits of the military culture --which emphasizes loyalty and obedience-- equipped Colin Powell badly for being Secretary of State to this dishonest and blundering president. The price of being the "good soldier" has been high --both for Powell's reputation and, more importantly, for America and the world.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, November 20, 2006 The Dems' First Step on Iraq: The Kind of Hearings We Need
Concerning Iraq, the Democrats must address two goals simultaneously: 1) helping move American policy toward Iraq in the right direction; 2) and making sure that the Bushites cannnot foist political responsibility for their failure in Iraq onto the Democrats. Here's how it can be done.
(11 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 29, 2007 What is This "Cowardly Act" Bit About?
On Thursday, President Bush made a public statement about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto condemning "this cowardly act." There are a lot of terrible things one can say about someone who perpetrated such an act. But how can one describe as "cowardly" a man who, aside from carrying out an assassination, deliberately blows himself to pieces? Yet this word is almost always used for such crimes. Why is that?
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, August 21, 2006 Shameless: A Word the Dems Should Now Introduce Thus
What else can you call group that, when caught in its crimes and lies and blunders, is not even embarrassed, much less repentant? It's time for the whole nation to rise up as one and say to this Bush group, echoing a previous time when power was shamelessly abused in America: "Have you no decency, sirs, at long last? Have you no shame?"
SHARE Wednesday, October 26, 2005 Signs of the Turning of the Tide
Finally, the American people may be starting to get the word from the mainstream media about the dark spirit that has lately been governing America.
SHARE Friday, August 25, 2006 Making Sense of Senator McCain's New Dance
You don't really think, Senator McCain, that the problem is not with the disastrous war in Iraq itself but just with the Bushites' neglecting to make a suitably "blood, sweat, toil and tears" speech to the American people,do you?
SHARE Monday, February 11, 2008 A Pattern in My Life (Part I)
Is the attempt at SEEING THINGS WHOLE a distraction from the pressing business of healing our troubled world? A pattern in my own life suggests that on the contrary, there is something gained from contacting WHOLENESS that empowers us for dealing with the wounds and the evils that afflict our world.
SHARE Friday, March 14, 2008 How to Deal With the Darkness: The Key Question Facing Obama
Obama's indirect approach to our darkness --alluding to it glancingly while holding up the light-- worked beautifully for the early phase of his campaign. Perhaps now, while the darkness is coming after him, he'll need a different approach.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 1, 2007 Thoughts Regarding "The Great Decider"
Bush's declaration that he is "the Decider" says volumes about the basic incompatibility between his concept of power and the ideals of American democracy. Between "Decider" and "Dictator" there are deep kinships.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, October 19, 2007 A Many-Dimensional Look at America
Here's a gateway into a radio conversation that I strongly commend to your attention. The conversation is between me and Craig Barnes, Santa Fe political commentator, lawyer, playwright, etc., an interview for the website "America Deceived." The twists and turns of our exchange comprise a holistic view of what's now happening in the American cultural system. It can be heard on-line or downloaded as a podcast.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, May 5, 2008 What Happened to Hillary at the Level of the Spirit
Hillary endured in the 90s a most savage and dirty assault from the gathering Bushite forces. Emerging from that experience with a greater allegiance to prevailing than to goodness, Hillary was less concerned about rescuing American politics from darkness than about learning the lesson from the dark forces about how power can be dishonorably won.
SHARE Tuesday, February 19, 2008 A Pattern in My Life (Part II)
My own experience suggests to me that it when people contact the Whole that they become transformed, energized, devoted to something beyond themselves-- and thus also more capable of combatting the forces of destruction. In this perspective, my current series SEEING THINGS WHOLE is not a distraction from the mission of fighting the fascist threat in America today but is a way of laying the foundations for that struggle.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 11, 2007 It's Time to Name It: Dems Should Now Call the Bushites the Liars That They Are
The Democrats are understandably wary of the Bushite propaganda campaigns, by which the Iraqi disaster might be dishonestly pinned on the Congress for not giving Bush a blank check. It's time to attack the Bushite deceptions head on, to discredit in the eyes of the public everything that comes from this lying White House.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Cmon Liberals! Direct Your Wrath at the Right Target
It makes no sense to expect elected office-holders to be people who wont do what it takes to get elected to office. And one should be angry not with those who are trying to win in the world as it is but with those who are making that world still worse.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 10, 2006 Wanted: Good Judgment on the Iran Question
It would be folly for the American people, or the Congress, to leave the decision about how to deal with the problem of Iran and its nuclear program to the leadership whose series of bad judgments gave us this terrible disaster in Iraq. We need for Congress to hold public discussion and debate on whether the military option for dealing with this dilemma belongs on the table.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 27, 2006 When Failure is Better than Success: What Americans, and the World, Owe to the Disaster in Iraq
As terrible as the debacle has been in Iraq, imagine what the situation would be if this Bushite venture into "preventive war" had succeeded. Where would American democracy be if our "war-time president" still enjoyed the popularity of his "Mission Accomplished" moment? And where would these Bushite imperialists have taken their lust for power next, had their conquest of Iraq indeed been a cakewalk?
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 19, 2008 The "Grist for the Mill" Strategy
Yesterday's speech on race in America should serve as a template for how Obama should conduct the heart of his campaign for the forseeable future, perhaps all the way until the election in November.
SHARE Monday, February 19, 2007 Envision Possibilities
We should know that we do not know when it comes to the question "what's possible" when it's asked in an extraordinary time.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, July 10, 2006 We Need Leadership at Center Stage
There's a bottleneck in the movement to save this country from the thuggish Bushite regime. And that bottleneck is the absence of leadership from people prominent enough to take the message of this movement and make it the main subject of national discussion. Here's a way to open up that bottleneck.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, January 29, 2007 We've Seen How This Cowboy Movie Ends
GW Bush has long since clued us in that his drama is an old Western. And with his insistence on having a showdown with Congress on his war-making, he's shown that he's a character of a kind the fan of cowboy movies has seen many times before. It's a character that always ends up sprawled in the dust.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 9, 2006 The Dems' New Power: Investigative Hearings Done Right
We have won this important battle. We would be foolish to proceed without regard to the additional battles to come. In this piece, I offer an idea about how that applies to the matter of investigative hearings. And I ask readers to help propose, based on the strategy I propose, what the Dems should hold hearings about, and how those hearings should be presented to the American public.
SHARE Monday, July 24, 2006 In Search of An Effective Opposition
Here are a variety of thoughts I've lately been juggling in my mind regarding the Democratic opposition and how it might become effective by speaking to the American people about what's really going on in this country.
SHARE Thursday, November 8, 2007 When Your Champions Run From the Field Rather than Fight
This is the further elaboration of the framework I'm calling, "What Should Be Happening Now." This addition deals with the disappointing reality that those upon whom we are forced to depend to fight this fight are, instead, backing away from the necessary confrontation.
(14 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 23, 2008 It's Time for John Edwards to Get Off the Fence and Help End This Fiasco
The best way for John Edwards to advance his issues and to serve America's underserved common people is to take action now to persuade the voters of Indiana to end this damaging nominating process-- a process whose most likely effect is to increase the chances of another four years of plutocratic Republican rule.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 1, 2008 "Long National Nightmare" is What Obama Should Be Talking About
The force that has borne Obama this far is the force of the yearning of millions of Americans for a fundamental change in the spirit that governs political power in America. The heart of Obama's campaign strategy must be to stoke the fires of that yearning, and to find ways of helping new constituencies contact their inner knowing of how dark the spirit of power in America has lately been.
SHARE Wednesday, April 12, 2006 Evil or Incompetence: What's the Main Issue?
I would prefer that the American people repudiate the Bushite regime for its evil rather than for its incompetence. But upon reflection, it seems to me that perhaps the two are organically connected.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 26, 2008 Our Political Discourse is Plagued with Unfair Attacks
I recently defended Reverend Hageefrom something unfair and unreasonable I discern in the recent attacks on him. It's not because I like Hagee, which I don't, but because I care about reason and fairness, and deplore the degraded, muddle-headed state of our political discourse.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, April 17, 2006 There is Only One Scandal: I Could Use Your Help Here
I will soon be calling for a campaign, led by the opposition party, to tell the American people about the elephant in the room-- that America is being run by the most morally bankrupt leadership in the nation's history. For that effort, I ask here for a bit of help with identifying and ordering the most pertinent and useful of the many scandals besetting this Bushite regime.
(10 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 2, 2008 Why I'm for Obama: Only He Can Shift the Correlation of Forces
Even if both Hillary and Oback would (largely) try to serve the Good as president, only Obama could shift the correlation of forces that now so limits the Good America is capable of accomplishing. Only a leader in whom the American people are willing to recognize moral authority is capable of re-empowering the people.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Chill Out about Hillary?
A reader suggested that I should "chill out" in my critique of how Hillary Clinton has been conducting her campaign for the past several months. Here's why I think what's need is, on the contrary, for all Democrats to heat up about it.
SHARE Thursday, November 30, 2006 Discussion Question: What is the Condition of America's Electoral System?
In the mid-term elections of 2006, the American democracy apparently accomplished something that many thought might no longer be possible: it achieved the peaceful transfer of meaningful power from the Bushite Republican Party to the opposition. How much does the evidence of this election justify our being optimistic about the power of the electorate to determine our collective destiny?
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, October 6, 2006 Two Looks into the Spirit of Things
Thoughts from Ursula Le Guin on partial truths and larger patterns. And poll results on how different groups of Americans hold different images of the deity. Reflections on the state of America.
SHARE Wednesday, January 31, 2007 Tie the President's Hands Regarding Making War on Iran
It's time for Congress to show that the power delegated to it "to declare war" means something. If it doesn't mean the right to decide whether to initiate non-emergency conflict with another sovereign nation, what does it mean? And if it shouldn't be exercised to prevent a presidency that's demonstrated most blatantly its incompetence and untrustworthiness in war-making, when should it be excercised?
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 22, 2007 Why I'm Less Afraid Now
The times remain dangerous. But the efforts of evil forces to take over America are failing, at least for this Bushite round.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 4, 2008 The Hillary Matter: It Is All Part of the Same Spititual Struggle in America Today
The ongoing Clinton effort to undermine Obama is not a side-show, but is an integral part of the overall struggle that the rise of the Bushite forces has made central in the America of our times. The forces of darkness form a pattern in our times, and the Clinton's are carriers of this darkness, just as those bitten by a rabid dog become themselves rabid. For Obama, each battle is not just a challenge, but also an opportunity.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 7, 2006 The Criterion for Victory Today
THe New York Times says some Democratic leaders worry that too high expectations may lead to disappointment. But the criterion for what constitutes victory today is simple, and crystal clear.
SHARE Tuesday, July 3, 2007 The Commutation: The Latest in a String of Scandals
One corrupt and lawless act leads to another-- a kind of vertical integration of scandal. If the American people and their elected representatives allow the perpetrators of this assault on the rule of law to escape the appropriate consequences, that would be the biggest scandal of all.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 16, 2006 The Link Between How We Think and Whether We'll Win: I. Majority Public Support Is Our Only Way
For some, the political arena is apparently not a place to achieve good but simply a venue to denounce evil. But for those whose concern is actually to save America from this Bushite regime, one inescapable truth must be acknowledged: The only way these fascist forces can possibly be defeated is by gathering a clear majority of the American public to oppose them.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Are the Bushites Bringing on Impeachment? A Speculation
The conduct of the Bushites on the war may lead Congress to impeach NOT because it finds the crimes so unacceptable but because it's the only way to stop them from compounding the disaster of their ill-conceived war-making.
SHARE Tuesday, June 3, 2008 Obama's Present Weakness: Some Thoughts
Obama has been hamstrung by Hillary's assault: fighting back risked alienating her voters, not fighting has left him weakened. He's chosen to coast to the finish line, which tonight he will limp across. Did he have a better option? Can he, as the post-Hillary phase now dawns, quickly re-ignite what gave him strength in the first place? And what does this inglorious end reveal about the defects of the Democratic electorate?
SHARE Wednesday, November 7, 2007 What Should Be Happening Now: The Opening Statement
The key tto wresting power from the Bushites is to expose their dark doings so thoroughly that the regime is completely stripped of all authority. Stripped of such authority, this president could more readily be defeated on all the specific issues. It is that --not the continued domination of the nation's course by this disgraceful presidency-- that should be happening now.
SHARE Wednesday, October 25, 2006 The Democrat Could be Daisy Duck and It Would Still Be Important to Vote for Her
What is at stake in this election is far less the specifics of any particular office-holder than it is which party will be a majority in the House-- because that could be the difference between our being able to stop this presidency, that's dismantling our constitutional democracy, and our continuing to have a Congress that is simply his accomplice.
SHARE Monday, January 15, 2007 Know When to Hold 'Em, When to Fold 'Em
Why is it that, in America, a course of action that is regarded as folly in virtually every other comparable endeavor is seen as virtue and wisdom in war?
(13 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 13, 2007 It's Got to Be Gore: Part II What Does it Make Sense to Hope For?
Is it unreasonable to think that, with great leadership, America might be able to reverse some of the destructive socio-political trends of our times? Are such hopes the equivalent of seeking to put the toothpaste back into the tube? Is the basic course of history more or less inevitable? I don't think so.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 10, 2008 Evil is Not a Good Loser
Evil has had a field day in America, these recent years, and it is not going to yield to goodness without doing EVERYTHING it can to hold onto its dominance. Evil holds nothing higher than feeding its insatiable hungers for more the greed for more wealth, the lust for more power, the jollies it gets in its twisted way from dominating and destroying. Now we'll see how well Obama, under attack, can combat these forces.