Category Archives: Political

Remembering Molly Ivins

August 30 was the birthday of Molly Ivins (1944-2007), a favorite journalist/humorist of mine. Among her musings is “The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”  She was born in Monterey, California, but raised in Houston, Texas; her adopted state provided plenty

Read More

Are You Running For President?

Have you ever been told “If you don’t like the way the country is being run, why don’t you run for office yourself”? Don’t laugh, a lot of people are. In fact, this includes the presidency. As of this writing, more than 400 people have announced their candidacies to run our nation (http://time.com/5481580/presidential-campaign-filings-skyrocket/). Overseeing this

Read More

Read the News Like a Scientist

I’m both a news junkie and am active on social media. That’s a volatile mix in these political times. So when I saw an article on Ideas.TED.com about a better way to read the news, I was hooked. The better way is actually quite simple — read as if you were a scientist. How? Here

Read More

The Beauty of the Bill of Rights

Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but whenever I’ve studied the Bill of Rights, I’ve always wondered why so much is crammed into the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Establishment of religion, free exercise

Read More

Saving Democracy?

With the extreme polarization of American politics, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion about possible changes to our elections. Should we abolish the Electoral College? Do we need a stronger chief executive? How do we make our democracy more responsive? I’ve recently listened to a podcast that discusses this issue in detail — “Tweak

Read More

The Effect of Illusory Truth

I am too young (just barely) to remember the McCarthy Era in U.S. politics. If you’re blessed to be that young, McCarthyism, named after Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, was, as explained in the Encyclopedia Britannica, a “period of time in American history that saw Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy produce a series of investigations and

Read More

Who Was The First Special Prosecutor?

I’ve lived through Watergate, the Reagan Administration, and the Clinton Administration, and have read about the Warren Harding Administration, so I am familiar with political scandals. So is a special prosecutor a 20th Century idea? Not even close. The first special prosecutor in U.S. politics, John B. Henderson, was appointed in 1875 by President Ulysses

Read More

The Wall That Doesn’t Exist

With all the talk about border walls, this weekend I heard a story that sounded like something from Lewis Carroll (You know, Alice in Wonderland). Talk to a North Korean official and hear the lament about The Concrete Wall.  Standing 5-8 meters high and 10-19 meters thick, with military positions, it was built by South

Read More