Author Archives: Brent

OUTER CAPE: BOYCOTT CVS

Despite widespread local opposition, CVS will apparently be coming to Ptown. Even though the deal was worked out with town counsel, let’s not kid ourselves: it’s another victory of a big, nonlocal company over a small town and its sense, expressed in a bylaw, of what’s good for it. According to a quote of the […]

The arrow of history: where are we headed?

As we proceed from the old year to the new, it would seem that most of us are experiencing the world as going backwards. According to an October 7th AP story reporting on an AP-NORC poll, “Few say US going in right direction.” “Only 24 percent of Americans are confident about the future of the […]

The undeniably progressive politics of Christmas

At this Christmas time, I’m reprinting a column from the past because it seems even more pertinent now than five years ago when it first appeared: The Politics of Christmas Christmas has the reputation of being apolitical, above the fray. But in fact it wears its politics on its (fur trimmed red) sleeve. Dickens’ beloved […]

A DOW FOR THE REST OF US

It’s the worst of tax bills, it’s the best of tax bills. According to polls, most Americans are not buying the Republican claims that the bill is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But how will we know? Given the wildly conflicting claims, there is more need than ever for an index which will tell […]

The status of gratefulness in the renewed Cold War

I suppose we should be feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for having survived so far the nuclear whims of the president. In recent decades, as Cold War nuclear war fears have receded, we have mainly had domesticated nukes such as our own Pilgrim plant to worry about. Now once again nuclear war is an entree on […]

FRANKEN: IT WILL BE BETTER FOR WOMEN IF HE STAYS IN PUBLIC LIFE

The forced resignation of Al Franken doesn’t make very much sense for anybody except those who seek the reversal of women’s progress. OK, if a progressive woman is appointed in his place, one that stands a good chance of getting re-elected, that might be a reasonable trade-off. Certainly Franken’s thoughtless, unwelcome advances need to be […]

Roger Goodell signs on for another five years at $40 million a year.

Can someone explain why the NFL needs to pay him all that money? It’s not as if he were a worldclass athlete indispensable to fan pleasure. He doesn’t even seem to have been doing such a terrific job of presiding over the inherent contradictions of this inherently violent sport (let alone Inflategate). But even if […]

Climate Change and the Rising Tide of Us

It’s the elephant in the room when climate change is being discussed (and when isn’t it being discussed these days?). The fact is, it’s hard to take seriously a climate change movement that rarely alludes to the population explosion over the last century (from 2 billion to 7-plus over the lifetimes of many of our […]

Catalan Independence: Does size matter?

What are we citizens of the United States making of the Catalan threat to make Spain smaller? Our own country was founded in secession; a continuing part of our politics is the tension between the two terms in the name of our country, the union and the states. What do we think about Brexit? Or […]

Medicare-for-all and the New Democratic Party

I never thought I’d see the day: “Urgency grows for single-payer health system.” The front page headline of this newspaper on July 19th. The story went on: “With polls showing a majority of Americans holding unfavorable views of plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the conversation about replacing the current system with […]