Category Archives: Columns

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sorry, no solution to mass murder of citizens

My wife and I have (also) been “dodging bullets” recently. Just a year before Maria devastated Puerto Rico we and our partners sold our house there, saving us a worrisome secondhome owner connection to that huge mess. Earlier this year we spent a few days on the very coast south of Oaxaca, Mexico where that […]

The importance of distinguishing between two kinds of work

Were any glasses raised on Labor Day to toast workers or work? It seems to me that the holiday is about work in name only and mostly about the end of summer. Robert Frost wrote a poem about two different sorts of labor: labor to make money vs. labor of love. It depicts the poet […]

Charlottesville: which side are you on?

One good thing to come out of Charlottesville and Trump’s reaction to it is some consciousness-raising (to use that old 60s phrase) about violence. As someone posted on facebook : “Violence in behalf of white supremacy. Violence against white supremacy. Get the difference?” There’s a bit of hypocrisy in the huge outcry against Trump. His […]

Corporate siege of the Outer Cape intensifies

The front page of this newspaper recently featured two Outer Cape stories: an update on the Herring River restoration in Wellfleet and Truro, and Dollar General’s determination, despite a lot of local opposition, to put one of its 13,000 big box stores in Eastham. The Cape Cod Commission has decided to weigh in on the […]

Looking for a Trump scorecard (A DOW for the rest of us)

I’m wondering what you Trump supporters are thinking about GOP attempts to replace Obamacare. Polls and several special elections have shown that through all of what look (to a lot of us) like insurmountable troubles Trump remains teflon to much of his base. Shortly after the Comey firing I emailed a local Trump supporter with […]