A Second Look: James Madison & the Tea Party

October 2, 2013

The current government shut down over the Affordable Healthcare Act speaks directly to issues found in the nation’s beginnings. Among the many ironies of Tea Party foolishness is that while its adherents are enemies of federalism and shape minor deities of the nation’s founders, the nation’s founders very purposefully opted for federalism. This post from [...]


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Homer (Dean Adler)

September 29, 2013

September 1, 1999 – September 27, 2013 Homer was a 21st century dog, so he took the last names of both his parents… In his tenth month, he met his adoptive older sister, Penelope (Anne Dean – third and most diminutive in the line of Anne Deans)… It was instant love, and through the rest [...]


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Photography, Fathers, and Mayors

September 23, 2013

When Gil Garcetti was voted out as Los Angeles District Attorney in 2000 after two terms, he turned his dedication in life to another love besides the law – photography. In the years since, he has become a respected figure in the L.A. and broader photo community. He is especially known for what has become [...]


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Masters of War

September 11, 2013

 “Masters of War,” compellingly titled, fortuitously timed in its creation, ranks among Bob Dylan’s most jejune songs. The apparent good fortune of its historic timing emerged out of a natural uprising from circumstance. Given that circumstance, and the song’s generalized complaint, how, it almost seems, could the United States not have become fully drawn into [...]


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Forgetfulness Is a Chemical Weapon

September 6, 2013

Something fails to fire. Across the synaptic gap, neurotransmission falls short. For only a moment or forever, we cease to remember – “as if,” Billy Collins writes, … one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are [...]


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Seeking Submissions: Wiyoĥpeyata, a New Journal of Native American Literature

September 3, 2013

Our friends at Alternating Current press, who are behind so many fine projects and publications, have yet one more, Wiyoĥpeyata: a Literary Journal for the Pine Ridge Reservation. The title, in Lakota, means Westward, and the journal is open to Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as well as members of neighboring Great Plains [...]


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Scientism, Signifying, and Meaning

August 29, 2013

Since I wrote my brief broadside against Steven Pinker’s monumentally misguided New Republic essay “Science Is Not Your Enemy: An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians,” a slew of additional responses have come to my attention. Rhetorically, my reply was a proslepsis (among its many names), a technique by which one talks about something while pretending [...]


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A Second Look: The Brotha & the Otha

August 21, 2013

President Obama’s summer vacation just concluded, there was a fair amount of attention to the frequency of his golfing: courses traversed, rounds played, partners played with. ABC News even gave us “Obama’s Vacation by the Numbers.” He made FIVE outings to local restaurants, including TWO dinners with friends, ONE intimate night out with the first [...]


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Citizen Bloomberg & the Fallacy of Appeal to Efficacy

August 13, 2013

When will it stop? I’m asking. When? These are supposedly educated people. (If all the supposeds in the world were actuals, the world would be a far, far better place than it has ever been before: all the cows would come home to hear the fat lady sing.) When will the people who would lead [...]


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The Spectacular Arrogance & Ignorance of Steven Pinker’s Scientism

August 8, 2013

What is one to make of an essay seeking to bridge a purported divide of understanding between science and the humanities – in which the humanities are said to fear and mistrust the sciences – that opens with the sentence, “The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists”? The essay [...]


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Talkin’ Shit about Race: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

July 30, 2013

Had I served on George Zimmerman’s jury I believe I would have voted to convict him of manslaughter. I form this belief independent of Trayvon Martin’s race or any conviction about Zimmerman’s racial animus or suspicions. I would have voted to convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter had Trayvon Martin been white. Had Trayvon Martin been [...]


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Helen Thomas and Oedipus

July 21, 2013

On the CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, new host David Folkenflik hosted three female journalists, including Judy Woodruff and Candy Crowley in considering the career and legacy of Helen Thomas. The entire discussion addressed Thomas’s groundbreaking career and generous influence on young women journalists like Woodruff and Crowley. Just before the end of the discussion, [...]


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As the sad red earth Turns

July 20, 2013

As you know if you have been a follower of this blog, I have withdrawn from the regular blogging of the past nearly five years in order to devote more of that time and energy to longer-form and more varied writing projects. The sad red earth is transforming into my writing website, where I will [...]


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A Second Look: The Uncanny John Mearsheimer

July 8, 2013

The weekend found me in my cyber perambulations encountering greater than the usual concentration of anti-Semitic eruptions from the maw of the uncivilizing world. We withdraw from the end of history. It produced my own ironic rants in twitter eruption, first on Saturday, again on Sunday. Some meditation on the nature of that ur-hatred that [...]


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Three Proposals for Altering the State of Surveillance

July 1, 2013

These several weeks after Edward Snowden’s arguable NSA “revelations” have offered several other kinds of revelation, including one additional that is also arguably not new – about how very badly reflexive political posturing contributes to the proper understanding of national issues or effective public debate. Let it be noted as further revealed for a broader [...]


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“It goes without saying”: the Further Rhetoric of Terrorist Apologia

June 24, 2013

When the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, then with Salon,interviewed Rene Brulin in 2010, the purpose of the conversation was to discuss Brulin’s research into the origins of the contemporary usage of the term “terrorism.” According to Brulin it has two origins. One is in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the late 70s, President [...]


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The State of Surveillance

June 17, 2013

God knows your calling patterns. God knows your friends on Facebook, your pages liked, your rants and your dissenting comments. More – and better than the NSA or FBI – God knows what you think. Or, if there is no personal God,  if that term is just a word made of letters – G-O-D – [...]


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Notes Toward a Terror Apologist’s Rhetoric (Abridged but Unexpurgated)

June 10, 2013

This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on June 3, 2013. Apologia in the rhetorical tradition is not a common apology, in the simple sense of “sorry,” though it may fulfill that purpose. It may decidedly not. Apologia is a defense against accusation. Plato gave us Socrates’sApology, which was not. In the religious tradition, apologia is [...]


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This Is Bradley Manning’s Idea of Whistleblowing

June 4, 2013

. This is his defense. According to the defense, Manning was motivated “to do something, something to make a difference,” after arriving inIraq in 2009 and hearing of the carnage that was going on around him. But Army prosecutor Capt. Joe Morrow outlined how the short, bespectacled Manning fell into a partnership with the silver-haired media [...]


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A Second Look: What About Chas Freeman?

May 28, 2013

. Whenever they become topically relevant, I am going to offer a scond look at some older pieces still worth reading. Yesterday, the anti-semitic Mondoweiss blog reposted a recent speech by Chas Freeman at A National Interest discussion about “Israel’s fraying image.” I do not link to Mondoweiss, but you can find Freeman’s comments at his [...]


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