Better Angels Brings An Interesting Challenge: Can We Talk?


A Group Dedicated to the Proposition That We Should Actually Listen to Each Other

Are You Talking to Me? 

Last weekend I put in half a day or so with a group called Better Angels. This is a national group, although thin in many areas. The program I attended last Saturday was their first in the Western portion of my state.

Before I go any further, note that I will put a link to their website at the end of this post. You can see for yourself who they are and what they aspire to achieve.

The Power and Peril of People in the Streets

Recent Events Remind Us of History’s Lessons


There is a line in a Mel Brooks movie wherein someone comes in to alert the king, “The peasants are revolting.” To which the king, completely misunderstanding the warning, says “They certainly are.”

Well, the peasants are revolting around the world of late, and “kings” must take note. This is how the Arab Spring started. That movement did not end well, but leaders were toppled.

You may have noticed of late that people are protesting. They often times do so in staggering numbers,

“I Think You are Great, But That is a Really Dumb Idea”

We All Need Someone Who Can Regularly Tell Us Why We Might Be Wrong

As I have watched the Trump Show these last few days (the photo session with the Pakistan Prime Minister was amazing. I kept checking the TV to see if I had stumbled onto Saturday Night Live), and the Mueller hearings on Wednesday, I was reminded of an old truth that is as powerful today as ever.

If Everyone Agrees with You All the Time, You Need a New Circle of Advisors

Any time a leader surrounds himself or herself with Yes Men,

Random Observations on the World at Large

  1. The Last Few Days Give One Pause to Ask: “Really?”


Almost any week seems surreal these days, especially in the world of politics, but recent days seem even more so.

A Few Examples to Ponder

  • What possible goal does Iran achieve in seizing a British ship? We get it they are not happy about their ship being seized in Gibraltar, but their actions of late seem designed to play into Trump’s hands. They are busily alienating those in the West most interested in salvaging the nuclear deal and all that could flow from that foundation.

Imagine American Politics Without Mitch McConnell

 What If McConnell Lost Not Only the Senate Majority but his Senate Seat?

There is a lot of buzz of late about the level of trouble Mitch McConnell finds himself facing. I would be among the last to declare him to really be at risk on several grounds. Still, there are some interesting things afoot that make one think, “Maybe, just maybe….”

Signs of Trouble?

  • McConnell’s negatives in his home state are at record highs, substantially outweighing his positives.
  • The Democrats have put forth a heck of a candidate. Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath is impressive.

Reframing the 4th of July


A Brief Reflection on A Better Way to Think about the 4th

Every July 4 we have a replay of the same opposing dramas. Some of us celebrate everything American. Others find it a time of anger and frustration over how we fall short as a nation.

I would like to suggest that those two groups might have more in common than they realize.

A lot of us follow what could be considered a third choice, and in this choice, I think we have the makings of greater national unity.

Three Strikes and We Are Out

History Called This Supreme Court Three Times: Three Times It Failed to Answer. The words at the front of this building are not ringing true.


A Unique Institution

The Supreme Court is a fascinating institution. Filled by people with lifetime appointments (more on that later), it represents the best and the worst of the American experiment. It has challenged us to be our best (Brown vs. Board of Education, for example). It has also reinforced the worst in us (Plessy vs. Ferguson, for example).

It has,

What Does the Immigration Fight Say About Us, America?

Sometimes Events Call Out Who We Are. This is One of Those.


Framing the Issue

Reasonable people can disagree on a lot of important issues. There are many components to what is happening on our Southern border. People can argue about them, with good points all around.

To be clear up front, I am not an open borders fan. The slogan “no person is illegal” has always struck me as naïve at best. I find it inaccurate from both a practical and moral perspective. Should we not be concerned about terrorists or criminals who wish to cross the border?

The Iran Almost-Strike – Good News, Bad News, Non-News


This Story is a Many-Layered Cautionary Tale

This past week was, to put it mildly, quite the week for the Trump administration and foreign affairs. It is, in all candor, difficult to sort out. Let’s take a look at what we are hearing and see what we can make of it all.

First, it appears that a military strike was decided upon, then cancelled at the last minute. The Administration says it was cancelled because the president learned at the last moment that the strike would result in about 150 casualties. That seemed to him to be excessive as a retaliation for shooting down a drone.

A Different Way to Look at Impeachment

Look at this Through Three Lenses for a Clearer View

To Impeach or Not to Impeach?

You may have heard the occasional comment these days on the subject of impeach or don’t impeach. It is increasingly the topic du jour, and not only among political types.

It is useful to consider all this through three different, but interrelated, “lenses.” This analysis could work with either pro or anti Trump types, if they are willing to be honest about the process. I know, that is a dubious start point right there,