Have We Forgotten the Point of Representative Democracy?


There Is Solid Reasoning Behind Representative vs Direct Democracy.

The founders of these United States carefully reviewed governments throughout history. They focused much of their attention on ancient Greece and Rome. Oftentimes, they did so by reading in Greek and Latin, so as not to lose subtleties in translation. We could use a few of those founders today – but that is a discussion for another day.

We are making our choices in midterm elections. I don’t think anyone on any side of any issue underestimates the importance of these elections.

The Purposes and Power of Conversation


As We Careen into the Midterm Election, Let Us Reflect on the Art of Conversation.

This blog began last Summer in part to provide improved dialog opportunities.

Our diminishing ability to talk with each other in this country should be a matter of concern for all. Disagreements are natural – and healthy. But if we are unwilling to talk at all with millions of our fellow citizens, this is problematic. Not easy stuff, but we need to try.

It cannot bode well for the health of this country to continue down this path.

I Visited a Food Bank. I Loved it. I Hated It.


Hunger in America is rampant. Why the Hell Do We Allow This?


This past weekend, I invested some time with our local foodbank. It is in every sense a model operation, rightly cited as one of the best in America. The talented people who work there are dedicated beyond measure. The operation is a model of efficiency and effectiveness. They are both efficient and humane. (Manna Food Bank, https://www.mannafoodbank.org)

They have over 200 partner organizations. Manna serves thousands of meals a day in over a dozen counties,

The Larger Legacy of Senators Collins and Flake

Decisions Count, Patterns are Illustrative, and Values are Revealed.


To say that a lot of people are disappointed in Senators Flake and Collins would be a mild understatement. That is a fair call. People on one side of the Kavanaugh nomination got their hopes up and felt let down. But it should not have been a surprise. There are also issues here well beyond one supreme court nomination battle.

These two individuals have had their shining moments (Collins, for example was a key vote on the future of the Affordable Care Act).



A New Standard of Citizen Action is Emerging. Should We Be Conflicted?

The Supreme Court nomination hearings of last Thursday and Friday were long on drama. I felt as though I was watching a combination of The West Wing and the whole Watergate saga, all rolled into one. It was a period of exceptional highs and lows for about everyone who gave a damn, on both sides of the nomination. Hang on – more to come. Much more.

The most powerful moment was when two young women, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher,

A Simple Thing is the Undoing of the Republicans

“What Goes Around, Comes Around” has a certain ring to it


“Politics is not beanbag” is a well-known truism. It can be a tough business. Political parties will go to great lengths to win. The histories of both major parties are full of abuse of power and unfair or illegal acts to gain advantage. Gerrymandering was not invented yesterday.

Yet, today’s Republican party has crossed too many lines for most Americans. Process and protocols are pretty simple, yet their importance is significant. When “anything goes” is the norm,

This Election Offers a Once in a Generation Twofer


NOTHING is certain, but Nov 6 Looks Like a Blue Wave. It is Likely to Bring a Bonus

  • The polls increasingly point to November elections as a Blue Wave, if not a Blue Tidal Wave. I am writing this as we await Tropical Depression Florence in our area. This puts me in a wave frame of mind (we expect our immediate area to be fine, for those who might be wondering). Five thoughts come to mind in contemplating November 6:
  • One, as noted above, nothing is ever certain.

Can the Supreme Court Recover? Can the Senate?

The 21stCentury has not been good for the Court or the Congress. That is a loss for all.

The Kavanaugh hearings are concluded., We do not know yet what will come from them. But I do know how they were conducted. It was a worrisome event. I say this not from the perspective of the worthiness of this particular candidate. For the record, it is my view that he is unworthy, but that is not the topic of the day. Reasonable people can disagree on that. But from a perspective of process and institutional strength, this was a bad week for the USA.

Did We Learn the Right Lessons from The Primaries?

A Lot of Lessons Were in the Offing. Are We Adapting the Right Ones?

Happy Labor Day, America. Labor does not have much to celebrate at the moment, but hope springs eternal. Which takes us to today’s topic, lessons learned in the primary season.

It has been a remarkable primary season in many ways. Not that it is quite over. There are still a few stragglers out there, including the one for NY governor. But for the most part, the party is over. It is time to assess what to carry forward from the primaries into November and beyond.

Welcome to the Jungle, America. And a farewell note

We are Deep in the Wilderness Now – But Likely Not for Long

 Last week the United States moved into a political wilderness unlike any before. But before discussing this, I, like many of us, feel the need to say something about the late Senator John McCain. His is a passing worthy of our taking note.

Much has already been said in recent days, with more to come for sure. Much of it is worth taking the time to read and reflect. I disagreed with McCain often, on a lot of issues.