Taking on the Problems with Courts

A Biden Administration Should Go Big and Go Long


By the time you read this, the Barret hearings will history. As if we needed reminders, the way we choose Supreme Court justices and most other judges is a mess. We can do better. We have discussed a couple of these concerns before, but this is a good time to take inventory.

What are the Issues?

There are many, not all of them obvious. I will note the main ones here. For a fuller discussion, I recommend a recent posting in the blog The Weekly Sift.

At the Intersection of Domestic Terrorism and Voter Intimidation

The Next Three Weeks Could Get Ugly – Don’t Flinch


An Introductory Note About “Militias”

These groups that call themselves militia are not a new phenomenon. Legitimate groups existed in our earliest history. They evolved into state organizations, then into the National Guard.

What we see running around now is something very different. There was an explosion of such groups following President Obama’s inauguration. Gee, that must have been a coincidence…. They began growing again and got more visible with the encouragement of Donald Trump.

For an excellent look into militias,

It was an Awful Debate – But It’s Not All Bad News

There are Silver Linings to this Mess

I said earlier that these debates rarely make a difference, but there are exceptions. This may be one of those exceptions. Let’s look at why that may be so.

Was It That Bad?

Yep, it was. By all accounts, this was the worst such debate in history. Even Moderator Wallace agrees. This was even worse than those awful Republican primary debates in 2016. Whatever standing we had left as a leading country and an exemplary democracy took a merciless beating. The international media coverage and comments from people all over the world were brutal – and deserved.

An Open Call to the American Courts

The Courts Are About to Be Challenged as Never Before

Remember 2000? That One Was Childs Play

The last time our courts were challenged by a national election was the 2000 Bush-Gore election. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago. It was, in so many ways, a mess. One would have thought we had learned a lot from that thing. Not so much.

The courts were wresting with this one, but all in all, not doing too terribly. Then the Supreme Court entered the fray. Badly, in two ways. One, they chose to intervene one step too soon.

3 Quick Observations on 3 Remarkably Important Parts of America

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the US Senate, and The Courts

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

It has always been my policy to use the term “personal hero” very, very sparingly. Were you to assemble those I think of in this term, you would have room left over in a mid- sized van. Notorious RBG makes the cut.

What a remarkable person, woman, jurist, human being. Few people bring such passion, such perseverance, such intellect to her life and her work. Her personal life was a love story for the ages. Her vision and focus on what to do and how to get it done were unmatched.

Hope, Promise, and Fun from Science and Technology

It Will be Hard to Avoid Politics for the Next Couple of Months. Let’s Take a Brain Break

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Series

We are in a time of challenge, tension, and reasons to worry. We have been here before in many ways, I note, on this the anniversary of the terrorism of 9/11. Still, even in times of risk and fear, there is also hope and good news. I thought we might take a one day break today to look at some of those things, take a deep breath,

Joe Biden Was Right All Along

The First Words from Joe Biden as a Candidate Are at the Heart of This Election

Take Note


Political campaigns are full of forgettable phrases. They also can contain words for the ages. As it turns out, Joe Biden uttered two of the latter when he declared his candidacy. They proved to be the defining issues of this campaign and what we will be as a nation going forward.

History rarely puts that large a stamp on a few words, but it did this time. If Biden wins, it will be largely because most Americans came to agree with him.


Talking About My Generation (and Yours, and Theirs)

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Some Loose Talk About What is Different for Generations.


 A Little Perspective, Please

Every generation bears its burdens and has its collective personality. Some try (not a new phenomenon through the ages) to foster intergenerational tension. I thought it might be useful to take a look at some of the specifics and see how things shake out once examined.

Let’s take a look at those now coming of age, Boomers, and to get a broader perspective, back to the turn of the last century.

The Torture of Isolation or the Bliss of Solitude?

As We Enter the Long Stretch, People are Reacting to the Pandemic Differently

First Reactions, Then the Long Stretch

I am not a social scientist. Still, I find one of the most interesting things about this pandemic is how we as individuals are reacting to it. How we react as communities and as a country is a very different conversation. For now, let’s think about individuals. There are some fascinating differences to observe and to reflect upon.

The First Stage

When this thing first hit, most of us went through some quick rounds of doubt,

A Long View of History

A Short Break from US Politics to Think about Something a Bit Longer Term.

I seem to have run into a slew of reading and viewing of late about lost civilizations. I have “visited” these places before, but my recent engagements have left me with a new thought line that rather connects them all.

First, Let’s Review the Terrain

  • Peru, where an impressive civilization that left us Machu Pichu, once ruled a powerful empire.
  • Ancient Egypt, the remains of which some estimate we have uncovered only about 5%.
  • Angor Watt was the largest complex ever built at that time of history.