Runaway Trump

 

I think there’s a pretty broad consensus about the effects President Trump is going to have on the nation and the world. We expect white supremacists to thrive, minorities to suffer, a free press to wither and die, immigrants to be abused and deported, lesbian families to be ripped apart, women to lose their right to a third-trimester abortion, and either slavish capitulation to Russia or all-out war with China (perhaps both).

Trump is a lot like Climate Change, an ineluctable and multifarious global existential catastrophe.

Member Post

 

A few years ago I was one of a number of artists that signed onto a petition to strengthen net neutrality. You have to understand why an independent musician,songwriter and label owner like myself might see this as important. There is a long history of “paid prioritization” in the music business. Radio payola being the […]

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Here’s a Reason to Be More Optimistic About Future US Innovation and Economic Growth

 

An interesting interview with Fed boss Ben Bernanke on CNBC today. For starters, he thinks the economy is “doing pretty well” given 4.5% unemployment and GDP now 12% above the pre-recession level. And he thinks the Fed’s policies contributed “substantially” to this state of affairs. (Indeed, they did.)

Going forward, Bernanke touched on two big factors making fast growth difficult for the US economy. First, changing demographics means the workforce is growing far more slowly than two or three decades ago. Second, “we’re kind of in a lull in terms of the application of new technologies to the economy,” reflected in weak productivity growth. In other words, 2.5-3% growth is the new 4% growth.

But Bernanke’s point about productivity growth is actually encouraging. “Lull” sure sounds better than a declaration that weak productivity growth — only about 0.5% annual since the Great Recession — and glacial growth overall are here to say. More on that from Bernanke: “Productivity will pick up. We do have a lot of promising technological changes on the horizon, for example.”

Israel and Palestine – a Non-Comprehensive Solution

 

As Israel celebrates its 69th year of statehood, one giant open sore remains: the status of the Arab communities in the Disputed Territories. Almost everybody can agree that the status quo is undesirable at best.

There are no simple solutions to this problem. Israeli attempts to withdraw completely from land or reach comprehensive solutions have uniformly resulted in greater terror. At the same time, the status quo has resulted in significant curtailment of Palestinian rights – not least by the corrupt and kleptocratic Palestinian Authority and Hamas themselves. Things are jammed into a very uncomfortable and almost uniformly disliked reality.

Nonetheless, there are improvements that could be made. These improvements could diminish the flames of conflict while increasing the rights of Palestinian Arabs within their own cities and within Israel itself. They could also improve the rights of Jews within Palestinian territory.

Member Post

 

On one side of the equation, we have a politician who is tainted by her father’s dark past. She has made every effort to separate herself but this particular dark past refuses to go away. She is a populist, anti-EU, and typically mixed in the French way of political philosophy. Although right-leaning on social issues, […]

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Member Post

 

We’ve all seen how Democratic presidents have used the antiquities act for land grabs throughout the west.  I propose a new twist: Trump should set aside all of California as a National Monument.  It’s beautiful, badly in need of preservation, and broke.  A steady program of de-population should take no more than twenty years or […]

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A Reply to Jamie Lockett

 

What kind of president will it take to begin returning power to the states? After pondering this for awhile—when @jamielockett asks a question, I hie myself off to think—I’ve concluded that Stina is right*: No such president has ever existed or ever will.

The dispositive case, I think, is that of Thomas Jefferson. In the campaign of 1800, you’ll recall, Jefferson accused the incumbent chief executive, John Adams, of exceeding the powers of the presidency so grossly that Adams might as well have been attempting to establish a monarchy. Then Jefferson succeeded Adams—and used the powers of the presidency more expansively than Adams would ever have attempted.

Member Post

 

How does the following tenet of Christian ethics relate to the modern ubiquity of public charitable campaigns and solidarity movements? From Matthew 6:  “[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. Preview Open

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Cause and Effect

 

The crowds are chanting outside my window, hoisting carefully crafted signs into the air. There’s a red banner there, and a Palestinian flag, the men and women are dressed impeccably, May Day uniforms of ironic t-shirts, $200 jeans, and the perfect sampling of commie-kitsch.

The weather is perfect, the trees turning green for the first time and the flowers contemplating bloom just as the makeshift socialists are gathering for their annual primal scream and — perhaps it’s me just projecting, but they seem unusually excited now – chants louder and longer than yesteryear.

“Six hour workday!” they yell.

Member Post

 

On the contrary, a love poem gives individual expression to the joy of private life. Result and expression of personally-held values, love defies the tyrant; the more pure and steadfast the love, the stronger the motivation for defiance. Thus private life becomes possible – as indeed civil society itself.   Preview Open

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What Are You, Cheap?

 

Haven’t we all had about enough of Rob Long rattling that tin cup every show? To those listeners who sponge off the podcasts free: how much longer do those of us who pay for memberships gotta be subsidizing your podcast feed?

You’re so smug with your $7 latte, cordless earbuds, and little yapper dog (you can say it belongs to your wife but we see through you, buddy). Listening to stay up to speed to what the lowbrows are thinking, no doubt.

But you know, here is what you haven’t realized. This is the significance of the Ricochet experience you’ve not considered..

Explaining Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson, and the Civil War

 

Twitter is mocking Donald Trump this morning (shocking, I know) over his characteristically inarticulate comments. Here’s the quote from a SiriusXM interview being passed around social media as I type:

I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

Mockery quickly took over Twitter, accusing Trump of not realizing that Andrew Jackson was dead before the Civil War broke out. Also, that he’s a big, fat, dumb-dumb stupidhead.

Member Post

 

Apparent-President Chuck Schumer of New York, despite controlling neither the House nor the Senate nor the Oval Office,got most of what he wanted. Schumer called the deal “a good agreement for the American people” that “takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table.” Preview Open

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From Turkey: We’re not Dead Yet

 

I’m waiting for the May Day rallies to pass through my neighborhood, after which I’ll report. So far the day’s been dramatic, but not violent. Fingers crossed.

While I wait, though, I wanted to share a response I received to my article about Turkey’s referendum. Actually, two responses. The first was from a friend in the States who wrote on my Facebook page, “So much sadly accurate retrospective analysis … but what do we do now?”

The second was from a Turk with an answer. Ege Yildirim is an urban planner in Istanbul. I thought her response deserved a hearing, so I asked her for permission to publish it:

Member Post

 

It was the height of technology of the time. It was a new car, and the radio not only had AM and FM bands, but also a slot for tapes. No, not those cassette tapes some of you youngsters may know. This was before that. This sound system played 8-Track tapes. The 8-Track cartridge was […]

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