Declaration of Independence

lglp0875swan-song-led-zeppelin-poster1 (1)Swans sing before they die; ’twere no bad thing
Did cer­tain per­sons die before they sing.

— Samuel Tay­lor Coleridge

Accord­ing to a pop­u­lar poetic image, which goes back to the days of ancient Greece and Rome, swans are mute their entire lives and sing one song before they die. We know that’s not true, but the image of a Swan Song remains.

Log​a​rchism​.com, and its pre­de­ces­sors 538refugees​.com and the “old”, pre–New-​​York-​​Times FiveThir­tyEight blog, all gave us an oppor­tu­nity to sing a song about pol­i­tics. We’ve enjoyed the oppor­tu­nity. Every­thing, how­ever, has a sea­son, and the sea­son of Log­a­rchism now draws to a close. (more…)

Egypt Ousts Morsi

egypt-protests-3A pop­u­lar upris­ing in Egypt, sup­ported by the Egypt­ian mil­i­tary, has ousted Pres­i­dent Mohammed Morsi, demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected last year after the oust­ing of long-​​time ruler Hosni Mubarak. This is seen as a repu­di­a­tion by the Egypt­ian peo­ple of rule by the Islamic Broth­er­hood. This puts the United States in an odd posi­tion — hav­ing attempted to main­tain good rela­tions with Morsi’s gov­ern­ment, there are fac­tions in the Mid­dle East that now see Amer­ica as sid­ing with rad­i­cal Islamic move­ments which are, as a rule, anti-​​American.

The Elephant

I’ve spent much of the past cou­ple of years try­ing to explain my polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. It’s hard to do, though, because it’s not par­tic­u­larly simple.

Oh, sure, to most con­ser­v­a­tives I prob­a­bly look like a rag­ing lib­eral, look­ing for­ward to the day when gov­ern­ment owns all forms of com­merce in a nice, lib­eral utopia of col­lec­tivism. I sus­pect I look mighty con­ser­v­a­tive to hard­core lib­eral peo­ple. But all of that turns into caricature.

Part of the prob­lem is that I’m forced to describe my polit­i­cal views through peep­holes. It would take an entire book to describe it in its entirety. And so I end up feel­ing like I write “fan”, “wall”, “rope”, and “tree” arti­cles when I’m try­ing to describe the elephant.

Today I’d like to come closer to writ­ing an “ele­phant” arti­cle, draw­ing upon those pre­vi­ous ones.


From the Inside Out

Cover of "All Politics Is Local: And Othe...

Cover via Amazon

The late Con­gress­man and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All pol­i­tics is local.” Even as the national Con­gress seems stale­mated, unable to enact even such vital leg­is­la­tion as a jobs bill or firearm reform or a new immi­gra­tion bill, locked in seem­ingly end­less par­ti­san obstruc­tion­ism — even as inac­tion reigns supreme, state leg­is­la­tures across the coun­try are mak­ing progress, though too often the progress is in tak­ing states backward.

There is some good news. Col­orado will require more back­ground checks for gun sales, and will out­law high-​​capacity ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines. At least eigh­teen other states, how­ever, have loos­ened firearms restric­tions. As of July 1, for instance, Kansas will allow schools to arm employ­ees with con­cealed hand­guns, and will ensure weapons can be car­ried into more pub­lic buildings.

Are there peo­ple who hon­estly believe that the way to reduce gun vio­lence is to have more guns? Per­haps so; or per­haps much action in state leg­is­la­tures is more par­ti­san than ratio­nal.

Can We All Get Along?

cantwealljustgetalongIn March 1991, Rod­ney King was beaten by offi­cers of the Los Ange­les Police Depart­ment. It was cap­tured on video­tape, one of the first viral videos of a new age, and it heated an unsta­ble flam­ma­ble mix­ture. The mix­ture smol­dered dur­ing the year between the inci­dent and the trial of the LAPD offi­cers; when they were acquit­ted, oxy­gen got to the smol­der­ing rags and the Los Ange­les riots, the dead­liest riots in the US in over 130 years, broke out in late April and early May 1992.

Too late, see­ing what his traf­fic stop and beat­ing had trig­gered, King pleaded with Los Ange­lenos: “Can we all get along?(more…)

Eating Worms

When we were chil­dren and encoun­tered oth­ers in the rough-​​and-​​tumble of the play­ground who con­stantly whined about how mean and unfair every­body was,  we had a sen­si­ble way of deal­ing with them. We taunted them by singing, “Nobody likes me, every­body hates me, I’m going to eat some worms…” These days it seems to me that our con­ser­v­a­tive friends could ben­e­fit from a bit of that same brac­ing grade-​​school rem­edy. Too many con­ser­v­a­tives have become polit­i­cal para­noids who search out, col­lect and brood over any kind of neg­a­tive press, how­ever triv­ial, and cat­a­log it in their minds as incon­tro­vert­ible proof that the whole mas­sive media indus­try is a bunch of big mean poopy­heads who are all totally biased against them.

In the recent Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion their whin­ing, griev­ance and delu­sions of per­se­cu­tion reached such a level that Repub­li­cans actu­ally did start to eat worms. (more…)

Go to Top