Peace and Justice Files
For me, 2013 didn’t go out with a bang; it went out with a cough and a wheeze and a snore. After a year-end barrage of long workdays, a persistent chest bug sent me to bed around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I didn’t stir till late the next morning. It was just as well; I was perfectly happy to be done with a year that had brought more than its share of challenges. Read more
The days before the recent elections were filled with interesting, heartfelt, and vociferous debates among my circles of online friends and correspondents—not about any of the candidates, mind you, or any of the particular issues involved, but rather about whether or not we should even bother to vote. Read more
Last month I wrote about the difficult effort to find the political “center”—or for that matter, to even define it. For some, this elusive center presents an opportunity, and their search is motivated by a sense that there might be advantage to be gained by formulating an attractive vision of a unifying, centrist politics. They calculate that the right person, with the right set of “non-partisan” positions, could leverage people’s frustrations with business-as-usual and draw a strong following. Read more
One of the things I appreciate about social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is that they expose me to many things that I might otherwise miss. Usually, these items are posted by the people and organizations I follow, but every once in a great while I actually see a relevant and interesting advertisement. The other day, for example, my eye was caught by an ad on Facebook.
“Click ‘Like’ if you are tired of the gridlock in Washington, D.C.” it said. Read more
According to numerous public health studies, just washing your hands on a regular basis—a simple, mundane activity if ever there was one—actually provides one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread of many diseases. Preventing the spread of the “social disease” called fascism is a bit more complex, but many of the preventive measures that are available to each and every one of us are similarly simple and mundane. Read more
Last month, we started exploring the concept of “fascism;” in fact, we barely scratched the surface. It’s a fascinating topic that one could explore for years, but my interest in the topic is more practical and immediate. Does fascism, in all its brutal and vicious glory, stand any chance of taking hold now, here, in America, and if so, is there anything we can do to prevent it?
To address such questions, I think I have found a useful metaphor. Read more
“You, you, fascist!”
There are very few words in our political vocabularies that are more emotionally loaded, while at the same time more saddled with multiple, not-quite-identical meanings. When a Google search on “Bush fascist” yields 5.2 million hits, and a search on “Obama fascist” yields 5.9 million, you have to wonder just what this word is supposed to mean, anyway. Read more
It was just another sleepy spring day in sophomore English class, some 40 years ago, when I was tapped for the National Honor Society (NHS). I may still have the little pin in a box somewhere, along with a certificate bearing the NHS motto—two simple French words that at the time made no sense to me whatsoever: “Noblesse oblige.” Read more