Fearless Revolution was a blog dedicated to consumer rights and social and environmental responsibility, created by ex-advertising man Alex Bogusky circa 2010. Its positive message—calling for new relationships among businesses and consumers characterized by transparency, sustainability, democracy and collaboration—attracted a number of idealistic types from all over, including yours truly. Alex and wife Ana ran their revolution out of a small A-frame house in Boulder, Colorado they dubbed Fearless Cottage.
How not to Fix the Post Office or Government in General
Yesterday my postbox disgorged ten letters, all from organizations seeking donations. Among them was an envelope with “Do you care if you no longer receive your mail at home?” next to my name. Its backside disclosed the sender was DLCC, the Democratic Leadership Campaign Committee, a 527 PAC (enabled by the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling) that funds candidates in down-ticket and off-year election races, striving to bankroll primary winners the Democratic establishment can live with.
I threw the other nine letters away but decided to check out what DLCC was up to. When I tore it open, something like a bumper sticker fell out bearing seven decals, including SAVE USPS, THANK YOU POSTAL WORKERS, and DUMP DEJOY. Thanks for that, DLCC. I’ll stick a couple on my mailbox to express solidarity with my letter carrier. Continue reading “How not to Fix the Post Office or Government in General”
The Daily (or whenever) Eruption
Unwrapping a Novel in Progress: Friday 2/4/2021
It’s been hard to pick a genre for my new novel Her Own Devices. Call it Literary Fiction cloaked as Contemporary Women’s Crime. After sweating over it for close to 20 months, I feel it’s almost a wrap and so am starting to unwrap it online to get some reactions.
Set in Athens and Piraeus, Greece not long ago, Devices carries on where Turkey Shoot left off, but in a different key and genre. To enjoy this one you don’t need to have read the first one, but you might want to once you’re done. Find more about both at Perfidy Press.
You can read a new excerpt of Devices in the February issue of the literary journal The Write Launch. I am most grateful to editor Sandra Fluck for her support by publishing this and previous excerpts. The new one is Chapter 8 (of 31), and begins Part Two (of four). Find it here, and go to my author page at The Write Launch to find the other two excerpted chapters.
Lastly, be the first on your block to receive my eclectic quasi-monthly newsletter Perfidy Press Pronouncements. Please sign up here to partake. It’s even easier to unsubscribe if it fails to satisfy. Continue reading “The Daily (or whenever) Eruption”
Open Letter to Judge Amy Coney Barrett
CC: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Judge Barrett,
Congratulations on your nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States! You must be ecstatic! What greater plum could an ambitious jurist wish for, unless it’s Chief Justice? You’ll just have to wait your turn, if that is on your agenda.
So be a good sport and chill for the time being. Ask Donald Trump to give you a rain check. For the sake of the Republic. You see, you and those who vote to confirm you will be judged by present and future Americans according to how well your ascension to the highest court in the land serves the tattered remnants of our so-called republic, so please listen up.
We don’t care what an accomplished legal scholar or nice person you are; all we know is that you are being used in the most high-handed way and that this ought to disturb anyone who believes in fair play and the rule of law.
It will, after all, be up to you and your colleagues on the high court to adjudicate whether governmental authority has been overreached, either by the Executive, Congress, or the judiciary, including your very own precious Supreme Court. This, as you may know, has happened, and more so recently.
This is supremely important. For decades, our presidents have inexorably extended the reach of their decision-making authority until almost any executive order is generally deemed legitimate. President Trump has hollowed out the constitution time and time again by abrogating to himself the authority to, for example, terminate the DACA program, grab portions of federal agency budgets to build a wall at the Mexican Border using funds Congress did not appropriate for such a purpose, and send federal law enforcement agents to arrest legitimate protestors over the objection of local authorities.
Are you okay with unlimited executive prerogatives? Is the pliant acquiescence of the Republican-controlled senate to whatever the President may demand (such as ramming through your appointment scant weeks before a presidential election) prima facie an exercise in legitimate constitutional as well as moral authority?
Most people’s moral political compass would point toward declining this nomination and tell the President to try again once he is re-elected. That would be the honorable thing to do. That would comfort the nation. You must clearly understand that quick confirmation of your nomination is expeditious for the administration and its allies. Do you want to be a pawn in their game? What self-respecting person would stand to be used in such a manner?
Your deeply held beliefs may have real and possibly adverse consequence for our loved ones and descendants, but that’s not our real problem. What’s truly upsetting is that you would allow yourself to be used to further an authoritarian agenda on behalf of a president who is loyal only to himself, his pocketbook, and his overreaching ambitions. You know who Donald Trump is, that he has failed the Americans he claims to represent, and has no respect for the rule of any law he takes exception to, so why would you stand for his and Mitch McConnell’s end run around tradition and due process, even if it advances your career?
End this charade. Find a way to bow out. We suggest going through the confirmation process and then withdrawing before being sworn in. No need to explain; simply cite personal reasons. If you don’t and go on to take your seat on the bench you will have contributed to hastening the end of democracy in our republic and history will not judge you kindly.
One Hundred Million Americans
September 27, 2020; updated October 7, 2020
Coronavirus as Metaphor: It’s Not Peanuts
“No problem can be so complicated that it can’t be run away from”
~ Linus, from Charles Schultz’s comic strip Peanuts
One now sees people walking along streets masked, gloved, and occasionally gowned, as if on their way to a Halloween party. The unluckiest of them are zombies who don’t yet know that they are the living dead. The situation is unprecedented and, sadly, un-presidented. Because we are human, we search for a metaphor that encapsulates the situation.
Coronovirus, bless its creepy little heart (speaking of metaphors), is the proximal cause of the disease with the unfortunate bureaucratic appellation COVID-19 (as if it were a defense program or a government dossier) that has quickly come to symbolize extreme measures presented as its palliatives. And while “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, 1970), many public health experts have expected a pandemic to emerge for which they warned society and its masters will be ill-prepared. And now that one has presented itself and we do find ourselves unprepared, how are we to think of that? What does that teach us about our civilization?
Continue reading “Coronavirus as Metaphor: It’s Not Peanuts”
Business as Unusual: Notes on a pandemic
Even if no one you know catches it, you’ll start to worry if you’re not already flushed with paranoia. At first, everything seemed normal. It was hard to understand all the attention given to it when it was half way around the globe. We’ll be ready for it when it comes, you thought. Wasn’t Trump telling us it was less concerning than the Flu. So confidant was he that he barred the WHO test for the virus that is used all over the world. Why didn’t he just put a tariff on it, like everything else? Instead, he encouraged pharma friends to develop tests and vaccines (based on publicly-funded research, as usual) that they could make dear and make a killing (literally). It’s the economy, stupid, not the citizens. All the smart people are investing in drug companies, medical suppliers, and collaborative web platforms. Continue reading “Business as Unusual: Notes on a pandemic”
Literary Agent Querying 101
Allison K. Williams of Brevity Blog on how to manage querying literary agents
You’ve written—or almost written—a book. Time to find a literary agent. Except you should have started the process much sooner, because you might end up querying 100 agents. Read Allison K Williams advice on managing all that in her Brevity Blog post. Look at the resources she lists, and once you’re ready to start querying, go visit querytracker.net.
Where Was Rudy Giuliani When Democrats Needed Him?
Help me get this straight. Rudolph Giuliani is the President’s private attorney, or at least he still seems to be. According to CNN on 10/11/19:
“Rudy Giuliani is still President Trump’s personal attorney but will not be dealing with matters involving Ukraine, a source close to Trump’s legal team told CNN.
Earlier today, Trump wouldn’t say whether Giuliani was still his personal attorney.
‘Well I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney and he has been my attorney, yeah, sure,’ he told CNN.
Asked later by CNN if he was still Trump’s attorney, Giuliani responded, ‘Yes.’”
As CNN went on to note:
“However, Ukraine is at the center of the current impeachment investigation being conducted by the House of Representatives into Trump. Also, the criminal indictment against two of Giuliani’s associates who were arrested Wednesday night trying to leave the US, describe an elaborate, months-long scheme to funnel foreign money into federal and state elections around the US to curry favor with politicians on behalf of at least one Ukrainian government official and a Russian businessman.”
Wasn’t Giuliani the bagman for Trump’s sordid campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens under pain of losing US military assistance—to fight the Russians, whom for Democrats seem to be the source of most of the world’s evils? Aren’t these two shady guys (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) his erstwhile if not indicted partners in crime? Why aren’t Rudy and his pals fodder for impeachment proceedings? This does not compute. Continue reading “Where Was Rudy Giuliani When Democrats Needed Him?”
The Cost of Never-Ending War
Blogging from a weekly newsletter from Open Source Radio at WBUR in Boston, assuming they won’t mind. It’s hard to get your head around the enormity of this, but thankfully some have. Words and images are all theirs. Find original article here.
A conversation with Rosella Cappella-Zielinski, Linda Bilmes, Tulsi Gabbard, Shamiran Mako, and Neta Crawford about the costs of U.S. wars since 2001. Listen today at 2 pm EST or anytime at our site.
As talk of war with Iran escalated in recent weeks, we were reminded of the thinking, or lack of thinking, around other post-2001 military conflicts of almost unimaginable cost. Then we tried to make sense of that cost. Here’s just a summary of the wars since 2001, from Brown University’s Costs of War project: Continue reading “The Cost of Never-Ending War”
Deval Patrick for President?
Note: It was almost one year ago (11/21/18, to be precise) that I wrote this post about Massachusetts ex-governor Deval Patrick considering the Democratic race for President on 2020. Well, it took him another year to hem and haw over it before throwing his black hat into the ring, but what made him wait until now to decide? Methinks he didn’t want Michael Bloomberg, another financier with much deeper pockets, to outflank him. But now the gang of twenty or whatever candidates have a long head start with a few debates under their belts. How is Patrick going to snuggle up?
There’s a sound bite in this BBC story about his announcement in which he says “I don’t think wealth is the problem. Greed is the problem…” All right then. Let’s outlaw greed.
Anyway, here’s my article. I don’t think much has changed.
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