Under a “Liberal” White House, the only dissident voices are “Conservative”; under a “Conservative” White House, the only dissident voices are “Liberal”… which is the result of the adolescent impulse of “loyalty” inherent to the football-team model of Politics (just one moment of rational reflection should lead us to consider the improbability of the “Democrats” always being right and the “Republicans” always being wrong, and vice versa). But it gets worse: the “Liberal” dissidence under Bush, I noticed, was much, much quieter than the “Conservative” dissidence under Obama. When I was a kid, the loudest voices against LBJ (Dem) and … Continue reading HOW THE BULLSHIT WORKS


Change The Premise. Things will begin to make sense when we Change The Premise. Example: The War on Drugs: no progress after decades… how can this be? And why do they concentrate on the bottom of the pyramid, giving small-time dealers and users merciless sentences? We scratch our heads!  It makes no sense! But if we change the premise from “the War on Drugs is a sincere effort to cripple the Drug Economy”…  to…  “The War on Drugs is actually an effort to go through the motions while A) keeping the prices high and B) consolidating a monopoly on the … Continue reading CHANGE THE PREMISE

From the Dept of (some) TABOOS RECONSIDERED

Being a pre-adolescent kid in the ’60s and early ’70s meant living for those occasions (not as rare as Xmas or birthdays but much rarer than cancelled school days or finding a Kennedy Half on the side walk) that I’d be visiting an Uncle and he’d be in the bathroom or tending to the bar-b-cue and I could rifle through his collection of Playboy magazines, which were stored in hundred-pound stacks in the closet or under his bed. The highlight of Playboy, for me, at c. 10 or 11, was the rich art of the Little Annie Fanny cartoons, with … Continue reading From the Dept of (some) TABOOS RECONSIDERED


I’ve been leaving carefully-crafted (vetted for cogency and style) comments, online, since a few years before 2000, when online comments were essentially digital “letters to the editor” (appearing in the section called Letters to the Editor) and only the best handful of comments could expect to be published. I started my commenting history at places like when was still a dinky little 8-bit novelty. Blogs didn’t yet exist (not in their current, user-friendly form). Because of the “letters to the editor” feel of comments back then, I learned to make my comments short and interesting, in order to … Continue reading ALL THINGS IN MODERATION