Anti-Missourian best-sellers

I've got a bit of a quibble with a recent tendency I've noticed having to do with the way things like book sales or Facebook fans are used as a measure of popularity. Specifically I want to explore whether these measures can really be used to indicate the relative or comparative popular support for opposite [Read More...]

The terror of knowing what this world is about

I got sideswiped and sidetracked this morning chipping around reading the blog posts and news items appearing in Google Reader. I was following my usual routine of opening the longer posts in separate tabs before going back to read them one by one. This video-rich music post from Amanda Marcotte wound up providing the soundtrack [Read More...]

A remarkable speech Read the full transcript here. I particularly liked this bit from near the end, about 9-year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green: Imagine — imagine for a moment, here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact [Read More...]

If my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon

The point here being that she doesn't and she isn't. In the previous post I note that an armed revolution would be difficult, if not impossible, to justify in a constitutional democracy. In the post before that, I note that we seem to have millions of Americans claiming that they no longer live in a [Read More...]

Don't you know that you can count me out

The tea party and the loudest, most strident voices of anti-abortion politics love to flirt with the idea of armed revolution. This is, for the most part, just adolescent foolishness — a kind of fantasy play-acting that can be summed up in a single word: Wolveriiiiiines! By pretending to believe that America is on the [Read More...]

"Only a crazy person would take what we say seriously"

Violent language and violent rhetoric can be a problem, but I do not think it is the main problem afflicting our diseased political discourse.* The main problem, rather, is disingenuous rhetoric that coolly and calmly demands a violent response from anyone who believes it or takes it seriously. This talk may have nothing to do [Read More...] [Read more...]

Deadly violence in Arizona

Ten people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., were shot earlier today at an event hosted by the congresswoman. Reports at this time say five people are dead, including a federal judge who was at the event and a nine-year-old girl. The congresswoman was shot in the head, but her doctors are "optimistic" following surgery. No [Read More...]