"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...]

http://astore.amazon.com/slacktivist-20 [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...]

Epiphany: One of us

If you look at the calendar for the coming week you'll see this word written in on Thursday: "Epiphany." That seems strange. Epiphanies don't seem like the sort of thing one can schedule ahead of time and plan for like that. "Good meeting, Jim, let's meet again tomorrow to finish up." "Fine, just let me [Read More...]


"Hey, boss, I think I should be allowed to go home at 4 p.m. instead of 5. It's a matter of principle." "I pay you to work until 5, you want to stop getting paid at 4?" "No, I still want to get paid for working until 5 p.m. every day. But I want to [Read More...]

It's Christmas Eve, babe

  And because I post this every year, here's Anne Lamott's Advent Adventure:  So I called my Jesuit friend, Tom, who is a hopeless alcoholic of the worst sort, sober now for 22 years, someone who sometimes gets fat and wants to hang himself, so I trust him. I said, "Tell me a story about [Read More...]

Five golden rings and some Salem Lights

Every year at this time, PNC Bank tallies up the cost of all the gifts listed in "The 12 Days of Christmas." It's a charming annual exercise, even if most of us wouldn't ever consider ever giving or asking for a partridge in a pear tree as a Christmas present. I'm unclear on what all [Read More...]

One win; one loss

The United States Senate today voted to allow the president and the military to lift the bigoted "don't ask, don't tell" policy that for the past 17 years has required gay members of the military to lie about who they are. Republicans in the U.S. Senate today also blocked a vote on the DREAM act, [Read More...]