Talking to people that I’ve never met


Besides all that lightning, stove, bifocal, swim-fin, Treaty of Paris, fire department stuff, Ben Franklin also invented Net Neutrality. Really. Plus: Oil trains blow up, Roman civil religion, a historical society wants to believe, and a reminder that mosquito bands, homeopathy, and Mickey Kaus are all bunk. [Read more...]

Sen. Inhofe’s perfectly legal corruption is worse than former-Rep. Schock’s law-breaking


As usual, the real scandal is not what is illegal, but what remains perfectly legal. Aaron Schock was forced to resign because he was corrupt, but 534 members of Congress remain in office and many of them are far, far more corrupt than he has ever managed to be. Consider, for example, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. [Read more...]

Je suis Alexamenos


Spring is coming, so if you need mulch, I know a guy. Here are a couple of items for the list of Things Millennials Will Need to Fix, plus: How the 1960s impoverished the Okies of the 1930s, the market sets a price for the State of Alabama, and an apocryphal study of angelic genitalia. [Read more...]

Why the Republican Party cannot, as Michael Gerson suggests, ‘raise questions’ about climate change

This stuff traps heat, whether or not we'd prefer otherwise.

Rather than the absurd claim that climate science is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Gerson would prefer that his fellow Republicans simple “raise questions about global warming.” OK, great. Please proceed. Raise whatever questions you’d like to raise. Ask away. But the problem here is that asking questions entails the possibility that those questions might have answers. [Read more...]

Answer no one, let them guess


If you’re 17 or older, then you’ve lived through the 10 Hottest Years Ever Recorded. Meanwhile, Exxon is pleading with us not to think about where energy comes from. Plus: Farewell to Mario Cuomo and Stuart Scott; a look behind the curtain at security theater; and the need to be aggressively suspicious when faced with things that sound aggressively inoffensive. [Read more...]

Accept it that soon we’ll be drenched to the bone

Screen shot 2014-12-22 at 7.27.16 PM

If it’s almost 2015, then that means within just four years — during the current term of U.S. senators elected last month — replicants will roam the streets of a rain-soaked dystopian Los Angeles (“Blade Runner”), the most popular TV show in the world will be “The Running Man,” and an electromagnetic pulse will turn the Pacific Northwest into a militarized police state patrolled by flying drones (“Dark Angel”). [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (12.17)

Kathryn Schulz on the Mann Gulph wildfire and so very much more; Ezra Klein on the torture report; W. Caleb McDaniel on the history of Eric Garner’s “enough;” Stephen Prothero on the culture wars as conservative performance pieces; and Andrea Powell on the American habit of locking up victims. [Read more...]

The mark of God on a stranger’s face


A national loyalty oath is creepy … using “civility” to reinforce inequity is rude … the future of Roll Tide … “biblical counseling” is neither biblical nor counseling … Ronald Reagan did not care for Kunta Kinte. [Read more...]