November 21, 2019

How the Federalist Society Stole the Federal Judiciary, Conquered Washington DC, and Imperiled the Nation This is essay #2 of a multi-part series about how the remarkable political and legal influence of the Federalist Society in the Trump era – what I call a “court-jacking” –  illuminates the emerging civilizational conflict between competing cosmologies, represented by natural law moral philosophy and complexity science. Previously – #1 / How the Federalist Society Stole the Federal Judiciary, Conquered Washington DC, and Imperiled… Read more

November 20, 2019

This is essay #1 of a multi-part series about how the remarkable political and legal influence of the Federalist Society – what I call a “court-jacking” –  illuminates the emerging civilizational conflict between competing cosmologies, represented by natural law moral philosophy and complexity science. The Federalist Society held its annual National Lawyers Convention earlier this month and it was of course an epic shit show for those on the outside, looking in. If not already evident to anyone paying attention,… Read more

November 14, 2019

If you’re looking for a podcast that speaks to the political and spiritual confusion of our times with grace, humor, intelligence, and insight, consider Know Your Enemy. Hosted by journalists Matthew Sitman (an editor at Commonweal Magazine and Dissent Magazine contributor) and Sam Adler-Bell (who has written for The Intercept, The Outline, and Commonweal), and sponsored by Dissent, Know Your Enemy’s mission is to engage and illuminate the ideas of political and cultural conservatives; to add complexity and nuance (and… Read more

November 11, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 18 / Carnivorous Plants The running track at T. State did not encircle a football field. The track lay by itself, at the base of a grassy slope on the northern rim of the campus, surrounded by dilapidated wood frame houses. T. State students rented most of these buildings, with others occupied by some of the more peripheral offices of the school administration. A handful of fraternities and sororities, including Alpha House, the black student… Read more

November 10, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 17 / Vacant Hearts Eli sat in his office, sipping a Coke. Outside his window, starlings swooped and darted. Their yellow beaks slashed like knives. The birds roosted in the thick ivy, hundreds of them. Sometimes Eli reached his hand through the window and shook the branches, just to see how many he birds he could flush. The campus was hard into November now, and with the coming of winter, and the rains, he wondered… Read more

November 9, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 16 / Squeeze that Charmin Tobias – Letter Two November 4, 1991 Dear Eli, What is the matter with you, boy? Since you continue to insist that we not speak directly, I am resisting the urge to pick up the phone right now. But I want you to understand how upset I am about this new development concerning the Chalmers in February. Hugh Smalley informs me you are to introduce me at the lecture in… Read more

November 8, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 15 / Blade Won’t Sit Down Rose City Racecourse occupies a lowland shelf where the Willamette River kinks, nestled on its west bank in the shadow of majestic Forest Park. The horse track camps beside Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1, with a clear view north toward the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland and south toward an industrial panorama embracing the Swan Island Ship Repair Yard, petroleum docks, barge and rail car fabrication plants, bulk… Read more

November 4, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 14 / Name of the Rose On the first day of the fall term, Eli opened the door precisely at 9:00 and strode toward the table at the front of the classroom. The room was crowded and noisy, and few of the students noticed his arrival. Eli was aware, too, that he looked young for his age, and that it may not have been obvious at first glance that he wasn’t a student himself. Eli… Read more

November 3, 2019

Previously in Calvin’s Ghost – 13 / False Prophets “You could make a movie about roses,” Jane was telling Eli. “And you would have all the elements for a great story: sex and violence, romance and intrigue, honor and betrayal.” They stood in the rose garden. Jane’s clippers flashed through the thorny branches, snipping and snapping like an angry mutt. Eli liked Jane. She was all business and she spoke her mind. The garden itself was a blend of hybrid… Read more

November 2, 2019

The recent, much-discussed NY Times article about Trump presidential campaign digital ad spending, entitled Trump Campaign Floods Web With Ads, Raking In Cash as Democrats Struggle, displays in gory detail the stakes for Progressives and Democrats (and normal not-unhinged people) in the great battle, unfolding in real time before our eyes, for the soul and future of America (and the world). The depressing purpose of the Times article, of course, was to contrast Republican Party fundraising and outreach virtuosity and… Read more




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