See update for January 9, 2021, at end of post.
Nearly two months after the fact, Donald Trump’s surrogates are still trying to overturn the election. Still. The latest is a lawsuit claiming that the Electoral Count Act unconstitutionally ties the vice president’s hands in choosing which electoral college votes to count. Read more
See updates through January 14, 2021, at end of post.
I remember, out in California, talking to a psychologist friend about Donald Trump. Neither of us could imagine he would last a full four years in office.
My friend noted, correctly as it turned out, that Trump wasn’t actually interested in being president so much as in the attention that winning the presidency had gained him, but thought Trump would find a way to resign or step aside. Read more
See updates through January 29, 2021, at end of post.
The idea of a general strike has come up before. It’s always fizzled and it’s important to be clear about why it fizzled and why it might not this time. Read more
See updates through December 30, 2020, at end of post.
Imagine you have a pandemic. Imagine that lockdowns meant to limit the spread of that pandemic cause millions to lose their jobs. Imagine that these people have lost their health insurance. Imagine that many of these millions of people remain unemployed, face eviction and homelessness. Imagine that many of these people will move in with relatives and friends, increasing housing density, increasing the opportunity for the virus to spread. Read more
See updates through March 14, 2021, at end of post.
Over the years, indeed since my public speaking class, back when I first returned to school in 2003, I have repeatedly argued that the United States is beset by irreconcilable differences, that as difficult as it is to conceive, a national divorce is the only sane way out. In that time, polarization has only intensified. This now culminates in a sometimes violent disagreement over who won an election that occurred a month and a half ago. It’s not even seriously that the fact of the outcome is in dispute, but rather what the outgoing president and his followers desperately want to believe. Read more
I don’t know if anybody even remembers the Iowa Democratic Caucus fiasco, in which folks wondered if we were ever going to get a count. It stirred a lot of suspicion at the time.
See update for March 14, 2021, at end of post.
When I was a kid, the holiday season was a time for displays of generosity. We knew who the villain was, even if the story was about his redemption, in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
This year, millions face homelessness, hunger, destitution. The politicians do nothing. They omit the “Bah, Humbug!” But like Ebenezer Scrooge, they say, keep working. As if those millions had jobs. Read more
It seems like more people have more Christmas decorations up this year, as if they are trying desperately to lighten the mood of an utterly foul year, in which we have been beset by a pandemic that Donald Trump tried to minimize but is afflicting more people than ever and overwhelming more hospitals than ever, in which Trump lost an election but is desperately attempting to overturn the results, and the Black Lives Matter movement which seemed to hold such promise has simply sputtered out. Read more
In what has to be seen as a desperate bid to become profitable—“[t]he company has promised to be profitable on an adjusted basis before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of next year”—Uber has sold its self-driving car unit. I don’t know any accountants myself, but of course that promise, with those exclusions, has to have them rolling their eyes hard, if not howling on the floors in laughter, because all of those are real costs and there is no rational basis for excluding them. Skepticism that the company will ever be profitable is longstanding. Read more
An aspect of Human Science I discuss less often is a notion that, as human scientists, we are supposed to be not just scholars, but scholar-activists. And to this end, a part of my Ph.D. program curriculum, involved social movement theory. Bill Moyer’s (yes, this is the correct spelling for the name of a different fellow from the the Public Broadcasting System celebrity) “MAP model” describes a circuitous, iterative method for social movements in which a need is identified, stated, and rebuffed; something happens that compels change; and elites grudgingly allow a minimal change in that needed direction. Getting to where we actually need to be can take a very long time—decades or centuries—involving several iterations and requiring infinite patience. Read more