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April 18, 2014
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Peace and Justice Files

Fifty ways (at least) to defuse a world crisis

World events, no matter where, are no longer “remote,” and haven’t been for some time. Moment by moment, we can follow the search for a vanished jetliner over the Indian Ocean, or watch one country take a bite out of another along the Black Sea. Battles and disasters, once just abstract reports, take on specific human forms, with individual names and faces.  Read more

My enemy (in the abstract)

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.

It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”

― L.R. Knost

Every once in a while (as I may have observed here before), something comes across the Internet, amongst all the kitty-cat videos and trivial “Mmmm, nice lunch!” status updates, that make a reader stop dead for a moment.  Read more

The system functions as designed

The System functions as designed
Does just what it’s supposed to do
So you shouldn’t be surprised
From the point of view of those on top
Everything is working fine—
The System functions as designed
  Read more

Game changers

For me, 2013 didn’t go out with a bang; it went out with a cough and a wheeze and a snore. After a year-end barrage of long workdays, a persistent chest bug sent me to bed around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I didn’t stir till late the next morning. It was just as well; I was perfectly happy to be done with a year that had brought more than its share of challenges.  Read more

The cold, hard face of power

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela brought my mind back to 1978, and (well, let’s tell it how it was) I was pretty clueless.  Read more

The madness of mobs, the wisdom of crowds and the paradoxes of democracy

The days before the recent elections were filled with interesting, heartfelt, and vociferous debates among my circles of online friends and correspondents—not about any of the candidates, mind you, or any of the particular issues involved, but rather about whether or not we should even bother to vote.  Read more

A devil’s response to Paul Harvey

MEMO

FROM: Screwdisk, Executive Vice-Demon for Sales,

HellCorp North America

TO: Regional Field Agent Scumbucket, Tempter Second Class

RE: “If I Were the Devil,” by Paul Harvey

My dearest nephew,  Read more

Governing from the center (Part 2)

Last month I wrote about the difficult effort to find the political “center”—or for that matter, to even define it. For some, this elusive center presents an opportunity, and their search is motivated by a sense that there might be advantage to be gained by formulating an attractive vision of a unifying, centrist politics. They calculate that the right person, with the right set of “non-partisan” positions, could leverage people’s frustrations with business-as-usual and draw a strong following.  Read more

Governing from the center (Part 1)

One of the things I appreciate about social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is that they expose me to many things that I might otherwise miss. Usually, these items are posted by the people and organizations I follow, but every once in a great while I actually see a relevant and interesting advertisement. The other day, for example, my eye was caught by an ad on Facebook.

“Click ‘Like’ if you are tired of the gridlock in Washington, D.C.” it said.  Read more

Your counter-fascism toolkit

According to numerous public health studies, just washing your hands on a regular basis—a simple, mundane activity if ever there was one—actually provides one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread of many diseases. Preventing the spread of the “social disease” called fascism is a bit more complex, but many of the preventive measures that are available to each and every one of us are similarly simple and mundane.  Read more

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