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December 05, 2016
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Peace and Justice Files

Post mortem

First off, let me ask: are you all right?

Are you sure?

We’ve all been heavily traumatized, y’know. Even those of us who think they won.

This wasn’t sudden, blunt force trauma, like 9/11 was. Oh no, this has been stretched out over months and months, long-term, torturous, a death of a thousand cuts, little bits of our national soul being pulled out and removed, one at a screaming time.

A few tips to keep in mind:

Tread carefully. There is unexploded ordnance everywhere. Some of it is on foot. Beware of mines, tripwires and hidden pits filled with snakes and sharp spikes.  Read more

Closing arguments

Well, that was certainly fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

I mean that whole “democracy” thing—you know, that illusion that we nurtured for so long, that notion that “We the People” actually had the power to select our own leaders, that they would listen to our voices, and that they cared about our needs.

This election has, like none other in our history, exposed the extent to which our attitudes, desires and choices have been carefully, calculatedly managed and manipulated.  Read more

Two parties are too few

Next time you’re in your favorite local grocery store, take a little stroll down the breakfast cereal aisle. Plant yourself in front of the Cheerios section, and start counting. How many different varieties of “toasted oat cereal” do you find? Seven? Twelve?

According to Wikipedia, there are actually 17—including, of course, the inevitable limited-edition “Pumpkin Spice.” (There were seven others that have been discontinued.)  Read more

Once in a lifetime

“And you may ask yourself -

Well, how did I get here?”

— David Byrne/Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”

Maybe you don’t know who Grover Norquist is, but some call him “the most powerful Republican” or even “the most powerful man in America.” He’s an anti-tax activist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform (www.atr.org), and the guy behind the “No New Taxes” pledge that practically every Republican candidate for elected office must swear to, an oath only slightly less weighty than that of a Greek god swearing upon the River Styx.  Read more

Q&A

In which I give myself a softball interview…

Q: So, Skip, how was that “CommonBound” conference (www.commonbound.org) you told us about last month—the one about “new economics”?

A: Awesome! Fantastic!

Q: Lots of people?  Read more

Common bound

The unforeseen support generated by the presidential candidacy of unabashed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, which may or may not be history by the time you read these words, is but the latest in a series of body blows that have rocked our notions of business-as-usual in the past couple of years. (Others have been delivered by such folks as Elizabeth Warren, Thomas Piketty and Pope Francis.) Bernie’s campaign demonstrated in no uncertain terms that there is a strong, widespread and undeniable desire for new ways not only of doing business, but of structuring society itself.  Read more

What do we wanna be when we grow up?

By the time these words come to you, dear reader, a threshold shall have been passed. My daughter Marietta will have graduated from Hampshire College, joining tens of thousands of other young men and women starting out on the next phases of their lives. (Your cheers and applause are well-deserved; she’s worked extremely hard, and I’m a very proud father.)  Read more

Screwdisk makes some endorsements

FROM: Screwdisk, Senior Executive VP Sales & Acquisitions, HellCorp North America
TO: Scumbucket, Associate Tempter, District 17-B (Upper Delaware Valley and environs)
RE: primary elections and related topics

My dear nephew:

I remember when you were but a wee imp, always sticking your hooves in your mouth, lashing the household pets with your tail—so nauseatingly cute! No doubt you still recall the little rhymes your teachers taught you back then, in the early days of your training, when your horns were just coming in. This was always one of my favorites:  Read more

Regarding golden parachutes

A few years ago, I worked for a small startup company. At one point, the founders of the company sought outside funding, and the financiers brought in a new CEO, a self-described “serial entrepreneur” from Colorado, as a condition for providing the money to help the company grow “to the next level.”  Read more

The world don’t owe you nothin’

Yeah, I know what they meant, but…

Wait, wait, wait, let me back up. Another one of those Internet memes caught my attention the other day on Facebook. Maybe you’ve seen it too. The picture is of a page of a spiral notebook. The caption reads, “A comprehensive list of everything you’re entitled to and that the world owes you.”

The page, of course, is blank.  Read more