...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Sunday, February 26, 2017


"This morning, you can be on his right hand and his left hand if you serve. It's the only way in."

[from this remarkable, prescient sermon]

I think it might be time (if not too late) to leave FB

"Sam Woolley of the Oxford Internet Institute’s computational propaganda institute tells me that one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated “bots” – accounts that are programmed to look like people, to act like people, and to change the conversation, to make topics trend. And they were all for Leave. Before the US election, they were five-to-one in favour of Trump – many of them Russian. Last week they have been in action in the Stoke by-election – Russian bots, organized by who? – attacking Paul Nuttall."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This is a terrific, sad, sadly terrific poem

my friend Aaron wrote, right here, and you can and should read it.

Dismissed, Targeted, Lied About, Alienated

This is a list of the people groups our current president has, in the last months of his candidacy and in the first month of his presidency, through rhetoric and policy, dismissed, targeted, lied about, and alienated:

- women
- journalists
- people of color
- trans people
- Chicagoans
- immigrants
- refugees
- scientists
- protestors
- Muslims
- people who work at universities
- people who are good at their jobs
- the intelligence agencies
- school teachers
- public employees

Am I missing anyone?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Economics & Fairness

You know, David, in many ways, it's important to remember that the rational actor model that economists build is a model. It's very powerful in that it does explain how people behave under many circumstances, but sometimes you can forget that this is a model and start to think that this is not just a useful mathematical tool but a code for behavior. Zarghamee mentioned that Adam Smith quote - "it's not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer and the baker" - and said that Adam Smith's mother cooked, cleaned and cared for him through much of his life. So even as he was touting the virtues of selfishness, he was depending on someone else acting unselfishly.
- Shankar Vendantam, 2/21/17, NPR

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This is disgusting

This guy graduated from Duke. If he gave a presentation like this in my writing and critical thinking class, he would fail. This is not about Republican governance. This is something much more sinister.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


"Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, had lived in the country since she was 14.


"A mother of two, she continued to live in Arizona and checked in with ICE every six months. On her scheduled meeting Wednesday morning, she arrived at the ICE field office in Phoenix surrounded by supporters. An immigration attorney later told the crowd outside that Garcia de Rayos had been arrested. "


So, tonight I read the twitter feed...

...of a colleague, and it really bummed me out.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Tom Lux, 1946 - 2017

Ode to the Unbroken World, Which is Coming 
It must be coming, mustn’t it? Churches
and saloons are filled with decent humans.
A mother wants to feed her daughter,
fathers to buy their children things that break.
People laugh, all over the world, people laugh.
We were born to laugh, and we know how to be sad;
we dislike injustice and cancer,
and are not unaware of our terrible errors.
A man wants to love his wife.
His wife wants him to carry something.
We’re capable of empathy, and intense moments of joy.
Sure, some of us are venal, but not most.
There’s always a punchbowl, somewhere,
in which floats a…
Life’s a bullet, that fast, and the sweeter for it.
It’s the same everywhere: Slovenia, India,
Pakistan, Suriname—people like to pray,
or they don’t,
or they like to fill a blue plastic pool
in the back yard with a hose
and watch their children splash.
Or sit in cafes, or at table with family.
And if a long train of cattle cars passes
along West Ridge
it’s only the cattle from East Ridge going to the abattoir.
The unbroken world is coming,
(it must be coming!), I heard a choir,
there were clouds, there was dust,
I heard it in the streets, I heard it
announced by loudhailers
mounted on trucks.


Sunday, February 5, 2017


America + Violence = The March of Freedom

Much as it pains me to write this, as I remain dismayed and mystified by his election to the presidency, Trump has pointed out a painful reality about U.S. foreign policy: When asked by Bill O'Reilly how he can admire "a killer" like Putin, Trump responded, "What, you think our country's so innocent?"

As this report suggests, the U.S. is a lot less innocent than we claim to be, and we don't claim, primarily, to be innocent--just exceptional. One difference between Trump and Obama is that Trump may claim this lack of innocence as pretense for ratcheting up U.S. aggression. And yet we've been pretty highly ratcheted up for sixty+ years, now. Trump won't be winning the Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon. Obama should have rejected it.

Thursday, February 2, 2017