First they stopped coming for the plastic bottles, and I did not speak out -- Because I don't use many plastic bottles. Then they stopped coming for the cardboard, and I did not speak out -- Because I can burn my cardboard in the chiminea in the backyard. Then they stopped coming for the aluminum cans -- And since I drink cold beverages from cans, that's when they … [Read more...]
Reviews of books, films, TV shows, and websites.
Is The Plague the greatest novel of the second half of the twentieth century? I'm not sure, but the 1947 existentialist classic by Albert Camus is entertaining and powerfully written. And these days, it's got special appeal, which is why sales of the book have skyrocketed since the pandemic hit. Camus Knew What Environmentalists Ignore Environmentalists have claimed … [Read more...]
Donald Trump is an especially brazen version of a kleptocrat, the kind of ruler who uses his public office to enrich himself, his family and his cronies. Trump's no-shame approach to pilfering public coffers may horrify Americans, who are used to a more genteel and discreet approach to self-dealing by the rich and powerful, though tinpot dictators from Nigeria to Brazil are … [Read more...]
A book called I'm Right and You're an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up sounds like it was written just for the 2016 US presidential race. The book is not about the race per se. It doesn't say anything about Donald Trump and the only Clinton it mentions is Bill. But the book does say a lot about the polarization in American politics that has … [Read more...]
A couple months ago, while Hillary and Bernie were still duking it out in the presidential primaries, I was having coffee with a friend. My friend -- let's call him Jason -- was serving as the head of the local Sanders campaign in my liberal-ish town in rural Virginia. Since I serve on the local city council, my friend wanted me to speak at a rally he was planning in town in … [Read more...]