The Hippie Jesus Convergence


I picked up another hefty delivery of meat yesterday from one of the farmers I buy from. At various times during the year I order an entire lamb, a whole hog, or a side of beef. Today it was dozens of chickens and a few extra bundles of bacon and such. It all goes in to the freezers. The highest quality cuts become wonderful roasts or barbecue while the lesser portions are turned in to soups, stews, and stock that I pressure can in big batches. I really enjoy giving my money directly to the families that raise my food.  read more »


Billy Graham and the Evangelical Origins of Organized Labor


When I heard over breakfast that Billy Graham had died, the news ricocheted around my mind and stirred up lots of memories. The counter of George’s Diner on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn was just the place to begin reflecting on the surprising connection between Graham’s legacy and organized labor.  read more »

Is Mayor a Dead End Job?


We constantly hear that it’s the era of cities. Benjamin Barber wrote a book called If Mayors Ruled the World. Mayors are touted as pragmatic problem solvers who are taking on the challenges politicians at other levels of government are afraid to face.  read more »


Cronyism and its Scapegoats


Cronyism destroys trust and assigns the blame to scapegoats of its own creation.

Only a fiercely committed left or right-winger would fail to recognize that there is today a social and political divide that does not easily fit within the traditional mold of left vs. right. If, loosely speaking, the left leans socialist and the right leans capitalist, there is a third branch, cronyism, that is characterized by the rising power and wealth of rent-seeking industries and individuals.  read more »


Left and Lefter in California

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The California Democratic Party’s refusal to endorse the reelection of Senator Dianne Feinstein represents a breaking point both for the state’s progressives and, arguably, the future of the party nationwide. Feinstein symbolizes, if anyone does, the old Democratic establishment that, while far from conservative, nevertheless appealed to many mainstream businesses and affluent suburban voters.  read more »


California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It


In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

Will Race Issues Destroy America?


Immigration and diversity represent both America’s greatest weapon and, increasingly, a lethal challenge to our democracy. The debate over the “dreamers” — the roughly 700,000 young people brought to the country illegally — has already caused one government shutdown and can lead to others.  read more »


Localism in America: Why We Should Tackle Our Big Challenges At The Local Level


Localism in America, a compilation of essays from the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, explores the merits of local governing and how reinvigorating local solution-making is best for American democracy as a whole. Read an excerpt from the introduction, authored by Joel Kotkin and Ryan Streeter, below.  read more »


Getting On The Road To Republican Resurgence


In his bitter attack on the new budget agreement, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, stumbled on the reality of his party’s grim identity crisis. Since the Reagan era, the GOP represented a convergence of corporate interests, social conservatives and free market libertarians.  read more »

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is A Rare, And Potentially Bipartisan, Feel Good Moment


President Trump’s proposed trillion dollar plus infrastructure program represents a rare, and potentially united feel good moment. Yet before we jump into a massive re-do of our transportation, water and electrical systems, it’s critical to make sure we get some decent bang for the federal buck.  read more »