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Archive for May 2011

Blagojevich and the Founders

It’s open season on the Founders. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), who is looking at a run for president as an Extreme Right-wing choice, has already revealed that she became a conservative in reaction against the “snotty” Aaron Burr.  Upon examination, it turned out that she really was reacting against Gore Vidal’s novel, Burr, and its…

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Messing Around With Your Votes, Part II

“Voter identification” has become a major Republican Party initiative.  Complaining loudly that there must be blatant voter fraud out there — though there is little evidence of it — Republican legislators have busily been enacting stricter voter ID measures in many states.  These new requirements generally require that a voter present a photo identification card…

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Messing Around With Your Votes, Part I

Two recent developments illustrate how the democracy we enjoy here in the Citadel of Liberty is both flawed and fragile.  First, a movement is gathering force for a back-door change to the largely indefensible practice of electing our presidents through the electoral college.  Second, a contrary movement is sweeping the states to require tough voter…

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Truth Through Fiction

I am working on a project involving late 19th-century America, so wanted to get a better feel for the thinking and diction of the period.  I remembered a claim by someone (it would be better if I remembered who) that the best way to appreciate an earlier time and place is to read a good…

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Killing bin Laden

Why am I not elated by the killing of Osama bin Laden, when so many of my neighbors and friends are? I can do the realpolitik calculation.  He initiated/inspired/caused several deadly attacks on my neighbors and friends.  Killing him will not likely end those attacks entirely, though it may  discourage his adherents and disrupt their…

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