So many people I’ve talked with in the last several years have commented that politics has become so crazy that they try to avoid listening to the news or even discussing politics with friends or family. One might argue that they have hit bottom on the scale of civic responsibility. But can we blame them? … More Political Psychiatry: Is It a Thing?
I just do not know where these state governors get the idea that they can “ban” municipal and other local authorities from helping their people. What gives the Texas governor the right to prevent the Lina Hidalgo, the County Judge who oversees Harris County, which includes Texas’ biggest city, Houston, from establishing procedures to improve … More On Who’s Authority? Perverse Personal Politics and the Autocratic Attempt
Working from home is the new employment dilemma for many employees and bosses, in some industries anyway. I see a growing number of articles about whether and how many workers can, should, or want to return to the office as the pandemic gradually winds down. Yet, it is clearly not that simple. Dilemmas of Work, … More Work and Risk: What is Wrong with the Labor Market? Or, is it the Work itself?
Uncertainty is everywhere and growing fast. That makes many people uncomfortable at best, violent at worst. Most seek certainty in what they perceive as a set of beliefs that they equate with reality. When conditions appear uncertain or change quickly, certain people conclude that someone is messing with their reality. They expect to live in … More Against Ideology: Creativity is Best Hope in an Uncertain World
Have you ever been lost in the woods? Or just in an unfamiliar urban neighborhood? As it turns out, getting lost is not that uncommon. However, most of the time things work out because we got lost within the familiar bounds of civilization. We can rely on others to give us some directions. Today, industrial … More Who Survives and Who Does Not: Civilization Lost in a Wilderness of Mistaken Mental Models
It seems the highest point in John Kerry’s political career was his impassioned testimony before congress expressing his experience of the absurdity of the Viet Nam war. After that came serial mediocrity in search of sustaining moderate upper-class rule. Never again would he to take a principled stand as he pursued his political path, grounded … More Unrealistic Assumptions Dodge Difficult Decisions
For some time now, I have been unable to escape the conclusion that the way to find a path to stop the heating of the planet is not by developing new technologies to compensate for the ever-increasing carbon emissions produced by economic growth. All you have to do is think about how entangled everyone is … More Beyond the Yellow Brick Road*: Saving the Planet from Eco Modernism
Now that I have read President Biden’s “fact sheet” on his infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, I have to wonder whether it will devolve into an “upgrade” to “modernize” business-as-usual. What we need is a genuine emergency response to the converging crises of climate, a crumbling main street economy, and the continued enrichment … More Building Back Better: Deferred Maintenance vs. Emergency Response
The confusion is palpable as it is widely ignored. We have a new, slightly progressive administration headed by Joe Biden, the empathetic traditional former long-term senator. He knows how to “reach across the aisle” and make deals with Republicans. But wait, those senators were the Republicans of old, who were actually willing to make compromise … More The Infrastructure Illusion: Historic Neglect and Crucial Confusion
All the policy talk around the “climate emergency” is either technical with reference to the effects of carbon pollution, emissions-reduction goals, or political with reference to cost, employment, or other policy matters. But the predicament we face in confronting the climate emergency is far greater and more complex than usually imagined. Public climate-change policy leaders … More It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity