Entries from Journal tagged with 'politics'

Teachers with Guns

In the wake of the shootings in Parkland, Florida, I have watched an idea growing. It's an idea that has been raised before, but never in as much earnest as in recent days, and certainly never by anyone sitting in...

LBJs

*Snow is falling outside, which has resulted in a day off from school, and for that I am grateful. Among other things, I still have a lot of grading to do before I turn in grades and comments for the...

Blue Virginia

I'm happy about the statewide victories by Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring. It's good to feel that my fellow Virginians have rejected the kinds of fanatical tribalism pushed by Trump-Lite candidates such as Ed "MS 13" Gillespie and...

In Like a Liar

I haven't updated in a while, thanks to a combination of uninteresting work- and life-related distractions, but I think we can all agree that another set of comments about the bizarre nature of 21st-century weather is probably unnecessary. Yes, the...

We Walk

At this juncture, roughly 125 hours into the Trump administration, I'd have to summarize my feelings by quoting the long-defunct comic strip Conchy: "There are times when you get no satisfaction out of being right." Our new president is doing...

It Wasn't the End of the World...

...yet.But just in case, I'm going to DC for the Women's March tomorrow.I want the Republicans in Washington to look out across that sea of faces and see that their strategy of depending on the support of middle-aged white guys...

Spades

Well, then.Taking the last month off from blogging was not my original goal, but every time I started trying to type words on the screen, it was only a few keystrokes before I began a full-on George Carlin litany: "The...

Election Day 2016

Here's my Tweetstorm from last night.  1 As a straight, white, married, middle-aged Southern male, I'm presumably right in the middle of Trump's target zone. Why am I voting HRC?2 Well, for one thing, I'm pretty liberal on social issues....

We Don't Need Another Hero

A few days ago, I was discussing what books my students could use for their independent reading journal assignments, and one kid raised his hand to ask if graphic novels were allowed. I said I saw no problem with them,...

LBJs

*Another month of summer gone... I try not to revel in my months of summer vacation, but what else do teachers have to revel about? Believe me, it's not the salary or the social cachet or the professional respect afforded...

Bidding Three No-Trumps

I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for president this fall.This comes as little surprise to you, assuming you've read anything in this journal before now, but you may be curious as to why. The obvious reason, in all its fiery orange glory,...

You Brexit, You Buy It

I suppose the term "Anglophile" fits me pretty well, what with so many of my favorite writers, musicians, and other folks hailing from the Sceptred Isle. I've certainly spent time there, though not in recent years; there was the 1982...

Bullshit: A Brief History

A little over a decade ago, I read a slim little volume called On Bullshit, in which philosophy professor Harry G. Frankfurt examined the phenomenon of bullshit and its role in our modern discourse. While it remains one of the...

Winter, Discontent, etc.

It's been a busy few weeks. First, Kelly celebrated the first anniversary at her new job by accepting a promotion to Acting Assistant Branch Manager, with a shot at taking the position permanently. (Getting her second raise of the year in...

In Which I Write an Op-Ed for the New York Times

Late Sunday night one of the NYT's op-ed editors emailed me to ask if I wanted to share a birder's opinion on the takeover of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed gunmen.I told her I did....

LBJs in RVA

*I haven't done an LBJ post in a while, and certainly not since the move, so why not now?*The move is effectively done. We got everything out of the house at Woodberry weeks ago, and after a couple of weeks...

First Principles

No one has ever asked me what my favorite Constitutional Amendment is, but if pressed, I'd have to say it's good old Numero Uno. The First Amendment offers a great many things I value, including protection of my rights to...

Freedom of Information

In my last post, I asked, rhetorically, what a police department would do if it was not interested in shedding light on the truth about a police shooting.It would probably do something like this.The chief of police for the Ferguson...

A Brief Story About Ferguson

I'm still a long way from gathering my scattered thoughts on Ferguson, MO, into anything coherent, and with faculty meetings beginning a little over an hour from now, I kinda doubt I'm going to get to it in the immediate...

That Ferguson Post

I said I was going to try, once again, to get some thoughts about Ferguson, MO, into some kind of readable shape, and honestly, I had every intention of doing it.But then Charles Pierce just posted a piece and now...

PC's Endorsement: Barack Obama for President

 I'm not under the illusion that I have some sort of influence on voters, nor do I believe that the people reading this are somehow unaware of my political beliefs, but I'm making it official: this Tuesday, November 6th,...

One Last Plea

If you're a North Carolinian, please get out to the polls on Tuesday, May 8th, and vote against Amendment One.Thanks.--PC...

Mayday

The odds are good that if you're reading this at all, you know perfectly well what my position on North Carolina's "Amendment One" is. And since most of you reading this are friends and relatives with whom I get along...

To the Dogs

If you type the word "romney" into a Google search bar, the #2 result that fills in automatically is romney + dog. (In fact, if you type "romney(spacebar)" you'll get it as your #1 option.) It's listed above romney +...

Divisible by Four

If you've been waiting patiently for me to say something, well, thanks. And if you've been waiting for me to say something about the fact that we're in a year that's divisible by four, meaning that we're having a presidential...

"Freedom Isn't Free"

It's a slogan that's been around a long while, and it's usually heard when people are discussing the sacrifices made by America's soldiers. It's even the name of a song, co-written by country singer Randy Travis and pastors John and...

Redefining Redefinition

Many things have come out of New York's recent decision to recognize gay marriage legally, but speaking as a semi-professional rhetorician, the thing that has interested me most has been the remarkably poor quality of the arguments against the decision.Archbishop...

Moderately Enraged

If I had a motto, it would probably be "Moderation in all things... including moderation." Oh, sure, I'll occasionally do something bizarre--last night's roller-skating trip comes to mind--but in general, I'm philosophically most comfortable sitting in the middle of things,...

A Real American Hero

Maybe you're like me, and find most things online a good excuse for a lengthy meandering around Wikipedia. Or maybe you're not, and you go straight to the information you want, pluck it like a ripe Winesap, and consume it...

"You Ignorant Slut"

Of the many, many wonderful things penned by the late Ralph Wiley, in many ways my favorite is a simple declarative sentence that he issued in response to Saul Bellow's snide rhetorical question, "Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?"Wiley...

The Good with the Bad

I don't have the entire Constitution memorized, though I think learning the thing by rote is a splendid idea. I'm pretty clear on certain portions, such as the Bill of Rights, where I know the concepts quite well and have...

LBJs

*I'm fired up to get some winter birding in. Right now I'm targeting the end of this month, with a possible trip to Blackwater NWR on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. If that doesn't pan out, it may be time...

Bloggery

I've never been comfortable calling this thing a "blog."  I've called it an "online journal" since the start, partly because the word "blog" wasn't in common parlance when I started this site, lo those many years ago--2002, that is--and partly...

The Gist

Amidst all the pomp and circumstance of the inaugural ceremonies, and the wonderful sound of words and ideas being arranged deliberately and artfully by the man in charge of the country, there was one thing our new President said that...

My Inauguration Proposal

Okay, maybe it's a little immature of me, but you have to admit, it would be classic.The wintry streets of DC are hushed and silent... All traffic has been halted...All of Washington, all of America, waits expectantly...And then, off down...

Yes We Can

I am in a really good mood.  The country voted for Obama.  Virginia voted for Obama.  North Carolina voted for Obama.But I think this anonymously posted series of pictures may sum up my mood better than anything else I've seen:...

Voting

This afternoon I volunteered to drive some of our students to our tiny polling place, which is a Methodist church located near... um... not near a doggone thing, honestly.  There's another church--Baptist, I think--and some farmhouses within sight, but otherwise...

Kryptonite

I think a lot of people would view the election as a baseball game, with Obama ahead and pitching well to protect his lead, while McCain is desperately swinging at the fences, knowing he's got to hit a homer to...

When Titans Clash

OK, it was more like "When well-known people in suits recite talking points that vaguely disagree," but even so, I couldn't NOT watch the Biden vs. Palin debate tonight.  I'm a speech teacher, for pete's sake. Palin did very well, I...

The Morning After

We've recently obtained limited internet access at our house, and by "limited" I mean "28.8 kps dial-up" access. We're hoping that Woodberry's IT wizards can get us broadband in the relatively near future, but right now we're still deciding between...

Primary Thoughts

Last week Kelly and I were able to do something we haven't had the chance to do very often: vote in an election that might make a difference. Mind you, we're conscientious about our responsibilities as citizens, and we regularly haul...

Running Down That Hill

I haven't poked into politics here recently, but that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention.  The Democratic race is actually shaping up to be just that--a race--rather than the inevitable preliminary to the coronation of Hillary Clinton at the...

From 10/6/07

The horror, the horror... the 2008 election is still more than a year away, and the pundits are already gathering to determine how the campaigns will go. It's a particularly interesting campaign season, admittedly, but I'm already finding the focus...

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