11 Jul 2014

Bundy Ranch: Not A Legitimacy Crisis But A Government Learning From Its Mistakes

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Several weeks ago Rick Perlstein wrote a piece about the standoff between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He called it “a watershed in American history” because those at the ranch were able to use firearms and the threat of violence to

14 Jun 2014

Will gangland-style executions of police officers be enough?

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Years ago – I don’t remember where or when, or I would give credit – I heard the line “don’t pay attention to what’s in the news; pay attention to what’s not in it.” Media cultures often develop story lines and decide what is newsworthy

06 Jun 2014

Trying to make sense of a manic monetary theory

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Economics is a closed system; internally it is perfectly logical, operating according to a consistent set of principles. Unfortunately, the same could be said of psychosis. What’s more, once having entered the closed system of the economist, you, like the psychotic, may have a hard

31 May 2014

MMT’s job guarantee: oasis or mirage?

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. I’ve gotten some pushback from Monday’s piece on MMT and plan to address the criticisms in some upcoming posts. Next week I hope to get to inflation and taxes. For now I’d like to cover something I didn’t even mention in the post but that

23 May 2014

America: Canada and Europe’s willing chump

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. One of the more memorable turns of phrase I’ve heard in the past few years came during the effort to unionize an Ikea plant in Virginia. In the same way that Mexico became an attractive location for American capitalists because of lower wages and less

15 May 2014

The Touching, Eternal Optimism of Liberal Hawks

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. As the response to the kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls has grown from hashtag activism to full blown international incident, the calls for action have become increasingly bellicose. Some of those calls have revealed (once again) a deeply rooted militaristic streak in America, one

10 May 2014

Benghazi: the environmental angle

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. One of the stranger stories in Washington this week happened in a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday. The committee was investigating allegations of bad conduct at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and it certainly looks like some stricter oversight is in order. While it’s

03 May 2014

Big Data meets civic engagement

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. About a year ago the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) had an information session in Portage county about a recently permitted group of injection wells. The presentation by Tom Tomastik, ODNR’s lead geologist for the injection well regulatory program, wasn’t very helpful, but other

26 Apr 2014

Phoniness, calculation, and palatable hypocrisy

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. The community at Corrente is now well into its second week of batting around thoughts on recent/upcoming presidential elections, so perhaps inevitably the Ralph Nader/Al Gore situation came up. The less interesting part of that to me is the electoral calculation. Democrats like to say

19 Apr 2014

Laying down markers for 2016

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Over the past week there has been a spirited discussion of the 2008 Democratic primary at Corrente. One point of contention in the comments has been the way principles were invoked in the heat of the process. For instance, caucuses were heavily criticized as being