Category Archives: Civic Concerns

Pertains to politics and governance, rights of citizens.

The “Welfare” Mentality?

Some people see an injustice in our tax system because they see it as stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. They resent “Confiscatory” taxes — those they pay for the benefit of others that they don’t think they should be forced to subsidize.  They resent public spending on welfare of all kinds: unemployment benefits, public education, parks and recreation, … it’s a long list.

Libertarians are often the most outspoken critics. And the GOP, enabled by the Trump administration, is likely to savagely gut existing programs.  The American Dream is predicated on a healthy work ethic.  Hard work, thrift, and personal sacrifice in the early lean years are rewarded by abundance and leisure later on. Continue reading The “Welfare” Mentality?

The Power of Fear

Fear has been a major component in the 2016 political campaign and continues to be a tactic of the Trump team as they prepare for him to take office.  All of us need to understand how fear can cause us to make bad choices. But we also need to learn how to combat it. What follows is an excellent video that demonstrates how fear was used as a tactic in the campaign.  The remainder of this post is remarks about Fear and Faith shared by Marguerite Chandler, my spouse, at the Newtown Friends Meeting this morning. Continue reading The Power of Fear

People’s Choice? (Not!)

Many of my friends are distraught because Donald Trump’s Electoral College win on 11/8 and the subsequent deplorable events seem to say that as many as half of Americans either are bigots themselves or don’t care if the President of the US is one.  The election results seemed to repudiate their belief that most Americans are good and decent folks that share a deep love of justice and diversity.

Take heart friends. Only about 19% of US citizens who should have voted elected Donald J. Trump. The majority couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t vote.

19% of Voters Elected Trump
19% of Voters Elected Trump – (Graphic by R B Shreve)

Continue reading People’s Choice? (Not!)

How to be “A Good Loser”

Some of my conservative friends are responding to posts by angry Democrats with, “Be a good loser.”  In sports, where it’s only a game, being a good loser means congratulating the other team and thanking them for a good game.  It’s play — or should be.

But the policies and actions of our government are not a game. It is the responsibility of every citizen to make certain that government is good government. flag-plateIn this election a man has been elected whose values and character are deeply flawed.  Much ink has been devoted to cataloging his shortcomings. His choices of advisors and staff are not encouraging:

The short list of White House cabinet picks (see below) reads like a Who’s-Who of rightwing know-nothings (Sarah Palin), dangerous retreads (Newt Gingrich and John Bolton), arch conservatives (Sam Brownback), disgraced hacks (Chris Christie), Wall Street regressives (Steven Mnuchin), and raving opportunists (Rudi Giuliani). Already installed as chief strategist and senior counselor is a white supremacist (Steve Bannon), and, as chief of staff, a Trump toady and party apologist (Reince Priebus).

If personnel is policy, this isn’t looking good. [Robert Reich, Facebook 11/14/16]

In our democracy being a good loser means defending American values as embodied in the constitution. It also means defending inalienable and inherent human rights.  Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — which are possible only with conscious stewardship of our planet, equality, peace, integrity, and community.

We may have lost but we’ll never give up, whatever it takes!


Post Election Analysis

As the shock of the Trump victory fades and the media recovers we are being deluged by analysis.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, here is the political satirist Jonathan Pie. (I’ll be adding other links as I encounter thinking that is novel or particularly sage in my view.) Pie is not family fare – lot’s of vulgarity.

Michael Moor gets it.  He’s no Republican you say? He is talking about an “elite bubble” and speaking as a Midwestern, white, high school education, male.