“What’s past is prologue”.

In his new book “Tyrant. Shakespeare on Politics” (W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 2018), Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt depicts political perils that ring completely contemporary. His description of Richard III in chapter 4, “A Matter of Character” applies to an astonishing degree to Donald Trump.

 

What really struck me, though, was the way Greenblatt analyzes how Richard came to power. The parallels with Trump’s ascendancy are striking.

In the interest of brevity, I have unconscionably butchered the text – sorry, you will have to …

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Thoughts on Kavanaugh hearings.

This is the text of a letter to the editor of the Dallas Morning News that was printed today, September 16, in the “Points” supplement.

To recap: Mr. Trump is elected to the presidency despite losing the popular vote and possibly with help from a hostile foreign power. Several of his associates plead guilty to a variety of crimes.

In that miasmal atmosphere, Mr. Trump ignores the list of potential Supreme Court picks forwarded by the Federalist Society and selects Judge Kavanaugh, whose main distinction from his …

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Love letter to Rockwall County voters of all stripes

Here is the text of a letter I submitted to the Rockwall Herald-Banner, which was not published.

 

Dear fellow Rockwallians,

 

As candidate signs start popping up on the sides of main roads and on private lawns around the county, the atmosphere can feel a little tense at times – you don’t necessarily want to know how your neighbor plans to vote.

 

For the ten years I have lived in the county, though, things have remained mostly civil – and that’s the way I want it to be. I …

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Trump derangement syndrome or love of country?

This is the text of a letter to the editor of the Rockwall Herald Banner. I hope I don’t need to have permission to post as I am the original author.

I wonder if I am suffering from Trump derangement syndrome – described as irrational, virulent hatred of our president. I walked in the Women’s March hoping it might send a message that Americans would not tolerate misogyny, racism and xenophobia. Surely, with the help of a competent cabinet, Mr. Trump would moderate his views and …

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Another excerpt from Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s thriller “The President is Missing”.

Alright alright alright…. I am not being lazy here, I really think this text captures the thinking of progressives beautifully and describes our current predicament much better than I could. It is taken from the end of the book (pp 504-508, with cut text), but does not reveal the plot, so you are safe to read it if you are in the middle of the book or planning to buy it. I must stress that the rest of the book is a thriller, not a …

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Supreme Court Nomination

Hello all,

here is the text of an email I sent yesterday to our 2 Texas senators, Cruz and Cornyn, as well as to Democratic senators Schumer (NY), Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WVA) and Republican senators Collins (ME) and Murkowski (AK). The 3 Democratic senators (not Schumer, who heads the Senate) are wobbly because they are endangered in red states in the midterms, and the 2 Republican senators might vote against any nominee who is likely to overthrow Roe v. Wade. Currently it is very …

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