• Both major parties are in disarray. Republicans have eschewed conservatism for rightwing populism, and Democrats are scrambling to find their footing after the November debacle. If they were frank about their plights, they would admit they were their own worst enemies.

  • “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” – “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine, Dec. 23, 1776.

    There are souls stating unequivocally they were confident in the outcome of the election. Sure. Would they have been willing, then, to put the deed of their house and their entire financial portfolio on the line on Nov. 7?

  • And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. - I Cor. (13:13, KJV)

    No arguing with Paul, but I’d settle for more hope than charity. How, though, does one maintain it in the Age of the Big Lie?

    Liberals interpret hope expansively for humanity and, therefore, a better world. Conservatives tend to see it in a more personal, local context and for an afterlife. Liberals also prefer being proactive not reactive, which makes that better world an achievable goal.

  • Vox

    A call for critical thinkers


    “Putting thoughts into words is vastly different from putting truth into words. For words are not truth.” — Lionel Fisher, “Celebrating Time Alone: Stories of Splendid Solitude”

  • The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me — he complains of my gab and my loitering. / I too am not a bit tamed — I too am untranslatable; / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. — Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself” Verse 52

    The most frequent question I’ve gotten of late by frustrated citizens anxious about the rightwing regression at play across the nation: What can I do? I answer, “One concept; three words, a myriad of options: The First Amendment.”

  • Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.

    — Donald Trump, July 2016

    So spoke the Republican nominee and now president-elect. It didn’t take a genius to realize that if the Russians could hack the Democratic National Committee’s e-mails, it might do the same to the Republican National Committee. Or Trump.

  • Wildfire mitigation isn’t about air-pollution policy 


    The main thing that keeps buildings safe from wildfire is a defensible space: an area around the building with minimal brush, trees and other combustible growth.

  • Vox

    Wildfire mitigation isn’t about air-pollution policy


    The main thing that keeps buildings safe from wildfire is a defensible space: an area around the building with minimal brush, trees and other combustible growth.

    Non-combustible building materials, fire department availability, water sources and contours of the land all play a role in fire risk and mitigation. We’ve got a lot of old, skinny, pine beetle-infected trees that will eventually die one way or another, posing as a large source of intense wildfires.

  • The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.

    – attributed to Vladimir Lenin

    War has been declared. A cyber war. Welcome to the 21st-century version of World War III. The Russians launched the first strike, President Barack Obama responded with measured steps and Donald Trump is poo-pooing the whole affair.


    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday 

    Charcoal burning everywhere

    Here in status symbol land


    The mid-20th century conservative writer and academician Russell Kirk was a “man of letters,” a term no longer in vogue. A man of letters was well-rounded, educated and multi-dimensional in his thinking, steeped in classics as in current learning. He stood for refinement as opposed to one-dimensional, mundane conservatism rooted in wealth, status and pride in financial accomplishments.

  • As the great French writer Alexis de Toqueville wrote in his seminal "Democracy in America," the greatest threat to American democracy is an uneducated voter. Well, folks, that threat is here now! As the Pogo cartoon famously said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

  • The years of late high school through early adulthood were a time of intellectual ferment for me. I majored in political science, read copiously and became enthralled with conservatism. William F. Buckley became my mentor and authority on all things true. I subscribed to and religiously devoured “National Review,” watched Firing Line, and became active in the Young Americans for Freedom

  • “Paranoia strikes deep / Into your life it will creep / It starts when you’re always afraid / You step out of line, the man come and take you away.”

    “For What It’s Worth,” — Buffalo Springfield

    Thinking … thinking …

  • Vox

    Fabyanic uses facts in columns


    Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just not their own set of facts.” In the case of Jerry Fabyanic, it seems many readers disagree with his opinions, but I must say that they cannot disagree with his facts.