Essays

Wussy Democrats

Joe Klein, Democrats Are Playing Chess on Impeachment. They Aren’t Going to Win. (The Washington Post, December 3, 2019) Joseph O’Neill, No More Nice Dems (New York Review of Books, December 19, 2019) Let’s start with two recent, on-point articles about the Democratic Party, one by journalist and Primary Colors author, Joe Klein, and the other by Bard professor and novelist, Joseph O’Neil. Both articles echo SteveContinue reading “Wussy Democrats”

Toward a New Cosmology: The Grand Pivot from Natural Law to Complexity Science

As we can see from the hardening religious impulse in our current authoritarian, autocratic moment, the traditionalist defense of “civilization” ultimately rests upon the complicated, combined influence of the major Abrahamic revealed religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The Abrahamic faiths – based as they are on divine revelation, sacred texts and prophetic moments – require a creator-centricContinue reading “Toward a New Cosmology: The Grand Pivot from Natural Law to Complexity Science”

What Is “New” About the New Atheists?

In my previous essay, I invoked “those famously fratricidal brothers, Peter and Christopher Hitchens, who published dueling books on behalf of theism and atheism within a few years of each other, brother Peter writing in his book that “’On this my brother and I agree: that independence of mind is immensely precious, and that we should tryContinue reading “What Is “New” About the New Atheists?”

The New Atheists and Conversion Moments

There is a widely held (and somewhat depressing) view that most people are hedgehogs. We know One Big Thing (or, for many of us, perhaps only one little thing). At some point in our twenties, we experience a “conversion moment,” a singular epiphany about the ways of the world, which heralds some consolidation of our mature “self” and thereby opens the gates to our future.Continue reading “The New Atheists and Conversion Moments”

Know Your Enemy: A Podcast About Conservative Ideas That Speaks to All of Us

If you’re looking for a podcast that speaks to the political and spiritual confusion of our times with grace, humor, intelligence, and insight, consider Know Your Enemy. Hosted by journalists Matthew Sitman (an editor at Commonweal Magazine and Dissent Magazine contributor) and Sam Adler-Bell (who has written for The Intercept, The Outline, and Commonweal), and sponsored by Dissent, Know Your Enemy’s mission is to engage and illuminate the ideas of political andContinue reading “Know Your Enemy: A Podcast About Conservative Ideas That Speaks to All of Us”

The Law as Society’s “Operating System”

How the Federalist Society Stole the Federal Judiciary, Conquered Washington DC, and Imperiled the Nation This is essay #2 of a multi-part series about how the remarkable political and legal influence of the Federalist Society in the Trump era – what I call a “court-jacking” –  illuminates the emerging civilizational conflict between competing cosmologies, representedContinue reading “The Law as Society’s “Operating System””

How the Federalist Society Stole the Federal Judiciary, Conquered Washington DC, and Imperiled the Nation

This is essay #1 of a multi-part series about how the remarkable political and legal influence of the Federalist Society – what I call a “court-jacking” –  illuminates the emerging civilizational conflict between competing cosmologies, represented by natural law moral philosophy and complexity science. The Federalist Society held its annual National Lawyers Convention earlier thisContinue reading “How the Federalist Society Stole the Federal Judiciary, Conquered Washington DC, and Imperiled the Nation”

Move Fast and Break Things: Authoritarian Politics, Digital Technology, and Trump’s Disruptive Heart of Darkness

The recent, much-discussed NY Times article about Trump presidential campaign digital ad spending, entitled Trump Campaign Floods Web With Ads, Raking In Cash as Democrats Struggle, displays in gory detail the stakes for Progressives and Democrats (and normal not-unhinged people) in the great battle, unfolding in real time before our eyes, for the soul and future of America (andContinue reading “Move Fast and Break Things: Authoritarian Politics, Digital Technology, and Trump’s Disruptive Heart of Darkness”

Conscience and the Scientific Community: A Profile of Kennette Benedict, Ploughshares Fund Board Member

This article originally appeared on the Ploughshares Fund website. For nearly 40 years, Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective people and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. Since 1981, Ploughshares Fund has distributed nearly $100 million in grants to organizations such as the Bulletin of theContinue reading “Conscience and the Scientific Community: A Profile of Kennette Benedict, Ploughshares Fund Board Member”

The Grand Pivot

As we can see from the hardening religious impulse in our current authoritarian, autocratic moment, the traditionalist defense of “western civilization” ultimately rests upon the complicated, combined influence of the major Abrahamic revealed religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The Abrahamic faiths – based as they are on divine revelation, sacred texts and prophetic moments –Continue reading “The Grand Pivot”

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