Fairness in Media

I am old enough to remember when media coverage of politics – TV and radio only in those days – was governed by the FCC’s fairness doctrine. The fairness doctrine said, essentially, that if you wanted to report on an election, all sides, and all candidates, needed to be given equal time. This was both […]

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More Than Possible

"Politics is the art of the possible." The phrase, practically a cliché in political circles, is usually attributed to Otto von Bismarck , the Prussian politician who unified Germany in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century.  Bismarck, of course, said it in German : Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen.  The word he […]

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Slouching Towards Oligarchy

In an earlier post, I said, without further explanation that we are slouching towards oligarchy in this country.   I'd like to explain what I meant Oligarchy is an ugly word; for that matter, it is an ugly concept, especially to a small "d" democrat like myself - rule by an elite.  Slouching means to move […]

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Politics Isn't a Dirty Word

As we prepare for the 2016 campaign season, it's time for another of my brief essays.   Consider the following conversation: "Where'll we go for dinner tonight?" "I don't know - where would you like to go? "Maybe sushi...or pizza." "I don't feel like pizza - let's do sushi." "Ok." Sound familiar, even banal?   How many […]

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On the Music of Verse

I can neither sing, nor play a musical instrument.  I am devoid of musical talent, just like the rest of my family.  Now, it is true that my mother could play the piano, although since she was completely tone deaf, I'm not sure that counts.   My sister briefly imagined that she could play the […]

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Political Conventions

In the last thirty years, I have attended a number of California  state-wide political conventions, mostly because my late wife, Pat Wiggins, was an active politician and officeholder.  Much useful work was done at these conventions on identifying public policy ideas and in developing relationships, but they had very little effect on the selection of […]

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Another Anti-War Poem

Some time ago, I blogged about the cinquain  and what I called the semicinquain.   This little verse, from 2003, is written in yet another variation of the cinquain, which might be called the hypercinquain, or cinquain on steroids.   The syllabic scheme is 2/2/4/6/8/2  as opposed to the cinquain, which is 2/4/6/8/2.   Dilemma is explained here. […]

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Do Unto Others...

If we have a representative democracy in this country, that means, or should mean, that elected officials are the representatives of the people - they take our place, and represent our interests and well-being. One of the most pernicious ideas to gain currency in my lifetime is the notion that there is something inherently corrupting […]

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A Rock

The following poem was my reaction to the Kent State Shootings in 1970.  It is yet another sonnet ( I seem to have written a lot of them).  If I were writing the poem today, I would make the secret urge line more ambiguous, and I would make the link to Kent State more explicit.  […]

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You've Got to Know the Territory

[See my earlier post on polling here] Candidates in down-ticket races have  a problem - they need professional help to run their campaigns, but, unless they are independently wealthy, they usually  can't afford the price of a professional political consultant.  For small cities (in my area of California, we have a number of incorporated cities […]

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A blog about all the arts, including politics
"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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