Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Community, I Learned in the Shtetl of Squirrel Hill

Three years ago, I was asked to deliver the keynote address at the American Jewish Committee Annual Dinner.  I chose to use that opportunity to explain what was so special about my childhood neighborhood, Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After the attack in Squirrel Hill yesterday, just a short walk from the front door of … Continue reading Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Community, I Learned in the Shtetl of Squirrel Hill

Happy Secession Day! Why N.H. Secession from the U.K. Was Awesome and Totally Justified

On this day, we celebrate other North American states' following New Hampshire's lead and declaring independence from the United Kingdom. Contrary to the contrarians, New Hampshire secession from the U.K. was awesome and totally justified for several reasons, to wit: New Hampshire abolished slavery in its 1785 constitution, 51 years before the U.K. followed suit. … Continue reading Happy Secession Day! Why N.H. Secession from the U.K. Was Awesome and Totally Justified

The Reformicons

Thomas B. Edsall has an interesting piece in the New York Times on the “Republican Discovery of the Poor,” the embrace of economic populism, and the promotion of reforms, including changes to the tax code. Edsall understands the potential challenge to Democrats as Republicans “plan to bring the fight to the Democrats on their own … Continue reading The Reformicons

The Big Chill

Despite candidate Obama’s promises of greater openness and transparency, the last few years have not been good ones with respect to freedom of the press. As Al Hunt observes: “The Obama administration has pursued more journalists than other administrations, secretly looking at phone records and credit card transactions and surreptitiously tracking their movements.” A new … Continue reading The Big Chill

Vaccinate This

Interest in childhood vaccinations has risen in the past few weeks, with the growing number of cases of measles. As Christopher Ingraham (Washington Post) notes: “Public opinion polling shows that vaccination attitudes don't differ much by party affiliation. Or by income, or even education. But there is one important demographic factor: age.” Rand Paul has run … Continue reading Vaccinate This

Breaking: Catalan “Plebiscitary Elections” Set for September 27, 2015

Catalonia will hold a de facto independence referendum through regional elections on September 27, 2015. This one will have "real" effect, unlike the 9N, because the Catalan independence parties would form a unity government and set up the institutions of an independent state, ultimately declaring independence at a date yet to be announced. https://twitter.com/lizcastro/status/555449038221639681 https://twitter.com/MartiEstruch/status/555450187918098432Continue reading Breaking: Catalan “Plebiscitary Elections” Set for September 27, 2015