Celebrate art and culture. It defines who we are.

Celebrate art and culture. It defines who we are.

When you live in times of authoritarian rule one of the first things that end up in the cross hairs is culture. We believe firmly that artists and writers and dramatists and actors and musicians play a vital role in defending the integrity of who we are as human beings.

— Jeremy Scahill, on the Trump’s Cabinet of Killers and Why Orange is the New Anti-Black episode of The Intercepted.

I have never been more grateful for organizations like the ACLU and the plethora of lawyers we have in this country. Likewise, I am inspired by the power of our marches and protests as we stand up for our values. But, in addition to the direct tangible actions we can take, we also need a 100 million voices writing and singing and laughing and, in general, sounding our barbaric yawps over the roofs of the world.

What the framers meant by ‘the people’

Even though the framers were pretty bad about race, and they certainly didn’t understand sex equality, the one thing the framers got was class. They understood that the biggest risk was to create an aristocracy. And so they insisted, as Madison said, that ‘the people’ meant ‘not the rich more than the poor.’ We’ve completely betrayed that commitment.

— Lawrence Lessig

Watch Lessig’s entire 12-minute interview with Bill Moyerswhen Lessig was on a march to end corruption…

We Pay For What’s Important

On Wednesday, in his NY Times editorial, Nicholas Kristof cited an article by the American Journal of Public Health stating that 45,000 uninsured people die annually as a consequence of not having insurance.

We accept that life is unfair, that some people will live in cramped apartments and others in sprawling mansions. But our existing insurance system is not simply inequitable but also lethal: a very recent, peer-reviewed article in the American Journal of Public Health finds that nearly 45,000 uninsured people die annually as a consequence of not having insurance. That’s one needless death every 12 minutes.

Today Paul Krugman has an editorial on the demise of American education.

Canada Relations

Geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends, economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies.

— President Robert F. Kennedy on US / Canada relations.

The US President’s first foreign trip is highly symbolic. Yesterday President Obama reinforced a long standing tradition and made Canada the destination for his first foreign trip. President Bush’s first foreign trip was to Mexico. US / Canada relations were strained throughout his entire term. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford never visited Canada at all.

Granted, this trip was more than a pit stop than an extended visit. He arrived in the morning to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ate through a working lunch, held a joint news conference, met briefly at the airport with the leader of Canada’s opposition party, and was back home in the White House in time for dinner.

Even though he only had time to pop in for a quick chat, I am glad that my native country is back at the top of the list for our new US President.


Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

— Mark Twain

As I watched the latest meltdown from the latest cabinet confirmations I can’t help but think that Mark Twain may have been on to something in his assessment of people who run for political office.

It has been obvious to me for a long time that congress is broken. I couldn’t quite articulate exactly how I thought it was broken but I knew something was wrong. And then I discovered Lawrence Lessig’s latest mission. Partnering with Joe Trippi, he is determined to change congress. He makes a powerful case that lobbying and special interests have eroded the very foundations of the constitution.