On Tuesday, Washington Reminded Us Why it’s So Unlikable

Tuesday night was filled with frills and thrills for the political junkie: a State of the Union response, THREE Republican rebuttals, one Congressman threatening a reporter’s life, and the usual hapless back and forth between the parties. Say what you will of the speech and its trappings, the whole night in Washington is enough to break the spirit of an optimist. Continue reading

What You Can Learn from Watching the State of the Union with the Sound Turned Off

Tonight is the night that the President goes before Congress and delivers his State of the Union address. Political scientists and political junkies alike will be sure to huddle around their screens, and out will come the red pens to parse the President’s words. But I wonder if some insightful anthropologists couldn’t be more helpful, and the words the President speaks might be the least important part of it. Continue reading

How do I get 2016 moved back to 2016?

Here’s a question: who can I talk to about delaying the 2016 election? Or maybe we should just move it up to this November – anything to avoid the four-year election cycle that seemingly began the day after the last Election Day. And it isn’t just that the next election is already distorting what we’re talking about; it’s also destroying any chance of a meaningful conversation. Continue reading

SCIENCE CORNER: Ten Awesome Things Everyone Should Know

All the way back in the early 1800s, before the discovery of anesthesia, English poet John Keats famously accused science of clipping angels’ wings and unweaving the rainbow. Science, it seemed, was busy taking us farther and farther away from the sense of awe humans feel in the presence of a profound mystery. I’m afraid I’ll have to differ with the late Keats. Here are a couple of things science has unravelled for us – read them and let the awe waft over you. Continue reading

What to Do about the Leaker Hero to Some and Traitor to Others, Mr. Snowden Should Go to Prison

There has been no short supply of either defenders or critics of NSA-contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden. While some argue for clemency others insist that Mr. Snowden must be punished; both sides are correct. Mr. Snowden should go to prison, but not for leaking that the NSA was spying on Americans. Continue reading

Giving at Home, Giving Abroad, and the Bind of Relative Need

The Fog Of Policy marks its 2014 return with a look at charitable giving and whether or not you should be giving most of your money (or at least most of your charitable donations) abroad. Come on in and learn a bit about Peter Singer, intuition pumps, and why the world is (again!) more complicated than they tell you. Continue reading