Is 2020 a Watershed?

by James A. Haught Maybe 2020 is a turning point—one that won’t be clearly visible until the future. Maybe it marks the end of the four-decade epoch when the white evangelical “religious right” had enough power to tip American elections to the GOP. White evangelicals fought fiercely for Republicans this year. They gave about 80 percent of their votes to President Trump and strongly favored conservatives in state elections. These born-again fundamentalists have shrunk to only 15 percent of America’s population, but they’re so politically intense that they were 28 percent of voters who went to the polls. Undoubtedly, they tipped some marginal states to …

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Power to the People: The PUC Gets a Really Bad Letter

By D. Maurice Kreis Our pandemic-ravaged state could use some additional economic stimulus right about now. So far, Congress has not been inclined to deliver the goods. So what if we could do something on the state level? Say, for example, injecting $350 million into the New Hampshire economy over the next three years, most of it spent in a manner that puts local people to work? And what if the net effect of that spending were to save money for every customer of an electric or natural gas utility? That’s exactly the proposal now pending at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)—and it’s exactly what …

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Flotsam & Jetsam

“They say the religion of your fathers is good enough. Why should a father object to your inventing a better plow than he had? They say to me, do you know more than all the theologians dead? Being a perfectly modest man I say I think I do. Now we have come to the conclusion that every man has a right to think. Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn’t …

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Critical Patriotism

by Jennifer Davis Carey and Winslow Myers The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise. —F. Scott Fitzgerald At this profoundly uneasy moment in the American story, when neither the President nor the Vice-President has committed to accepting the results of the election, the authors of this piece, one a white man, the other a Black woman, thought it might be useful to write a piece together. …

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Inequality Gone Viral: The Obscene Numbers

by Paul Buchheit In a distressing analogy to the relentless surge of Covid-19, which has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and people of color, there has been an unstoppable transfer of wealth from desperate Americans to the people who already had most of our nation’s financial assets. While the great majority of us have been focusing on the health and well-being—and the very survival—of loved ones, the super-rich have become “pandemic profiteers,” isolating themselves from Covid while riding the stock market to its highest-ever level. At the same time we are seeing a dramatic demonstration of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, with the “perfect conditions for governments …

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Pseudo-Events: Trump and the White Rabbit

by Jean Stimmell Trump has an uncanny ability to orchestrate pseudo events. Any doubts I might have had were erased after talking to an acquaintance, a smart, honest, and successful trades-person. I had always found him confident and upbeat, but today he felt besieged: he explained he’d been on edge since the election but now was on high alert, after receiving a text, warning that a BLM [Black Lives Matter] gang was headed to New Hampshire, including his town, to loot and plunder. He said he was ready: “my whole family is “locked and loaded.” Unfortunately, fantasy had been winning the battle against reality, long …

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