PRENOTE: Several additions to the Oregon Trail post here.  Especially note John’s comment about “The Way”


It is impossible to stay ahead of ‘breaking news’.  It is almost enough to drive a sane person mad.  I say “almost”….

Some current events:

The Republican U.S. House of Representatives is holding the world hostage over a very simple issue: we won’t pay our bills if you don’t buy our extortion scheme.  The most recent summary from Heather Cox Richardson is here.

Most likely if you happen across these lines, I’m not a complete stranger to you.

With that caveat, the long tiresome debt limit saga is old news.  Those of us who buy stuff, whether on credit or for cash, know that bills come due – they don’t just disappear.  So it goes for official debts incurred by the U.S, Congress.  Debts include such things as the immense and unneeded benefits which primarily add to the wealth of the already super wealthy.  I know of no one who really believes you can increase debt without increasing revenue to pay the debt.  But that’s what the tax cuts of 2017 did.

The whole scenario reminds me of a suicide bomber wearing what appears to be an explosive vest; threatening to blow him (or her) self and everyone else up if his demands – unspecified – are not met.

There is really no way to know if the suicide bomb is real, so everybody walks on egg shells.

The opposition does what negotiators need to do: try to find some kind of face saving way out for the suicide bomber even he merits no mercy.

Part of me says tell the suicide bomber to go to hell; but that’s a danger not worth taking.  But any concession, however small, will be used as a declaration of victory by the bomber.  That is a given.

If agreement isn’t reached, and the bomb goes off, we all suffer.  I know as little as anyone else about what will actually happen.  Get educated and stay tuned.

In Florida, the insanity continues on many fronts, but most especially on the business of basic human rights granted under the U.S. Constitution.    My focus is on public education policy – my beat for an entire career.  There is an air of anarchy – pass a law prohibiting something, and turn vigilantes loose.

There is a reason that public education has always been called Public Education.  It is where young people learn to be part of a greater society or which they must become a part.  They cannot live at home forever.

Ironically, an excellent recent example of the crisis is in Escambia County Florida where an apparent vigilante teacher has been leading the charge to clean the shelves of supposedly objectionable titles.  A Law suit has been filed by PEN and Penguin Random House.  Read about it.

Guns.  Today’s Minneapolis StarTribune lede headline was “Mn Gov] Walz signs tighter gun legislation“.   As best I can tell, this is the text of the new Law  (please advise if I am using an incorrect citation).  There are a flood of commentaries on the internet, it’s not enough, it’s too much, whatever.

I am pleased.

Just a couple of days ago, I got my copy of the new book by Thomas Gabor and Fred Guttenberg, “American Carnage Shattering the Myths that Fuel Gun Violence”   This book is heavily footnoted, and easy to read, and deconstructs 37 different myths about Gun Violence.  Gutenberg’s daughter was killed in the Parkland Massacre some years ago.  Gabor is an expert in the topic.

There are a boatload of other issues.  Personally, we need to take considerable time to assess how we receive and process information.  Now, more than ever, deceit and deception is the strategy of choice in political propaganda.


In the end analysis, for every issue that relates to public policy in the United States, we the public are the ones ultimately accountable, through who we elect by our action or our inaction.  It is not enough to blame somebody else for doing something incorrectly.  Success on these and other compelling issue is totally up to us, and we have the time to make a difference.  The next election is November 5, 2024.  That’s 535 days.  Don’t wait till the day before the election….