How did it happen that anti-federalists styled themselves federalists?

One of the pleasures of writing is you often surprise yourself. Poets and fiction writers try to get out of the way to allow the work to go where it wants to go; non-fiction writers, like journalists, do due diligence with research on the stories they write. …

The state of a nation may be defined by how well it treats its least citizens. Might another measure be how much dog dirt is left on its sidewalks?

The message “Pick Up Poop!” printed in pink chalk on a sidewalk.

In 1978, New York City became the first major U.S. city to put a “pooper-scooper” law in effect. The health ordinance (No. 161.03) reads:

A person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat or other animal shall not permit the animal to commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of…

Sir Paul’s life and work exemplify the courageous striving toward happiness described by philosopher Bertrand Russell — and we get a share of it, in the music that happiness brings

One evening this past spring, we played our grandson, Leo, then two and a half, a few Beatles songs as he finished up his dinner with some fruit.

My wife, Jyll, and I (a k a Grammy and Grandpa) asked him if he recognized certain songs — “Hey Jude,” “All…

Half a century ago, Wendell Berry wrote of growing up in rural Kentucky and articulated the “mirror wound” that white people suffer due to our history of racism.

Photograph, by author, of the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors, Philadelphia, from 1934, showing Black American soldiers and sailors, in bronze, looking at a female figure of Justice holding laurels.

Words matter; poetry has power. It’s not for nothing that authoritarians first go after the intellectuals, the journalists, the poets.

Consider these well-wrought statements:

All men are created equal.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Black lives matter.

Republicans have worked tirelessly to undermine the Disestablishment clause, “the true genius” of our Constitution, and adding foes of “Roe” to the high court is part of that scheme.

In the first nation where government and religion were explicitly made separate — according to journalist and historian Garry Wills, the true genius of our founding, the one unique thing — we find ourselves with a Supreme Court with essentially seven Catholics, of whom five are political conservatives: Chief Justice…

The Right has devolved into what even conservative commentator Charlie Sykes calls “performative assholery,” and there is no bottom to it.

Everything causes a fit, all is an outrage. Throughout the pandemic, people have refused to wear masks, to social distance, to get vaccinated — going so far as to verbally and even physically attack employees at groceries, stores, shops, restaurants, and on planes who have dared ask them to wear…

It’s past time for a class-action lawsuit against Fox News, and health care professionals who have suffered most caring for the endless stream of coronavirus patients should bring it.

As the nation watches, many seemingly dumbfounded, the Delta variant of the coronavirus has filled hospitals again, often to the levels seen at the height of the pandemic back in February — depending, stupidly, on the politics of your local and state officials.

It’s time to sue Fox News, the…

Has America’s myth of individualism and white resentment–based concept of “socialism” lessened our chances to pursue happiness as individuals and, as a nation, to compete in the world?

Sidewalk chalked in light blue “Peace, Love, and Facemasks” outside an elementary school.

Recently, the New York Times ran a terrific video piece showing how people around the globe respond when confronted with details of the U.S. healthcare system. The reactions — from citizens of Canada, Germany, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom — to how we manage health care…

Is it time for the left to start using that hoary old conservative line “Love it or leave it”?

As many Americans tuned in to see news about the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, no doubt a frightening percentage of those viewers were pulling for Vlad, their favorite strongman.

Who can forget the comparisons made by Republicans during the Obama presidency of our…

Kirk Swearingen

Kirk Swearingen is an independent journalist living in St. Louis. His work has most recently appeared on Salon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store