A Tired Dislocation

The period November 2016 through January 2019 has been existentially dislocating. A period just over two years long has felt more like two decades, with time slowing in inverse proportion to the speed of events. We, or at least I, have been exhausted and bewildered. What has changed since that fateful election night, and how have I changed?

North Korea, South Korea, Moon Jae In, Kim Jong Un, Kim Family, America, US, USA, China, Xi Jinping, foreign, defense, military, war, peace, negotiations, Singapore, Korean Peninsula, future, geopolitics, politics, policy, President, Donald Trump

North Korean… Peace?

Watching the developments surrounding the North Korean nuclear crisis would be enough to give anyone whiplash. Things seem to be settling down, but for how long? And what would a new North Korea mean for the world?

Welcomes and Wolf Warriors

Reconnecting with a local friend here in Wuhan, I had an experience that summed up some of the contradictions in my experience; individuals are so patient and welcoming, but in aggregate, it’s hard not to notice bubbling nationalism under the surface.

The Thinker, Brood, Wuhan, China, Writers Block, Princeton in Asia

Brooder’s Block

I just spent the last four months traveling and readjusting to life in China. But the blog floundered. What brooding thoughts prevented me from writing? What even is this blog anyway?

Puerto Rico, Hurricanes, Hurricane Maria, Emergency, Floods, Electricity, Black Out, Municipals, Dylan Welch, Brit Byrd, David Meni

On the Ground in Puerto Rico

MuniciPals is back after a brief break to discuss the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico. Brit recently returned from working in San Juan, and shares some perspective on the ongoing natural and unnatural disasters, as well as some thoughts on the local urban form.

America, Death to America, Tehran, Hostage Crisis, Self loathing, Nationalism, Empire, Imperialism, Slavery, postmodernism

American Self-Loathing

The resurgence in white nationalism and a reckoning with the darker aspects of our national character have left many asking if America is worth saving. In fact, what is America, anyway? In one of the most complex nations on earth, this reckoning is inevitable. But it need not be a defeatist death knell.

Thanksgiving, First Thanksgiving, Indians, Native Americans, Natives, Plymouth, Jamestown, 1620, 1621, 1623, Colony, Colonies, Racial Justice, Race, Colonialization, Colonialism, 2017, Thanksgiving Day

How Do We Own Thanksgiving?

Every Thanksgiving, it seems, someone on the left reminds us that Thanksgiving’s origins are less than pure. There are arguments to abandon the holiday altogether. In this time of cultural revolution, Thanksgiving is a good case study when asking the question: If we want to drastically change the culture, what do we want to remain?

Big Brother, George Orwell, Nineteen eighty-four, 1984, War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery, Watching You, Net Neutrality, Censorship, FCC, Ajit Pai, Donald Trump

Net Neutrality is a Free Speech Issue

The FCC is considering changing the rules regulating the internet, giving telecommunications companies the power to reward or punish companies that compete with them, and silence any views contrary to their interests. It’s only one other way that Free Speech is being threatened by the digital age.

Harvey Weinstein, allegations, women, sexual assault, accusations, harassment, pig, monster, news, statement, accusers, hollywood, #metoo

The Consent Revolution

In the midst of the ongoing deluge of sexual assault accusations, something fundamental seems to be changing in America. Not all at once, and certainly  not universally, but the modern conception of consent is radically reshaping our social contract in a way that is more in-line with America’s aspirational creeds.

Deficits, Surplus, Government Spending, Great Depression, Great Recession, Demand, Supply, Economics, Investment, Economic Theory, Budgets, Balanced, Tax Reform, Paul Ryan, Congress, Congressional Republicans, Trump, Donald Trump, Tax Cuts

The Real Battle Behind Tax Reform

When government is shared between progressives, who believe the government is a force for good, and radical conservatives, who believe the government is an irredeemable force for waste that must be eliminated until it “can be drowned in a bathtub”, there is not much room for compromise.

Global Trade, Trade, International, Production, Trade, Free Trade, Free Trade Agreement, Free Trade Zone, pros and cons, NAFTA

Modern Free Trade is Out-Dated

Free Trade. Proponents say its excellent for creating wealth, preventing war, and promoting cultural exchange. But blue collar backlash throughout the western world has provoked a major re-think. What is free trade, where did it come from, and do we need to change it?