Don’t waste your time with bad faith actors

Backstabbing, Photo by Author

Good faith is essential. Our political, legal, and economic systems depend on it. Civil society can barely function without it. Yet crucial as it is, it is quite fragile and hard to replace. It is also under merciless assault from the rear guard of the Trumpian Death Cult. It is important, but like “bipartisanship” “fairness” or “socialism” people act like it is impossible to define or that it means whatever they want it to mean.

Good faith isn’t an ephemeral concept. Under the law, a number of things require it, even if it remains undefined and requires reasonable common sense…


A militarized police force can handle military accountability

Police, Photo Elaine Thompson/AP

The trial of Derrick Chauvin has concluded with the jury finding the defendant guilty on all counts. For most of America, this was welcome news, if not exactly joyful. For a small minority, it was an ominous development. Many had mixed feelings. Was this justice for George Floyd, or just punishment for Chauvin, in part for being so brazen about racism and power that he endangered it? Would this lead to more reform, or was this just an effort to prevent Minneapolis from being put to the torch?

After all, many other Black citizens have been murdered by police this…


The hollow pursuit of numerical advantage and the downside of self-preservation

SID MEIER Civ V Logo, Firaxis Games 2010

One of the greatest reality simulations ever designed is the turn-based strategy game series Civilization by Sid Meier. The game has grown right alongside personal computing from the early days, with Civilization VI the current iteration. In the game, the player guides a civilization from a prehistoric village up through the millennia to become a globally-dominant nation in the space age. Aside from being tremendous fun, the game is fascinating as a simulation because it does an excellent job at abstracting the whole experience of human civilization into quantifiable metrics while still retaining the spirit and complexities of the many…


What does the Grand Ol’ Party have to do Grand Ol’ Po’boys?

In our endlessly bragged-about modern economy, the rules are quite clear, both spoken and tacit. We tip at Commanders Palace, but not at McDonalds. When something isn’t selling the price goes down. If everyone wants something, the price goes up. When one studies economics, it is understood that you are dealing with an abstraction. The real world is much messier, of course, but all one has to do is pull back just a little to see the patterns. …


Last week I got a little carried away talking about the current tactic of using classical liberal values such as free speech, tolerance, and unity, against liberal democracy. I focused so intently on that basic tactic that I abandoned the overall strategic survey of the newly unified and energized far right. For that, I apologize. Let us return then to examining these groups and their motivations.

First a question, why should we care about the sometimes subtle differences and aims of these groups? They took up arms against American democracy and should be treated like any external terror group right…


How to use freedom to destroy it!

Complex systems are resilient. Anything from an evolved multi-cell organism on up to a nation with hundreds of millions of citizens has developed an instinct for self-preservation as well as mechanisms for combating threats. Generally, these can be classified as either attacks from outside or corruption from within. For the United States, great amounts of time, blood, and treasure are spent on external threats. As just the briefest of surveys, every year a legion of military minds compile the National Security Strategy (NSS), the Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG), the National Military Strategy (NMS), and the Defense Strategic Review (DSR).

Generals…


Only Criminals and Perverts Oppose DC Statehood

Many great and terrible issues bedevil the world today. Most of them are complicated affairs that pit deeply-held and competing, values against one another. If one considers something like the debate around abortion, there are almost as many positions as there are people. Only the most committed hyper-partisans and true sociopaths will refuse to admit that there are legitimate concerns and arguments all over the spectrum on the issue of abortion. …


The human race has collectively stopped holding its breath now that a rage-tweeting, reality TV star no longer has the legal authority to release nuclear weapons, and his band of merry racists are starting to realize that maybe one or two things they have been led to believe may have been false. As the immediate threat of being violently overthrown has passed, the U.S. Government can turn its focus to the numerous unfolding global crises that imperil us all. The pressure to move on, look forward, and not dwell on the insanity of the past four years will only increase…


The Capitol Insurrection was a monumental event that, unless something even more dramatic and disruptive happens in the next few weeks, will likely shape American public life for the next decade. Emotions are still raw, even while the investigations are underway and many of the facts are yet unknown. What is clear already, however, is a broad consensus across the political spectrum that the attack was terrible, should not have happened, and at least some of the responsible parties should face consequences, even if there is some disagreement as to who those parties are. …


Author’s note: I don’t claim to be the world’s foremost expert on extra-legal campaigns to usurp power, but neither am I a completely unqualified bar stool-patriot here to mansplain tyranny. I am a retired 35-D. That would be an Army Intelligence officer, for those who are unfamiliar with the designator. That required many long days studying Counter Insurgency (COIN) doctrine, coups, insurrections, revolutions, and uprisings. I taught a university course on foreign policy, and I have also lived and worked in many countries where, shall we say, less-than-peaceful transfers of power were the norm. …

Evan Charles Wolf

Failed soldier, professor, and politician.

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