Triple-header in today’s Independent

Cerberus, the original dog from hell, and a Trojan unhappy to see him

Cerberus, the original dog from hell, and a Trojan unhappy to see him

You probably can’t tell from where you are, but I am sick. The upper respiratory infection I’ve been fighting for the last three months has finally won, and I am about to go to the walk-in clinic downtown. The walk-in clinic 50 yards from my house does not accept my insurance, and my actual doctor isn’t taking appointments until the second week of December. America’s health care system is broken, but the Missoula Independent is working great. Whatever you do today, be sure to read this essay by Ben Fowlkes about what it was like to serve on the jury of a rape trial. It will make you angry in kind of a good way. Before you start researching whether chemical castration can be administered via tranquilizer dart from a moving car, cool off with a light-hearted column I like to call Montana GOP holds secret meeting, reports newspaper. Then you can slide right on into arts and entertainment with this meditation on the problems of the aging punk, which I also wrote. This reading plan assumes you do not have a job. I don’t. My job is to promote my own writing and, to a lesser extent, write it. Today, though, my job is to eat vitamin C tablets and try to get a z-pak. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links!

Combat! blog is free. Why not share it?
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Reddit


  1. “If the GOP is considering ideas so crazy that it can’t have “frank discussions” about them in public view, maybe those ideas should not become public policy”
    This is the kind of statement which collapses important differences like an accordion. One of the more important folds is that you can have a more robust debate in an environment safe from reprisals. When a politician speaks publicly, however, he or she cannot acknowledge the way power really works and that instead you must indulge the electorate’s ideas about how the world works. Political ideas have to be couched in voter-accessible constructs which offer little room for prioritization, i.e., you cannot say “The American Care Act is law, fighting it is a waste of time, lets move on.” If your constituents think it is unceasing evil you have to treat it like unceasing evil.
    There is a mountain of policy positions which would be effective and efficient but are not even on the agenda because voters are not wonks. Pay-as-you-go car insurance, carbon tax, and regulated prostitution are all political losers merely because they scare people, nevermind they will probably fix deep and systematic problems with emissions and gendered exploitation. Discussion of those policies can’t happen in the public, not because they’re too crazy, but because they are politically incorrect. Like little electrons, politicians behave differently when being observed by the public. The question is whether it’s possible that some of that shift is to the public detriment, or if it always constrains politicians to the public good.

    I can’t help but feel like if your opponent made a statement that waived away a bunch of truth you would note the mendacity. So why would you let yourself?

Leave a Comment.