A poem

To defeat Donald Trump, we may need to concede
That our highest ideals are not what we need

After all, is a credible rape allegation
Enough to derail a good man’s nomination?
These purity tests are a terrible chore
And in any case, Trump has raped so many more

For the midterms, let’s only run soldiers in khakis
Who cares about silly things like dead Iraqis?

George W. Bush? Only praise him, you hear?
For as long as he doesn’t like Trump, he’s a dear

And that goes for the Davids, for Brooks and for Frum
If they’re anti-Trump…


With Trump’s abysmal, authoritarian response to the protests and uprisings sparked by George Floyd’s murder, it’s worth considering how the responses of various Democrats would differ from his.

Trump’s response to the protests and uprisings:


Buttigieg is the ultimate fantasy President for West Wing fans. Imagine if he met President Bartlet.

Buttigieg with “West Wing” star Bradley Whitford

Buttigieg is terrible. I hopefully don’t need to explain why at this point. And after his routing in Nevada he hopefully won’t be around for much longer. So before he hopefully becomes irrelevant I thought I’d write something I noticed about him.

Much has been written and said about the ideology of The West Wing, the television show about the fictional Presidency of Josiah Bartlet, Nobel Prize winner in economics and scion of the New Hampshire Bartletts that count among themselves a signatory of…


Waterboarding is torture. Don’t let anyone try to obfuscate that with “It’s more complicated than that”.

Black-and-white morality is largely seen as childish and simplistic. There is a lot of messaging in media about how seeing the shades of grey and different viewpoints of a situation is sign of maturity and adulthood. How many times have you seen in a movie or TV show a kid or naive ingenue get angry about something they see an adult or more experienced person doing only to learn that the situation was more complicated than they realized, and grow up a little as a result.

But this attitude that black-and-white morality is inherently simplistic can allow people to obfuscate…


Bloomberg and Trump: two friends with similar politics having a little spat

A year ago today (God this election has been long) I wrote some thoughts on Klobuchar entering the race after she got the better of Trump in some Twitter exchange:

If she [Klobuchar] can keep getting into Twitter fights and other confrontations with Trump then she can get a huge amount of free media just like Trump did. …


When you’re relaxed or bored at home

Why would you sit and read a poem

When you could listen to music instead

And soon find that you’re nodding your head

Or clapping your hands or tapping your feet

Right along with the music’s beat

It’s biomusicology

Which always beats philology

We shared music with whales and birds

Long before we ever had words

I’ll listen to a song myself

While my books of poetry stay on the shelf

Poetry set to music will

Delight and never fail to thrill

And even if the lyrics are blather

If the tune is…


Mais aussi “une pipe” n’est pas une pipe.


A poem

Now listen here, you troublemaker
I’m your friend, your best caretaker
Once you’re past your silly youth
You’ll see we’re telling you the truth

See black is white and white is black
And two plus two makes five

And if you disagree with us
And try to make some silly fuss
We’ll let you stay alive!

Now isn’t that magnanimous
And beautiful and grand of us
We’ll let you stay alive!

Well…
Unless you dare connive

And try to throw us from our seat
Though you should know we can’t be beat
You wouldn’t want to anyway
I know what’s best…


I can’t imagine he’d approve

Pakistani villagers after a suspected drone strike in 2008

In order to comfort people after a tragedy, Mr. Rogers famously said “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

If you were to look for the helpers after an American drone strike, you know what you might see? You’d be liable to see them get blown to smithereens by another drone strike. They’re called double taps.

In Peaceful Neighbor, Michael Long describes the radical pacifism of Fred Rogers. …

Geri Danton

I’m a grad student with a background in evolutionary biology who likes to write about science, politics, and art

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