Government shutdown 2019

When American Government Fails


A shutdown of the federal government is a failure of our form of government. It happens when one party or another attempts political blackmail, and the other side calls its bluff. It is a relatively new thing in American politics. And it is being used increasingly often. Here’s a brief history of federal government shutdowns:…

Berlin Wall from the American Sector of West Berlin (Photographer unknown)

Can We Talk About Walls?


As WC writes this blog post, we are all of us enjoying a special Christmas gift from President Trump: the shutdown of much of the federal government. Isn’t that sweet? The president has wrecked a lot of holiday seasons solely to attempt to coerce Congress into funding his wall along the Mexican border. Can we…

Minimata Disease Victim, 2006 (photographer unknown)

Coal and Mercury


Back in September 2014, when the effects of methylmercury poisoning in songbirds was first reported, WC asked, “Minamata Disease in songbirds. Are we going to pay attention?” We now have the answer. No. We need to take a couple of steps back to understand the problem and the enormity of the Trump Administration’s recent outrageous decision.…

2018 in Review: Politics


In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This fifth blog post is firmly in that tradition. A year ago now, WC wrote: WC wrote a year ago, “United States voters…

Robert S. Mueller III, WC's Person of the Year

2018 in Review: WC’s Person of the Year


In what passes for tradition here at Wickersham’s Conscience, we spend the last week of each year thinking about the year that is ending, and making our wishes for the coming year. This fourth blog post is firmly in that tradition. It’s a depressing commentary on the state of our nation: the United States, avowedly…

Mike Flynn (NBC News)

Grandma Turk Weighs In


WC’s maternal grandmother, Ruth Turk, was a large woman with large, strong opinions. And a quick hand for her smart-mouthed, oldest grandchild. But she inadvertently taught WC to look beyond the arguments and to examine the underlying assumptions. Let’s bring Grandma Turk’s approach to President Trump and Michael Flynn and see if there aren’t some…