Name an intense feeling and I’ve had it this week.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

A recent study describes 27 distinct categories of emotion, listed below. Since the polls began closing on November 3rd, 2020, I’ve been cycling through most of them.

  • Admiration — Reporters are working overtime, seem to be tireless, and project calm and balance, even though they must be, like me, dying inside.
  • Adoration — I have a deep love and respect for our democratic system, drafted by the founders, developed over time, and imperfect as it is. …


If this isn’t robocalling why do I feel like an automatron?

Source: Pexels

For seasonal volunteers working to get out the vote, and their unwitting victims.

“Hi [name], this is [your name] reminding you that it is election day. If you need directions or times for your local polling place, go to [website] or call [phone number]. You can also call that number if you need a ride to the polls. This is an important election and I hope we can count on you to vote. Thank you.”

“[name], this is [your name] on election day. Please vote. We hope we can…


How did I get here?!

I just realized that I live on Hate Cove, or at least very near it. We have lived in Newbury, Massachusetts, for 25 years but I only just noticed Hate Cove on a map of our local waterway, the Parker River. This is a bucolic spot, a bit of heaven on earth, where sunrises compete with sunsets for splendor, and a simple life does not seem to have fully receded into the past.

This is not a commentary on my observational skills, which clearly need some sharpening. …


There is a clear choice, but not for the reasons you think.

People want a government that will improve their lives, and are hard-pressed to know how to get it.

Pundits and propagandists divide the world into a MAGA monolith and a socialist mob diametrically opposed to it. The reality may be that a majority of people are disgusted by the polarization, and struggle to get a clear picture amid the noise and disinformation.

MAGA may not be such a monolith as it seems; some people of good faith are afraid to openly challenge the views of their MAGA-entrenched spouse…


Explaining our current politics to a child is hard, since we don’t really understand it ourselves.

Baby Trump ballon at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Laurie Shaull (Creative Commons Share Alike license)
Baby Trump ballon at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Laurie Shaull (Creative Commons Share Alike license)

A child asks, “Why is Trump so bad? I hear all these things and I don’t understand.” This young person, I’ll call her Ginnie, is trying to make sense of everything that is swirling around her and her family. She hears her parents complain, she sees them argue with people of different opinion, she hears angry people on the television. What is going on?

All of us — children included — are concerned, confused, and anxious about the future. …


How America can defeat a virus and prepare for the other crises that are coming

First, we hope for the swift return to health for Donald Trump, his wife, staff, journalists, senators and the more than 150,000 other Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three days. No one deserves to get this virus. No one.

It has been quite a week. The 3½-year rule of Trump has been characterized by one shock after another — that is actually his system, gripping control by creating instability — but the past week has been exceptional.

The week began with the controversial nomination of a replacement for RBG on the Supreme Court, at a…


Though most Americans understand the central purpose of the Declaration of Independence, many may not realize that nearly half of the text comprises a list of indictments against an autocrat. Though never named, the document implicates George III, the King of England. Here we update the Declaration for our time, with a different autocratic person in mind. The text includes new indictments, but also some that appear in the original 1776 document, updated or in their original form. Text that has been altered or added appears in italics.

In CONSTERNATION, JULY 4, 2020

A Declaration of the people of the

Brent A. Mitchell

Still learning, and seeking sound stewardship of our shared Earth

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