Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Memoirs and Site Updates

I’ve updated my Memoirs page with a number of essay posts from the past year, and promoted the whole page to the top level menu. I’ve cleaned up with consistent headers this page and the Family History page. I began … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: True Believers Scorned

The QAnon cult is reeling from the evaporation of the promises Q and a certain former president made about what would happen on inauguration day. It’s like those many examples over past centuries of apocalyptic cults, anticipating the end of … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Farewell to T****, maybe not to his supporters

Marking the occasion: what happened today, for those looking back (including me) from the future. Joseph Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president and, despite threats from right-wing groups, and honest fears from security officials, there was no apparent protesting … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Conspiracy Theorists, Psychology, and Beliefs

What does “belief” even mean? How can people claim to believe things that, to others, are transparent nonsense? Clearly belief has nothing to do with what, based on evidence and reason, is actually real. Belief can simply mean conviction to … Continue reading

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Notes and Quotes: Ezra Klein’s WHY WE’RE POLARIZED (2020)

Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized was published a full year ago, in January 2020. Ezra Klein is a co-founder of the ‘explainer’ website Vox, and writes essays and columns for various other outlets. (And he lives somewhere here in Oakland.) The … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Reality; Economics; Religion and Politics

Scientific American: Now Is the Time to Reestablish Reality, subtitled “We need to agree on the evidence—so we can disagree on what to do in light of it” On the occasion of the passing of the Trump administration, of course. … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Insurrectionists, the G.O.P., Evangelicals, Fantasies, and Lies

It’s always dangerous to characterize any entire group with some common trait; that’s the first step toward prejudice and bigotry. Yet there are more and more article and essays that find common traits among Republicans, as a group, or at … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Election Reform; Social Change; Insurrectionist Victimhood; Republican Entitlement

NYT Sunday Review, Beverly Gage and Emily Bazelon: How to Ensure This Never Happens Again, subtitled “The election and its aftermath have revealed weaknesses in our democracy. Here’s how we can fix some of them.” The article reviews how we … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Yet more about conspiracy theories, since they never go away

First at Slate, an efficient recounting of the psychological reasons behind the attraction to conspiracy theories. John Ehrenreich: Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories, subtitled “They’re not stupid.” Long quote with links to references left intact: What does predict belief … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Not Who We Are; Christians and Trump

First, those of my Facebook friends who have the fortitude to read right-wing sites indeed confirm my suspicion that insurrectionists are planning more violence, against all the state capitals, and on inauguration day. So then. Two articles about the claim … Continue reading

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