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Ken Allen
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Ken Allen’s formal education includes a Master’s in computer science from Johns Hopkins and a PhD in political science from Harvard. He has worked a few years as a college professor and over 20 years as an information technology manager. He has retired from those paying jobs and now writes about politics and social phenomena.

Blog Entries by Ken Allen

Sober Lessons of the 2012 Election

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 2:53 PM

Most of the progressive community realizes that winning the presidential election of 2012 was an essential step, but only a single step, toward policies we need if the people of the United States are to prosper. Few are wasting a lot of time on celebration. Nevertheless, a dispassionate look at...

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The New Politics of Climate Change

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 2:33 AM

Environmentalists face a much improved political climate following the election, although the climate of Planet Earth will continue to get worse for its human inhabitants. It is of critical importance, however, that we understand what has changed and continues to change and what has not changed about the politics in...

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Romney's Cudgel: The Myth of Business Relevance

(43) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 1:05 PM

The success of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign rides largely on the myth that business experience provides a superior training ground for government, and business people consequently are better at governing than people from other walks of life. How many voters who have no faith in anything Romney says assert that...

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One Congressional Race and the Future of Civilization

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 3:25 PM

The other day I went to some trouble to have dinner with a nice fellow named Rob Zerban and four other nice people.

Rob Zerban, as you probably don't know unless you are a political junkie or live in Wisconsin's First Congressional district, is running for Congress. In many ways,...

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Say 'Obligations,' Not 'Entitlements'

(4) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 6:10 PM

The term "entitlements" is encrusted with negative connotations, although it denotes something very close to rights -- things to which citizens are entitled. The use of the word has added an implicit "unjustified" as part of its meaning. This probably stems from as far back as the time when entitlements...

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Running on Health Care

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 12:27 PM

House Republicans couldn't resist taking one more opportunity (their 33rd) to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week. This was a result not of cagey political calculation, but of the same distorted view of reality that breeds climate change denialism, embrace of austerity (for the 99 percent) policies...

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Massachusetts to Require Broccoli

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 1:20 PM

In a stunning development, the Massachusetts legislature today passed a bill requiring its citizens to eat broccoli at least once a week. The governor has said he will sign the bill into law.

"Justice Scalia gave us the idea," said Senate President Therese Murray before continuing:

"We realized that...
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How Drones Challenge Our Political System

(14) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 11:36 AM

The use of drones for military purposes is accelerating rapidly, accompanied by some commentary and public discussion of the impact and implications of their use. Thus far, however, the discussion has omitted some of the most important implications of the continuing development of drones. To better understand the problems raised...

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Say 'Corporatization,' Not 'Privatization'

(9) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 2:57 PM

We should retire the word "privatization" in favor of its Big Brother, "corporatization." "Privatization" can sound pretty good to conservative ears. To them, it means getting things out of government hands, away from the control (and assumed mismanagement and inefficiency) of bureaucrats. In the best case, the market will work...

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The 14th Amendment Is Obama's Briar Patch

(78) Comments | Posted July 30, 2011 | 3:08 PM

Silliness about the debt ceiling has risen to the absurd. Anyone who steps back from the swirl of current arguments will immediately see that there is an easy, almost unavoidable exit from our current paralysis, and President Obama controls it. If Congress cannot reach agreement on terms for raising the...

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Palin Exists in America's Mythical Past--And Can't Escape It

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2008 | 11:11 AM

Sarah Palin appeals to Americans' greatest conceit and greatest weakness. That makes her extremely dangerous.

Understanding the dangers in Palin's appeal requires an understanding of aspects of America's national experience. America began as an open frontier, a place to escape the constrictions and limitations of the Old World. It was...

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The Unbearable Lightness Of Obama's Alleged Elitism

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2008 | 2:32 AM

One seeming paradox of the Obama candidacy has been the way charges of his elitism parallel charges of his mere celebrity and lack of depth. No amount of exposure or recitation of facts seems adequate to overcome certain voters' susceptibility to such charges. We hear simultaneously that voters don't know...

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Barack Obama Issues a Reality Check

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2008 | 1:35 PM

We liberals have just received a valuable reality check. It came none too soon. We may now begin to cope with reality more effectively.

Many of the blows Barack Obama has given the body of his supporters in the last few weeks should not have surprised us.

• Accepting...

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