To understand our politics, you have to understand our cultural insanities

Grainy black-and-white photo of a UFO flying over a park bench overlooking an urban scene in the distance.
Grainy black-and-white photo of a UFO flying over a park bench overlooking an urban scene in the distance.
Photo: Ray Massey/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Anyone else remember this old map from the 1980s? It was a satirical commentary about Ronald Reagan’s worldview, who, for those of you too young to remember, was the last Republican president that modern Republicans would consider to be too liberal to vote for today.


One must respect the time-honored traditions of bipartisanship

There’s been a lot of talk about getting rid of the filibuster so Democrats can pass legislation that restores voting rights that red-leaning states have removed.

But liberals worry that Republicans will eventually get control of Congress again, and when they do, they will use that newly removed filibuster to pass new laws that Democrats wouldn’t like. So, they reason, if Democrats do not remove the Filibuster, Republicans will respect that, and will also leave it alone.

I can confirm that this is exactly the right analysis, because I not only heard…


2040 Election Results are in, as Democrats celebrate 20 years of Republican control of Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nov 20, 2040 If you were alive in 2020, you would be shocked, not just at the notion that Democrats would be so jubilant that Ivanka Trump would defeat Chelsea Clinton to become the 50th president of the United States, but that Republicans control Congress.

But again, that would be 2020. Here in the year 2040, it’s a very different story.

For those who don’t recall the old 2020s, it was that troubling time when Republicans’ massive changes to voting laws allowed…


What problem does the “two state solution” solve?

Against the backdrop of the recent violence, with everyone pointing fingers at the other, I considered the “two state solution” by asking something more fundamental: What problem does that solve?

I realize this is a complicated problem, and everyone asserts their opinions about the causes. Politicians and media pundits explain, excuse, and justify their positions, yet nothing gets done. And supporters on both sides feel it’s justified, which further blocks solutions.

From the most basic perspective, the problem is quite simple: As long as one side wants to eliminate the other in…


“The Big Print Giveth. The Small Print Taketh Away.” — Tom Waits

Maryland’s Third: The 3rd Most Gerrymandered District in the US
Maryland’s Third: The 3rd Most Gerrymandered District in the US

Trump has the GOP by the short-n-curlies, and his tugs are painful.

Just ask Liz Cheney, who, despite her conservative rating of “A- for this Congress and A+ overall,” has been spanked by the Republican Party and sent to her room without dinner for claiming that Trump’s claims that the election was stolen was a Big Lie.

Or ask Elise Stefanik of New York, who, despite her conservative rating as “D- for her immigration votes, and a C- for her overall voting record as a lawmaker,” got Cheney’s…


The joke gets funnier when you join in!

Around January 2021, this joke started to circulate in political circles:

A Jew and a black guy walk into a bar in Georgia, and the bartender says, “What can I get for you, senators?”

In case you’re a bit behind on the news, Georgia had a run-off election for its two US senate seats, where two Democrats won: Rev. Raphael Warnock, a black pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Jon Ossoff, a documentary film producer and investigative journalist who happens to be Jewish.

For those suffering from Humor Deficit Disorder, the joke is funny because it plays on…


I love the topic of writing, and often write about it. But what I've found in helping others with writer's block is to satirize the very topic itself. This is steeped in a well-known phenomenon in behavioral economics (a cousin of psychology) that people remember lessons best when told through humor, and that humor is a motivational factor.

To that end, I wrote two pieces related to the topic of writer's block. The first is called, "Writer's Block: It's a Good Thing!", which is really just satire, but I've been told it's helped a few writers:

https://argv01.medium.com/writers-block-it-s-a-good-thing-c43ddc270b42?sk=508e69c9e547e57b0ea1e8f67f21a5fe

The second is called "Ok, I Admit it: I’m a Writing Addict", which actually provides very practical advice:

https://argv01.medium.com/ok-i-admit-it-im-a-writing-addict-9a740fc5b8e1?sk=a81dd89f9f547575776706ae7394a2f5


Confessions of a humor columnist

Frankly, it should be a surprise to no one, my addiction to writing. Indeed, I spend an inordinate amount of time either writing, or about to write. It doesn’t bother me at all; in fact, it’s quite fun. But the matter never really got my attention until someone responded to an article I wrote called, “Writer’s Block? It’s a Good Thing!

For context, that article was a highly satirical piece, where I pretended to help people recover from writer’s block using a narrative device that referred to itself in the first person as “Narrative Device.” According to the Narrative Device…


You have no idea just how good you have it.

[ I can’t believe I have to say this, but… This is a satirical piece that makes fun of articles that try to help people get over writer’s block. If you wrote to me to say that it didn’t help you get over writer’s block, well, I beg to differ. ]

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you sit down to write something, and you can’t figure out how to start? Or finish? Or fill in any of the words between? How about even coming up with an idea of what to write about? Or why you…


A discography of songs from 1979–1982-ish

Shyzgifter. What a funny name, huh? What does it mean? Where did it come from? If you search online for “Shyzgifter,” you get a series of music collection sites for hard-to-find records. Within each you will discover that Shyzgifter is an obscure band from Canton, Ohio under the genre “Heavy Metal/Hard Rock.” Their one and only record was a 7” single from 1982. Not much else is known about this enigmatic group. Yet, perhaps it’s due to the record’s scarcity and the mystery about the band’s name that this one obscure single once commanded…

Dan Heller

Entrepreneurship, Politics, Economics, Social Sciences, Media, Technology, Biotech, Photography

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