Untethered Dog

An Online Notebook by Tom Swift


Wider View

Yet my peace has been disturbed by a fuller awareness that one of our two major political parties is — at best — indifferent to democracy.

In Praise of Taxes

I am grateful for the public schools to which I attended. Paid for by taxes. I am grateful for the roads on which I drive. Paid for by taxes. I am grateful that we have a strong national defense and that the women and men who have served us in combat receive benefits for having […]

E Pluribus Unum

Peace to all who have lost jobs and businesses through no fault of their own. This is why we have cities, counties, and countries: we cannot always fend for ourselves. We need each other. We have a responsibility to each other. We must demand that our nation be equal to the task before us — […]

Great Moments are Born from Great Opportunity

I rewatched Miracle last night. What I appreciate about that movie is not the games — we have live footage of those and you can’t mimic the intensity, and especially not the joy — but rather the moments, which are no doubt composites, that took place behind-the-scenes and before, frankly, there were scenes, as in […]

Russian Connection

It wasn’t just a hockey game. It was Us versus Them. It was our way versus theirs. Capitalism versus Communism. America versus Russia. We were all Americans then. After our boys beat their men, our students beat their professionals, Americans who didn’t know the difference between icing a puck and icing a cake sang the […]


It’s not the verdict that scares. It’s the deliberation to reach that verdict. The president was not just let off the hook; his behavior has been endorsed. This changes everything. We have failed before, we failed this time, we’ll fail again. The beauty of the system: we have always had correctives. We have always had […]

Simple Fairness

If you try to cheat the casino do you still get the pot? If you try to cheat on a test at school do you still get an “A”? If you try to cheat on your taxes do you still get the same refund? If you try to cheat in an American election, it seems […]