The Present Imperfect: past columns

1917's Sedition Act reminds how Congress limited free speech, deported hundreds

May 2017 - One hundred years ago, facing war and resentment of immigrants, the U.S. government severely limited free speech; read more about the Sedition Act.

Tree's 25 years can barely dent a carbon footprint

April 2016 This Earth Day tree absorbs some of my ecological guilt, but I'd need 60 to account for a plane trip.

New houses for city's homeless evoke 'hideout'

July 2016 Seattle's new housing for the homeless evokes a memory of an old 'hobo hideout' close to home.

Seed exchanges aim for open-source, local plants

October 2016 The fall brings one of my most political acts: preparing for local seed exchanges.

Wonder Woman's skills aren't real-world magic

November 2016 If Wonder Woman were running for U.S. President how would her skills apply to campaigning?


Get savvy about facts to limit social media fakery

December 2016 - Searching for facts in a "post-truth" world will limit the effect of this ultimate propaganda effort.

Day 10 under Trump: Daily life is chaotic, weird

January 2017 - In this stream-of-consciousness account of one disorienting day, I wish normal life would return.