Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 12.31.37 PM
PM Carpenter, your host. Email: pmcarp at mchsi dot com.
Screenshot 2024-05-27 at 11.05.06 AM


  • ***


« A simple tale of comparative justice | Main | Damn good idea from readers »

March 09, 2019


Richard Thomas

I'm sorry to read that you're suspending writing here. I have always found your opinions worth reading - not least because they chimed with my own views. Can I just wish you all the best for the future and hope you decide to resume challenging us.


Your regulars will miss you, and the conversations your writing prompted. But we also understand. I wish you the best, and hope to see you back sometime in the near future. Above all, thanks for your years of elevating political commentary.

Peter G

Well. You have my e-mail and when you return I hope you will use it to alert me to that. I will miss your insights. I think you are doing the right thing for yourself. You need a break to repair your health and clear your mind. I remember what you wrote about Montesquieu.

Marc McKenzie

Do what you have to do--take a step back, recover and refocus. Of course we'll miss your insights, but thank you for all the great years of commentary.

Anne J

I am heartbroken beyond words to see you go, but I had suspected this might be coming and for the reasons you've stated above. I have been reading your work for over 15 years, and I have looked to you to keep my eyes clear and my head straight and you will be missed terribly. Please take care of your health and your heart. I believe you have my email too if you want to alert me that you're starting up again. I would be proud to donate to your site again. You fight the good fight and you're a diamond in the rough of political commentary. You're the best. Take care, good sir, and thank you for everything.

Tom Benjamin

Thank you.


Well shit. I’ll miss this site, and I hope very much that this is just a temporary break. We’re all entitled to a personal life, and within that life, we all make plenty of fuck-ups. Go easy on yourself.

Dale White

This is a real loss...yours is the only blog I read every day. Take care.


I too was afraid this day would come but sometimes the hardest part of love is letting go. I wish you all the very best and as with others, you have my email. You don't have to wait until you (hopefully) resume blogging to drop me a line now and again. I hope it's OK if I do the same. I feel like you're a friend and I think it was Christopher Hitchens who said something to the effect of "one of the more melancholy things of growing older is the realization that you can't make any more old friends". Get well, and be well!

Papa wheelie

So sorry. Yours is always the first site I visit. (You're up earlier than Charlie. He's usually next. Then I check the weather and the headlines to see if it's safe to go outside.) I generally keep my comments to myself, content to take in the thoughtful wisdom of the regular posters. Just want you to know I've been here daily
appreciating every post, and feeling anxious when it's missing, knowing the reason why. I wish for you peace and good health.


Dear Phil, I will miss you in a big way. For years you have been my first stop in the morning. You are one of the most perceptive and funniest people out there. Thank you for that. Please don't be so hard on yourself. Even the best of us have our lapses. I hope you are successful - and have every reason to believe - you will mend your mind, your body and your spirit. I will keep you warmly in my thoughts. All the best to you.


I'm posting this comment on behalf of my Father, David Duff of Duff & Nonsense, because, apparently, he has been "A very naughty boy" and banned! ...

"Mr. Carpenter, on a one-off basis, I have asked my son to act as a proxy to send you this message.

I, too, am sorry to hear of your retirement but like everyone else who visits your blog and reads of your cruel ill health, I am not totally surprised. Your courage and stamina have been totally admirable and I send you my genuine best wishes. Your site was an education for me, even if I was a very bad pupil constantly sent to the back of the class! I truly do hope that the 'quacks' can find something to ease your condition.

David Duff"

My best wishes to you too, sir,

Son of Duff

Martin Auster

There'll be a terrible gap in my daily reading of political comment. For a long time you have been at the top of my list of bookmarks. I'm shocked. But I understand. My very best wishes.


Taking a break is completely understandable, especially in your case. Your medical condition must be very unpleasant, when it is not debilitating. My sincere sympathy with your plight. Taking care of your aging mother is another very heavy burden.

But, as is my wont, I will take issue with some of your comments. You were/are not being childish, you were being human. Despite my problems with the human race, I like human! Ungentlemanly? Bullshit! These days of female liberation, one should treat women as just another variant of human being, no more, no less. Male chivalry can be overdone. And if and when you do come back, I suggest that your column does not have to be a daily thing. What about weekly?

I liked you taking charge and blocking commenters like Duff. For a long time I didn't visit this site, because I especially liked the comments section, and didn't have the time or desire to deal with Duff's efforts to disrupt it. Some may have enjoyed being baited by him, but just as it was your right to allow people like him to participate, it is my right to ignore participation if I judged it to be a waste of time.

But, your health, and getting whatever enjoyment you can out of life is paramount. As a veteran of serious illness, there are strategies one can discover to minimize inconvenience/suffering. The quote "if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you stronger" has more truth to it than I would have guessed 18 years ago.

Finally, I have the conceit to recommend a book to you which I have just started reading. After all, you will have more time. It is "The Goodness Paradox", by Richard Wrangham. Subtitle: "The strange relationship between virtue and violence in human evolution". As a non-fiction book, it is as close to a page-turner that I can find in that category. Basically, it tries to answer the question about why humans can be so peacefully domesticated within groups, and so bloodthirsty when it comes to dealing with outside groups.

Cheers and best wishes!


Wishing you the very best.

Hang tough.

Diane M

I'm sad to see you go. I've been reading your blog since 2010 when I linked via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. I hope you will keep yourself away from the stress of our current politics; this may have a positive impact on your health. My warmest wishes for a better future for you and your daughter.

S Comstock

Sad to hear this. Hope your health improves and you can write an occasional post. I don't always agree with you, but I like getting a different perspective. Best wishes to you and your family.

Sue in Seattle


From one of your reader in France with my poor english,i will miss you and the community of sharp minds you created here.
Your "I'm done" made me almost cry like this french son from Gainsbourg.

As someone suggest above why not share your thoughts once a week?
Everybody will be pleased to read you once a while

Best wishes


Usually a lurker, but an every day reader. PM, I will certainly miss your commentary and insights. May you get better and thrive if possible. Best wishes, Pablo


This is a sad day for us but certainly understandable. I've been a regular reader for about 14 years. Unlike some who started their day here, it had been my general practice to make you my last stop of the day. A little reason at the end of a day of endless affronts and bullshit helped me sleep.

Stress itself will make you physically ill, and without a doubt exacerbates existing conditions. Take care of yourself and your family, and let the world pass you by for a while. You may be surprised how quickly your health can improve.

With heartfelt gratitude, I wish you and your family the very best.


It is indeed a sad day. PM you are loved around here and you will be sorely missed. I hope you come back as soon as you feel ready to do so. My deepest apologies for reigniting a row that was in the past. I had no idea of the repercussions. Please PM, do not agonise too much. In your situation, you have more than a good reason to be very down indeed. Get well. Come back here ready for your biannual appeal which I have been awaiting in order to contribute my bit in sync with everyone else here who admires you so much and looks forward to your musings. You have taught me everything that I know of American politics. Your voice is important. It's my belief that the person that you are comes through political commentary, through your opinions and firmly held beliefs. We all are guilty of believing that we know that person who is on the other side of the world proffering an opinion. So, in that spirit, may I wish you a speedy return because we'll all miss you as a friend. You are a good man PM. None of us doubt that.

Suzanne Holland

Thank you Anne, you stated my feelings perfectly 😢


Wishing you the best. I've been coming here on and off for several years, following your health and your commentary. I'm sorry this has happened, and look forward to your returning if and when you choose to and feel better


People, might I suggest that we all donate now in order to pay for what we've already read? I reckon that PM will come back sooner if he can afford to eat.


Mary, aside from my love from your logic and its occasional (justified) brutality, you are a treasure, But I repeat myself.

My daughter wants a car. Send thousands! Oh, and just enough for some dog food for myself. Daughters are so much more pleasurable than boys to raise, but goddamn they're expensive.


Let's hope it's "au revoir" rather than goodbye. Rest. Get better.

Thanks for everything you've done.


Will really miss your commentary on current events and history - sincerely sending the best and hoping your health takes a turn for the better.


Dear P.M.,

I'm glad you kept the site up for a couple of days. It took me a couple to wrap my head around your retirement.
Just recently I was informed of an old acquaintance's demise, and I asked the messenger if they were sure he was really deceased. I asked, did they see the stake driven through his heart? Did someone use a silver bullet? I feel the same way about you. Good luck in your future endeavors.


Don't be such a drama queen about your poor choices, brah. We forgive you. Keep feeding us or we die and then you'll have *that* on your conscience.


Even if you don't write, it would be nice for you to keep the page alive, with a weekly clean, blank article, so the forum you have developed can keep going. I'm loathe to lose contact with many of the people who post here on a regular basis.

Peter G

I will endorse that. And yes I planned to make the necessary contributions to keep you live. And soon. I have been looking for an alternative site where regulars here could gather to offer their thoughts. I can find none like this.

The comments to this entry are closed.