Monday, May 1, 2017

The Death Tax

There is no such thing as a “death tax” in the USA.  The Death Tax is what Republicans label the Estate Tax as a way to manipulate folks who are not affected by it to condemn it, for the political benefit of their wealthy friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ah, Grover Norquist

Svengali comes to mind.  Svengali was a very famous (and fictional) opportunist who seduced and dominated a young girl named Trilby.  But she was his only victim.  So, Svengali doesn’t make the cut.

Rasputin comes to mind.  Grigori Rasputin was a very famous peasant of late Tsarist Russia who had enormous influence over the Court in pre-revolutionary Russia.  But his power was short-lived.  So, no, Rasputin doesn’t make the cut.

The great Mesmer comes to mind.  Franz Mesmer was a German physician who is credited with inventing (or discovering) hypnotism.  So feared was he in his day that the word Mesmerism pre-dated the first use of the word hypnosis by nearly 100 years.  I don’t know, is Mesmer the real deal?

But surely Grover Norquist is the real deal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Call it Ben’s Care

What is Ben’s Care?  Ben’s Care is a new paradigm for health care in the United States.  The primary objective of Ben’s Care is to provide the best possible health care to every American at the least possible cost to the entire economy.  While those whose health care is now partially or fully paid by an employer or subsidized by the government may feel that Ben’s Care will cost them more, as a matter of fact everyone will experience lower real health care costs than ever before.  Ben’s Care has no monthly insurance costs and it is not paid for by a special tax withheld from you at every pay check.  Ben’s Care will connect you directly to your health care providers as never before.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

An Open Letter to American Creationists

Scopes Trial Attorneys -- Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan
To my Creationist friends – Young Earth Creationists (who believe that the Earth and the universe are only thousands of years old, not because the Bible told them so but because James Ussher, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland declared in 1654 that creation took place at nightfall on 22 October 4004BC, some 6021 years ago), “plain old” Creationists (who believe that the physical universe must have been the creation of a supernatural deity) and Intelligent Designers (plain old Creationists who understand that they have to strip religion and God out of the equation in order to pass Constitutional muster).

How long have you wanted to have YOUR story respected?  Surely since only a few years after Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) and The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).  Surely since the awful Scopes Trial (1927), where the Christian prosecution prevailed, but not really.  We have been fighting Culture Wars (between fundamentalist Christians and seculars) for as long as we can remember.  And only one of the issues is the teaching of Darwinian Evolution in our public schools.  And wanting to challenge it on its own turf with the Biblical Creation story.  And being most recently slapped down by conservative Judge John E. Jones III, a George W Bush appointee, in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005).

Monday, January 9, 2017

Getting Real about Global Warming

Before we begin, I need you to perform an experiment.  First, write down your estimate of the temperature of the water that you wash dishes (manually) with.  Next, write down your estimate of the temperature of the water that you bathe in (shower or bath).  In both cases, the hottest that you can tolerate without burning yourself.  After you write these numbers down, I want you to find your kitchen thermometer and measure how hot the water really was under both conditions.  When you have these four numbers, click below where it says “Read more »” and continue reading.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Cosmos

These are all Galaxies in a piece of sky smaller than the Moon
This essay was written by a friend; I like it so much that I am posting it on my blog.  It’s not about politics or governance but it IS about perspective and we both agree on the importance of perspective, in politics and everywhere else.

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The Cosmos

Cosmos is Greek for the world of the Heavens, the starry world.  That is: everything out there.  Everything that we can see or grasp or imagine.  All the big things (that, ironically, appear to us so infinitely tiny).
Most humans don't think cosmically.  Most humans' view of “the world” is their local "world," frequently not more than a 20-mile radius world.  Many affluent First-World citizens have a different perspective of "everything," perhaps the world itself, the planet Earth, or at least vacation spots in far-away places.  But for the most part, most First-Worlders do not ever think about the Earth proper; it is too vast to imagine except in very limited discussions.  For the most part, our “world” is our neighborhood, and we rarely think outside THAT box.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Echo Chamber

Living in an Echo Chamber is living among folks who have the same thoughts, opinions and beliefs as you do.  Neighborhoods tend to homogenize over time; most neighborhoods become of one mind over important things as most neighborhoods belong to a single demographic, be it economic class, social class, religion, ethnicity, education, etc.  Similarly, most neighborhoods tend to become overwhelmingly Democratic or Republican, overwhelmingly conservative or liberal.  So, with regard to where we live, most of us live in an Echo Chamber.  Naturally so, but without malicious intent!  For much the same reasons, it is often true of where we work that we live in an Echo Chamber.