Finding Something Good in Covid-19

Everyday more bad news. Deaths around the world have reached into the hundreds of thousands. Economies have shut down, leaving millions unemployed. I was born in the middle of the Great Depression, and certainly never expected to see anything like that again. But here it is. One might ask of anything good can come out of this crisis. The best answer to that question that I read about is some return to normalcy. But when and how close to the old status quo is a big unknown. Fewer people are asking a related question, “Why should we return to the… Read More

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Finding McGilchrist in Some of My Favorite Authors

My Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement class is over. When I planned it and choose the primary readings from Aldo Leopold and Wendell Berry (pictured), I had not tied it to my own work. I thought how wonderful it would be just to expose my colleague to their work. But as the term progressed, I discovered that both writers offer extraordinary examples of the right-brain at work. That we are interconnected to one another and to the Earth is central to both their essays. Berry is more explicit, as the following examples show. I have excerpted a few paragraphs… Read More

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Enough Is Enough

With the so-called “sarcastic” remark about shooting up with powerful disinfectants, the President has gone over the edge. Better the edges because there are so many limits that are being transcended by this clown. How anyone can condone the acts of this snake oil salesman who occupies the highest office of the land is beyond me. What he did is so reprehensible as to eliminate any remaining questions about his ability to spend even one more day in the White House. Peddling snake oil remedies from the Rose Garden, perhaps understandable in 1800, seems to be the epitome of high… Read More

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Life and Liberty in the Balance

The President’s recent approbation of those who would protest against the orders to practice social distancing ignores both common sense and the essence of libertarianism. Whether either of these parties are aware or not, the conservative idea of individual liberty arises from the seminal essay, On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill. He is very clear about its limits in this key section of the essay. This comes at a place in his essay following the enumeration of what constitutes individual liberty. What I contend for is, that the inconveniences which are strictly inseparable from the unfavourable judgment of others, are… Read More

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Unfinished Fairy Tales

Young children’s book sales must be plummeting even as the opportunity for reading to them has jumped, as parents are staying at home more. Why? The world has turned itself into a living, breathing fairy tale. All the parents have to do is recite a little of the day’s happenings. Why read Anderson’s classic, “The Emperor Has New Clothes” when you can see a new chapter every night on the TV. Trump plays the Emperor with a depth that not even Anderson could convey. The flacks on Fox news then weave new clothes of words every night. Other Republicans, especially… Read More

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It’s Time to Rethink Our Two-party System

Although the two-party system may seem like a permanent, built-in feature of our political economy, there is nothing in the Constitution that comes close to mandating it. The extreme politicization of the Covid-19 pandemic and virtually every other consequential issue is evidence that its time has come and gone. Without paying heed to a fundamental tenet of America governance—of the people, by the people, for the people—our great nation is on the road to perishing. Lincoln was surely thinking about all the people. All too real in this pandemic where the deaths due to the virus have already exceeded 20,000… Read More

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Another Example of the Right/Left Brain Dichotomy

Some week ago, I pointed to the right/left dichotomy in the seminal book by Thomas Kuhn. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he distinguishes between normal and “revolutionary events”. Normal science is what scientists do all the time. Every normal science investigation tries to add a little more knowledge, but always within what Kuhn called the paradigm. Paradigms are accepted theories, models, and methods that can stand up to peer review. Revolutionary events are paradigm-changing moments that occur when the current paradigm, say Newtonian mechanics, cannot explain some observation. Most of the time the inquirer gives up and moves on.… Read More

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Incredible, but True

In January, 2016, months before the election, Candidate Trump made what has become a memorable remark, “[Where] I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible,” Many scoffed at this as just some big talk, but it has come to be true. Not exactly but metaphorically.  By most expert accounts, the President’s actions, better inaction, in dealing with Covid-19 have added to the inevitable death toll. His supporters are mostly hanging in.  More critically, his cronies in the Administration and in the Congress remain silent.

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Another Ho-hum Virus Day

With the quarantine, due to the corona virus, in full force, I am working hard to keep occupied. I have been able to get out a few blogs and pen a few poems in the last week or so. But I still am finding it hard to find inspiration. My usual source for blog posts is the media. I do go to five or six papers and opinion sites every day and pick up something that tweaks my imagination or grates on my complacency. A strange thing happened today when I went through my normal  paces. I couldn’t find anything… Read More

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The Coward Who Would Be King

Once again, Trump has shown his true colors, dispatching the intelligence inspector general in the middle of the night. If it were not for the Congressional protocol for firing an inspector general, Michael Atkinson would, like others cast off by Trump, learned about his fate through Twitter. In his case, the news came via a late-night letter to the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress as required by law. His firing comes on the heels of the removal of Captain Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt, on the basis that a letter he wrote complaining… Read More

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