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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Can’t Fake Empathy

Michael Gerson wrote an opinion piece in the WaPo yesterday about the lack of empathy expressed by Donald Trump. Much of the article was aimed at showing how important empathy is at bad times like we’re are going through. He pointed to examples of past leaders. I wholeheartedly agree. At the end he urges the president to “fake it.” There is a hole at the heart of Trump’s rhetoric where empathy belongs. How must the marginal in our society — prisoners, migrants, the homeless and destitute — view a president who seems most excited by stock market gains and welfare… Read More

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A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.

  Not since WWII has there been such an opportunity for self-examination and behavioral change. The COVID-19 pandemic poses the same unsettling force to societies around the Globe, with one big difference, the enemy is not some other nation, but an invisible, still mysterious force. If the US is an example of what is being done in other nations, the immediate responses have been to isolate individuals to slow down the spread of the virus and pump money into the economy to soften the blow, caused by the first step. As I write this, the number of cases of COVID-19… Read More

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Another Big One Is Coming

COVID-19 has exposed the core of almost every national ethos around the Planet. It is causing untold harm to the health and well-being of virtually everyone. Economies that were chugging along have come to an abrupt halt as people are retreating indoors to avoid exposure to the virus. Medical facilities are beginning to become overloaded, even in highly developed countries. Here in the US, President Trump, worried about the political fallout, is said to be weighing the lifting of the social distancing strategy that, so far, has been the primary public health response to the virus. Congress is about to… Read More

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