Recent Articles

How important is a college education?

This article by Peter Coy in Bloomberg makes a strong case against the “need” for college education for most people.

[M]ost of us don’t need to understand the Krebs cycle or the Peloponnesian War. Honestly, how much do you remember, let alone use, from Spanish or chem or calculus? For many students, college is mostly about jumping through hoops on command to show potential employers you’re ready, willing, and able to jump through hoops on command.

January 18, 2018 | By | Reply More

Sessions: OK to jail people because they are poor

Op-ed from the NYT:

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions retracted an Obama-era guidance to state courts that was meant to end debtors’ prisons, where people who are too poor to pay fines are sent. This practice is blatantly unconstitutional, and the guidance had helped jump-start reform around the country. Its withdrawal is the latest sign that the federal government is retreating from protecting civil rights for the most vulnerable among us.

December 30, 2017 | By | Reply More

Trump exposes vulnerabilities of the U.S. Constitution

At the U.K. Guardian, Jonathan Freedman writes the following in his article, “The year of Trump has laid bare the US constitution’s serious flaws”:

I once thought the US constitution – a document crafted with almost mathematical precision, constructing a near-perfect equilibrium of checks and balances – offered protection against such perils. And there’s no denying that that text, as interpreted by the courts, has indeed acted as a partial roadblock in Trump’s path, delaying and diluting his Muslim-focused “travel ban”, for example.

But this year of Trump has also shown the extent to which the US has an unwritten constitution that – just like ours – relies on the self-restraint of the key political players, a self-restraint usually insisted upon by a free press. Yet when confronted with a leader unbound by any sense of shame – and shamelessness might just be Trump’s defining quality – America is left unexpectedly vulnerable.

December 30, 2017 | By | Reply More

Lee Camp Replies to “Neo-McCarthyite” smears of RT Network

Lee Camp refuses to let go of important issues of the day, and that is why he, and others who follow the facts where they lead, ended up at RT. But RT’s shows are now being smeared with a broad brush, as though all of its shows are the product of Russian propaganda. Lee Camp’s response:

December 20, 2017 | By | Reply More

Quotes for gearing up for the next adventure

I offer these nine short quotes so sum up my emotions this morning. I’ve recently concluded a rather intense and unsuccessful foray into public interest law. Down but not out. It’s time to turn my energies to a new project, not to cloister myself:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Do the next right thing.”
Dale Irwin (A Kansas City consumer attorney, a friend of mine, who I hold in the highest esteem)

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
― Mario Andretti

There is no such thing as a disembodied mind. The mind is implanted in the brain, and the brain is implanted in the body.
Antonio Damasio (Neuroscientist)

“I will keep constant watch over myself and – most usefully – will put each day up for review… Let us balance life’s books each day…” – Seneca

Many People Die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.
Benjamin Franklin

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
Voltaire.

“To understand everything is to forgive everything.”
― Buddha

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

A history of the female nude in art

This excellent article by Jesse Prinz surveys than 4,000 years of the female nude in art.  The website is Artboullion and the article is “Venus Stripped Bear: A History of the Female Nude.”

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

John Cleese Speaks Out on Political Correctness

John Cleese argues that if we don’t reign in political correctness, we will drain our society of humor, all of which challenges, and is critical. If allowed to an extreme, political correctness drives us not toward something useful, but to something Orwellian.

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

Trump’s Three Main Techniques for Avoiding Honest Communication

I have a difficult time even wanting to think about the man who is further degrading the Presidency every day, but it is important that we cut through the noise and work hard to understand how he convinced so many people to vote for him.

John Oliver identifies three specific techniques Donald Trump uses to avoid meaningful communication:

  • Delegitimizing the Media
  • Whataboutism
  • Trolling

This video is filled with video illustrating these problems. This video is one month old, but very worth watching for its precise analysis of these problems.

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

America Retreats to Tribalism

At New York Times, Timothy Egan notes that Americans are retreating to tribalism, and this is not a good thing. Here is an excerpt from Egan’s article, “The National Crackup.”

The American experiment [is the] the audacious idea that people from all races, ideologies and religious sects would check their hatreds at the door after becoming citizens is our sustaining narrative.

Within our borders, Protestants don’t fight Catholics, Sunnis don’t go after Shiites, Armenians share neighborhoods with Turks, and a family that can trace much of its ancestry to slavery occupied a White House built in part by slaves.

But that tenuous construct is breaking apart. We are retreating to our tribal, ethnic and primitively prejudicial quarters. Everything is about race and identity. We come from privilege, or oppression. We choose politicians based on whether they help our tribe or hurt People Like Us.

Stupidly, the left is playing its part in this crackup, perhaps ensuring that Trump will stay in office. When people shout, “Check your privilege” at a speaker at a public event, what they’re saying is, “Shut up, your opinion doesn’t matter because of the color of your skin.”

October 30, 2017 | By | Reply More