What was once a routine celebratory national ritual—the inauguration of a new president—grows near, the political and cultural tensions grow evermore severe. Not only is the national Capitol subject to assault by a ragtag mob of self-appointed “patriotic” seditionists, incited by none other than the president himself. We are also unfortunate to observe the chaotic … More Has the Nation Gone Mad? Well, Sort Of…
With all the crises and stress in our family and in the world, we decided to spend a good part of Christmas day watching old Christmas movies. First, we watched the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, which I had not seen in decades. Then we watched the 1984 version of “A … More It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge
It is as if 2020 just will not go away. The pandemic resurges in many nations, even the ones that did so much better than US on the first round—which is to say they had a plan and took action on it. But it’s so easy to slack off when things are getting better. Ignoring … More Pandemic, Plutocracy, and Damned Statistics
The nation appears to disintegrate before our eyes. Suspicion proliferates. What were once ‘normal’ channels of communication about politics and the state of the world are no longer trusted. Trump’s repeated assertions (even before it began) that the 2020 presidential election was rigged have failed the test of multiple lawsuits, each thrown out of court … More Acceptable Lies: Believing Dystopia
“Nobody could have seen it coming or how bad it could be.” Wrong! Epidemiologists and virologists saw the earliest warnings of the global danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and warned the politicians. Even I, with my modest background in epidemiology, knew as soon as I saw the characteristics of this novel corona virus that its … More Dress Rehearsal: Failed Pandemic Response is the Harbinger for Climate Chaos Policy Failure
Recent and current trends in political chaos, fear, and hatred raise some serious questions about “the American character.” The nation seems so divided that one might even question whether such a thing exists. Partisans in every direction try to capture “American” as their own exclusive property while casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Others. … More American Character: Which Way Did It Go?
The mayor of Paris, France was quoted on TV the other day as saying, “Welcome back America,” in response to Joe Biden’s projected electoral defeat of Donald Trump. That is certainly understandable. After all, we were long-term economic, political, and military partners with the Europeans until Trump came along and destroyed much of our political … More Welcome Back America: So Much to Do
The tension is palpable almost anywhere I turn. We have an incumbent president who will not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election. He blatantly claims that voting by mail is subject to widespread fraud, yet nobody had found any evidence to support his claim. He encourages “Trump trains” of … More What to Do Now: Saving Electoral Democracy from Autocracy
The Trumpist anti-science strategy for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is eminently and notoriously political. Of course, the virus has no politics, except for its strategy for self-replication and spread. It is a biological empire of death. At the same time, most folks who are paying attention know that a significant history exists of effective … More Is “Herd Immunity” actually “Culling the Herd”?
“What is a UFO?” I asked the students attending my Research Methodology class. I intended the question to get them to think about how it is that we know what we think we know and how we determine the quality of evidence we use to judge “reality.” “A flying saucer,” one replied. “It’s an alien … More Arrogance and Ignorance: Not the Best Package for National Leadership