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 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”?
The diverse conspiracy theories, the denial of scientific knowledge, and the demands of an absolute individualism against the public interest, which have arisen lately, certainly give one pause for thought. The historical parallels to the rise of fascism are stunning. The ability of a president—who in no way represents the actual interests of the American … More Performing Fascism: It’s about Behavior, not Theory
The other day at a rural intersection, I pulled up behind a pickup truck towing a small trailer. At the stop sign, his left-turn signal light was blinking on the trailer. So, naturally I expected him to turn left. He turned right. As he rounded the corner, I could see the turn signal on the … More Getting Our Wires Crossed and Going the Wrong Way
Who sees the courage and sacrifice of the fallen Hero as foolish acts of a “loser” or a “sucker”? Only the charlatan, the crook, the swindler, and the coward dismiss or deride the valor of which they are incapable. The ordinary man or woman, whether fearful or brave, recognizes heroism for what it is. The … More The Warriors and the Cowardly Charlatan
Where is your heart? Apparently, for many Americans today, it is not at home. The old saying, “Home is where the heart is,” retains little meaning these days. The heart seems located at our next destination. When the COVID-19 disease went pandemic, one of the first things I noticed was how crazy people were becoming … More Home is Where the Home Is
Most folks assume that authority rests with some sovereign person or government entity and that its power flows from the top down. That’s what kings, princes, and wannabe dictators would have you think. They invoke all sorts of justifications, from the divine right of kings or other presumed blessing of power, right down to the … More How to Distribute Authority
It is not difficult to see the several consistencies between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Climate Emergency. You can find them in more than one dimension. Some involve the trajectories of the crises, while others reside in the human response or lack thereof. Things like acceleration and lagged effects are important for understanding crises that … More Too Late and Too Soon: Corona-Climate Crisis Consistency
Sadly, the science of epidemiology is about as well understood as science itself. In the case of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are grasping at straws to find comfort in some quick “cure” or other. Unfortunately, life is not that simple. Science and Medical Treatment Scientists estimate the efficacy of a drug based on the … More The Science and Politics of Medical Treatments in a Pandemic Emergency.
What is all this confusion over facemasks? Everyone knows that medical personnel wear facemasks to avoid infection and to limit infection of others. Yet, with blatant self-contradiction, the CDC issued “guidelines” recommending that citizens not wear medical facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic. A facemask can’t hurt you. At the same time, the CDC proclaimed their … More Unmasking the Masquerade