Friday, October 09, 2015

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Letter to the editor

Here's the text of a letter I emailed today to the SB News-Press. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Full disclosure: I'm on the Bernie Bandwagon, a member of the Bernie Brigade – despite my advanced years, a Bernie Baby – and I'll tell you why. Certainly my political stance aligns with that of Senator Sanders on almost all issues (he's not addressed foreign policy as much as I would like, however), but I have a particularly compelling reason for supporting him: I cannot – simply cannot – abide the prospect of four (or eight!) years of a President Hillary Rodham Clinton. Indeed, I'm almost as much motivated to favor Bernie's candidacy by my aversion to Hillary's as I am by my support of Bernie's call for economic and social revolution.

I've had enough of what Hillary Clinton represents and presents: the squishy language of politico-speech; the constant maneuvering of stance and position on issues; the incessant test-the-waters approach to leadership – in short, the continued unprincipled, ad hoc, and visionless governance that we Americans have suffered under for decades.

I understand – although I don't for a moment agree with – many Republicans' support of right-wing candidates who don't mince their words and hedge their positions. I yearn for that clarity of principle and expression on the left side of the political spectrum, a yearning that Bernie Sanders satisfies and that Hillary Clinton is incapable of. In short, come time to vote for President next November, I want to punch my ballot with pride and hold it upraised with both hands – not with one hand holding my nose.



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

An apt opinion

In view of the increasing number of incidents of police arresting those who might be engaged in protesting the arrest of another (or, as is lately common, filming the arrest), I'm reminded of an Arizona Court of Appeals opinion on the point, State v. Tages. I note that the attorney for appellant Betty Lou Tages was an illustrious and brilliant one, to be sure.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Letter to the editor

Here's the text of a letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press that I emailed today. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Update: The letter was published on July 10, 2015.

From Bob Dylan to Dylann Roof. I'm surely not the first person to note the similarity of these names, but I am among the dwindling few older Americans who traversed as adults the fifty-plus years from the first airing of Dylan's prescient lyrics from "Blowin' in the Wind" to the last month's outrage in Charleston, South Carolina. How many deaths, indeed, must it take 'til we know that too many people have died?

It's with inexpressible sadness that many of us elders reflect upon those five decades, years that have brought ceaseless violence and death: wars that end, only to begin; terror and militarism abroad and at home; racism and bigotry unending in its force; poverty, fear and injustice as pervasive as ever. The brief moments of respite from this ongoing agony – as few as they have been, and mostly in song or oratory, from Dr. King's dream speech to Mr. Obama's recent eulogy – haven't stopped the carnage and misery. The slaughter of innocents and the death and displacement of people through war, murder, starvation, disease is unabated despite the rhetoric, despite the efforts of a few humans who strive to end it.

In 1961, we were "the new generation of Americans" to whom President Kennedy passed the torch, who were entrusted with the fate of the nation, of the world. I wish I could reflect upon our passage with pride of accomplishment, but to do so would be disingenuous. The answer, my friends – you younger Americans – is still blowin' in the wind.     

Monday, February 23, 2015

I am the white cream-stuff inside the Oreo

Why don't I know anything about this amazing artist/person, recently featured on PBS "American Masters"?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Have you ever wondered ...

Why during a solar eclipse the moon appears to be the same size as the sun, therefore blocking its precise surface area? Well, according to scientists it's a coincidence, just a coincidence, and only a coincidence for a while, because the moon is moving away from Earth an inch a year, so in a few million years the moon will appear smaller than the sun, not blocking it out entirely.

Really -- coincidence? I prefer a conspiracy theory.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Read it and weep for humanity

This extended analysis of ISIS is more than disturbing: it's terrifying.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Letter to the editor

Here's the text of a letter to the editor of the SB News Press which I emailed today. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

Update: The letter was published on February 11, 2015.

The European nations (Germany, France, Poland, Balkan countries) most affected by the impact of the conflict between Ukraine and the separatist forces are strongly opposed to the prospect of the United States providing "lethal armaments" to the Ukraine-government forces. The voices in Congress urging lethal arms shipments are, in the main, the same as those who gave full-throated support to the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to aerial strikes in Pakistan and various African nations – and of course we know how successful those armed incursions have been.

The reaction of European nations is that providing arms to the Ukrainian government would be "pouring fuel on the flames," and those nations – closest to the possibly resultant fireball – should be heeded. Indeed, there are ongoing negotiations to tamp down the dispute, and these should be encouraged, not undermined by supply of arms to either side.

Accordingly, Americans' reaction should sanely be, Why do the voices of American politicians for armaments and military force be given any attention, any credibility? The simple answer is they should not, as they shouldn't have been before our previous armed interventions.


Here's a link to a comprehensible (although not comprehensive) discussion of the state of information on the concept of consciousness. For your early-evening consideration: