A New Consciousness

An idea cannot be named before it has been thought. A social movement cannot be identified until it has started to arise. There is a new consciousness in the world that as yet has no name. It says we are all in this together. It says that war and sectarian conflicts cannot resolve issues. It […]

Authoritarianism

I’ve just finished reading “The Authoritarians” by Robert Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba. He has spent a lifetime researching authoritarian personalities, of which he finds two types. I want to emphasize that his work is evidence-driven, based on a number of different surveys. Right-Wing Authoritarian followers (RWA, and he is not using right-wing in a […]

Paul Ryan is Tarnishing Quickly

Paul Ryan’s squeaky-clean image as a fiscal conservative is not holding up very well: He voted for the bills that created the massive deficits. The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts  Medicare Part D (the prescription benefit) He concealed $1 million in assets for ten years.  He insisted he didn’t take federal […]

Political Protest Now Banned in America

OK, there is no Federal legislation banning it, but the de facto situation is pretty close. Salon reports that for the G20 summit, Chicago police will be deploying a sound cannon, causing anyone within 100m of the device’s directed sound path to experience extreme pain and — in some cases — irreversible hearing damage. Zuccotti […]

Variability in Hospital Pricing

I’m a week late with this, but the NYTimes ran a breath-taking article on variability in hospital pricing, showing that the cost of operations varied tremendously, e.g. an appendectomy ranged from $1,500 to $182,955.

Us and Them

After the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband (NYTimes), Slate reported on How To Conduct a Strip-Search: Federal corrections officers study and memorize the procedure […]

The Internet Will Enable World Peace

In today’s world, knowledge of others is greatly expanding because of video, social media and the Internet. When people around the world connect, see each other and communicate, they can identify with and recognize the humanity in strangers everywhere. This is an unprecedented capability that has only existed for a few years, but is already […]