Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Why the Trump Administration's Attack on Public Libraries Should Worry all Americans

by Nomad

From Page to Ashes to Dust

Apart from genocide or the intentional extinction of an animal species, nothing, in my opinion, is sadder than the destruction of a library.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Search For My Grandfather in the KGB's Ukrainian Files

by Bernie Neufeld, Guest Contributor

One of our nomads, Linda, recently asked me if I would be interested in posting an article written by her brother in law, Bernie Neufeld and his quest to learn the facts about his grandfather's fate. I think you will find his story engrossing.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jared Kushner, Son-in-Law and Trump's Hidden Genius

by Nomad

Nikki's Non-Sarcastic Remark

A most extraordinary thing happened this week. Oh, I know. You are saying, "But Nomad, you say that every week." Every week I mean it, too. It is usually something extraordinary mixed with a dollop of ridiculousness combined with a whole septic tank of nastiness.  

When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced her resignation, she lavished praise on the president's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. But that wasn't the extraordinary thing.

After all, sucking up to this president is a full-time job. That and swiping documents off his desk, coming up with the appropriate lies to explain the inexplicable, and finding a way to tell the man there is a tiny bit of you-know-what stuck to his heel.

Halley said
"I can’t say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka [Trump]."
That pithy remark has remarkable pivoting power if you cared to analyze it. Enough good things? Claiming Jared and Ivanka are well-washed and smell nice is probably sufficient for any half-way honest person.
Ambassadors, as we all know, are trained to say the most absurd things without blinking and Nikki, as incompetent as she is, has picked up that talent along the way. She added:
"Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands."

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Repost: With One United Voice: The First Stirrings of the Women's Rights Movement

by Nomad

(This post was originally published on December 5, 2015.)

When the Founding Fathers declared that a government earns its true legitimacy from the consent of the governed, they hadn't counted on women taking it to the next logical step.

The 1850 Women's Rights Convention

Recently I uncovered this interesting quote by an early American reformer/activist named Frances Dana Gage. Ring any bells? Probably not. Her name isn't as familiar to the general public as it should be. Even among modern feminists, she is a largely obscure figure. 
I think that's a pity.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Nomadic Diversion: The Idle Chat Game

by Nomad

With all that went down this week, all of it low-down and unbecoming a nation that was once so proud, I really didn't think you were up for a weekly review. I don't know about you all but I feel like a wet rag that been rung out and put on a clothesline. Enough already, say I.
So, after having consulted my experts, I decided that a proper diversion was in order. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Slow Death and Unexpected Rebirth of Civic Duty

by Nomad

What is a "civic duty" and why has the idea become so important in recent days?

A Quaint Old Fashioned Phrase

When Professor Christine Ford sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she must have anticipated that her motives for reporting her accusations against Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh would be treated with suspicion.

Some on the Republican side were very interested in who might have paid for her travel expenses and polygraph, implying she was being supported by enemies of the administration. Others -perhaps those who have spent decades wallowing in the Washington swamp- were simply unable to imagine anybody without sinister ulterior motives.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Special People: Why Listening to the Disabled is One Way to Combat Bullying

by Nomad

I hope you won't mind that I decided to take a small break from politics in order to share a recent YouTube discovery. I have literally spent hours in the last week, watching video after video, sometimes laughing and sometimes with eyes full of tears.

I feel enriched- for want of a better word- as a result of meeting some pretty awesome people. If you have the spare time to watch some of the videos, it will be worth every second.

How to Enable Bullies

For many of us, as jaded as we think we are, it is still difficult and depressing to understand that we live in a world in which bullies (and villains) often go unpunished.
It offends my sense of justice.
We live in a world where such people can even become presidents and still worse, where their perverted and intolerant notions can become public policy.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Week in Review (Sept.24- 30) and a Musical Sanity Break

by Nomad

Calling this an "incredible" or a "historical" week just doesn't do justice to the political roller-coaster ride that Nomads endured in the last seven days. I am sure that most of you feel a more than a little "shell-shocked" by the events. 
So, here, in all its glory, is a record of the events as they unfolded. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Fascinating Story of the Fig Tree in the Cypriot Cave

by Nomad

On a divided island was a fig tree that grew where it shouldn't have.

Cyprus Divided

Since the summer of 1974, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been partitioned by an artificial border running east and west. The details about that division came about is still a very sensitive subject for both Greeks and Turks.

Monday, September 24, 2018

How the Kavanaugh Fiasco is a Test of the Ideals of the Women's March and MeToo

by Nomad

Kavanaugh Women

Despite the worldwide marches and the Me Too movement, the Kavanaugh confirmation debacle has shown in stark terms how little has changed when it comes to Republican respect for women.

Women's March

On January 21, 2017, something spectacular occurred. A worldwide protest, the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, as one source said, "to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change."
Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.
In the US, between 3 to 5 million people put on their comfortable shoes and took to the streets. The message: the privileges of a male patriarchy- the old order- would no longer be blindly accepted. Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights. And those rights must be respected.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sanity Sunday Musical Break - Pat Metheny

by Nomad

With permission, I decided to forgo the usual weekly review for this week. The news was dominated by one major story and as important as that might be, it was covered ad nauseam by every newspaper, radio, and TV news outlet. Ultimately, the Kavanaugh confirmation fiasco is still in limbo so I will pick up the thread next week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ken Starr and Brett Kavanaugh: Where Hypocrisy and Karma Collide

by Nomad

On Sunday, former independent counsel, Kenneth Starr appeared on CNN to offer his two cents on the sexual assault allegations against  SCOTUS-nominee Kavanaugh. 

The claims were, he said, an "unfortunate, serious allegation." (Unfortunate, but for whom?)
He was outraged by the timing of the leaked report and how the whole thing was handled. Furthermore, to his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, Starr said:
"You had your opportunity to come forward and you failed to do that year after year after year."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Weekly Recap (Sept. 10-16) and a Musical Sanity Break

by Nomad

For most of this week, the nation's eyes were turned to the Carolinas as monster hurricane named Florence threatened East coast devastation. It was the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

For a moment, Americans were offered a chance to talk about something besides Trump and his latest shenanigans. Unfortunately, that respite was short-lived and by mid-week, Trump managed to elbow his way back into our lives.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Face Value: Why It's Time for a Congressional Face Lift

by Nomad

Here are two very similar faces. Even though they could be identical twins, the differences between them are quite subtle. You have to look carefully.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Week in Review (Sept 3-9) and a Musical Sanity Break

by Nomad

Three stories dominated this week's news: Bob Woodward's expose on the Trump White House, the disastrous Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and the anonymous op-ed piece in the New York Times.

Monday seems to be the day in which everybody in Washington takes a deep breath and waits for the baseball-sized hail to begin pelting the rooftops. Nothing much seemed to happen so we will continue on to Tuesday.

The Kavanaugh "Sham"
Tuesday was unquestionably a historical day of political fireworks. Not the kind of display that makes audiences coo in awe. More like the kind that makes people shudder and grow red-faced in fury.
Even before the confirmation hearing began in the Senate on Tuesday morning, things got off to a rocky start. In question was the manner in which potentially-damaging information about the nominee was withheld from Senate committee members until the last minute. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Good News Round Up for September 2018

by Nomad

What with all of the rigmarole, brouhaha, and hubbub in the last few months, my monthly feature offering good news somehow completely slipped my mind. An appalling oversight on my part, to be sure.

Helen Keller once said:
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.
In this spirit, I offer this good news post for the month of September to counter-balance the perfectly hissable sleaze who resides in the White House.  

Food for Homeless a Form of Free Speech
A judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Adalberto Jordan ruled last week that sharing food with the homeless could be considered a form of constitutionally-protected free speech. Jordan's ruling flies in the face of numerous local ordinances criminalizing food-based outreach throughout the country. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sanity Sunday: The Weekly Review (Aug 27-Sept 2) and a Musical Break

by Nomad

Considering Trump's past antics, this week was seemingly tranquil. One reason for that was the McCain funeral to which President Trump was cordially not invited. Despite the sting of the shunning, Trump still managed to find ways to draw attention and, in doing so, make a complete ass of himself.

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Reflection on the Impact on We Have on Others

by Nomad

On Saturday, 8 January 2011, at ten minutes past ten in the morning, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others were shot in the parking of a supermarket in Tucson.

Six innocent people were murdered. The list of victims included including federal District Court Chief Judge John Roll, a nine-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green and three people all past the age of 75.

Another person who died that day was 30-year-old Gabe Zimmerman, the director of Community Outreach for Giffords. As his obituary noted:
He was outgoing, interested in other people and had a knack for connecting with folks, according to his friends and colleagues. He died doing his job.
Over seven years have passed since his senseless murder and yet the impact he had on the people who knew him, who worked with him and who loved him endures to this day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Seth Rich Case: A Conspiracy Theory Inside a Conspiracy Theory

by Nomad

Most of us have at least heard of the Seth Rich story even if we are not too familiar with the details. I never really looked into it too much.
There were too many other stories that served as examples about just how low Trump and the right-wing news outlets were prepared to go to slander Hillary Clinton.
Yet, in the wake of what we have learned in the last year, it is worth a second look.

Murder on the Street 

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, at 4:20 a.m., a young man named Seth Rich was shot in the back by two assailants. As he made his way back home from having a night out, Seth Conrad Rich was chatting with his girlfriend. He was nearly home when gunshots rang out.
He was found lying on the ground only a block from his apartment.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sanity Sunday -Weekly Review (Aug 20- 26) and Nomadic Playlist

by Nomad

Things moved fast and furious this week. In terms of entertainment, the news of the week offered Nomads a lot of pulse-pounding excitement and stunning plot twists. It was the worst week of his presidency. We said that many times and every time it was true.
The lawyer to Stormy Daniels, (and Leadfoot's love interest) Michael Avenetti summed up the week's tumultuous events like this:
"The criminal enterprise that Donald Trump managed for so many years and was at the center of is quickly unraveling and I anticipate that it is going to pick up considerable momentum in the coming days and weeks ahead."
We can only pray he is correct.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Why Michael Cohen's Plea Arrangement Likely Also Implicates Donald Trump Jr.

by Nomad

It's hard not to view yesterday as a turning point in the Trump debacle.
At the trial of Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight felony charges, five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.

Meanwhile, in a Manhattan court, Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen yesterday pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws. He told the District Court judge that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”
And that candidate was not Hillary "Lock 'er up!" Clinton.
Altogether, it was a terrible day for Donald J. Trump and a terribly good day for the rule of law in America.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Paula White, the Prosperity Gospel and the Evangelical's Faustian Bargain

by Nomad

Since somebody had to do it, I have been reading- ok, skimming- through Omarosa's book, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House. I won't go through a full review of the book but there was one scene from the transition period that caught my eye.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sanity Sunday - Weekly Review (Aug 13- 19)

by Nomad

Hillary Clinton famously described Donald Trump as "a man you can bait with a tweet" and this week, Trump seemed to go out of his way to prove her remark was an understatement. In what seemed like a desperate attempt to hold onto control, the president spent most of the last seven days attacking his critics or trying to silence them.

Revenge Served Cold
The news this week was pretty much dominated by Omarosa Manigault Newman. The fired aide to the president- nobody was ever quite sure what her job actually was- revealed that she had secretly taped conversations during her stint at the White House. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Why the Anti-Abortion Dream of Evangelicals Will Be a Nightmare for Young Women

by Nomad

With the confirmation of arch-conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, one of the long prayed-for dreams of the evangelical movement will very likely be attained: the overturning of 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sanity Sunday - Weekly Review (August 6-12) and Nomadic Playlist 5

by Nomad

Weekly Round Up

Paleobiologist, J. William Schopf, once pointed out that "for four-fifths of our history, our planet was populated by pond scum." Looking back over the last week, it's hard to see much sign that things- at least in the noxious world of politics-  have evolved all that much. Despite Trump's campaign promise to drain the swamp, the week proved that the levels of scum are not receding in the slightest. 
So it's time to put on our hip waders and take our weekly march into the muck. 

Trump Tweets about Secret Meeting
On Monday, President Trump admitted in a tweet something which will, legal experts said, be extraordinarily problematic for his defense against the charge of Russian collusion.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why A Court Victory for DACA Dreamers Won't Stop Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy

by Nomad

Although federal judges have ordered the administration to re-instate DACA in recent decisions, there is still plenty of dread and distrust amongst the Dreamers for this administration. 
And for good reason.

You might not have noticed what with all the usual insanity going on in the Trump administration but, on Friday, a federal judge delivered another serious blow to one of the president's most controversial decrees. This marks- perhaps- the death blow to Trump's fondest anti-immigration dreams.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sanity Sunday - Week in Review (July 30 - August 5) and Nomadic Playlist 4

by Nomad

This edition of Weekly Review covers a lot of ground. While the last seven days weren't particularly dramatic, there were quite a few noteworthy events.  

Russia Brags About Infiltration

The week started off with a mysterious remark from Russia's top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov,  On Monday, Lavrov claimed  Russia now has access to insider information about U.S. military plans. Addressing the Terra Scientia on Klyazma River National Educational Youth Forum, he explained that Moscow would be
"provided with information about the schemes harbored by the militaries of both the U.S. and other Western countries against the Russian Federation."
The State Department declined to comment on Lavrov's remarks. However, the Defense Secretary, James Mattis put his own spin on the Russian admission, saying that it was "most important that we talk with those countries we have the largest disagreements with."
This is the man in charge of overseeing the defense of our nation.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

King of Fake News: How Trump Made a Tragic Crash that Killed 3 Executives All About Him

by Nomad

King of the Tabloids

Anyone who has bothered to track the career of property developer Trump can't help but be a little stunned to hear President Trump's hysterical outrage over "fake news."  In-the-know New Yorkers who were around during his rise are well-acquainted with Trump's casual manipulation of the press. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Our Mobster President: Rudy Giuliani Bumbling and Ironic Defense of Trump

by Nomad

Trump defender Rudy Giuliani's Fox News interview really underscored what a lot of us have- if only subconsciously- already realized: Trump's a gangster.

Giuliani's Soprano Defense

In an op-ed piece, Eugene Robinson, columnist and an associate editor of The Washington Post, referred to a comment Mr. Guiliani made after CNN published the first of hundreds taped conversations between Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen. And what a defense Rudy came up with.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sanity Sunday- July 23- 29 Week in Review and Nomadic Playlist 3

by Nomad

Compared to previous weeks, the last week (July 23- 29) was subdued all in all. That didn't mean there was not a whole lot of unnecessary confusion, alternate facts and general incompetence. After all, Donald Trump is still the president. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

FBI Indictment Of Russian Officers Reveals Extent of Putin's Attack on US Election System

by Nomad

Amid the hubbub of Trump's catastrophic NATO meeting and humiliating summit with Vladimir Putin, the indictment of 12 Russian intel officers for the state-sponsored cyber-attack on the US was mostly overlooked. The details found in that indictment reveal the scope and precision of the Mueller investigation.  

"Don't Think About This Anymore Again"

Last week, In Helsinki, President Trump was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Russian President Putin, the man over a dozen intel agencies have fingered as the person behind cyber attacks on the US election.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Putin's Grand Offensive Against the West and What We Must Do About It - Part 2

by Nomad

In part one of this two-part series, we looked at Putin's strategy and the origins of his ire with the West. Writing for Foreign Affairs, Michael Anthony McFaul, the US ambassador to Russia between 2012 and 2014, offers his recommendations on the best path forward for the US.

The Humiliation of a Superpower in Decline

Even before the Trump-Putin summit last week, Russian state-run media outlets were hard at work praising the Russian president's strategy.
According to the Washington Post, one Russian state TV host brazenly asserted that "Trump is ours" and he "joked" that the recent visit by US lawmakers- on July 4, no less - was an attempt “to make deals with our hackers, so they can rig the midterms in favor of Trump’s team.”  

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sanity Sunday- Weekly Review and Nomadic Playlist 2

by Nomad

The Week in Review- Calamitous

Even by Trump's usual standards, this was a calamitous week of mind-numbing bombshells. By week's end, it was pretty clear that "events are spiraling out of control" was too mild an expression to use.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Putin's Grand Offensive Against the West and What We Must Do About It - Part 1

by Nomad

In a piece for Foreign AffairsMichael Anthony McFaul, the US ambassador to Russia between 2012 and 2014, offers us some interesting insights into what went wrong between the former Cold War adversaries. McFaul lays out challenges ahead, what the US and the West must do in a time of "hot peace."

The Russian Offensive Against the West

Even though the era of competing ideologies (communism vs capitalism) may be over, that hasn't stopped Russian president Vladimir Putin from posturing himself as a leader of conservative nationalism fighting against a decadent West.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sanity Sunday - Weekly Highlights and Nomadic Playlist 1

by Nomad

The Week in Review

Last week, the world witnessed a happy ending when 12 Thai boys and their coach were successfully rescued after being trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex.
The boys, aged between 11 to 16, spent over two weeks in the cave after the passageways unexpectedly flooded. As Navy SEALS and teams of international experts raced against time, people around the world were riveted by the rescue.
By10 pm Tuesday local time, all thirteen had been led out of the cave.

In less heart-warming news, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, as his replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. If confirmed, he is expected to tilt the court to the right for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Notes on Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" in the Age of Trump

by Nomad

Published in 2004, novelist Philip Roth's last book what-if alternative history has definitely come back to haunt us. 

The events in "The Plot Against America" takes place between June 1940 and October 1942 in a world that took a different course.

The middle-class Roth family from New Jersey- a re-imagining of the author's real family- live in an America where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt has lost his bid for a third term. His unlikely Republican challenger? The aviator and all-American hero, Charles Lindbergh.

Some readers back in 2004 might be forgiven for thinking that this event was extremely far-fetched. Who back then would have ever believed that a celebrity without any political experience whatsoever could win a presidential election?

In actual history, Lindbergh was an isolationist and the leading voice of the America First Committee — an isolationist group of some 800,000 members. The organization believed that England was attempting to drag the US into another European war.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Good News Round Up- July 2018

by Nomad

The theme for this month's good news round-up is compassion. In a time of growing intolerance and the mentality of "might makes right," it might seem like the idea of compassion has gone extinct. It's not so hard to find evidence to the contrary.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Toddlers in Court: The Cruel Absurdity of Trump's Child Separation Policy

by Nomad

According to attorneys in Texas, California and Washington, D.C., children as young as three have been ordered to appear in court (without legal representation) for their own deportation proceedings.

You might be surprised to learn that requiring unaccompanied minors to go through deportation alone is not a new practice. However under Trump's zero-tolerance policy, More children - and some much younger- are now being ordered to appear before a judge.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Thomas Paine and the Despotic Danger of the Unaccountable Presidency

by Nomad

A Nation Turning Its Back on Its Own Glory

The last years of Thomas Paine, one of America's first and most outspoken intellectuals, were bitter ones. The American political activist and philosopher had left in the spring of 1787, bound for France.
A strong supporter for the anti-royalist side, he was caught up in the lethal throes of the revolution there. Charged with crimes against the state, Paine was arrested in December 1793 and was imprisoned for a year in Luxembourg Prison (formerly a palace.)
His survival was, by his own account, based solely on sheer luck. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sanity Sunday- The Lullabies and Ballads of Jackie Oates

by Nomad

English folk singer and fiddle player, Jackie Oates hails from Staffordshire. Since her debut in 2006, Oates has released 6 albums. According to her bio, she was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003 and has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Righteous and Wrong: Why Trump's Immigrant policy is Anti-Christian, Cruel, and Doomed

by Nomad

Justifying the Indefensible

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions used a Bible verse to justify separating immigrant children from their families, a milestone in America's march toward a Christian theocracy was reached.

Instead of citing decades of legal precedent, Mr. Sessions quoted Romans 13.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Later, Press Secretary (and uber-Christian) Sarah Huckabee Sanders  endorsed Sessions by telling the shell-shocked White House news corp “it is very biblical to enforce the law.” And yet, at no place in the Bible does it say that splitting up families or caging children is a particularly Christian thing to do.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sanity Sunday- Piano Music by Tristan Eckerson

by Nomad

According to his biography, since his teenage years, musician Tristan Eckerson has lived the life of a nomad. His musical career has taken him to a range of places like Charleston, South Carolina, San Sebastian, Spain, San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington, and Asheville, North Carolina.
Throughout his travels he has written music and performed in multiple groups on both U.S. Coasts, Canada, and Europe, recording with members of the Ray Charles Orchestra, writing string arrangements for the Magik*Magik Orchestra, receiving his Master's degree in Music Production and Sound Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and writing original music for multiple award-winning films, commercials, and animation projects.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Stéphane Hessel and the Importance of Being Outraged

by Nomad

Stéphane Frédéric Hessel isn't a name you are likely to recognize but that doesn't mean he wasn't an influential person who lived an uneventful life.
Before his death five years ago, the New York Times called Hessel “one of the last living heroes of the darkest era of the twentieth century.”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Families Torn Apart and Kids in Cages: Moral Outrage in the Comment Section

by Nomad

Today, the AP featured a story about the living conditions of the hundreds of immigrant children currently being warehoused in South Texas.
Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the United States for prosecution. Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cancerous Presidency: Donald Trump's Strange and Deadly Love Affair with Asbestos

by Nomad

Back in August 2016, Nomadic Politics featured a post on Trump's peculiar relationship with the carcinogen asbestos. The other day, I took a look at that post and decided it was time to update it.

Trump's Outlandish Claim

Of all of the Trump's absurd notions, one of the most peculiar is his ideas about the World Trade Center and asbestos. In his opinion, if only the world had listened to him, the Twin Towers would not have fallen.
Had, he claimed, contractors not been forced to use an alternative fire retardant, the World Trade Center would have been able to withstand the attack. If only asbestos had been used, the Twin Towers would still be standing today. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How Gerrymandering Negatively Impacts the Economic Development of a District

by Nomad

We all know that gerrymandering as a tool to win elections has proved advantageous. Some critics have claimed that this partisan tactic has in recent years become more extreme and has begun to warp democracy.
In a search for the facts, researchers at Boston College decided to look a bit closer. They began by asking a simple question: How does gerrymandering affect the quality of political representation in a district?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sanity Sunday - A Selection of Dream Pop Songs

by Nomad  

I've long ago given up trying to follow musical genres and sub-genres. It just seemed impossible but it does help you find the type of music you like.
After listening to some music I enjoyed this week, I learned that alternative rock and neo-psychedelia (another unknown genre) hooked up sometime in the 80s and had a love child called Dream Pop.
As a subgenre, Dream Pop is all about atmosphere and often features "breathy vocals and processed, echo-laden guitars and synthesizers." The lyrics tend to be short poems.
I think you will find this style soothing on the nerves.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Nation of Suckers: How a 1947 Film Exposes the Truth about Trumpism

by Nomad

Released in 1947, this 23-minute film, "Don't be a Sucker" was produced by United States Department of War. Its aim was to educate the American public about the dangers of fascism, racism empowered by prejudice and discrimination.

The Guys Who Stay Up Nights

In a real awakening of right-wing extremism, the message of this film has found a new audience. I found it interesting (and timely) how rabble-rousers were portrayed as swindling con artists, rather than just power-hungry politicians. "There are all kinds of games and all kinds of suckers." 

Extolling the beauty of American diversity, the narrator points out that America is composed of..
..all kinds of people, people from different countries with different religions, different colored skins, free people. They can live together and work together and build America together because they're free, free to vote to say what they please go to their own churches, to pick their own jobs.
But, the film reminds us, "there are guys who stay up nights figuring out how to take that away from [us]."