Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Founding Father's Fear: Why Presidential Pardons Worried George Mason

by Nomad

George Mason
The Atlantic posted an article on the following subject the other day and I thought it deserved a little more attention.

"In Order to Form a More Perfect Union"

Back in the summer of 1787, delegates of the Constitutional Convention came together in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution and thereby, address the problems of a weak central government under the Articles of Confederation. There were many vested interests in the crowd of delegates and getting the representatives from each colony to agree was not an easy task. 
The Articles of the Confederation had been written under the threat of war, as a means of uniting the colonies against the threat of British retaliation for the declaration of independence. 
It was, in effect, a contractual agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America a set of clearly written rules for how the states' "league of friendship" would be organized. The Articles had stressed the sovereignty of individual member states, a prerequisite for any agreement. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Seasons Greetings - 2020

by Nomad

Here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. There's no denying that this has been a hellish sort of year and I, for one, am glad it is coming to a close. We are still facing a few more grim months ahead of us before things settle down. My Christmas wish for all my friends in the community is that you stay healthy and stay positive and that you will be able to find joy and happiness amid these troubled times. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

How a Long-Forgotten Science Fiction Story from 1962 Imagined the Pandemic of 2020

by Nomad

hile floating aimlessly around the Internet, I stumbled across a science-fiction short story written back in 1962 entitled "Pandemic." Obviously, it's a word we have all come to loathe but I was curious how 1962 imagined the 2020 pandemic.
The writer, Jesse Franklin Bone, imagines the consequences of a lab accident that releases a "virus pneumonic plague" (called Thurston's virus) which threatens to wipe out humanity. At the moment the story begins, the pandemic is in full bloom, laying waste to civilization.