Yes, I agree with Tom Friedman again

Tom Friedman, writing in the NY Times, I think has it right when he argues that the US ought to be more circumspect when speaking publicly about the war in Ukraine.  An excerpt:

“Our goal began simple and should stay simple: Help Ukrainians fight as long as they have the will and help them negotiate when they feel the time is right — so they can restore their sovereignty and we can reaffirm the principle that no country can just devour the country next door. Freelance beyond that and we invite trouble.”

2022-05-04T14:29:32-05:00May 4th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Unsettling SCOTUS leak

Absent the draft in a wartime footing, I can’t imagine the Supreme Court would ever consider forcing men to choose an option with 10-15 times the mortality risk to them of another option (as is the case in term pregnancy versus legal elective abortion). Yikes.  And to these eyes, Alito’s logic seems extremely flawed, e.g.:

“And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Um, what does he think having half the states outlawing abortion and half allowing it is likely to do to deepening national division, with a resultant crazy quilt of varying laws and some states already wanting to criminalize anyone merely assisting someone seeking an abortion?

It is odd to me that his arguments totally ignore the fact that in survey after survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans favor allowing at least some form of legal pregnancy termination.

Even Bret Stevens acknowledges “You may reason, justices, that by joining Justice Alito’s opinion, you will merely be changing the terms on which abortion issues get decided in the United States. In reality, you will be lighting another cultural fire — one that took decades to get under control — in a country already ablaze over racial issues, school curriculums, criminal justice, election laws, sundry conspiracy theories and so on….A court that betrays the trust of Americans on an issue that affects so many, so personally, will lose their trust on every other issue as well.”

Gotta love the fact that Mitch McConnell said the person responsible for the leak should face criminal charges, but would not vote to impeach DJT, who willfully and clearly attempted to subvert the results of a legitimately held presidential election and supported an insurrection.

2022-05-03T16:51:40-05:00May 3rd, 2022|Home, Musings|

On smart packaging…

This was an interesting and hopeful description of a biodegradable material with some intrinsic antibacterial activity that in tests outperformed the typical plastic fruit boxes used to package strawberries. It’s composed of a mesh of nanoscale fibers made from zein (from corn gluten meal) and other bio-polymers that can be extracted from food waste.  Cool stuff!  Now if only they can bring it to market – anything to help reduce the burden of environmental plastic is a plus.  It was a cooperative effort from Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, with a brief description here from the Chan School, and academic paper describing the work here.

2022-04-18T12:59:24-05:00April 18th, 2022|Home, Musings|

What a difference 160 years makes; republicans then and now

From Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American April 6 post:

“During the Civil War, when faced with a mounting debt in their fight to protect the government, the Republicans invented the U.S. income tax in order, as Senate Finance Committee chair William Pitt Fessenden (R-ME) said, to make sure that tax burdens would “be more equalized on all classes of the community, more especially on those who are able to bear them.” Representative Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA) agreed, saying: “It would be manifestly unjust to allow the large money operators and wealthy merchants, whose incomes might reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, to escape from their due proportion of the burden.””

contrast that with:

“On February 26, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) gave a speech in which he said “We survived the war of 1812, Civil War, World War I and World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War,” but “[t]oday, we face the greatest danger we have ever faced: The militant left-wing in our country has become the enemy within.” He claimed: “The woke Left now controls the Democrat Party. The entire federal government, the news media, academia, big tech, Hollywood, most corporate boardrooms, and now even some of our top military leaders… They want to end the American experiment. They want to replace freedom with control.””

Someone please stop the insanity.

2022-04-07T12:35:48-05:00April 7th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Finally, the judiciary weighs in on the obvious

Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California writes: “The illegality of the plan was obvious…Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the vice president to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”   I’m happy to see someone from the judicial branch finally state the obvious.  See the story in the NYT.

2022-03-28T17:59:05-05:00March 28th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Oh, that explains it…

Axios reports that Maggie Haberman reveals in her forthcoming book that “While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper.”

Ah, perhaps that explains T****’s whacky 2019 comments, reported by CNN and others: “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once.”

Maybe it’s the paper, Donald.

2022-02-11T18:56:46-05:00February 11th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Oh Canada…

Per the Washington Post:

“Calling Trudeau a “far left lunatic,” Trump said in a statement Friday that “insane covid mandates” are destroying Canada and urged the convoy to come to Washington to protest the United States’ public health measures.”

US Covid deaths per 100K*: 275.88
Canadian Covid deaths per 100K*:  92.7

American % fully vaccinated*: 64.4
Canadian % fully vaccinated*: 80

*source: Our World in Data  and

Who’s the lunatic now?

2022-02-08T15:12:27-05:00February 8th, 2022|Home, Musings|

The RNC lives in an alternative universe

Wow, just wow.

On January 6, 2020, the deadliest attack on the Capitol in 200 years took place, in which a mob stormed the complex, attacked police officers, and interrupted the proper certification of a presidential election by sending lawmakers fleeing. Nine people died in connection with the attack and more than 150 police officers were injured. But in a resolution censuring Reps. Kinzinger and Cheney, the Republican party’s “National Committee” today labeled the January 6 attack “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”  They incidentally declared that Democrats in Congress “have embarked on a systematic effort to replace liberty with socialism.”  They are a party that calls removing Covid misinformation from social media a “violation of free speech and first amendment rights” (misinformation the propagation of which has resulted in the unnecessary loss of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of American lives), yet is more than happy to ban books and the teaching of factual information regarding the institution of slavery in the U.S.

This party will apparently do anything to maintain its grip on power; no lie is too big, no distortion of reality, however damaging, unacceptable. I find these RNC leaders contemptible beyond measure.  It’s time for this party to go away.


2022-02-04T14:22:13-05:00February 4th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Mitch McConnell and Hypocrisy

Mitch McConnell is a man with no moral standards;  rather, they are standards of convenience.  This was well illustrated with his treatment of Obama’s supreme court nominee — “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”  Oops, different take when the election was only 2 months away in 2020; President Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”   And now we have his contrasting takes on voting rights. Here he is in 2006 on the Voting Rights Act: “America’s history is a story of ever-increasing freedom, hope and opportunity for all. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 represents one of this country’s greatest steps forward in that story. Today I am pleased the Senate reaffirmed that our country must continue its progress towards becoming a society in which every person, of every background, can realize the American dream.”;  McConnell’s stance now: “This is not a federal issue; it ought to be left to the states.”

He and Lindsey Graham (“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”) can vie for the congressional hypocrisy prize.

2022-01-19T13:59:59-05:00January 19th, 2022|Home, Musings|
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