Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the avuncular face of science in our popular culture, and I am confident that virtually all of what he communicates to the world is conscientiously accurate. However, there is one instance where a statement by Dr. Tyson flew in the face of objective reality as I understand it.
He said that he is not an atheist, but he is an agnostic.
Continue reading “I Am Both an Atheist and an Agnostic”
In 1967, Under-secretary of State Nick Katzenbach was testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the progress of United States military operations in Vietnam. When Senator Fulbright expressed concern that President Johnson was waging war in Southeast Asia without the authority of a Congressional declaration of war, Katzenbach scoffed that this constitutionally-enumerated power reserved to the legislature was obsolete in the nuclear age, when a president might have mere minutes to respond to a Soviet missile launch.
Continue reading “The Power to Make War”
Libertarianism sure sounds great in principle, and as a purely philosophical position, the idea that in all situations, personal liberty should be the first priority, there is a lot to praise about it. As a political governing principle, however, I found it lacking in the power to address real-world problems.
Continue reading “Why I am not a libertarian”
If you want to start a spirited debate among a group of technology-savvy young males, wait for one of them to mention the graphics file format known as the “GIF.” They’ll pronounce it with either a soft G, like “giraffe,” or a hard G, like “gift.” Whichever pronunciation they use, correct them by insisting the other one is proper.
Trust me. It’ll be hilarious.
Continue reading “An Animated Debate”
If you pay attention to progressive media, you will hear people use the term “corporatist” to describe politicians who accept generous bribes, I mean campaign donations, from large corporations, usually via dark money contributions to their SuperPACs. In this use of the word, “corporatist” means “wholly owned by and beholden to corporate interests.”
Continue reading “Words Have Meaning”
It seems like ever since Election Day 2016, twice-failed candidate Hillary Clinton has been showing great creativity in concocting scapegoats and excuses for her failure to defeat what should have been the most easily beatable Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater in 1964. Continue reading “Why Hillary Lost”
Early last month, twice-failed Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared at something called the Shared Values Leadership Summit and, in a further effort to deflect blame for her defeat away from her own deficiencies as a candidate, said that the reason she lost was that she was “a capitalist” and too many Democrats are “socialists.”
In doing so, Clinton played into one of the hoariest right-wing clichés: that the Democrats are a bunch of Muslim-loving far-left Marxists who want to confiscate all the wealth and give it to “welfare queens.” Continue reading “I Am Both a Capitalist and a Socialist”
When people on the “let’s have fewer massacres in schools” side of the gun control debate talk about “common sense gun laws,” they are talking broadly about three things: universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and a renewed ban on military assault weapons. The first two are essential, and I think I have compromise position on the last that could make both sides the least unhappy.
Continue reading “On the Issue of Gun Control”
Truly viable third parties are the Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster of American politics. Lots of people believe in them, but there’s no empirical evidence that they exist.
Continue reading “Them Old Third Party Blues”