Monday, December 19, 2016


Republicans have turned North Carolina into a laboratory for subverting democracy.
(Ari Berman at The

(Ari Berman at Democracy

The U.S. is a strong supporter of democracy overseas... when it's good for American business interests. When the will of a people supports their own interests and not U.S. companies, a coup and a brutal dictator usually solves the democracy problem. Since crushing democracy has worked so well for so long in our foreign policy, it has become standard operating procedure at home. 

U.S.A Inc. is not much of a democracy, even that rag The Washington Post knows about it.

(The Washington Post)


(Chris Hedges at

In the new year we should all resolve to respond to doublethink with a double take. When facing conflicts within your own mind consider alternatives outside your comfort zone. Don't always reinforce your biases. Our strings are being pulled, decide whether you're Pinocchio or real boys and girls.

Monday, December 12, 2016

(The Real video)

( video)

I read Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano, but I guess Obama didn't.

Greg Maybury provides a sometimes amusing take on the legacy of Fidel Castro and the idiocy of U.S. foreign policy:
The Werewolves Who Hated Castro
( article)

Friday, December 9, 2016


Science fiction can be fun as well as thought provoking. Consider poker on the Enterprise D. 

On one side of the table you have Troi: whose job on board is to read minds, Data: a walking talking supercomputer with perfect recall who cannot help but count cards, and Geordi: who sees with a visor in wavelengths well beyond human norms. I'm guessing the pigments on each card appear to him as if they were printed on glass. He can see micro-fissures in a faulty bulkhead for goodness sake. When Jargon La Forge receives the full spectrum of data absorbed through his visual implants he not only knows what you are holding, but can see the next card in the deck.

On the other side of the table you have what passes for normal people in the 24th Century, people willing to play poker with freaks that clearly have advantages. And what are they playing for, anyway? I thought money was a quaint idea abandoned by these enlightened cosmic travelers.

And here's some interesting musings on the future of the human race by an SF fan.

( interview)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fellow Humans!

In my folly or naiveté I joined the Planetary Society on or very near the moment of its inception in 1980. I'm pretty sure a t-shirt is on its way to me as a thank you for my recent membership renewal.

Perhaps I stuck with them all these years because I enjoyed the letters I used to get from Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, which concluded with their very own signature stamp! And now I get regular e-mails from Bill Nye The Science Guy! I feel we are becoming good and close friends. Or it's because I respect the brilliant minds who devote themselves to exploration and achieving extraordinary feats of advanced scientific discovery, keeping a dream alive that intelligence isn't only a means to more quickly and efficiently destroy ourselves.

Anyhoop, the latest Planetary Post video is a Reading from The Book of Sagan, and I think it provides some valuable perspective.

p.s. The Wisdom of Tap

(movie clip)