No Brainer Decisions Often Require Brains

Thick-smog-covers-the-city-of-Athens

Sometimes it seems so obvious. Why on Earth would Congressman Whosiewhatsit vote against such an obviously good law? There have been several occasions in the past few years where you look at something on the surface and it seems obvious that the law deserves a “yay” vote. But then, if you look at it more closely, you understand that there are more things involved than it appears on the surface. Often, this is some bit of “pork” that is attached to the law, and other times it’s just a matter of understanding that the law won’t actually achieve what you … Continue reading

QUICK HIT: Cargo Science and the Newtown, CT School Shootings

Newtown CT

The television news was more like my Facebook page than any reputable news source. False and incorrect reports flew around like auto-shared wall posts. Of course, we’re all upset about the shootings, but everyone is talking about that. I’d like to take a moment to talk about something else. Last week I posted an article called Cargo Science – The New Cause and Effect Cult. In it, I explained a phenomenon where science and statistical data are being polluted because of an understanding of the “effects” but an incomplete or misidentification of the “cause”. If you haven’t read it – … Continue reading

Cargo Science – The New Cause and Effect Cult

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Today is the anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. This, of course, got me to thinking about what we could learn from that era that might help us be wiser and make better decisions in our current time. There are lots of obvious things, but oddly enough, I found myself fixated on a lesson that is a bit more obscure, but no less important. Cargo Cults During the course of World War II we set up many bases on various islands scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean. They were used as fuel and supply stops, among other things. We’d show … Continue reading

In General, Generalizations are Bad, You Stupid Conservative, Liberal, Republican, or Democrat

logical-fallacy

The past few days have been filled with news about the attacks on US Embassies in the Middle East. The reason, supposedly, is that some assholes made a movie that depicted Muhammad in a bad light – and therefore all American’s are evil and we must be taken care of. We know that what can be said about a few people in a group cannot be said about everyone in the group. Even that big dummy George W. Bush understood that we weren’t at war with all Muslims, but rather a small faction of extremists who were Muslim. Throughout my … Continue reading

Social Paradigms – Libertarian or Progressive?

SocOpt

In U.S. politics, they always try to explain things to us in terms of left and right – liberal and conservative. A while back, I talked a bit about the up-down axis of the political scale in my “Political Differences – Now in 3D” article. If you haven’t read that, I strongly recommend that you do. In today’s political climate, the libertarian/progressive axis is more important than ever. Most of us haven’t even considered where we fall on that scale, not to mention understanding where the people in power lie upon it. If you don’t know the difference between a … Continue reading

When Facing Your Fears, Just Talk to All The Pilots

Dad Headshot

A little over two months ago, my father suffered a serious stroke. Despite all odds suggesting the opposite, his stubborn will and, quite probably, his abject fear of death has kept him hanging in there. As a family, we all agreed that as long as he was up for it and so long as the VA system would continue to foot the mind bending bill, that we would allow him the best chance to beat the impossible odds. Over the past several weeks, his mental and emotional strength has faded, while any measurable physical recovery has remained at zero. Late … Continue reading

Saying “They Want to Kill Big Bird” Makes You Look Stupid

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Every time I see a liberal take on the budget cuts being proposed by the House Republicans, it invariably includes some sort of mention of cutting funding for Public Broadcasting. Now, I’m a pretty realistic kind of person and so I understand the argument to say that PBS and NPR deserves some federal funding. I don’t agree that it does, but I understand your point and it’s worth discussing. Most of these arguments have someone saying something to the effect of, “The republicans want to balance the budget by killing Big Bird and other great shows like Sesame Street!” Sometimes … Continue reading

Quick Hit: Tea Party Extreme Ideas for Extreme Debt?

USA-national-debt-clock.preview

It’s been going on all along, but since the freshmen Tea Party endorsed politicians took office, the left has pulled out all the stops in calling them extremists. These mad men (and women) actually want to try to balance the budget. “We cannot, and will not, sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation.” That doesn’t sound all that extreme to me, yet when wanting to cut less than … Continue reading

Sam Axe Movie Nods to Campbell’s Past Roles – Watch It Here

Sam-Axe

Last night, I fired up my DVR and watched Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe. If you were expecting an episode of Burn Notice, you were probably a bit let down by it all. If you are a Bruce Campbell fan, you probably loved it. The movie played a lot like many classic Campbell movies – campy, cornball humor, and quite a bit of “Wow, they spent $5 of the special effects for that scene!” I’m not sure what the budget for this movie was, but as a Campbell fan right from the days of the Evil Dead, I … Continue reading

Can the Dept. of Education Learn Something from Bill Belichick?

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick

I’m a huge New England Patriots fan. I have been so as long as I’ve been a fan of football. Back in the olden days, we New Englanders had to be happy with a few wins per season, but then Bill Belichick came to town. Since his arrival, the team has a .737 win average, 3 Super Bowl Victories, 4 Super Bowl appearances, and came in first in the AFC East 8 times. A lot of players have moved through the Patriots organization but the one constant has been Belichick. This morning, when I woke up, there was a re-airing … Continue reading