Stumptalk: Understanding Today’s Political Landscape Via Historical Perspective
Many years ago there was a political satirist and commentator named Mort Sahl, himself a liberal. One of his commentaries included his definition of the political spectrum.
Tidbits: It's 2014 already?
I can't believe it's already New Year's Eve. Where did 2013 go? I still have projects I wanted to get done and chores that I've been ignoring hanging over my head. I need more time!
LION AND THE LAMB: Santa in black and white
When Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, had a holiday dress-up day two weeks ago, an African-American freshman at the school, Christopher Rougier, came dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He was then told by his teacher that he couldn’t be Santa because Santa is white. This raises an important question for us especially at this time of year: why has Santa usually been depicted as a white man?
WE THE PEOPLE: To the spirit of things past
This year, Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life on earth came to an end. Mandela, like Thomas Paine, understood that throwing off a powerful ruling class requires that many different people join together in a common effort. Not only did he encourage all of the disparate tribes living in South Africa to cooperate in the effort, but he invited the large Indian population to help, as well. And, of course, he reached out to the world.
TIDBITS: It’s a Pinterest fail Christmas
Here it is Christmas Eve, and the end of all the holiday melodrama, stress and extra work is almost over with for a little while, at least until the next holiday that calls for lots of cooking rolls around. Luckily, there aren’t a lot of dinner parties on my schedule revolving around President’s Day.
STUMPTALK: The meaning of Christmas
Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870. It has been celebrated as a religious holiday in America for many years and as a secular holiday in all parts of the world even longer. The Puritan forces once canceled Christmas in England and it wasn’t initially celebrated in all parts of America. Boston actually outlawed its celebration from 1659 to 1681. However, Captain John Smith of the Jamestown settlement reported that all enjoyed Christmas without incident.
Lion and the Lamb: Obama's handshake
When President Obama approached the podium to give the opening eulogy at the Mandela memorial celebration in South Africa on December 10, he shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro and other national leaders near the podium. It was the first time the two leaders had met.
We the People: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Tidbits: Finding some jolly
Christmas is a mere week away and my house looks like the Scrooge house on the block. I've still got my autumn decorations out. There's a scarecrow where a snowman should be and I haven't lit up the night sky with any Christmas lights. Inside, it's just as bad. There is no tree trimmed with all my favorite ornaments, no stockings hung with care and hardly a hint that Christmas time is near.
Stumptalk: Lysenkoism, political correctness and climate change
During the 1930s Soviet science became the laughing stock of much of the scientific world. A poorly educated agronomist (Trofim Lysenko) convinced Stalin that accepted Mendelian theories of genetic heritability were absolutely wrong, and that generations passed on characteristics acquired during their lifetime, a form of already discredited Lamarckian genetics.
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