I recently read an OP-ED piece on line that really made me angry. It focused on the coalition challenging the scientific community on the issue of global warming. It was written by Meredith Tax and entitled “Climate change and false gods: Moloch and the bible-punchers in the US” (It was posted on April 14, 2014 on the opendemocracy.net website.)
On June 2nd, all of us in the WAMC family will commence our spring-summer fund drive. You have got to realize that you are just as big a part of this event as the WAMC staff is. The last fund drive was quite a miracle. In about four days, we (and I mean “we” as in all of us) raised a million dollars because we all understood that the way to make everything go faster was to feed the locked box before the fund drive. It turns out that the locked box is the best thing to happen since sliced bread. It’s there for just one reason – to hold money in reserve for the fund drive. Every penny that is in that box comes from people like you. Some give because they want to make the drive go faster. Some are truly worried about the physical and mental health of the staff as they approach yet another Herculean effort. Some just love the contest. They are fascinated by the effort of our community to make something happen that no one has ever done before.
Amid the celebration of the Connecticut University victory in the NCAA basketball tournament the team’s star player, Shabazz Napier, used the moment to broadcast a message: “I want to get everybody’s attention right quick. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the hungry Huskies…. This is what happens when you banned us.” Napier was referring to the one-year postseason penalty the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued in 2012 for the team’s failure to meet minimum academic requirements, requirements as minimum as infrequent attendance in “Mickey Mouse” courses.
Whenever I talk about the Middle East I get lambasted. And when I fail to mention Israel or Palestine I get lambasted because I didn’t. Pro-Israeli listeners brook no criticism whatever of what Israel does. Supporters of the Palestinians recognize the legitimacy of nothing else. Sometimes you can’t please everybody and sometimes you can’t please anybody. So, OK, here goes.
In the realm of recorded religious history, regardless of geographic location or form of belief, disagreements that evolve into armed violence mostly have been the result of familial differences, fuelled by ill defined loyalty and interference by meddlesome outsiders. These invariably have led to blood feuds, unresolved to this day. Those who interpose themselves as mediators, well meaning or not, are doomed to certain and expensive failure.
The US Census published a report on voting in America last week that was the usual – the nation’s voters don’t go to the polls as often as they should and in some parts of the country, like New York, and for some age groups – mainly young voters – the turnout has been dreadful.
When considering a place to live, many people go for small towns, where there is frequently friendliness, trust, character and beauty. Additional qualities such as farmland, rivers, possibly mountains are all part of the mix, as are coffee shops, a book store, a library, maybe even a college campus. Fresh air is a plus – and maybe some trails for walking or biking.
The issue of income inequality has been in the news a lot lately. The gap between rich Americans and poor Americans has grown considerably since the 1970s. The United States now ranks first among the developed nations of the world in terms income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient, a way of describing the distribution of wealth in a society. Globally, we're fourth overall, surpassed only by Lebanon, Russia and the Ukraine.
Torquemada has landed in America. This nation of free and open inquiry has been seized by totalitarians who refuse to entertain other points of view. The debate about global warming is over say adherents of this position. When, if ever, has the debate about any scientific issue been over?