Where to Begin

Just when I had essentially become numb to our current political situation, Las Vegas exploded in chaos as a result of a a planned attack of automatic weapons fire. Las Vegas was not the first mass shooting in US history. Here’s a brief (and limited) list: “The Top 10. Mass shootings, of course, are not the only gun deaths in the States. The US holds the world record for gun deaths not related to the carnage of war.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution actually encourages gun ownership, primarily for citizens involved in a well-regulated militia. What the Framers . . . → Read More: Where to Begin

Selling Fear in the New Year

One of the things I’ve been paying increasing attention to (perhaps because of the ongoing political debate in the U.S.) is fear marketing. I find it amazing at how pervasive “fear appeals” are and the various ways they are used to sell “stuff,” including politicians and political “talking points.” The basic concept is that we really need to be afraid of X, and, if we want to be safe, we need to stock up on (or vote for) the anti-X.

The world has a lot of risky stuff in it, of course, and we are undoubtedly safer when we . . . → Read More: Selling Fear in the New Year

Lesser of Two Weevils

In the movie, “Master and Commander,” Captain Jack (Russell Crowe) asks the ship’s surgeon, Dr. Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) to choose one of the two weevils crawling around in their food. The doctor initially says that they are the same in the critical aspects: “Arcades ambo. They are the same species of curculio, and there is nothing to choose between them.” When Captain Jack insists on a choice, the doctor chooses the larger one. The captain says that he has chosen incorrectly because “in the Navy you must always choose the lesser of two weevils.”

Now that the political . . . → Read More: Lesser of Two Weevils