Urban American Post-Baltimore
May26

Urban American Post-Baltimore

As most readers of TMV know, four weeks ago in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray death, the city of Baltimore experienced a series of riots which included significant property damage, the arrest of several hundred protestors and the mobilization of the Maryland National Guard. This morning, a new round of peaceful protest was initiated by a local pastor which shut down parts of I-95 and I-395 because of the budget decision by Maryland...

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Nebraska To End The Death Penalty?
May24

Nebraska To End The Death Penalty?

This story has not gotten enough play.  In the very conservative very red state of Nebraska the  unicameral legislature has voted 32-17 to end the death penalty in that state.  The measure, which passed Wednesday on a 32-15 vote, faces a promised veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts. “No one has traveled the state more than I have in the past 18 months, and everywhere I go there is overwhelming support for keeping the death penalty in...

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Large Houses
May22

Large Houses

My X-wife and I raised two sons in a 1300 square foot 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a large yard.  We got along really well in spite of the fact both of our sons were well over 6 feet tall when they graduated from high school.  We had plenty of room, A kitchen, dinning room, living room and a large family room.  About a block from me a lovely 2000 square foot house on about on acre of land  was torn down and a road was cut through the...

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Economic Reset
May20

Economic Reset

Libertarian econonmist Tyler Cowen comes to the right conclusion but mostly for the wrong reasons.  The economics of the world is changing – a reset – and things will never again be like they were.  He totally ignores what may be the most most important factor, automation and industrial robots. In manufacturing, for example, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Caterpillar and Navistar (formerly International Harvester) all pay...

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The Tsunami of Gender Transition
May16

The Tsunami of Gender Transition

The Tsunami of Gender Transition Raging Moderate by Will Durst For many, it was an apocryphal moment. One which will be remembered for a lifetime. Exactly where we were and what we were doing when Bruce Jenner shocked the world by going on television to announce that he is … a Republican. And oh yeah, the transgender thing was sort of a big deal too. A Republican. Can’t wait until Bruce tries to use the bathroom at the GOP...

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Taxing Dreams
May15

Taxing Dreams

If I were to ask you what the most regressive tax in the United States is what would you say?  The sales tax?  It is indeed regressive but not the most.  The most regressive tax is the lottery which taxes dreams that won’t be fulfilled.   I don’t buy lottery tickets or go to the several Native American casinos within driving distance.  I have never been to Los Vegas.  When I retired I pulled all of my money out of Wall...

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Texas Conspiracy Theorists
May12

Texas Conspiracy Theorists

There are crazies all over the nation, but Texas has to take the cake, as the state government is acceding to the demands of its crazies and perhaps believing some of the conspiracy theories themselves. This is related to the planned U.S. military training exercise called “Jade Helm 15 which will be taking place in parts of Texas as well as the rest of the Southwest and California. It should also be remembered that there are...

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Treasure We Could Give To Others on Mother’s Day
May10

Treasure We Could Give To Others on Mother’s Day

Dear Brave Souls: SOME WAYS TO SEE MOTHER’S DAY In the United States, it is Mother’s Day. It is a time that began long ago to recognize women who are mothers. Over time, it is clear to me that the designated day is to remember those ‘mothers’ who have walked with… mothers who walked with their own and others’ children, family members, parents, village and tribal members, creature children, elders,...

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Michael Blake: A Life That Mattered
May08

Michael Blake: A Life That Mattered

Michael Blake died last week. You probably don’t know the name. You probably don’t know about his life. You probably don’t know most of what he wrote. That’s probably because he didn’t write diet and exercise books. Or cookbooks. Or “feel good” books. Or books about celebrities. Or books that advanced junk science or conspiracy theories. Michael Blake fused history and social issues, writing about social justice. Writing books that...

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Onward Through The Fog: Has America Become The New Rome?
May07

Onward Through The Fog: Has America Become The New Rome?

(Portions of this post were originally published in June 2011) When did America became Rome? That is, when did it forswear faith in its leaders and morality for greed and decadence? That question is no more or less relevant today than it was four or fourteen years ago, but came up in a backhanded sort of way in a discussion on a recent post on Hillary Clinton’s frontrunner status when I was challenged for writing that Hillary...

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Wild political rumors are difficult to kill off, study says
May06

Wild political rumors are difficult to kill off, study says

John Hopton for redOrbit.com – @Johnfinitum Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” and new research has shown that once the lie gets out there, it stays out there. Adam Berinsky, a professor of political science at MIT, authored a study which...

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When Did You Decide to Be Right-Handed? (‘Update’)
May05

When Did You Decide to Be Right-Handed? (‘Update’)

(See “Update” at bottom.) Just when did you decide to be right-handed? Since most of us are right-handed and use “[our] right hand O Lord glorious in power” perhaps a “fairer” question would be to ask those evil men and women who at one time or another decided to be contrary, “When and why did you choose to be left-handed?” In a powerful piece in Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald recounts how that “decision” — to use his...

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Experience Counts
May05

Experience Counts

In politics, as in every other field, experience counts, and in fact may be the most important quality a candidate for an important post possesses. This is even more true for the presidency than any other position. Certainly, there are some things one can learn on the job, but a certain level of sophistication and experience are necessary in a president for his or her administration to be successful. Wisdom only comes with age, and a...

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A weekend picture and some random thoughts
May02

A weekend picture and some random thoughts

I have been absent lately.  I like to blame it on health issues but it runs deeper than that.  I see a dysfunctional political environment that makes it impossible to deal with the major issues of our time.  So here are some random thoughts. 1. First some good news – after 6 years in Texas my brother is moving back to Oregon.  It will be nice to have a sibling close by again.  My sister has lived in Texas most of her life  as an...

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Baltimore: What Could Have Been
May02

Baltimore: What Could Have Been

At one time this morning there were more than 60 stories about Freddie Gray’s death and the aftermath listed at memeorandum.com. We have all seen the video of Gray’s arrest and the loading of this young man into a police van. We have all seen both the riots and the peaceful demonstrations in Baltimore following the news of Gray’s death. And we have all heard and read the “statement of probable cause” issued by Maryland State Attorney...

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The Trouble with Baltimore
Apr30

The Trouble with Baltimore

Baltimore, that vintage mini-metropolis on the Chesapeake, is a 17th-century city with serious 21st-century issues. The death of Freddie Gray in police custody on April 19, tragic as it was, is just the dot on the “i” in issues. But it was enough to trigger a one-night outburst that some observers described as an uprising. You probably know the backstory, but here it is again, briefly: Gray, a 25-year-old black Baltimorean with a...

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Social Media Anger and Anxiety in the Midst of Unrest
Apr29

Social Media Anger and Anxiety in the Midst of Unrest

My friend Daniel Pryor is a really good counselor. Daniel often points out that we experience anger and anxiety when things seem out of control; when we feel as if we have no power to change the situation and when our value is called into question. This week has been full of some rather big events that touch on the issues of control, power and value. We’ve seen the terrible news of thousands of lives lost in the aftermath of an...

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Are Riots The Only Way To Provoke Meaningful Police Reform?
Apr28

Are Riots The Only Way To Provoke Meaningful Police Reform?

This correspondent abhors violence in any form, let alone what is happening on the streets of Baltimore. But he concludes that civil unrest may be the only way to provoke meaningful and lasting police reform, including an end to the rampant brutality that has been part and parcel of policing in Baltimore and too many other big American cities. (It is highly likely that in the very dead Freddie Gray’s case, police took him for...

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Baltimore Riots: ‘It’s Still Total Chaos Out There’ (Guest Voice)
Apr28

Baltimore Riots: ‘It’s Still Total Chaos Out There’ (Guest Voice)

‘It’s Still Total Chaos Out There’ BALTIMORE — The city was burning, and Curtis Moore had to hightail it to work. The 72-year-old lifelong Baltimore resident said he witnessed a mob assaulting white people on Monday night as they looted a shoe store about four blocks from the DoubleTree hotel where he serves as a concierge. “They were assaulting White Anglo-Saxon...

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Another ‘Serious’ Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage
Apr27

Another ‘Serious’ Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage

I have recently started to use satire to illustrate, accentuate and exaggerate what I feel are outrageous stances on social and political issues. Often I quote my favorite satirist, Andy Borowitz, but sometimes I try my hand at it — admittedly a risky undertaking when there are so many well-known and excellent satirical publications and web sites. Since so many of our Republican politicians, pundits and activists say and do...

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