Gadfly

​What Is The Christian Thing To Do?

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 18th, 2018

Does That Old-Time Religion Signal The End Of Rational Thought?
An incident about gender identity in the Maryland Legislature last week magnified a microcosm of what we are going through in the United States about religion in the Age of Trump. Republican Senator Bryan W. Simonaire of Anne Arundel Countyl, the father of seven children who had strongly opposed same-sex marriage laws, stood up in the Senate chamber and spoke passionately for a law that would allow conversion therapy in…

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​Are We Losing Einsteins and Carvers?

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 11th, 2018

Don’t We Give A Damn About Education Anymore?
The Donald has been going on a tweet-firing rampage lately, evidently changing his status from king to emperor. Some kings must have approval from their courts and courtiers, but emperors have absolute rule over everybody. So here we have our Emperor-Great Leader, one of the few leaders in the world who is totally ignorant of government, of our and world history, of all scientific fields, of philosophy, of psychology, art, literature,…

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​Enough To Make You Puke

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 4th, 2018

The NRA Gun Lobby And Republicans Pick Guns Over Kids
After the record-setting “March For Our Lives” protest on March 24, the $5 million-a-year National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre stayed in his bunker and remained tight-lipped, but his trolls dropped their AR-15s, climbed out of their militia foxholes, and put some of the most deplorable crap I have ever heard on the airwaves. One NRA troll said: “Today’s protests aren’t spontaneous. Gun-hating billionaires and…

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​A tiny island and a huge country

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 28th, 2018

The beginning and end of two similar societies

A thousand years ago, Polynesians paddled across the Pacific to find new islands to settle. They landed on a tiny, lush, uninhabited island and called it “Te Pito O Te Henua” which means “the navel of the world.”

And over 500 years ago, three ships loaded with Spaniards crossed the Atlantic and landed on a huge inhabited land mass.

Generations passed on the “the navel,” which later was called Rapa Nui, building a culture known for…

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​A broken and bewildered country

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 21st, 2018

Why is our life expectancy dropping?
We don’t grow bananas in this country but we are rapidly becoming a banana republic. Because of prescription and illegal drug deaths, a firearms death rate 25 times any other developed country, a high suicide rate, and a health care system for the privileged that ignores half of our population, our life expectancy rate is dropping for the second year in a row. We led the world in life expectancy in the 1960s but now are about 15th.

Our military…

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​What military-style rifles do to human bodies

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 14th, 2018

Bones exploding, organs disintegrating
Let’s get real for a few minutes. Several trauma surgeons, most with Iraq and Afghanistan war experiences, collaborated for a New York Times article, “Wounds from Military-Style Rifles? ‘A Ghastly Thing To See’.”

Rifles with muzzle velocities over 3,000 feet per second explode bones and disintegrate organs. They have the X-rays to prove it. A Sandy Hook first grader was hit by 11 rounds from a Bushmaster. The doctor conducting the autopsy…

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​Freedom and gun control

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 7th, 2018

When will the NRA gun cult and the gun lobby culture inherit the wind?
It took National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre eight days to crawl out of his cult’s foxhole to answer the murder of 14 high school students and three teachers and the wounding of 14 others in six minutes at Parkland, Florida.

I have listened to Wayne’s rants numerous times, but his appearance before the right-wing nuts at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was different. He was foaming at…

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​A bloody stage-four gun-culture cancer

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 28th, 2018

The deafening sounds of silence
What have you heard from the Trumpistan gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, and members of The Best Congress Money Can Buy since the Parkland shooting?

I thought of Simon and Garfunkel’s great song “The Sounds of Silence” while waiting for responses. Lines in the third stanza stand out: “No one dared disturb the sound of silence/ ‘Fools, said I,’ You do not know/ Silence like a cancer grows.”

Where was Wayne LaPierre and the NRA? He…

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​Brave new world, part two

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 21st, 2018

When will we learn to share wealth?
Last week I wrote about how many predictions made by Aldous Huxley in his 1932 book "Brave New World" were beginning to come true in 2018.

When I read the toll to travel on Interstate 66 in northern Virginia last Tuesday morning reached $47.25 during rush hour, I thought another premise of Huxley was coming true.

When Corky and I lived in Washington during 1954-55 while I went through Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia, I commuted 70 miles…

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​Is it the end of liberal education?

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 14th, 2018

Do we finally have ‘beauteous mankind in a brave new world?’
British philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley used a line of Miranda’s speech in Shakespeare’s play "The Tempest" as the title for his book about the future published in 1932: “O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in it!”

Two recent news stories reminded me of why I taught his novel to my senior classes in English literature at Fargo…

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