Gadfly

Medical Miracles, Maladies, and Morality

January 24th, 2016

Union Doctor: “To Work In A Hospital Today Is To Be Constantly Occupied With Money”

This quote came from an Oregon hospitalist, a doctor who supervises patients’ care in hospitals, when he and his fellow 35 hospitalists decided to form a union when they were offered bonus plans if they supervised more patients in two hospitals that had 450 beds. Their reason as expressed by one doctor: “We’re doctors, we’re professionals. Giving me a bonus for seeing two more…

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A Perfect Political Fit

January 14th, 2016

The Donald: On The March For God, Country, And The American Sheeple

Perhaps some of you will remember a great performance by the very likable Mayberry hero-sheriff Andy Griffith in the 1957 film “A Face In The Crowd” where he played Lonesome Rhodes, a poor Arkansas hobo who becomes a big TV sensation. It was a very different role for Griffith as he became drunk with the power of his voice. He said: “You gotta be a saint to stand all the power that little box can give you. I’m not…

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Coats of many colors

December 25th, 2015

Some of these economic sinners have many coats

Always fans of Dolly Parton, Corky and I watched the TV movie “A Coat of Many Colors” the other night, a story about her early life as a member of a poor Tennessee family that in many ways was much richer than many in the One Percent.

About 35 years ago we motor-homed through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, a one-street town running through a valley in the Smoky Mountains for about five miles. Almost everybody was dirt poor, and Dolly was the…

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Evidence Says “Thoughts and Prayers” Won’t Cut It

December 17th, 2015

Can God Overthrow the National Rifle Association?

So what have we heard after daily mass killings for over a decade from politicians and candidates for office when they attempt to console families? Something about “our thoughts and prayers are with you?” That phrase is as powerful as the automatic salute to the military: “Thank you for your service,” which translated means: “Thank God I didn’t have to go.”

Of course, we do not have any atheists in Congress. An atheist could…

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Rubik’s Cube Puzzles in the Middle East

December 10th, 2015

Who Is in the Middle East Lineup Card?

It came to me after reading Michael Gunter’s “Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War,” his attempt at explaining what was happening in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and two dozen other Arab and Muslim countries. Remember when we were trying to find some Syrian moderates to train and arm so they could fight Assad in Syria’s totally uncivil war? The CIA estimated there were about 1,200 “moderate” tribes or groups in Syria alone that…

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Science May Soon Be Able to List Our 7.1 Billion Relatives

December 4th, 2015


Of Toilets, Planned Parenthood, and Life-Saving Cell Research

Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps our most articulate spokesman of what science is, outlines what it is in two relatively short sentences in his Huffington Post blog: “Science distinguishes itself from all other branches of human pursuit by its power to probe and understand the behavior of nature on a level that allows us to predict with accuracy, if not control, the outcomes of events in the natural world. Science especially…

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Metal Detectors, Bulletproof Windows, Security Guards and Religion

November 24th, 2015

What Happens When a Woman “Sculpts Her Universe?”

Roman Catholic Sister Joan Chittister of the Benedictine Order should have been called by Pope Francis to lecture the recent Vatican synod, composed of about 400 bachelor bishops and cardinals and seven married couples, on what role women should play in the church. She is a graduate of Notre Dame, has a Ph.D from Penn State University, served as the prioress of her order for 12 years, leads a worldwide organization for peace, has…

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Are We at the End of Our Empire?

November 20th, 2015


This Is the Way Our Empire Ends—Not With a Bang but a Whimper

T.S. Eliot in his poem “The Hollow Men” muses about “This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms,” describing how men and politicians react to the end of empires. At the end of the poem he signs off: “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.” changed it a little to emphasize our empire.

We will soon enter the 227th year of the American empire, about the average length of the major empires in the…

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Does More (Or Less) Religion Mean Less (Or More) Sex?

November 11th, 2015

The Personal Question At 6 p.m.: “Are You Healthy Enough For Sex?”

I’ve been writing so much about religion and sex lately I really wanted to take a break for a week, but so much has happened to the subject in the last couple of weeks, I might spend the next four hours writing about it. It’s the most important subject in the commercials around network news at supper time. The beautiful mature women lolling on beds in breezy diaphanous gowns or football jerseys, ask if erections…

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Can the Vatican Hold Up the Entire Sky?

November 5th, 2015


14th Century Bishops Could Have Learned Something From the Wife Of Bath

Population experts estimate that about 100 billion people have been born during Homo Sapiens time—with just seven billion still alive and exercising free will. One would think that the 93 billion dead might have studied the species and come up with some answers to help us in our very short lives on this planet.

Many answers are still in the “pending” office boxes at the Vatican, Mecca, and other religious…

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