Gadfly

​Capitalism and the IED

February 18th, 2015

Is Vulture Capitalism The IED That Blew Up Democratic Capitalism?

One of the few economists in the world who dares to speak out about why 80 individuals on this small planet now have the assets, wealth, and total net worth of 3.5 billion people, currently half of the world’s present population, is Christine Lagarde, the former finance minister of France who is now managing director of the International Monetary Fund. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland attended by…

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​Animals, Our Cousins

February 11th, 2015

Photo by Colin Thescot

Some years ago I wrote about a childless Texas ranch couple who wanted children back around the beginning of the 20th Century, but where they lived in ranch country there were very few children to adopt. One morning the rancher drove a team to the nearest town to pick up some supplies. At the local general store the owner told him about an orphan train from the East that was parked at the local station with a few orphans left. The rancher went to the station, talked to a few orphans,…

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​Constant Watering

February 7th, 2015

Horse Apples And Constant Watering

Molly Ivins, my favorite Texas political reporter, was an irascible, irreverent, funny and very quotable observer of politicians who were basically mental midgets governing the best and the brave.

She stuck labels of “Shrub” and “Dubya” on former President George W. Bush, and also pinned this on him: “If his I.Q. slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.” She’s the reason for my column title. To improve him, it would have…

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​Gitmo

January 28th, 2015

Gitmo, The Salt People, The Yanomami, The Reindeer People, And Us

So far, paleontologists say our early ancestors learned how to control fire over a million years ago. Modern man took over from the Neanderthals about 40,000 years ago if the scientists are right, and we have made tremendous economic and personal progress just in the last 100 years.

In 1910 we expected to live only 47 years. Now we expect to live at least 81, with many living beyond 100. Only 14 percent of 1910 homes had…

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​Common Core

January 21st, 2015

The Cacophonous Cauldron Of Common Core

Some radicals think that Common Core, the education super-baby touted by billionaires, conservative politicians, wealthy foundations, Republican and Democratic governors, Chambers of Commerce, Fortune 500 business leaders, and educational leaders and teachers is now the result of a back alley rape of a poverty-stricken teenager by a socialist-liberal group planning national domination. That’s what happens when politicians enter an arena they know…

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​Cuba 2015

January 15th, 2015

It Cudda Been Our 51st State!

A political philosopher many years back dropped this gem about Washington: “You can lead a man to Congress but you can’t make him think.” Cuba, with its 11 million mixture of nationalists, communists, revolutionists, and feudal landlords, has been the center of our Stupid Virus pandemic for over a century.

As a Marine Corps officer back in the middle 1950s I spent about five months circulating in and out of Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico,…

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​Torture

December 23rd, 2014

The Architect Of Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, And Dark Sites Around The World

Dick Cheney, the architect and godfather of our policy of torture after 9/11, appeared on Meet the Press last Sunday and assured the public he was the man who casually tossed over 200 years of American history and morality into the Potomac trash can. We were a moral nation at birth. During the Revolutionary War General George Washington developed a series of policies regarding the care and treatment of British…

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Culture?

December 17th, 2014

So This Is A “Culture?”

What is a culture? Right-wingers like to acclaim the myth that America is an “exceptional” country—the “shining city on a hill” and all those wonderful, marvelous cultural images. Dictionary definitions of culture include these statements: “The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, a way of thinking, and art, from…

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​Immigration and Borders

December 10th, 2014

To Congress: How Do You Control 21,415 Miles Of Our International Border?

At our Pelican Lake home we have about 30 wild turkeys show up occasionally to spend a half-hour or so cleaning up under our bird feeders. Blue jays and marauding squirrels have terrible table manners, spilling sunflower seeds, millet, and corn all over the place. If we let the dogs out while they are feeding, helter-skelter results. Some fly 70 feet to the top of trees, some run for the woods and bushes while…

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Mutilation

December 5th, 2014

Is There A Difference Between Genital Mutilation And Mental Mutilation In The World Talibans Ruling Women?

The Egyptian government estimates that 91% of Egyptian women between the ages of 15 and 49 have had their genitals operated on for physical, mental, and cultural reasons. Among young teenagers 15 to 17 the rate is 74%. The practice of cutting off external parts of genitalia of both males and females probably started in Egypt in the time of the pharaohs according to historians.…

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