And now, Al . . .

Today Al Franken indicated that he would be resigning from the US senate. He admitted no guilt, and it was clear that he had hoped to defend himself before his peers.

It looks as though he has been abandoned by his party in favor of a strategy of seeming “clean” in advance of the 2018 elections.  In other words, when it came time for due process, the party elected to sacrifice an individual and truth in favor of some questionable advantage in 2018.

I think that this speaks poorly of the party and its ability to pursue balance and justice.

Washington truly is an evil place. The US may in fact be on the long descent into oblivion unless balanced, apolitical people can take control to pursue a better form of democracy than we have now.

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Mania for Perfection . . .

I am disturbed by the recent dismissal of G. Keillor from MPR.

If you have lived very long and have been around other people, you probably have been touched or have touched in ways that made you uncomfortable. However, there is a big difference between random mistakes and intentional touching or behavior meant to intimidate or harm. It is the intent that is important. And it is hard to know intent, except through action or speech. What I have seen and heard does not convince me of evil intent.

I hate to see a person’s life destroyed based on a mania for perfection. I would argue that we have much more important issues before us – things like systemic discrimination and abuse (in general of non-white/male people), climate change, etc.

Climate Change is in the News Again

You can read lots recently about climate change, especially about the fact that 45 is putting the USA in the position of being the lone nation to oppose the Paris Accord. You can also read about new warnings from the academic community in places like those that follow.

http://www.wral.com/oregon-state-professor-writes-updated-warning-to-humanity-/17111456/

http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/

Unfortunately, it seems to me that a lot of energy is being spent to politicize what should not be political issues.  There is clearly an environmental problem, and we need to address it. If you want, you can follow/understand  one person’s view of how we might address the problem apolitically by following Frederic Rich. Here’s a reference to a related book (“Getting to Green”) that you can find at your library.

https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/item/show/5393807109_getting_to_green?active_tab=bib_info

I think that this is maybe the most important issue of our time. We need to ignore 45 and his minions and move on to solution!

“the wealthy just carry the rest of us on their backs”

This is a quote extracted out of context from the following article. https://www.marketplace.org/2017/11/01/economy/why-gop-believes-decades-old-tax-myth

I hardly agree with the idea that poorer folks need to be supported by rules that favor the wealthy, who seem to be the intended beneficiaries of the proposed Republican tax “reforms”.  I think that it is important to note that one of the architects of the original myth (Bruce Bartlett) now sees it as foolishness.

Check out the interview whose link appears above and/or the associated newspaper article. – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/28/i-helped-create-the-gop-tax-myth-trump-is-wrong-tax-cuts-dont-equal-growth/?utm_term=.e84607337655

 

 

Concerns Abound – Duly Warned

Here are two thoughtful analyses of what is happening in our world. One is about the descent into a world of “strong men.” The other is about Donald Trump’s mental illness as seen by mental health professionals.

from David Brooks: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/opinion/the-crisis-of-western-civ.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article&_r=2

from John Gartner: https://medium.com/the-fifth-estate/an-interview-with-dr-john-gartner-we-have-a-duty-to-warn-the-world-about-donald-trump-e1b54223c913 and https://www.change.org/p/trump-is-mentally-ill-and-must-be-removed

We are duly warned, the question remains about what we will do once warned. I think that every one of us should think hard about this. I think that we will have many reminders on a weekly or even daily basis.

Canonical Shift

I have to say that I was/am disappointed by the move away from convergence and mobile devices by Canonical. I was very hopeful that we would have options to the stock ones from MS, Apple, and Google.

Having said that, I appreciate the effort expended in what I think was a righteous cause, I understand the realities of markets and finances, and I wish Canonical great success with the new focus.

(I have also tried the existing Ubuntu Gnome distro, and I look forward to the contributions and improvements that will be made to it.)

Actions and Words Matter

I continue to be suspicious of DT’s ideas  and actions.  Over the last week, we have seen a military strike of questionable worth and radical shifts in thinking from our new leader.

Then there is the installation of his “beachhead” team. See the following.

https://www.marketplace.org/2017/04/12/business/so-many-job-vacancies-whos-running-government

I am still not convinced that he is fit for the position that he has.

[Added 4/18/2017: Recent related article by David Brooks is on-point. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/opinion/the-coming-incompetence-crisis.html?mc=aud_dev&mcid=keywee&mccr=domdesk&kwp_0=378548&kwp_4=1409519&kwp_1=620454&_r=1 ]