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Monday, December 11, 2023

Say it like it is


     Can we just be mature enough to recognize that our personal economic health is more related to our own actions than the actions of the President of the United States?  Especially true when the President is of the opposition party.  In deciding who to vote for President base it on something the President has the power to determine.  You know, something like making the choice on some rational basis.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Last of the "Young Guns" flames out


       With the announcement of Kevin McCarthy leaving the House at the end of the month the last of the 3 "Young Guns" will be gone.  In case you don't remember with the election of Obama, the Republicans put forward their version of the "dream team" of young Republican members of McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor.  These three thought they could bring on a new Republican majority with their young (white) faces to oppose Obama.  What happened is they were eaten by more fire-breathing conservatives.  They have found out that Republicans will get rid of you if you try to govern.  Republicans are only a party of grievance that has to fight anyone who realizes you have to compromise to get anything done.

     It is only a matter of time before the current Speaker Mike Johnson will be gone too.  A trivia question is who was the last Republican Speaker who wasn't kicked out by other Republicans?  A hint is that it was 68 years ago.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Still one of the funniest videos on my phone[0]=AZW4tf9uBl6RuFQ6vx11bqJoR79ilbPoqjShlF0M2JXTSDA8D1WjRmN6s1rlW9riAqzMH_VrszZO_07pmGMf8R20CQtcsuEbwK_jDi6wwBcRaClaMUlj6Z8Ah8_z8hNYw3xj_NGodXcaeYMWneNWKahZ8sgX8TR4l0o2Oxa97xGMwKUeMgAF-YTk9m8O5bWaOrI&__tn__=H-R

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The day America lost its innocence 60 years ago today

       Every generation seems to have that one defining event that changed how we saw ourselves.  For the World War II generation, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor and for the younger generation, it was 9/11.  For Baby Boomers, it was the JFK assassination in Dallas 60 years ago today.  We can remember small details of our life that day.  I can remember what I had for breakfast that day (cream of wheat) and every detail like the test that was canceled and the missed dental appointment.

     Ten days ago I was in Dallas and took a tour of the School Book Depository from where Oswald shot Kennedy.  The two top floors of the Depository are now a museum.  Below is the corner window from which Oswald shot. 

   They have tried to recreate what the space looked like that day behind a glass wall.  You can't get a 
look at Oswald's view from that window but you can get a similar view from the window next to it. The car on the road in the picture is going over the X on the road where the fatal shot hit Kennedy.  The trees in the picture are taller than they were in 1963 so Oswald's view wasn't blocked as much as it would have been today.

     After shooting President Kennedy, Oswald went back to his room at the boarding house where he rented this tiny room.  The room was kept just as it was the day he left.

From that day in Dallas in 1963, we knew that we could never have the same level of intimacy with a President that we had in Dallas that day.  Pictures like the one below with the crowds right up next to the open car would never happen again. 

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Taliban in the United States


Quote from the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson:

God is the one who raises up those in authority.”

 My only question is "whose" God and can my God override your God? What if the two Gods conflict--is there a "Supreme God" to make the final ruling?

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Gun deaths impacted State laws

From the New York Times reporter German Lopez

American gun violence can feel like an unsolvable problem, with every mass shooting, like last week’s killings in Maine, affirming that the situation is getting worse. But the U.S. has in fact made some progress over the past few decades, enacting policies that have saved lives.

That is the conclusion of a new study by Patrick Sharkey and Megan Kang at Princeton. Stricter gun laws passed by 40 states from 1991 to 2016 reduced gun deaths by nearly 4,300 in 2016, or about 10 percent of the nationwide total. States with stricter laws, such as background checks and waiting periods, consistently had fewer gun deaths, as this chart by my colleague Ashley Wu shows:

Sharkey told me that the results had surprised him. He has studied violent crime for years, and did not believe that stricter gun laws had a major effect in reducing it. His new takeaway: “The challenge of gun violence is not intractable, and in fact we have just lived through a period of enormous progress that was driven by public policy.”

The country’s progress on guns may surprise you, too. It certainly surprised me. It’s worth reflecting on why. If the data is clear, why haven’t we heard more about these outcomes? To my mind, the lack of attention shows the narrow view that many of us often take toward gun policy.

The smaller things

The national conversation about gun violence focuses on big federal policy ideas. Activists and pundits often speak about the need for a federal law enacting universal background checks or banning assault weapons. Anything short of action at the national level will fail to make the U.S. as safe as Canada, Europe or Japan, the argument goes.

It’s true that guns kill many more people in the U.S. than in other rich countries, and America will likely remain an outlier for the foreseeable future. But the study by Sharkey and Kang shows that changes at the state level can have an effect. Even policies that seem limited, like safety-training requirements or age restrictions, add up.

“There’s no single policy that is going to eliminate the flow or circulation of guns within and across states,” Sharkey said. “But the idea is these kinds of regulations accumulate.”

After all, America’s gun problem is rooted in easy access to firearms. In every country, people get into arguments, hold racist views or suffer from mental health issues. But when these problems turn violent, quick access to guns makes that violence much more likely to become lethal.

Anything that adds barriers to picking up a firearm in such moments reduces deaths, whether it’s incremental state policies or broader federal laws. The new study is one part of a broader line of research demonstrating that point.

Among the many new laws put in place since 1991: California required background checks on private gun sales in 1991, Massachusetts tightened child-access laws in 1998 and Virginia restricted gun ownership by people with mental illnesses in 2008.

After 2016

There is a major caveat to the progress that Sharkey and Kang documented: It seems to have ended.

The new study cuts off in 2016 because later data was not available at the time of the research, Sharkey said. Since 2016, many states have loosened their gun laws, in some cases because Supreme Court rulings have forced them to do so. And firearms sales have surged, particularly during the Covid pandemic.

Congress did pass a narrow gun control law last year that extended background checks and funded anti-violence policies, and some states have continued tightening gun laws. On net, though, U.S. gun laws have become looser in the past seven years.

Gun deaths have increased over the same period, and mass shootings have become more common. These trends — a rise in deaths, looser laws and increased firearm purchases — are likely related, Sharkey said. He pointed out that the six states that had weakened their gun laws from 1991 to 2016 appeared to have experienced more gun deaths than other factors suggested they should have.

As more states have loosened their laws in recent years, they have set themselves up for more gun deaths. “If states take basic steps to regulate guns, it will save thousands and thousands of lives,” Sharkey said. The opposite is also true.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Annual tirade blog on leaf blowers

   This morning was started once again by the Columbia Association leaf blowers in the Tot Lot behind our house.  The need to remove leaves once a week from Tot Lots is probably minor noise pollution that we have to endure but is a reality of Fall that for the next month the whining of leaf blowers will need to be endured.   The drudgery of raking leaves has given way to the easier-on-the-body leaf blower.  Our need to bag up leaves rather than turn them into natural fertilizer is just another example of how obsessed we are with having a healthy grass lawn.  Lawns in our modern suburbs have turned nature's natural fertilizer into an enemy to be fought with every Fall.  Instead, nitrogen fertilizer is spread on our lawns to runoff into our streams and lakes to create oxygen-starved bodies of water that kill off fish.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Thought for the day about what is happening in the Middle East

  When your religious beliefs overwhelm your humanity you need to re-examine your religious beliefs.  To believe that "your" God gave you the right to certain areas of land on Earth never ends well.

Friday, October 27, 2023

It only matters if it impacts me personally

       I thought of this once again yesterday when Rep. Jared Golden from Maine said that he was changing his vote from defending gun rights to supporting a ban on assault weapons.  Apparently, the mass killing in his home state of Maine brought the problem close enough to him personally that he now saw it as a problem.  The mass killings in other states were not a problem unless it came home to him.  This reality that conservatives only feel empathy when it personally impacts them is a defining quality of conservatives.

     I have a couple of other examples of this reality with conservatives.  The first is how the Administration of Ronald Reagan proposed a 23% cut in grant funding for the National Institutes of Health but after Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease Nancy Reagan became an advocate for more funding for research into the disease.   The second example is when conservatives opposed same-sex marriage until a relative came out as being gay.  The best example of this is when Vice President Cheney's daughter came out as being gay

    As I have repeated once again, the defining characteristic between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives need to experience an issue personally before they develop a social conscience.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Thoughts and prays or an assault weapons ban- which work

      Listening to the news today on the mass killing in Maine I heard a number of discussions that came from people who felt that we needed better ways to identify dangerous persons with a mental health problem to stop these types of killing.  While better "red flag laws" might be a good thing they will never be good enough in accurately targeting potential mass killers unless we confine hundreds of people with mental health problems to find that one person who might have been a mass killer.  

    When you look at the number of mass killings in other countries that contain just as many dangerous people with mental health problems the only difference is the unavailability of assault weapons.  We have some evidence here in the United States from 1994 to 2004 when we had a federal ban on assault weapons.  Here is one report that examined the impact of that law on mass shootings.  The only thing that stops the law from being reinstated federally is that Republican members of Congress are beholding to the NRA.  The NRA and those members of Congress today have blood on their hands again.  I only wonder if those members of Congress would change their minds if one of their relatives was blown apart in a mass killing with an assault weapon?  Wounds from an assault weapon like an AR-15 can be so devastating that DNA is required to identify the body. Shots to the head usually lead to complete decapitation as it did to some of the children at Sandy Hook.  Here is an article from the Washington Post on the impact of a bullet fired from an assault weapon.

No where is safe in America with our gun fetish

    Columbia was once again rated the "safest city in the United States."  However last night's mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine took place in the city that Forbes rated the tenth safest city.  The reality is that mass shootings in America can happen anywhere because AR-15s and other weapons are legal.


     It might be telling and sad that the day that Mike Johnson was sworn in as the Speaker of the House there was another mass shooting.  When you look at his record on gun control he is a co-sponsor of the bill that limited the liability of gun manufacturers for deaths caused by guns.  Johnson is from Louisiana which has the second highest rate of gun deaths of all the states

Saturday, October 21, 2023

How you spell "Dysfunction"? R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c-a-n


Favorite Halloween costume this year

     Back in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan told us that the government wasn't the solution but was the problem and the scariest statement was "I am here from the government and I am here to help."  This type of thinking which denigrates the ability of the government to function in meeting the needs of citizens leads us to the present situation with the Republicans being unable to govern when they are in control.  To many Republicans elected today the goal is to have government become non-functional as a way to weaken the government.  The question is "Who gains control when the government is weakened?" It is a joke when this group of officials talk about doing what the American public wants when they represent a minority of the population.  It seems like today only the Democrats are interested in being a governing party.

Friday, October 13, 2023

There's no hatred like religious hatred


         For the last year what has played out in Russia's war in Ukraine has made it much easier to identify the "good guys" and the "bad guys."  What is being played out in the Middle East now between Hamas and Israel is harder to identify which side is represented as good or bad.  The killing of innocent people on both sides has to be condemned.  What should not be overlooked is the religious basis for the conflict.  When you have religions that believe God supports their actions you have the basis for hatred that leads to cruelty in wars.  Retribution and revenge can blind even normally moral people to doing immoral things.  The first piece of propaganda that is put out in a war is that your enemy is subhuman and not deserving of living.  You can hear and see that on both sides of the present conflict. Killing civilians is justified on both sides because the other side has killed civilians.  Killing children in Israel does not justify killing children in Gaza or the other way around.  Killing children can never be justified or excused.

     Religion which is created out of ignorance and dogma has always been a threat to the stability and morality wherever it has existed.  To believe that only you and your fellow religious believers have some special place in the eyes of your God gives you the justification to murder non-believers.  This has been repeated throughout history too many times.  Only when religious belief does away with the belief that they have a special place in God's eyes can different religions co-exist.  Of course, this would negate the need for religion as your moral compass.


    No adult has a right to harm a child for what ever cause in which they believe.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The lesson in the Oriole success


        No matter what happens to the Baltimore Orioles in the postseason there is a lesson that can be applied to any organization or business.  The lesson is that change is inevitable and those that don't adapt and change will cease to survive.  There are so many examples of this.  Kodak is probably the best example. After dominating the film industry for decades their slow response to digital photography brought on their death as a company.

     With baseball, the traditionalists used the old methods of evaluating player potential that was very subjective.   With computers and algorithms, there was a new more sophisticated, and objective way to evaluate player potential.  The Oakland A's were the first to use this method and it was written about in the book and movie Moneyball.   The method was then used with the Houston Astros and now with the Orioles.

     Another way of looking at this reality is to recognize that organizations that only look at short-term internal operations will never see the changes that are developing outside the organization that will be a threat to them in the future.  Look for the changes or get ready to be replaced.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Time to go, Joe



      Knowing when your job is done is hard when you have power.  Joe Biden's job in 2016 was to unite the Democrats to defeat Trump.  Job done.  Now with Trump still in the picture, Biden feels it is necessary to take Trump on again.   The situation is different now with Trump facing 91 felony charges and trials next year looming.  What if one of his felony convictions occurs and the Republicans decide they want to go with a consensus choice like Nikki Haley and the Democrats are left with an aging Biden?  Watch where Republicans go as some of the candidates drop out.  Haley will rise to the alternative to Trump. That is not the matchup that the Democrats want but might get.  How many Democrat and Republican women would vote to have the first woman president in Haley?  It would be better now to recognize that possibility and my choice for the Democrats would be Gretchen Whitmer.   How about a Whitmer/Buttigieg ticket that puts a whole different spin on the race than the Dems going with Biden.


    Of course, if it comes down to a Biden/Trump race again it is an easy choice to stay with Biden.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Somethings never change as you age


     Hand size included

P.S. 1
He will soon be a felon.  I like people who aren't felons!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

This week saw the significant financial impact on two corrupt organizations


      This week the financial health of both the Trump organization and the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore is in danger.  Ironic that two corrupt organizations faced the same situation this week.  While few people will mourn the end of the Trump business, the picture for the Archdiocese is more mixed.

     In evaluating the worth of the Catholic Church in what it does in a positive and negative light some might argue that its death would be a bad thing.  Balancing that view are those who believe that any organization that has protected pedophiles should no longer be allowed to exist.  I wonder how an organization that was created in a very different time and culture is even relevant in our current world. The Catholic Church's history has almost every element that is abhorrent to most people today.  Racism, sexism, killing, and plunder can be attributed to the Church over its history.  Protecting pedophiles is only the latest example of why this institution has lost its way in a modern way.  The Church will never acknowledge that celibate priests have led to sexual dysfunction and continue to turn people away from the Church.

     The Trump business, the Catholic Church, and the Republican Party are showing how the cancer of corruption will destroy you from within.  Good riddance to all three for a better modern world.  

Saturday, September 23, 2023

One normal political party and one criminal political party

   What a difference when you have a dishonest official in your political party.  Almost all Democrats are calling for Sen. Menendez to resign because of corruption and yet Republicans stand behind Rep. Sanchez, Trump, and Justice Thomas (I know justices aren't members of a political party but we know he is a Republican).  When you defend criminals and decry law enforcement agencies you show your true colors.


Menendez's problem was that he wasn't a Supreme Court Justice.  Bribes seem OK for a justice.


P.S. 2

Recent administrations with the MOST criminal indictments: 

Trump (Republican) — 215

Nixon (Republican) — 76

Reagan (Republican) — 26

"Recent administrations with the LEAST criminal indictments: 

Obama (Democrat) — 0

Carter (Democrat) — 1

Clinton (Democrat) — 2

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Small steps


     You don't have to give up meat entirely but if you do it's better. You don't have to exercise every day but if you do it's better. You don't have to lose weight and get down to your optimal weight but if you do it's better. You don't have to fill your life with kindness and fight for social justice but if you do it's better. You don't have to love your neighbor as yourself but if you do it's better. You don't have to make the world a better place because you are in it but if you do it's better.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Keys will never be the same--RIP Jimmy Buffet

    Every year driving into Key Largo I started playing Jimmy Buffet songs.  It won't seem the same this year.  Buffet personified the Keys lifestyle.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Inmate P01135809

Hillary must be smiling tonight

Couldn't help but see the resemblance

        Trump's biggest lie--he listed his weight as 215!  Didn't they put him on a scale?

 This is the photo I really want to see

       I know what the most popular Halloween mask will be this year.

Friday, August 4, 2023

The water is getting warmer for the frog in the heated pan

    The story of the frog being boiled to death in gradually warmer water is often used to explain the reality of a warming Earth.  The Earth in July experienced the warmest month ever recorded.  The 1.5-degree increase is projected to be the Earth every month in 2030.  Some places in Iran reached a heat index of 142 which is unsustainable for human existence.  Reading this story made me think about how this reality doesn't seem to resonate with many of the purchasers of vehicles today.   The past decade has seen the pickup truck become the most purchased vehicle among the American public.  A vehicle that was once seen as a vehicle for people as a work vehicle is now marketed as a general public vehicle that is used for everyday use.  The reality for most truck owners is that their purchase of a truck is more for image than practicality.  This reality is further shown when almost 80% of truck buyers are male.  Apparently, trucks are a boost to testosterone production and endangering our future survivability.


     While Florida's Governor is traveling around the Country decrying "wokeness" his state is suffering a crisis with residents being unable to obtain or receive payments in homeowner insurance claims after hurricanes caused by climate change.  As put recently, “Insurance companies have been given a tremendous amount of leeway in Florida,” Birny Birnbaum, the director of the Center for Economic Justice and a former insurance regulator said in an interview. “Light regulation let these smaller companies come in and cherry-pick what they want to cover. When there is no hurricane, they can make a tremendous amount of money. When there is one, executives can walk away without much liability and a lot richer.”     

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Two Trump legal defenses

Show up for trial as a frail person for whom the jury should have sympathy. 

When all else fails act crazy, show up for trial in your pajamas, and claim an insanity defense.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Morning has broken!


     With the news from the Special Counsel that Trump has been indicted for his involvement in the January 6th attack on the Capitol I thought of the lyrics to an old Cat Stevens song "Morning has broken."  For those of us who have been mistified how a criminal could become the leader of one of the two major political parties and elected President because of the crazy Electoral College, yesterday felt like the morning of accountability for criminal Trump.  This process unfortunately will not be resolved quickly with the way the justice system works and we can look forward to months or years of appeals.  All of this will be also playing out in our political system over the next 16 months.  With 30-40% of the electorate in the Trump cult our future as the leader of the "free democratic world" is at risk.  This Country took 100 years to recover from the Civil War and another Trump election would put us back in that troubling period of national trauma. 


      The reality is that half the Country supports a former President that tried to overthrow the election certification shows that we are at a point in our Country's future form that is uncertain.   The divisions between the Red and Blue states is as great as when it was Confederate and Union states.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

When you know you are old


       If every other commercial on the channels you watch is for "Prevagen" or "Fruits and Vegetables" you are old.

Friday, June 30, 2023

The Supreme Court legalizes discrimination

    The Supreme Court in its ruling in the case brought by web designer Lorie Smith ruled that she would not have to design a wedding website for a gay couple because it was against her religious views.  She had never been asked to design a website for a gay couple so she had no "legal standing" to bring a lawsuit but that didn't matter to this Court.   Past Supreme Courts have a history of making new precedence to expand rights but this Court makes new precedence to take rights away. At risk are the rights of all types of groups of people who might now be discriminated against because someone may have discriminatory religious beliefs.  I wonder how Justice Thomas, in a mixed racial marriage, would feel if someone said their beliefs from the Bible spoke against race mixing in marriage and refused to serve them in a restaurant?  
      The Founding Fathers gave us a Country with a separation of church and state and the freedom to practice freely any religion.  The problems develop when your faith tells you to discriminate or treat non-believers in a discriminatory manner. To have our 21st Century's behavior governed by a 2000 or 4000-year-old belief system is where some people are today.  The Bible told slaves to obey their masters and husbands to stone their wives for adultery.   It is bad enough that conservatives want to take us back to the 1950s or the 1860s but to allow the 4000-year-old Bible to determine the level of discrimination today is where we may be finding ourselves with this Supreme Court. The Court today seems to be making rulings using the Bible more than the Constitution.

      For all those voters who sat out the 2016 election in states with close margins and gave us a Trump presidency that gave us our present Supreme Court, I hope you show up in 2024.

P.S. 1
     Justice Sotomayor took issue with her conservative colleagues' decision, writing dissentingly: "When the civil rights and women’s rights movements sought equality in public life, some public establishments refused. Some even claimed constitutional rights to discriminate based on sincere religious beliefs. The brave past Justices who once sat on this Court decisively rejected those claims."

    If you think that because we live in a liberal state we are protected from the conservative beliefs of other states you are wrong.  The Supreme Court struck down a New York law on carry permits for guns and Maryland had to stop enforcing one of its gun laws because of it.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Will the dominoes fall this way in the 2024 election?


        With the admission by Trump this past week that he obstructed justice in the documents case, I see some possible changes in how the election next year could play out.  As Trump faces the real possibility of having to accept a plea deal or be convicted of the charges, his likelihood of the Republican nominee decreases.  If he is not going to be the nominee who would the Republicans turn to?  Suppose they roll the dice and put up a woman like Nikki Haley to attract back suburban women.  With Trump out of the picture, what would the Democrats do?  The pressure on Biden to drop out with Trump out of the picture would increase.  With the Republicans likely to nominate a woman the Democrats might also nominate a woman so they wouldn't lose the suburban woman vote.  The most likely candidate would be Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.   A Haley/Whitmer race would guarantee that we will have our first woman President.  2024 might be a very interesting year if the dominoes fall in this way.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Armed and loaded


     Recently the Howard County police confiscated illegally purchased weapons from a resident. Above is a picture of the range of illegally owned guns confiscated.  This case shows where our Country is as a result of the National Rifle Association's successful campaign to have the right to bear arms mentioned in the Second Amendment to mean the right to become a heavily armed private citizen.  This misinterpretation of the Constitution is historically incorrect.  To understand the historical context in which the Constitution was written you only have to look at how guns were treated in Colonial America.

    In colonial times, America was a very different place. The Country was still young and the laws were still forming.  One aspect that many people may not know was different during this time was the gun laws.  While many people today may imagine that guns were easily available and unrestricted, the reality was that there were many gun restrictions in colonial times. One common misconception is that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms, meant that everyone was allowed to have a gun without restriction. However, this is not the case. In the early days of the country, gun ownership was actually tightly controlled. One of the main reasons for this was that guns were expensive and hard to come by. Flints were not always available, and replacement parts were scarce. Manufactured guns were more expensive than most settlers could afford. As a result, gun ownership was mainly limited to the wealthy and to the colonists who were members of militia organizations. Another reason that guns were restricted was that they were seen as dangerous. In colonial times, there were no police forces and very limited means of protecting oneself. Because of this, lawmakers were concerned that people would use guns recklessly or for vigilante justice.

    Overall, gun ownership in colonial times was limited to certain individuals and groups, and there were many restrictions in place to control the use of guns. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

New Trump record

Trump being led out of the courthouse today after the hearing

     Trump now has been impeached and indicted twice as often as he was elected.

Donald Trump indictment charges--- 71 and counting
Hillary Clinton indictment charges-----0

Monday, June 12, 2023

Prepare for Success: Providing school supplies of Howard County students

    For a number of years, I have been writing about the Community Action Council program called "Prepare for Success" which provides school supplies to low-income students in Howard County.   While we think of Howard County as a wealthy county, 23% of students in our County receive free or reduced meals.  These are the students that often are the ones who come from families that often struggle to meet the school needs of their children.

    You can donate to this program by checking with the Community Action Council, 9820 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia MD 21046, or online at

Monday, June 5, 2023

Religious and political conservatives always need a culture war to remain relevant

     If any of us liberals thought that the culture war on gay rights was over with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality we now see that the war has shifted to fighting transgender rights and drag queen shows.  Boycotting certain beers and Target for reaching out during gay pride month is where the conservative movement sees the battle.  Gov. DeSantis has made this a major part of his appeal in his presidential campaign.

      In their effort to "turn back the clock" to a time when being gay was illegal, the conservatives have always had enemies that were trying to corrupt our society.  This effort has always had appeal with religious persons since it fits with their belief that there is an ongoing battle between Satan and God.  It should not be surprising that much of the support for conservative politics closely aligns with fundamentalist religion.  Each has the need for an authoritarian leader who has the power to combat the evil influences of what is believed to be progressive policies.  Having blind faith in the leader leads to accepting cruel behaviors as the cost of the battle against evil forces.  Separating immigrant children from their parents is accepted as necessary to stop immigrant parents from trying to enter the United States illegally.  The religious teachings of all humans being children of God to be treated with compassion are lost in this situation.  Humanity is lost when we start to separate people into groups in the battle for good and evil.  This seems to be where the Republican Party and religious fundamentalists live today.


 I repeat myself but intelligence is knowing how much you don't know and stupid is thinking you know more than you do.  Lauren Boebert proves this every time she speaks. At least her husband doesn't have to live with her stupidity anymore.  

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The most dangerous hostage taker

      The challenge facing a hostage negotiator is knowing if the hostage taker is willing to kill the hostages or not.  If the hostage taker has killed before or is suicidal the risk to the hostages is very real and giving in to the hostage taker within reason is appropriate.  Often this involves publicizing some grievance the hostage taker has.

      The current situation with the Republicans holding the financial health of the United States hostage in the debt limit debate is an example where the Democrats have to determine how seriously the Republicans are in allowing the government to default.  The Republicans have become an anti-government party except for defense and veterans programs.  For them destroying the American government is not the same risk as it is with the Democrats who value government involvement in the lives of its citizens.  The Republicans right now resemble a hostage taker who is willing to kill their hostages than surrender.  They see backing down as a worse outcome for them instead of a default.  They are the most dangerous type of hostage taker.   The most likely outcome is that the Democrats will compromise in ways that they feel minimize the impact on the government to prevent the default.  Look for the Republicans to play "chicken" with default right up to the last moment.  Any gain they get out of hostage-taking will only embolden them to use the same tactic every time they can because damaging the government is one of their aims.


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Does anyone care that there is some kind of horse race in Baltimore today?


         We have a sport that only exists because of gambling in a crumbling city that is extremely cruel to horses that no longer make sense.  Time to end this stupidity. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Howard County gets first perfect score on walk-ability and bike-ability from national organization


From the Columbia Patch:

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Howard County has received a 100 percent score for its Complete Streets Policy after it was evaluated by Smart Growth America, making it the first jurisdiction in the nation to receive a perfect score under the 2023 scoring matrix.

“Complete Streets allow our children and students to walk and bike safely to schools and parks. They ensure that our neighbors with disabilities can access transit and other transportation modes,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said. “They provide unlimited opportunities for connections between our neighbors and neighborhoods, growing and strengthening our sense of community. This national recognition is the result of collaboration, hard work and a truly inclusive process.”

The fiscal year 2024 proposed capital budget includes a record $13.2 million for a variety of Complete Streets investments, including:

  • $1.3 million for Rogers Avenue Complete Streets project;
  • $1.1 million for Guilford Road bike and pedestrian improvements;
  • $1 million for the South Entrance Trail to connect downtown Columbia to the Patuxent Branch Trail; and
  • $3.6 million for bike and pedestrian infrastructure maintenance and repairs.

Ball announced the creation of two new capital projects in the fiscal year 2024 budget: the Dobbin Road Pathway, which will be a two-mile long, multi-use pathway for walking and cycling, and the U.S. 1 Corridor Safe Streets for All, which will bring critical streetscape, pedestrian, bicycle and transportation safety improvements along Route One from historic Elkridge to Laurel.

"Creating award-winning Complete Streets policies has been a dedicated, community-wide effort. By investing in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure around Howard County, we are also investing in equity, accessibility, and connectedness in our communities," said Howard County Council Chair Christiana Rigby.

The transportation investments also include $150,000 for expanded transit service in the Elkridge area, as well as an expansion of the FLASH bus rapid transit service to Howard County in a cross-county collaboration with Montgomery County. Howard County has committed more than $850,000 in county matching funds to purchase FLASH buses to travel along Route 29 from Burtonsville to Maple Lawn and Downtown Columbia.

The Complete Streets policy was first adopted in 2019 and followed by the launch of Howard County’s Complete Streets Implementation Team, which was charged with developing visionary and transformative standards for multi-modal transportation access and safety in Howard County. Following more than two years of comprehensive work from the implementation team, Howard County’s Complete Streets Design Manual was approved in 2022.


   I wrote about the problem for pedestrians on Dobbin Road 5 years ago.