A year ago, my ex-husband and I sat down to negotiate the end of our marriage. Using standard forms downloaded from the state website, we planned the termination of a twelve year marriage- including custody of two young children, distribution of assets, and division of debts. No one was happy with the agreement, but truthfully, it has worked fairly well so far. The secret of the successful compromise is we understood there would be pain and sacrifice for everyone, but ultimately if we worked together we could find a way to make it tolerable.
Everyday people have to make life-altering decisions all the time- my ex and I did. It’s time for our government to figure out how to communicate at least as well as a divorcing couple.
Congress and President Obama find themselves in need of similar skills of negotiation this week, as they work to end a budget dispute that has dogged the country for years. To avoid falling off a fiscal cliff, our government must work within itself, like a family, to find a way for everyone to get what they really need, and be willing to give up that which they don’t for the greater good. Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
The United States is a very powerful nation with a military that far exceeds any other military. Yet, even though the citizens of America may be some of the safest citizens in the world when it comes to military security, we still are not free from the fear of being attacked.
The events of 9/11 gave us good reason to realize that we are still vulnerable. We should also realize though that our chances of any one of us being the victim of an attack is lower than our chances of being in a fatal automobile accident. Statistics show that four people die every hour in auto accidents.
We Americans spend a great deal of our time, worrying about other countries such as Iran. Throughout our history, we have fought wars far from home in countries that had not actually attacked us, but our government perceived them a threat. Read more
On Wednesday, the United States, Russia, Germany, France, China, and Britain staged an intervention for Iran to get it to come to terms with its use of threats about nuclear weapons.
At 6:00 in the evening, Iran returned home from work to find all six nations sitting and waiting for it. A facilitator from the United Nations began the conversation.
“Iran, my name is Michael. Your friends are very worried about you, and we would like to talk to you about your problem with nuclear weapons.”
Iran immediately got defensive. “Fuck you guys! I don't need to listen to this!”
“Yes, I think you do,” said the United States, taking Iran by the arm and leading it to a chair.
“I swear to god I will fuck you guys up!” yelled Iran.
“Ah oui. We know.” said France, rolling its eyes. Read more
birthday of the Russian Marines celebrated November 27 - this day in 1705, Peter I officially ordered " inflict shelf sea soldiers ", that is a separate, new types of forces. But in fact, after the establishment of the Marine Corps does not belong to the first Russian emperor, and his father - Alexis Mikhailovich, a good-natured character, and Christian humility nicknamed quietest.
That's quietest Emperor began the very transformation of Russia, who finished brilliantly by Peter I. And as a result emerged only during the times of Peter, on the quietest quietly forgotten. And for good reason. Read more
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and causes 1 in 5 deaths in America every year.
Tobacco use is an epidemic that must be stopped. Stepping outside, into a bar or restaurant, or a park is a dangerous.
That is why I push for the Stop Smoking Act which would make tobacco illegal and establish the Department of Health and Death (DOHD) whose goal is to protect the health of all smokers–and non smokers–and provide essential information on the dangers of smoking.
The Stop Smoking Act would help smokers protect themselves. Read more
“Over 50% of Florida students fail state writing test. Most educators are unconcerned, as good grammar is not needed when writing ransom notes.”
“Lockerbie bomber dies in Libya. World reacts with exaggerated shrug.”
“$3.6 million worth of marijuana was found floating in the ocean on Sunday. Someone is totally getting fired."
“Flesh eating bacteria attacks a 23-year-old woman and a mother of newborn twins. Looking to get your grandma and the disabled boy down the block next.”
Today is Minnesota Senator Al Franken's Birthday. In honor of that, I'm reposting this historically accurate and important essay, which first appeared on this blog on April 23, 2009 at 3:56PM:
I personally put Al Franken in the Senate
Al Franken is about to be seated as the Junior Senator from Minnesota after a long and costly battle between loser Norm Coleman and Senator Franken. Al won the election by just a few hundred votes, and three of those votes are mine.
When MSNBC fired Keith Olbermann and replaced him with Lawrence O'Donnell, I was a bit annoyed. But now that Olbermann had crashed and burned over at Current TV, and O'Donnell has turned into a pretty effective pundit, I have changed my mind. For an example of why I like O'Donnell so much, consider this depressingly accurate tirade about the Newsweek cover with the headline, “The First Gay President.” Read more
So it was last Sunday morning and the "news" shows and respected journalists were yammering about whether or not coming out for same sex marriage will help or hurt Obama’s re-election efforts.
"Sixty percent of those polled indicate his stance will have no effect on their vote; 16% said they are less likely to vote for him while yadayadayada." Read more
Meet Jeff Flake from Arizona. His number one goal is the destruction of the federal government, one piece at a time. His first target: the National Science Foundation. The NSF funds a big chunk of the country's basic research to the tune of about $7 billion/year, and Flake proposed cutting it by a billion dollars.
He didn't get what he wanted, fortunately. Read more
I only have time for a quick post today, so let us take note of the happy fact that Obama has now come out squarely in support of gay marriage. In an interview today he said: Read more
In what may be a record-breaking turn out, terrified North Carolinians voted Tuesday to ban same sex marriage, partnerships, and civil unions. Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the executive committee for the pro-amendment Vote for Marriage NC, said of their victory, “We are proud to join such forward looking states as Texas...........and uh, Kansas.........um.........let me start again.” Read more
Starting now, I will be writing blog post now and then at Minnesota Progressive Project. I'll be focusing on the intersection of science and politics, the politics of science, and now and then I'l rant wildly about something random.
My inaugural post is HERE. It is about the possibility of a Science Debate in Minnesota and consists mainly of an interview with Shawn Otto. Read more