The Art of Political Lying

“The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company to affirm or deny it…”

Hands up – who thinks this refers to one Donald J. Trump? Continue reading “The Art of Political Lying”

Donald Trump, Loser.

Donald Trump likes to characterize people and institutions using simple repeatable epithets that end up sticking like glue – Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Failing New York Times, Weak Jeb, Fake CNN, and now Leaker Comey.  These simple insults resonate.

In search of a simple tag to put on Donald Trump, I Iooked at the ones already in play – bully, misogynist, blowhard, ignorant,  incompetent, etc.  None really captures The Donald fully and completely.  He can be any and/or all of the above at any given time.  I came to realize that there is, however, one term that does describe the 45th President simply and accurately – one that he himself has used when he wants to completely dismiss an adversary.  The word is “loser”.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Donald Trump is a Loser.  With a capital “L”. Continue reading “Donald Trump, Loser.”

Responding to Climate Science Skeptics: A Letter to Scott Adams

Dear Scott:

While you’ve made your reputation as an internationally-renowned cartoonist, whose Dilbert characters have entertained millions (including me) over more than 25 years, you’ve now thrown your voice into the discussion about anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) climate change.  It’s not going well.  Your positions seem to be ever-changing, eager to latch onto red herrings, politically-driven arguments, and “alternative facts.”  Scott Adams’ Blog now appears to reflect skepticism of the science and the scientists’ ability to form conclusions based on the science – so much so that the blogs are now being quoted by true climate science deniers to support their arguments.   I’m writing this to try and get you back on track, out of the clutches of a very powerful, very manipulative climate science denial industry. And, to have you focus more on Dilbert and Wally.

Let’s recap.  Continue reading “Responding to Climate Science Skeptics: A Letter to Scott Adams”

Intolerance and Free Speech — Trump, Breitbart, and Milo

trump-prayer-breakfast2

“We will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation.”

So said Donald Trump on February 2, 2017 to a public audience at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Mr. Trump, cut the crap. There is already a well-established, well-fortified beachhead of intolerance in your nation — it has been supported, encouraged, and rewarded by you and the people you have hired to develop and implement your agenda. Intolerance? It starts at the White House. Continue reading “Intolerance and Free Speech — Trump, Breitbart, and Milo”

Do business leaders make better political leaders? A look at Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O’Leary has just announced that he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.  His qualifications?  He has built a business, understands business, has negotiated deals, and knows his way around financial statements.   This background, O’Leary argues, makes him uniquely qualified to stabilize the Canadian economy, deal with a newly nationalistic U.S. on trade matters, and address such varied and complex issues as tax policy, international relations, and climate change.  Mr. O’Leary believes that his business acumen, as well as his lack of political experience, would make him the right man at the right time to lead the country.

Since Donald Trump improbably parlayed his business background and his position as a political outsider to occupancy of the White House, many critics have focused on Trump’s temperament, his questionable policies, and his continuing lack of familiarity with facts.  Some have questioned the actual success of the Trump business empire.  Very few, however, have questioned his basic premise – that a business background produces good, effective political leaders.   Now that O’Leary wants to travel the same route as Trump, let’s look at that premise. Continue reading “Do business leaders make better political leaders? A look at Kevin O’Leary”

Media Matters: The Relevance of Walter Cronkite

You know the mainstream media is on the defensive when The Globe and Mail, with a host of issues to comment on, devotes a year-end editorial to defending and praising the media.  Maybe it’s not surprising, when we’ve come through a year full of fake news, outrageously biased opinions masquerading as news, and widespread criticism of reputable news providers for even reporting the news accurately.   When anyone with a laptop can now broadcast “news” to a potential audience of millions without any regard for journalistic integrity or even truthfulness, maybe it’s appropriate to throw a bit of praise to those who do maintain some standards. Continue reading “Media Matters: The Relevance of Walter Cronkite”

The U.S. Heads Towards a Science-free Science Policy

The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is a very large and growing problem that affects us all.  The scientists reached this conclusion through decades of research, modeling, observation and analysis.  They are the professionals, and the science is settled.

Donald Trump agrees with the scientists.  Maybe. Sort of.  He recently admitted to the New York Times that he thinks “there is some connectivity [between human activity and climate change]. He said that “there is some, something. It depends on how much.”  One can’t read too much into this statement, however.  Over the past 7 years Trump’s position on climate change seems to have (quite literally) changed with the weather.   He signed his name to a public statement supporting “meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today.”   Then he described climate change as “bullshit,” a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.  He called it a “very expensive form of tax.”  But, he also saw fit to build a sea wall at his Irish golf course in order to protect the property from erosion caused by ”a sea level rise as a result of global warming.” Continue reading “The U.S. Heads Towards a Science-free Science Policy”