What we’ve learned from right wing reaction to Obama, and now Trump

On January 27, 1998, in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky revelations, Hillary Clinton appeared on the Today show and said, “The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he … Read more

The elusive connection we have to truth

Perhaps it’s always been this way; humankind has been more motivated by emotions than reason and the primary emotion that generates beliefs is fear. The more that we’re driven by fear the less space we have in our brains to try to deal rationally with issues. Two recent items from very different parts of the … Read more

Obama could take a page out of Fiorina’s playbook on Syria

Well, not exactly. But there is something interesting that Carly Fiorina says about budgeting for the federal government that might be helpful in reassessing the U.S.’s strategy on Syria. Fiorina has called for “zero-based” budgeting. What that means is that everything is on the table. Her ideas can get very scary when applied to Social … Read more

Pappy Bush and McCain gave green light to GOP extremists

The Republican Party has strayed so far from “societal norms” or “polite company” in recent years that it has caused some to ask, “Where have the grown-ups in the party gone?” It’s a fair question, particularly when looking at those members of the Grand Old Party who are currently running for president. But it wasn’t … Read more

Media does for Bernie Sanders what it never did for Dennis Kucinich

The first question that Anderson Cooper asked Bernie Sanders was, “A Gallup poll says half the country would not put a socialist in the White House. You call yourself a democratic socialist. How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?” Sanders responded in part by saying, “Democrats at the … Read more

Are Republican and Democratic brains like Yin and Yang?

Some people posit that the Republican brain and the Democratic brain complement one another, somewhat like yin and yang. The theory would be that liberal people bring to a society a full measure of empathy, reason, and fairness. Conservatives bring order, structure, and rules. Together there is a harmonious and smooth functioning society. I’m a … Read more

Joe Biden talks about courage and empathy: a unique combination

Many people think that the Stephen Colbert interview with Vice-President Joe Biden on Thursday, September 10 was seminal TV. Both had suffered tragic losses in their families and have done a remarkable job of picking up the pieces and moving on, while not forgetting how important the relatives whom they lost were to them. In … Read more

The “President Trump,” Seven-Days-in-May scenario

If you were a child of the ‘60s, one of the most gripping novels and then movies was Seven Days in May (video link below). The compact plot summary from IMDB is, “United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.” … Read more

You can be mean and still sound rational

A recent article published here on Occasional Planet stated that the Republican debates last Thursday night were not as much of a clown car as expected. A friend of mine watched the Republican debates and had a similar take on how the Republicans sounded. However, the realities of the world in which we live came … Read more

Trump knows how to reform campaign finance

Earlier this week I received one of those odious phone calls with a political candidate asking for, you guessed it, money. I wish that solicitation calls were on the EPA watch list for harmful pollutants that damage our environment, but sadly, such is not the case. Donald Trump seems to have solved the problem of … Read more