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Monthly Archive: July 2012

Jul 29 2012

Olympics tribute to the British National Health Service

olympics_nhs

I didn’t watch the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. For that matter, I still haven’t seen the lavishly-praised 2008 Beijing ceremonies either or any Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade or any of the Royal weddings or state funerals. The truth is I am just not a big fan of long, elaborate, staged, set-piece ceremonies. I …

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Jul 28 2012

Parks? Who needs parks?

Herman Cain continues his “Look at me! I’m an idiot who is willing to be made a fool of by comedians just for the attention!” tour by talking with John Oliver of The Daily Show about how he would lower the price of gas by allowing drilling over most of the national parks, thus effectively …

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Jul 28 2012

Pakistan’s slide into theocracy

Pakistan is a country that seems to be standing at the intersection of secular and religious currents. One leads to a modern state that could become a powerful force in science, technology, and commerce. The other leads to a backward looking theocracy. Although modernism will eventually win out, as it always does, the signs are …

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Jul 28 2012

Voting for an increase in income tax rates

I live in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. It is a fairly small residential community of about 5 square miles and 30,000 people. It has long been proud of the quality of life and services offered to its residents, and of its public school system which both our daughters attended throughout the K-12 years. …

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Jul 27 2012

Joseph Stiglitz on The Daily Show

The Nobel prize-winning economist talks about how the US economy, if not already broken, is on its way to becoming so because of the rapidly rising inequality that is becoming entrenched and hereditary as the rich put in place laws that preserve their privileges. He dates the beginning of decline to 1980 when the divergence …

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Jul 27 2012

Alexander Aan’s blasphemy

rafiq-aan

Reader Mark of the Cleveland Freethinkers has asked me to try and rally support for Atheist Alliance International’s new scholarship fund for imprisoned Indonesian Alexander Aan who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and a fine equivalent to US $10,600 essentially for denying the existence of god on his Facebook page. The news report …

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Jul 27 2012

Psst! Want to set up an offshore tax shelter?

Mitt Romney’s candidacy has opened up a whole new discussion about offshore tax shelters. I had assumed that this was something that was quite complicated to set up, and thus only wealthy people with armies of expensive accountants and lawyers could take advantage of them.

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Jul 27 2012

Vampires and zombies

I have recently been on a Sherlock Holmes kick, watching episodes of the old British TV series starring Jeremy Brett and then reading the stories again since some years have passed since I last did so. The latest one was the 1994 episode The Last Vampyre based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Adventure …

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Jul 26 2012

Lewis Black rants on The Daily Show

Luckily for me, I almost never watch TV otherwise the political commercials that Black castigates would drive me insane, especially since Ohio is a so-called ‘swing state’ and we get much more than our fair share of this nonsense. Yes, we are all swingers here. To think that TV viewers have to put up with …

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Jul 26 2012

How fake news can get created

It should not be a surprise that I like blogs. But it is true that bloggers are sometimes responsible for the generation of fake news that makes its way into the mainstream media. This happens when a poorly-sourced item on a blog gets picked up by other blogs and spreads, creating the impression that it …

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