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In The Public Interest

Sterling record of stamina

I’ve always been fascinated by stamina. Lou Gehrig was my boyhood hero, and not just because of his batting average, clutch hitting and dignified comportment. From 1925 to 1939 he played 2,130 ballgames in a row, not missing one, despite injuries and illnesses. (It was the record until eclipsed by the Baltimore Orioles’ formidable Cal Ripken in 1987.)

Society is in decay: When worst is first, best is last

Plutocrats like to control the range of permissible public dialogue and to shape what society values. If you want to see where a country’s priorities lie, look at how it allocates its money. While teachers and nurses earn comparatively little for performing critical jobs, corporate bosses including those who pollute our planet and bankrupt defenseless families, make millions more. 

Trump versus Congress and our Constitution

Donald Trump is the most impeachable president in American history. Many Democrats, however, are running away from the word “impeachment” for tactical political reasons. Some Democrats say they have a sworn duty under the U.S. Constitution to present articles of impeachment for a vote in the House of Representatives, regardless of the refusal by the Republican-controlled Senate to hold a trial.

How the real Trump is endangering America

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent almost two years to produce a $25 million report that is a flat tire. Still unreleased in full to the American people, Trump’s acolyte, Attorney General William Barr, a longtime friend of Republican Mueller, gave us what Trump long craved by stating that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” during the 2016 election. 

Children can challenge power of corporations on climate change

The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said to me that children have a distinct moral authority to change some of their parents’ habits or opinions. She gave use of seat belts and smoking cigarettes as examples.

Indeed, most of us know instances when sons and daughters have looked into the eyes of their fathers and mothers and urged them to wear their seatbelts or stop smoking. They say in their own plaintive way that they want mommy and daddy around for them. 

Boeing’s homicide will give way to safety reforms if flyers organize

Part 2 of 2

To understand the enormity of the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes (Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302) that took a combined total of 346 lives, it is useful to look at past events and anticipate future possible problems.

How the real Trump is endangering America

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent almost two years to produce a $25 million report that is a flat tire. Still unreleased in full to the American people, Trump’s acolyte, Attorney General William Barr, a longtime friend of Republican Mueller, gave us what Trump long craved by stating that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” during the 2016 election. 

The realized temptations of NPR and PBS

Recently an elderly gentleman asked me about my opinion on NPR and PBS, knowing of my vigorous support in the 1960s for these alternatives to commercial radio and television stations.

Here is my response:

Congress created NPR and PBS to provide serious programming, without any advertisements, for the American people. Former media executive Fred Friendly and others worried that the commercial stations were not meeting the 1934 Communications Act requirement that they operate for the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

Sen. Rand Paul’s call: reality v. rigidity

Two contemporary stories about Sen. Rand Paul (R- Ky.) illustrate the disconnect between one’s ideology and personal experiences. Imagine a fierce opponent of regulation being saved in a crash by government-mandated seat belts and air bags and the ensuing cognitive dissonance.

In the case of Rand Paul, MD (ophthalmology), the two experiences came almost at the same time. Last month, Sen. Paul went to the Shouldice Hernia Centre, the world-famous hernia repair institution located just outside of Toronto, Ont.