civics

Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

abolition, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, betrayal, Change, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, constitution, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, Discernment, Executive Branch, faithfulness, First Amendment, history, Ideology, Impeachment, Justice Samuel Chase, law, Marbury v. Madison, Politics, Presidency, race, racism, Secularity, Separation of Powers, slavery, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
The US Constitution explicitly outlines the causes and procedures for impeachment of the President and other ministers of the US government, e.g., Supreme Court Justices.  These are the so-called “impeachment clauses”. (Other parts of the Constitution deal with impeachment, but this is the most relevant for present purposes). Prof. Alan Dershowitz, despite being unfairly perceived as being contaminated through association with Fox News, has performed a valuable service, especially in books like Trumped Up:  How the Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, by urgently advising against the weaponization of political differences, and even free speech, as tools to further purely political ends. As anyone knows who has followed my “Skeptic’s Collection” columns over th
Trump And The Forbidden Planet

Trump And The Forbidden Planet

activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, community, conservatism, critical judgment, culture, Uncategorized
On a recent weekend, my wife and I watched – I for probably the dozenth time – the 1956 classic science fiction movie Forbidden Planet.  Perhaps halfway through the movie, and largely because of the Freudian discussion of the power and place of the id in the human mind that was woven into the narrative, I had a lightning stroke of insight:  Forbidden Planet (hereafter FP) is no longer, as it was in 1956, a vivid but purely theoretical cautionary tale about Freud’s warnings concerning what he called “the return of the Repressed,” but is also a chilling metaphor for the hazards of Trump as the first truly postmodern American President. Suddenly, I realized that we are not Dr. Morbius and his nubile daughter living on Altair IV perhaps 200 years in the future. Rather we are Americans liv
Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

"Life" Issues, activism, Astronomy, autonomy, awareness, Big Bang, Challenge, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Discernment, doubt, Education, Environment, Evidence, Evolution, faithfulness, Fundamentalism, Human Condition, Hurricanes, Ideology, Milky Way Galaxy, Paleontology, Politics, Rationality, Science, Secularity, SETI, The Big Blue Marble, Thinking, Uncategorized, Universe, Weather and Climate, Wildfires, Windstorm
The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie  – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now:  earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now com