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Photo from Physics World; https://physicsworld.com/a/physics-world-review-of-2020-a-year-were-glad-to-say-goodbye-to/

This was a tough year. And I won’t lie, it’s going to get tougher.

A few days ago, I read about the situation that’s evolving around the country, for the hospitals. It’s like a worse version of what happened here, in New York City, 10 months ago. There’s so many sick people that hospitals are out of beds. If someone is in cardiac arrest, or needs an emergency room, there’s no where to take that person. …


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Considering how and why we started celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the United States, this is a borderline racist image.

Q: What is Cinco de Mayo about?
A: It’s a small holiday in Mexico, commemorating the Batalla de Puebla (5/5/1862). In this battle, 4,000 Mexican soldiers faced 8,000 French soldiers, and won the battle. 462 French soldiers were killed, compared to 83 Mexican soldiers killed.

Q: Okay, why did we start celebrating this holiday in the United States? A: In the 1950s, Mexican-American activists started promoting the holiday. At this time, there was strong (comparable to now, possibly worse if you can imagine) anti-Mexican and anti-Latino sentiment in the country. This was the environment that led the Eisenhower administration to…


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I don’t remember where I got this picture from.

Since 1980, the Iowa Caucus has correctly predicted the eventual Democratic Nominee every time except once, in 1992.

Of those Democratic Nominee predictions, 3 won the popular the vote (Al Gore, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton). The rest were crushed in electoral landslides (Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, John Kerry).

Of the 3 who won the popular vote, only 1 became President, Barrack Obama.

The year that Iowa incorrectly predicted the nominee, 1992, produced a President who had a plurality of the popular vote, but who still became President — Bill Clinton.

So, since 1980, Iowa has correctly predicted almost every…


This is not a political article. This is an article about civics. They sometimes sound like the same thing, but they aren’t. The focus here is on two central elements of civics …

  1. How Democratic and Republican Primaries Work
  2. Making A Bad Prediction About the Future Nominee

How Democratic and Republican Primaries Work

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I sometimes wonder if U.S. citizens could pass the civics tests naturalized citizens take, given that I don’t know if most U.S. citizens know what naturalized means. | https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates

The person who gets the most votes in Republican or Democratic Presidential Primaries does not necessarily become the nominee. Presidential primaries for both parties are built on the same idea; the person with the most delegates at the nominating convention becomes the nominee. In theory, someone could end up with a plurality (i.e…


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Caucuses are stupid. From https://thejjreport.com/sport/put-iowa-caucuses-out-of-their-misery-results-delay-further-undermines-privilege-to-be-1st/

Every year, I see the same kinds of proclamations of what a ‘win’ at the Iowa Caucus means, and they’re always wrong. Like, I’ve seen this since 1980, as a kid.

The Iowa Democratic Caucus results have produced exactly 1 President, Barrack Obama in 2008. The caucus predicted the Democratic Nominee for President correctly in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2016.

But it only predicted the President correctly once in all that time. …


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From The Conversation “Breaking Up Families? America looks like a Dickens Novel.” | http://theconversation.com/breaking-up-families-america-looks-like-a-dickens-novel-98660

I find my fellow New Yorker Jeanine Cummins very frustrating.

She’s the latest author to join Oprah’s Book Club, for her book “American Dirt.” In the book, she tells a fictional story about the troubles facing a family from Mexico trapped in a life-or-death situation, that has to travel to the U.S. for safety and face our immigration system. Her book is being lauded. She’s a foster mom, with a good heart, and this work she’s created has reached the hearts of a lot of good Americans, people like Stephen King and Oprah and all sorts of folks.

It was…


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Image from a review of the satire ‘The Forever War’ from WarIsBoring.com.

There is no draft right now. If our country declares war against Iran, there still wouldn’t be a draft. To do so would require an act of Congress. Theoretically, in a worse case scenario, the Trump Administration could argue that a war with Iran is already authorized under the existing ‘AUMF Against Terrorists’ from September 14, 2001.

Let me explain how this works, from the perspective of current law.

The War Powers act gives President Trump far too much power, as it has too many American Presidents. This act allows Presidents, including Trump, to engage in military actions overseas without…


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Brandt Jean (brother), Allison Jean (mother), Bertram Jean (father) and Allisa Findley (sister), the family of murder victim Botham Jean, and themselves the victim of a violent crime. Picture from https://heavy.com/news/2019/10/brandt-jean/

Brandt Jean is 18, and is a victim of a violent crime. His brother, Botham Jean, was murdered. Their mother, Allison Jean and father, Bertram Jean, are also victims of that same violent crime. And his sister, Allisa Findley. Their family will forever be one person short, because of a murder.

Losing someone you love is hard, grief is painful and takes on every emotional shape you can imagine. The movies and TV often get this wrong; we see pictures of people sobbing uncontrollably, and for people who haven’t experienced that grief, it can look like the only form it comes in, but when you grieve, your emotions can take on so many forms. Because the loss of that person takes away some sense of your equilibrium, of your bearings, in a lot of people. You try to find how to do everything without that person, and the closer you were…


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Trump believes that yesterday’s explosive news exonerates him, because acting like a mafia boss is how he does business. Photo from the BBC, “White House ‘tried to cover up details of Trump-Ukraine call

Yesterday, the top story was that the Trump administration had released a transcript of a July 25th, 2019 conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, even though there was no transcript actually released. As the day went on, news outlets softened their earlier headlines, and the phrase, “rough transcript,” and other euphemisms to describe the declassified memo came into use.

The reason that this mattered were manyfold, including …

  1. Calling it a transcript obscures that Trump lied about something again; he said he would release the full transcript of the conversation to the public, and then failed to…

Fred Chong Rutherford

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