Transportation

September 11th, 2016 Comments off

This just in from the year 2020:

Greenville, Thank you! I thank you for making transportation such a moving experience!  (No pun intended.)

I get up in the morning, and walk from my house along those lovely, wide sidewalks that now line all our roads, to the shops on the corner of Woodruff Road at Five Forks.  From there, I get onto the Woodruff Road PeopleMover, which takes me from one mall to another and another, with convenient hop-on-hop-off points along the way.  No more maddening bumper-to-bumper traffic, with soccer-moms on their cell phones careening about and ready to rear-end me.

And it’s not just shopping that your wise transportation policy has made easier for me.   I take the 385 Express Tram from Woodruff Rd. to my doctor’s office at the Patewood complex. Or perhaps we might make a spring excursion to the zoo.  Or we’ll go right downtown, to the Main Street  Mall, which used to be a traffic nightmare but now is a pedestrian’s paradise. With the influx of strollers, even Bergamo opens for late lunch (pranzo in Italian).  It’s amazing how  commercial activity throughout the city has blossomed with the coming of an intelligent transportation policy.

From Downtown, I can hop on the Green line tram to attend a music recital at Furman University, or even travel through Traveler’s Rest via MagneCar right up to the funicular that takes me to Caesar’s Head Park for a summer’s picnic near the Solar Collection site.

Or, from Downtown, I might choose to board the Orange Line, which whisks me out to the game at Clemson. (Okay, I was never really big on tail-gating.) And Anderson’s also just a few stops away on the Blue Line.

For a special treat, I’ll go downtown and grab the BulletTrain to Atlanta — I do love the High Museum, though  I just wish that Atlanta’s transportation would make it easier for the visitor to get to Buckhead.  Every few months, I take the same BulletTrain (in the opposite direction, natch’) to Washington, D.C., to visit my nephew.  Thirty minutes to Atlanta, three hours to DC: Greenville, you’ve become the hub of the universe!  Well, at least my universe.

All this, and totally green and non-polluting—ain’t solar reat?

So thank you, Greenville, for being the progressive town you were always meant to be!

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Who’s Gay Now?

September 10th, 2016 Comments off

Who’s Gay Now?

In 1969, I was living in New York, Greenwich Village, at #7 Gay Street, just around the corner from The Stone Wall Inn, a bar later known for the Stonewall Riot, or just plain Stonewall, in June of that year.  I was outside that place as the “riot” was going on — on the periphery of the crowd, to be sure, but not unaware of what was going on.

In the days after, the Village was alive with organization and discussion of what to do next.  A main subject of debate was, What do we call ourselves?  We were tired of being called ‘homosexual,’ a dry and medical-sounding term.  We certainly were not ‘faggots’, ‘fairies’, ‘queers’, ‘mericons’, or similar disparaging terms; we needed to find our own name, to be able to find our voice.

The term ‘gay’ was not unknown, but not a widely used word; it was used mostly in the musical and theatrical circles, but not in the general population.  But it sounded right — and not just to apply to males.  In the discussions I took part in, we saw that the term ‘gay’ could apply equally well to lesbians and bi-sexuals.  That is, Gay meant someone attracted to the same sex, whether exclusively or not.

The term was later used to encompass the transgendered, anyone who considers themselves ‘queer”, and recently has been used to include intersexuals–that is, people born with both male and female genitalia (google it): thus, the LGBTQI community.

The point was:  Inclusivity.  We’re all in this together, folks; we’re all gay.  No narrow categorizations, no intra-group squabbling,  let’s put an end to these narrow definitions that can be used against us and unite toward the common goal of acceptance in the greater community.  And this effort worked, to the point that gay people can marry their same-sex loves.  It’s been a difficult journey, but we’ve come a long way.

I’ve recently heard some people say, “You’re not gay, you’re bisexual!”  To me, this makes no sense.  Have there never been happily married gay men?  Are lesbians not part of the gay community?  If you’re queer, are you not gay?  Must a man be completely inexperienced with the female sex, to be considered ‘gay’?  Are there no gay people with children born to them?

I’ve considered myself gay for some 68 years.  I know who I am.  I know my most innermost thoughts, my most intimate feelings.  I am happily married to a wonderful woman, whom I love deeply.  I find some men sexually attractive.  I am gay.  I didn’t suddenly change, just because I got married; there was never a Road-to-Damascus moment.

 

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Trump & Republican Party Today

August 3rd, 2016 Comments off

Trump brings together aggression and narcissism with a kind of militant ignorance which can be harmless or even amusing in the make believe world of reality TV or New York real estate but becomes positively dangerous on a national and global stage, thrashing about like a hose spewing fire. As Will Saletan memorably put it, the GOP is a failed state and Trump is its warlord. On his own Trump is simply a bracing case study in abnormal psychology. But he didn’t shoot to within reach of the most powerful office in the world by happenstance. He is the product of a political and cultural breakdown on the American right, a swaggering reductio ad absurdum of every breach and breakdown and violation of extra-statutory norms we’ve seen over the last two or three decades.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/making-sense-of-the-conflagration

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American Sharia

July 30th, 2016 Comments off

This is from the Republican platform:

We are the party of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration sets forth the fundamental precepts of American government: That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail; that there is a moral law recognized as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”; and that American government is to operate with the consent of the governed.

This is almost a perfect description of sharia law I’ve read — it’s just Allah missing, replaced by God. Here’s a passage from the Constitution of Iran:

•    1.the One God (as stated in the phrase “There is no god except Allah”), His exclusive sovereignty and the right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
•    2.Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;…

 

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Hanlon’s Razor

June 20th, 2016 Comments off

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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A Crime Against America

June 6th, 2016 Comments off

Trump’s success thus far appears, it is true, to contradict this but the other, greater, more important truth is that his candidacy is much worse than a mere blunder; it is a kind of crime against the idea of America itself. A refutation of the ideas that, in their better moments, built the United States. Those ideas, those ideals, have often been compromised or otherwise corrupted but they still, at some fundamental level, meant something. Trump spits on all of that. No more Emma Lazarus here. Nhttp://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/every-honest-and-decent-person-must-hope-hillary-clinton-wins-this-presidential-election/o more shining city on a hill. No more anything.

The Spectator

 

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Guns

May 21st, 2016 Comments off

The Myth Behind Defensive Gun Ownership

Guns are more likely to do harm than good.

 

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/defensive-gun-ownership-myth-114262?o=0

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Correlation vs Causation

April 11th, 2016 Comments off

Correlation does not imply causation” is a phrase used in statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not imply that one causes the other. Many statistical tests calculate correlation between variables.

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Adam Smith Triumphant Still

April 10th, 2016 Comments off

“Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”

–Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

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Oops! Here We Go Again

April 1st, 2016 Comments off

SC Secessionist Party to raise Confederate flag at State House in July

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/#storylink=cpy
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