Really? – This and That From the Week That Was. A Train Crash; The Death Penalty; Buying Science; Mrs Betty Bowers; Foresight is Blind.

by Pitt Griffin on May 17, 2015 · 0 comments

in Climate change, Gay Marriage, Politics, Really?, Religion

“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions” ― Edward R. Murrow

The I-35 bridge Minneapolis.

The I-35 bridge Minneapolis.

The Amtrak crash this week underscored in what disrepair our infrastructure is. Instead of agreeing that we have a problem some politicians accused other politicians of ‘politicizing’ the problem – so that they don’t have to deal with it.

America owns the biggest house in the neighborhood – and it’s falling down. But instead of making needed repairs, we just keep installing higher-tech alarm systems. (h/t The Hill)

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The Boston Bomber, Dzokhar Tsarnaev received a death sentence. But he may well die a natural death in prison. In fact, since the death penalty was reintroduced federally, in 1988, 74 people have received the ultimate sanction. Of those, only 3 have been executed – none since 2003 – 10 have had their sentence commuted, and 61 sit on death row.

Some victims of the bombing lobbied for the death penalty, and I hope it gives them the closure they seek. Others wanted life, as the interminable appeals guaranteed by a death sentence would keep the wounds fresh. Their philosophy might prove the better one.

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A billionaire discovers you can't buy science.

A billionaire discovers you can’t buy science.

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm tried to buy some science. Hamm, billionaire founder and CEO of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources wanted scientists working at the University of Oklahoma fired. Their ‘crime’. They were researching the reasons for the 4oo-fold increase in Oklahoma earthquakes. The chief culprit for which is fracking. This major donor presumably thought his money could buy science ‘his way’.

When news of his shenanigans surfaced, he claimed he had merely made some friendly suggestions. An e-mail from the Dean of the University’s College of Earth and Energy refuted his claim. It revealed that Hamm had tried to strong-arm the Dean – including an attempt to shoe-horning himself onto the search committee for a director of the very department whose scientists he so abhorred. Luckily the academics showed cojones and rebuffed Mr Hamm. (h/t Bloomberg Business)

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‘America’s Best Christian’, Mrs Betty Bowers reviews biblical marriage.

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Bothe Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio flubbed the question on whether we should have invaded Iraq. Both excused their waffling by saying that Presidents don’t have the benefit of hindsight. That’s silly. We all of us have hindsight – what we don’t have is foresight.

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