Verily I Say Unto Thee... archive
Category : Media - All

Do We Need A Better Way To Address False Convictions?

As I read A Botched Trial Leads To $30 Million Judgment For Nebraska County That Can’t Pay (Washington Post), I was struck that the story sought sympathy for the county (Gage County, Nebraska) rather than for the six wrongfully convicted people who filed the lawsuit. In short: 68-year-old Helen Wilson was murdered in 1985 by[…]

A Day Without Women

This is the official logo for the March 8 event. Organizers of the Women’s March are calling for a “general strike” on March 8, which they have dubbed “A Day Without A Woman”. The idea is that if enough women stay home from work that day, the rest of society will see how important women[…]

Those Pesky Facts: The #MuslimBan Edition (UPDATED)

While President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration isn’t technically a “Muslim Ban”, it does bar entry into the U.S. for citizens of Muslim-majority nations. Specifically: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban is 90 days, except for “indefinitely” in the case of Syria. Trump’s stated purpose in this order[…]

‘Why Did They March?’ — A Question From Privilege

Screenshot from Oxford Dictionary app I’ll admit my bubble has grown thicker over the years, so I was flummoxed when I saw multiple posts over the past two days wondering why women marched — in at least 600 cities worldwide — on Jan. 21. Twenty years ago, I probably would have been asking the same[…]

The Most Important Freedom, At Least For Now

I would someday be interested in an informed discussion on whether some of our constitutionally-protected rights are more important than others, or should be. For example, if you had to give up one enumerated freedom, which would you choose? (If we’re going with the original Constitution and Bill of Rights, I would give up the[…]

Inauguration: Just The High Notes

Instead of dissecting the new President’s inauguration speech for undertones of fascism and demagoguery — as some have been wont to do — I will point out a few positives that I took away from the event. First note that I didn’t intend to watch, but changed my mind at the last minute when I[…]

The Impact Of Celebrity And Celebrity Deaths

I will leave to the social psychologists the matter of why so many people fawn over celebrities, and why so many of us experience more sadness over the death of a single celebrity figure than we do over the deaths of millions of other people (4.7 million every month). It’s a fact that many people[…]

A Poor Start To My War On Misinformation

Note the “I don’t care” response after I pointed out the quote was fake. As I said in my previous entry: If someone else posts fake news, I’ll let them know. This hasn’t won me many friends, but I’m not in life to have a bunch of friends who share fake news. It just so[…]

The Fake News Epidemic

(Click to see it full size) Someone — I wish I knew who, so I could attribute — made this helpful chart showing where various news agencies fall on the left/right political spectrum, as well as on the worth-reading spectrum. Note that this chart doesn’t actually include “fake news” sites — sites that invent stories[…]

Vague, Tautological Meme Is Vague And Tautological

This week’s silly meme I bring up this meme only because I’ve seen it so often on social media. Apparently, about a third of the people in my online circles think this is true. For searchability reasons, I include the text (correcting for the ALL-CAPS issue): “Am I the only one around here who thinks[…]

We Need To Stop Disagreeing On Facts And Start Arguing Solutions

Oddly, too many arguments between the left and right in our country have shifted into arguments about whether facts are true. Evolution is real! — No it’s not! Climate change is real! — No it’s not! Racial bias in policing! — Doesn’t exist! Guns are dangerous! — Second Amendment! Tax the wealthy! — Taxation is[…]

Why I Prefer Online Conversations

This N.Y. Times opinion piece is just the most recent example of grumpy people complaining that texting or online conversation is hurting the way we interact with others. “What happened to good old fashioned face-to-face conversations?” they all seem to ask, in whiny little voices. Grumbling about the quality of online conversations is as old[…]

‘Failure’ Depends On Your Goals

Original source appears to be this tweet I’m not sure which logical fallacy this falls under. But it certainly seems to be a poor analogy. (And it has an extraneous comma in the middle.) The meme (based on a real tweet) says: “I hope Donald Trump is a good president. Wanting him to fail, is[…]

American Christians Confused About Own Doctrines?

Apostles’ Creed (from Wikipedia) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the[…]

VP Debate: Far Better Than Last Week’s Embarrassment

As expected, last night’s VP debate (Tim Kaine and Mike Pence — again excluding all but the two most prosperous parties) was calmer, more measured, and much more like a traditional political debate than was the debacle of the week before. We knew this going in because both Kaine and Pence are known for being[…]

Considering ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’

Have you heard of “Basic Income”? It’s not a terribly new idea, but has crept back into the news lately, mostly due to fears that VERY SOON automation will render millions of jobs obsolete. The idea of a guaranteed basic income is simple enough: with money raised from vastly increased taxes, the government will cut[…]

Enter The Spin Doctors

The New York Times home page this morning, a rare example of relatively unbiased headlines (Click image to see it full-size) Privately, I predicted to myself that the most interesting thing about last night’s presidential “debate” (Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump) would be the next-morning spin from various news outlets. And I was correct. If[…]

UPDATE: August 2016: Warmest Month Ever Recorded

Instead of continuing to fill my blog’s database with new entries, I’m just going to update this old one. Annual global temperatures; each line indicates a year, spanning 1880-2016 Click here to see it full size (NASA/Gavin Schmidt) NASA’s global temperature average dataset was released a couple of days ago; it shows that August 2016[…]

Debunking The “We Survived It” Memes

One of several memes with similar themes I’ve been seeing internet memes along this theme for a few years now — not to mention hearing these ideas expressed via conversation. The implication is always: “these stupid modern rules are unnecessary”, the “proof” being that “we survived without those rules”. Some of the memes are more[…]

‘If There Are Gods’ : A Bogus Quote From Marcus

Often attributed to Marcus Aurelius The quotation embedded in the image at right is often attributed to Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161-180 CE, the words said to come from Meditations, a series of private writings by Aurelius which he likely never intended to be public. For searchability reasons, the quote is as follows: “Live[…]

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