Monthly Archive: October 2012

Our Flabby Language III (Redux)


NOTE:  Continuing from last Wednesday, here’s a reprise of the third installment of Our Flabby Language.  (Three more to follow, on Wednesdays.)–EGF   Picking up from last week: Holy Macro! through Muscular: Holy Macro! And Micro-management. I’ve heard three recent NPR reports that are a puzzlement. The first was about buying songs downloaded from the …

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Welcome back Dr. Barry Pascal, with the second installment in his self-anointed “Death Triology”—his usual funny take on a serious subject: arranging for end of life care, proving yet again that your friendly neighborhood pharmacist–even if retired–is the most overlooked and undervalued resource in our health care system.  (As a gentile, I’m not qualified to …

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Is the U.S. Senate Obsolete–I?


Today begins a two-part analysis of our broken United States Senate.   As I pointed out on October 1, the decision of the founders to create a bicameral first branch was the product of a long and contentious debate, and an uneasy compromise. Smaller states agreed to a popularly-elected House of Representatives only on condition …

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Our Flabby Language II (Redux)


NOTE:  As promised last week, here’s a reprise of the second installment of Our Flabby Language.  (Four more to follow, on Wednesdays.)–EGF   Picking up from last week: Criteria through Famously: Criteria. This is the plural of criterion—which means there must be two or more to use the word. (I know, I know—there are those …

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Dr. B.’s Last Words


Well–we’re coasting down toward Hallowe’en.  While those still living with small people are pushed toward sweet, empty calories, we empty-nesters locked in a mortal stare-down with diabetes tend toward the maudlin.  Here’s my pal, Dr. Barry Pascal, with his take on the best way to be remembered, in stone.  It was originally published in the …

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Six Years–Once–is Enough


  A heartfelt “thank you” to the distinguished Senator from Fox News Talking Points for making at once the shortest and indisputably best argument for amending the Constitution’s Article I, Section 2, —and amending or repealing its 22nd Amendment, and tweaking the 20th and 25th, if desired—to award each elected President a single, six-year term.  …

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Our Flabby Language I (Redux)


NOTE:  Since I posted installments VII and VIII of Our Flabby Language, I’ve had some interest expressed in the first six.  So—because I’m accommodating (and lazy)—beginning today, I’ll repost them on Wednesdays. I’ve come to the conclusion that too many of my younger fellow citizens are reaching adulthood without benefit of the Sisters of Holy Cross—and …

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Electoral College–Time to Drop Out?


Amid all the presidential debate “performance” hoo-hah this morning—talk about exalting form over substance—was another sober reminder of what we’ve come to: Sixty-plus percent of 13 million voters—that’s roughly eight million souls, 2.6% of the population and 5.3% of registered voters—could decide who your next President is.  Bonus: they’re overwhelmingly White, older, rural, and less-educated …

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Did Our Founders Fail Us?


Hell, no.  If anything, we have failed them. They were, first, citizens, and fully engaged.  Are we? What I wrote over the past three weeks was forced through the prism of hindsight, the glare of which is harsh and unforgiving.  They, of course, were creatures of their own time and circumstances—which makes what they managed …

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Black Patriots–A Promise Unkept


After my first post in the last series,  8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed, I heard from an old friend, Maurice Barboza.  We worked together on the staff of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in the ‘70s, after which I moved to the Senate side and left D.C. to return to my Northwestern roots.  So …

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8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed–VI


Picking up from last Friday:  The Rest of Shameful Thing 8–Redistricting. Perhaps the most currently contentious legacy of the Philadelphia founders’ decision to leave the States in charge of how its voters select their federal—and, by default, state and local—representatives is periodic redistricting. Because the original Constitution apportions House representation and taxation based on population, …

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8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed–V


Picking up from Monday:  Shameful Thing Eight—Voting Rights.   Each State could decide who gets to vote and under what circumstances. When the 55 participating delegates began meeting in Philadelphia in late May 1867, they were already in crisis mode. The intoxication of independence had worn off, the six-year-old confederacy—13 independent States, connected formally only …

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Write In “Sam’l. L. Clemens”


We interrupt this skein of seriousness to advise that–despite the estimated $2+ billion that will be spent this campaign season on advertising, the content of which is the intellectual equivalent of a slap fight at third grade recess–Mr. Twain reminds us that not all that much has changed in a century, at least in terms …

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8 Shameful Things Our Founders Believed–IV


Picking up from Friday:  Shameful Things Six and Seven.   The people couldn’t be trusted to elect their state’s Senators. Article I, Section 3 of the original Constitution created a Senate, consisting of two representatives appointed by each State’s Legislature to six-year terms, each invested with one vote.  Staggered terms were established for initial appointees …

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