Sometimes Speech Is Ugly



In 1775, Patrick Henry gave one of the greatest – if not the greatest – speech in American history. The problem was that it was also seditious, traitorous and downright objectionable – if you happen to be a Loyalist. It reminds us of the precious care with which we hold the freedom to speak our minds.  

In England – the Mother Country – a man is convicted for teaching his girlfriends dog to give a Nazi salute. In the United States, people with a specific view are told that they are not welcome at an event.

Related events?

Is Social Media trying to cull conservative voices?

Why does it matter?

In all of the world and in all of history, it is the 1st Amendment that guarantees that the Government cannot interfere with the freedom of speech.

In a look at the lighter side of things, an Astronomer discovers a “new” planet. And an Olympia man discovers that “dope is better in Tacoma.” Except that there are also paratroopers coming to get you…

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The Austin Bomber




The Austin bomber is dead. The Maryland school shooter is dead. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a great deal of chatter about it. We have much to unpack from both incidents yesterday and this morning. Including some questions about things that went barely noticed in the reports I have seen.

Trumps tariffs might be backfiring already.

And it is International Downs Syndrome day…

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Oskar Groening and The Lessons of History



I have said it many, many times: the biggest error a historian – or anyone appealing to history – can make, is to judge a culture buy their own values and practices.

And yet, every day I hear people who have “studied history” explain to me how the past “got it wrong,” and if only they (the past) had been as smart as the speaker, things would be different – meaning “better” – today. “If I had been there, it would have been done right,” they so often say.

“If I had been there in 1787, we’d have gotten it right!”

Even short term history is treated as if it is an absolute exercise in cause and effect: “The United States didn’t need to drop the atomic bomb. Doing so destabilized the world and led directly to the Cold War.” Continue reading

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TWIUSP – Episode 5

In this installment of This Week in U.S. Politics, J discusses the Olympian/Tacoma News Tribune article about a shooter in a road rage incident who is not being charged in the incident.

J also talks about the passing of Professor Stephen Hawking. 

Finally J looks into the new initiative process in Washington State and the lawsuit filed against it.

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My Universe In a Nutshell

If I were to pick the books which have most influenced my life, there would be three of them:

Cosmos – Carl Sagan
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Genesis and the Big Bang – Gerald Schroeder

One stands above the others, Hawking’s book – A Brief history of Time – came out at a time when I was drifting pretty aimlessly. The combination of the three books made a huge impact, but it was Hawking’s that… well… made it into a unified theory. Continue reading

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Tim, Trump, Tariffs and Things

Today I am joined by Tim Preuss of The Tim Preuss Podcast.

When I “met” (in the sense of the internet and how we “meet” people in the 21st Century), Tim and his show were located in Wisconsin, the heart of America where the real Americans live. Like me though, he pined for the fjords, wait… that was just me and Cami. Continue reading

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The Saxbe Fix

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time…….no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.  – Article 1 Section 6

After their experience in the American revolution and years of watching Kings buy their way to policy, the Framers believed that a simple and even elegant solution was to simply ban the ability of a single person to hold Office both civilly and in the government. Makes sense, right?

So how did we get to the place where the Article is routinely “ignored” and senators become Secretaries?

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