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Ken Melvin



Articles by Ken Melvin

On Rethinking Journalism

5 days ago

Before paper, journalists drew on the walls of caves, trees, rocks, in the dirt and sand, … About 3,000 BCE, they were given papyrus by Egyptians. Then they learned how to write, leaving the art to others. The ink, with which to, followed around 2,600 BCE. On parchment around 300 BCE, paper since about 200 BCE. Printing on paper evolved in several locations between 1040 and 1440 CE. For more than 600 years, journalism was associated with writing and printing with ink on paper. Newspapers have had a good run.

At all times, they did it the way they did because that was what they had. Today, there are options. Options that don’t involve walls, paper, … or any of these things. How would William Shakespeare present his works, if he were alive today? As

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Let It Be On Their Heads

8 days ago

Today the conservative majority of Supreme Court Justices decided that federal vaccine mandates are unconstitutional, that states rights and employer rights are more important than the public’s welfare in this time of pandemic. It is likely that their decision will result in the unnecessary death of as many as 250,000 Americans. Let it be on their heads. Let history show for all times that these 250,000 unnecessary deaths are upon the heads of Justices Gorsuch, Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett.

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Redistricting

9 days ago

When a fellow CNN correspondent asked their own Dana Bash what were the underlying causes of the nation’s partisan gridlock, Bash replied, “Three things: redistricting, redistricting, and redistricting.”

Congress, let’s get it right. First off, Congressional Districts are under the purvey of federal, not state, law because the constitution says:

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The …’but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations,’… means that the federal government, not the

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Insurrection

15 days ago

To say that the Republican Party since Nixon had pandered to the lowest common denominator isn’t quite accurate, is it? Probably because the term is derived from the arithmetical least common denominator which makes one think of a unique number. Perhaps lowest common denominator was a more polite way of saying that the Republican Party would thenceforth pander to lowbrows, to their basest; to ignorance. Theirs was a war on elites, and, of course, hippies. Not to mention, non-whites. Not directly, please.

While Nixon did this pandering using Buchananesque slogans such as ‘The Silent Majority’, Reagan used the mendacious racial code words long used in the southern states, along with allusions to large northern cities. There has been no looking back!

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The Second and Last Death of Capitalism

December 17, 2021

—We study history in order to better understand what is going on now, to be better able to look into the future. —

The Great Depression was a manifestation of the utter and complete failure of capitalism. Social Security, unemployment, and Welfare were implicit admissions of this failure. Capitalism had spectacularly failed to provide for labor, therefore capitalism should have borne the cost of Social Security and Welfare. The capitalists, with no real hand, but with a few politicians up their sleeves, won the hand; got labor to pay for half and more of the fix.

Today, as in 1929, we sit on the brink of another spectacular failure of capitalism. As then, only worse, fully forty percent of American workers have no savings and no way of

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e pluribus pluribus

December 16, 2021

The defense against COVID-19 called for an all-out united effort. In times past, America would have risen to the challenge. Much of the failure to respond is attributable to the deep political divide that grips the country. A divide that was fostered and nurtured by the Republican Party for political purposes. (Yes, Judy, it is the Republican Party that is responsible)

The coincidence of Trump’s election and the appearance of the virus was an unfortunate, catastrophic happenstance. One that could have been offset by a normally functioning Congress. In the House, much of this dysfunction was attributable to Republicans such as Darrell Issa, Doug Collins, Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, … In the Senate, most of the discord is attributable to Mitch McConnell

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Trinity

December 10, 2021

There are to be only three branches of government, the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial; so sayeth the Constitution in Articles I, II, and III. A trinity of man, by man. We were among the first to have broken free of that old ruling triad of the Church, the Army, and the King that at times in previous times had been only the one, the same. We are indeed, a nation born free.

Or so we thought. First the nose, then before you know it, the whole of the beast is in the tent; holding court; knocking things over and about; demanding that we throw some things out, and trying to sit on the throne, or else. We once worried about its sneaking in via the Legislative or Executive, but it was by way of the Court(The Judicial) that the beast got back

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A Day of Days

December 4, 2021

Wednesday, 1 December 2021, the state of Mississippi argued before the US Supreme Court that the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] giving women a constitutional right to have an abortion was in error; that it should be overturned. During Wednesday’s oral arguments, Justice Sotomayor asked Mississippi’s Solicitor Stewart whether Mississippi’s challenge was premised on religious grounds.

No doubt about that. In Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, and in a dozen and more other states they would rather that the people of the state decide when a human embryo becomes a human being. No science or philosophy, please.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is being heard by nine Supreme Court Justices, six of whom are avowed

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The Crimes of Punishment

December 1, 2021

Surely someone, not something, must be to blame, must be responsible for whatever catastrophe that may have just occurred. Even CNN knows this. Blaming an event on someone obviates the need to fully explain, to seek a cause; relieves us of the responsibility to understand, to acknowledge the true cause. Seems it is somehow better if someone started the forest fire; not lightning or the effects of Climate Change. Blaming someone is different than blaming something. Though, seeking something to blame is more likely to lead us to the cause. Finding the cause is more likely to prevent recurrence.

While scientists seek to identify causes; the law (here, law enforcement and the criminal courts in concert), representative society, seeks someone to blame,

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Decentralized Education

November 23, 2021

Some, if not all, of the original thirteen may have had some claim to state’s rights in that as individual and separate colonies they had known some autonomy. None of the states admitted later, with the possible exception of Texas, had claim to such rights. Any legitimate claim by Texas, or any of the thirteen original, was abrogated with their secession from the Union during the Civil War.

So many of our current ills are attributable to this original sin of according significant rights to the individual states. This autonomy allowed for legitimatizing slavery, and later, the implementation of Jim Crow Laws. This autonomy allows for gerrymandering. Allowed segregation to persist and persist.

Unfortunately, our system of public schools is much

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Essential Freight

November 14, 2021

Seldom do we get the chance to build something the way it should be. For the internet, the first chance was back in the 1990s. Not enough was known then. We’ve learned a lot the hard way since.

Let us begin our design by asking, “How best to utilize the internet?” It is apparent that everyone needs, should have basic access. Access on the order of that afforded by the U. S. Postal Service all the years. Like the Postal Service over all the years, today, the internet is an essential service. It is our Postal Service, Sears and Roebuck catalog, telephone and telegraph, TV, visit to the Dr.’s Office, and taxi service rolled into one, and so much more. Like with the Postal Service, access to the internet opens up whole new industries, markets, and

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Teach Your Children Well*

November 9, 2021

Appears that Parents’ Rights is the Republican Party’s latest wedge issue. My how they do love wedge issues. And, this one goes so well with their States Rights. Lot in common, the two. States’ Rights allowed a state to keep doing the same old. Parents’ Rights give parents the right to appropriate their child’s life.

Or, do they? What about Children’s Rights? When does the child’s thoughts, life, become their own?

For some parents, that would be never. Mankind would be caught up in this never ending cycle of each generation reliving the preceding’s. Why even bother? For the species to survive, to thrive, there needs to be progress. Surely, each generation should pass the best it has to offer on to the next; provide the shoulders to stand on; and

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Teach Your Children Well*

November 9, 2021

Appears that Parents’ Rights is the Republican Party’s latest wedge issue. My how they do love wedge issues. And, this one goes so well with their States Rights. Lot in common, the two. States’ Rights allowed a state to keep doing the same old. Parents’ Rights give parents the right to appropriate their child’s life.

Or, do they? What about Children’s Rights? When does the child’s thoughts, life, become their own?

For some parents, that would be never. Mankind would be caught up in this never ending cycle of each generation reliving the preceding’s. Why even bother? For the species to survive, to thrive, there needs to be progress. Surely, each generation should pass the best it has to offer on to the next; provide the shoulders to stand on; and

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Ponder This

November 7, 2021

If you will

What if Jimmy Carter had been reelected in 1980; Walter Mondale had been elected in 1984 and reelected in 1988; and, Al Gore elected in 2000 and reelected in 2004?

We would be at least twenty years ahead of where we are now in re Climate Change. Central America would not be as bad off as it is. We would not have invaded Iraq the first time. Nine-eleven probably would not have happened. We would not have invaded Afghanistan. We would not have invaded Iraq the second time. The Great Recession of 2008 would not have happened. Our world stature would be better than it is; China’s less. Wealth disparity would be less than it is. Race relations would be better. Our national debt would be less. We would not have five or more regressives on

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Ponder This

November 7, 2021

If you will

What if Jimmy Carter had been reelected in 1980; Walter Mondale had been elected in 1984 and reelected in 1988; and, Al Gore elected in 2000 and reelected in 2004?

We would be at least twenty years ahead of where we are now in re Climate Change. Central America would not be as bad off as it is. We would not have invaded Iraq the first time. Nine-eleven probably would not have happened. We would not have invaded Afghanistan. We would not have invaded Iraq the second time. The Great Recession of 2008 would not have happened. Our world stature would be better than it is; China’s less. Wealth disparity would be less than it is. Race relations would be better. Our national debt would be less. We would not have five or more regressives on

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(Thirty) Two-Bit Pieces of Silver

November 4, 2021

None so indignant as the scoundrel.

-mois

Long ago and far away on a Pie-Supper Night at a one-room schoolhouse, the auctioneer cried, “I’ve got two, who’ll give me four? Now, I’ve got four, who’ll give me six?” Two, four and six bits that is. Stock market still works with the fictional one-eighth dollar.

But little later on, up in #2 on the good ship, GM2 Cross told those of us there that day that once whilst ashore haggling with a prostitute over price he called her a two-bit whore whereupon she promptly hit him up side the head with her bag of quarters.

Then, quarters were made of silver. So, the half dollar (four-bit piece), and the silver dollar (eight-bit piece). Could have been worse.

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(Thirty) Two-Bit Pieces of Silver

November 4, 2021

None so indignant as the scoundrel.

-mois

Long ago and far away on a Pie-Supper Night at a one-room schoolhouse, the auctioneer cried, “I’ve got two, who’ll give me four? Now, I’ve got four, who’ll give me six?” Two, four and six bits that is. Stock market still works with the fictional one-eighth dollar.

But little later on, up in #2 on the good ship, GM2 Cross told those of us there that day that once whilst ashore haggling with a prostitute over price he called her a two-bit whore whereupon she promptly hit him up side the head with her bag of quarters.

Then, quarters were made of silver. So, the half dollar (four-bit piece), and the silver dollar (eight-bit piece). Could have been worse.

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Let’s Make a Deal

October 30, 2021

Please! Please! Spare us the charade. No more denials. No more tear-jerking stories about job loss. We know that you fossils are not dumb. That what you fossils really want is to be bought out. With $Trillions of reserves on the block, who can blame you? Buying you out might be best. Certainly better than continuing to burn your products. Better yet, we use the money to develop carbon-free alternatives.

Considering that the fossil’s reserves will be worthless in another ten years, the fossils would probably settle for ten cents on the dollar, now; only after much protesting of course. That is what Manchin is up to; what the $Billions being spent on lobbying against climate change legislation is all about. Holding the Nation, the world, hostage

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Somewhere

October 30, 2021

We are all somewhere on the spectrum. Little doubt. Probably not on the one-dimensional line of dots or Verne’s Green Ray (Le Rayon Vert). More likely on the two-dimensional Venn when a three is needed. A point in space is needed to depict those of us who are alone out there in space; else they appear to be sitting atop something. Verne was one out there, a dot or point, in space from whence he could see a long way. Some, a very, very few, of us are just that far out.

Somewhere on the spectrum line is the whence of some of Tech’s most successful. Of those more likely to see down the line a bit. Where the average wealth is pushed way up by some of Tech’s richest when the median might mean more. Can’t spend average.

Ask, how should it be? And

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Ceci n’est pas une pipe

October 22, 2021

Death Valley is not experiencing a drought. Neither is the Mojave, the Sahara, or the Gobi. A drought is an unusually extended period between the occurrence of a regularly occurring event; an anomaly. For example, when it usually rains on a regular basis, then but doesn’t rain for an unusually long period; that period during which it doesn’t rain is known as a drought. Rain in the desert is an anomaly; the lack thereof is neither an anomaly nor a drought.

Back when, the lack of rain in the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevadas for an extended period of time was an anomaly; a drought. Today, and for the foreseeable future, a lack of rain in the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevadas is not an anomaly; it is a new, worsening, normal.

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How Close?

October 22, 2021

Justices Barrett, Alito, and Thomas have been panhandling. Begging for respect. Turns out that without respect; a Justice is nothing. All six imagined it to be right up there next to Moses, Joseph Smith and those guys; maybe even higher. Didn’t understand that any respect came down from their predecessors, from the legitimacy of their appointment; not from god. They thought that once seated, theirs was the voice of god. Turns out; the people, even the lower courts could say,

“Your Honors, you are wrong. We don’t have to do what you say.”

Mitch thought that way, too. That the Supreme Court was the voice of god. Surely came as surprise when his packing made it lesser than. Mitch, fear your efforts to rule by minority will come to the same. Then,

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By Any Other Name

October 21, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Leaders like Lukashenko, Duterte, Erdoğan, Bolsonaro, Orbán, and Trump*; do they indeed represent a global move toward authoritarianism? Or, is there perhaps another explanation? Was there something specific that brought these once titular democracies to such a state of state; a common underlying reason for this lots rise to power? Did the world change, or, […]
The post By Any Other Name appeared first on Angry Bear.

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Disinformation and the Manipulable

October 7, 2021

Politicians, preachers, and other charlatans have long known people were manipulable. They had achieved their mastery of the craft of manipulation by observation and practice. By craft, they were con artists. In another sense, they were psychologists before there was such. Before 1860, psychology was a branch of philosophy. A German, Wilhelm Wundt, was one of the first to proclaim psychology a science in its own right and the first to proclaim himself a psychologist (around 1879). Just seventeen years later, in 1896, psychology was being used in advertising (marketing).

Today’s Social Media is much a consequence of the advent of the internet; the internet itself being a consequence of the advent of personal computers (PCs). Social media’s

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The Case of The Creeping Crud

October 5, 2021

In her 2020 book ‘Waste’, Catherine Flowers speaks to the practice in Alabama – throughout the South – of keeping the poor and ignorant poor and ignorant so that there would always be a cheap source of labor on hand. In a September 2021 House Budget Committee hearing, a member from neighboring Georgia patiently explained the economic necessity of cheap labor; how increased wages were a threat to small businesses; and how any increase in wages would necessitate an increase in immigration in order to keep labor costs low for the good of the economy.

When a red state pol says that wages need be kept low for the good of the economy, whose economy are they talking about? Surely they don’t mean the economy of those being asked to work for next to

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And the Winner is?

October 1, 2021

Always on the back burner, since 2015 on the front, the battle for most ignorant state is being fought across America; well, across a lot of America. If full-scale war should break out, for the most part, the competing armies will not have far to go.

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Lodestar

September 14, 2021

Time was when the future could be and was read from the tea leaves of the past. Elders, old timers, and other records could tell us what to expect in the way of weather. That wasn’t so long ago. Today, all we have to go on is the scientific models. The past no longer applies when it comes to weather. Without the benefit of science, we’re flying VFR at night. Oh, the Meteorologists can still tell us what to expect in the next few days, but they haven’t a clue what the weather will be like one year, five years from now; unless of course they get ahold of the scientists’ predictions. Talking about Climate Change, of course.

Problem is, we still have experts talking about how if we only manage the forests in the west a little better the problem of

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When The Past And The Present Collide

September 13, 2021

For some, the past is not past. The past is something to hold on to; is something to be always brought forward. They don’t want, don’t like, change. The rest of us, we know that we must change in order to progress, to survive. In order for those who would remain in the past to have their way, they must be in charge. Thus it is that, presently, around the world, we have the forces for the past attempting, by one means or another, to either retain, gain, or regain control of governments.

Consequences:

These efforts to block change, to reverse changes, go back centuries; greatly affect the present, the ‘what is’ of today’s world. Seems twenty-four-seven, our TVs and computers provide real-time images from half-way around the world of men in

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The Red List

September 13, 2021

On January 6, 2021, the Honorable Mo Brooks admonished Trump’s ‘Stop The Steal’ crowd to, “… start taking names and kicking ass.” ‘Open Sesame’, Mo; just for you. Beginning with Alabama’s own little theocrat, Kay Ivey; then, Mississippi’s Tate Reeves; then, Tennessee’s Bill Lee, then Missouri’s Mike Parson; then, Texas’s Greg Abbott; then, Florida’s Ron Desantis; then, Idaho’s Brad Little; then, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem; then, North Dakota’s Doug Burgum; then, Arkansas’s Asa Hutchinson. Ten be enough for starters, Mo?

Notice, Mo: All ten are Republicans? All were at least once rabid Trump supporters? All are responsible for thousands of unnecessary deaths from COVID-19?

Mo, these people were elected to govern their states. To provide

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The Recently Disposed

July 31, 2021

In their testimony before the Committee, all four of the witnesses described the rioters as being supporters of the Recently Disposed one (t·R·D·o).

More than one of the four said that many in the crowd told them, the police, that they had come to DC at the invitation of t·R·D·o to stop the steal; and, — maybe overthrow the government while they were at it.

With invitation in hand, come they did. By mid-day 6 January 2021, as many as 30,000 of t·R·D·o’s followers had come from out of the woodwork to be in Washington D.C. where, after having been incited by t·R·D·o and others at a noon rally to ‘stop the steal’ by whatever means necessary; they stormed the US Capitol. Over a nearly three-hour period, in wave after wave, they viciously

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Distraction*

July 22, 2021

So … . What was the House Un-American Activities Committee (1945-1975, with a few interesting precursors) really all about? Looking back through the lens of history, it was much about distracting the Nation’s attention from the racist atrocities being committed in southern states. Still today, all a red state Republican politician needs do is yell, “Communist!”, “Socialist!”, “Nancy Pelosi!” or “Hillary Clinton!” and their constituents forget to even think about whatever it is that is really wrong with their state; about whatever it really is that is ailing their neighborhoods, their livelihoods, and begin to focus on the object offered as a distraction. Such distraction techniques have become instinctual with Republican (nee Dixie-crat) red state

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