Tipping Points: Science, Surprise, and Power

There is a phenomenon in both the physical sciences and in human interaction known as the tipping point. In common language, such a thing may be referred to as “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a “point of no return,” or “the last straw.”

That such things exist, in nature and in human society, is widely recognized. It is often easy to see exactly where that point was in post event analysis. Ah, but seeing it as it comes over the horizon – that is much harder. Discerning the tipping point is a fascinating process.

And a Lump of Coal for You, Voter!

 

Republicans in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Elsewhere Have Shown What They Think of Voters

Most of us have heard that in Michigan and Wisconsin lame duck sessions are doing evil work. They are building poison pills for the November elections. Let’s be clear about what is going on, what’s the history, and who should stand against such piracy. The answer to that last question may not be what you think.

What is Going On?

The voters in these and other states came out in record numbers and made their choices clear.

Russia and China Smell Weakness. This Will Not End Well.

 

Key points in our history that came upon us this week – and looming conflict.

Before reviewing armed conflict, a few notes on the news of recent days.

Michael Cohen– In the future we will look back on last week as key. We will note this was when fate began turning on Donald Trump with terminal velocity. An unconscionable number of Republicans have excused him on a host of issues for far too long. As Russian ties come into focus, such support will become untenable. Trump is becoming more isolated and less powerful within his own party.

If Trump Has Not Picked a Fight with You, Raise Your Hand

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not many hands raised out there.

 

Even more than usual in recent days, Donald Trump has run off the rails of decency and stability. If there is someone he has not picked a fight with of late, it is likely by omission rather than commission.

So, what’s new, you may ask. Not exactly a new trend in this. Actually, it is new in the breadth and depth of verbal sword slashing. This has implications in several directions.

And The Beat Goes On

In recent days,

And the Next Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives is….

The Democrats Have a Rare Opportunity to Be Smart. Anyone Taking Bets?

 

It turns out that the “Blue Wave” actually was a wave. It just took a while to come in. Results described as “not since Watergate” say a lot. Remarkably, a recent poll says that a good part of Republican voters believe their side won. Must have listened to Mr. Trump’s press conference, then turned off the TV. We live in strange times.

I have often thought that the national symbol of the Democratic Party should not be a donkey.

Let’s Fire Daylight Savings Time – Forever!

 

Time Measurement Should be Scientific. Instead, it’s a Global Hodge-Podge.

“What time is it?” may turn out to be more of a trick question than one might think.

For quite a while, the world, for the most part,  had a pretty good approach towards time. Ground Zero for time keeping was set up at Greenwich, England. Twenty-four one-hour time bands spread out from there around the world. These matched the 24-hour cycle in the dance between the Earth and the Sun.

Simple, right? But of course, we could not leave well enough alone.

Mid Terms are Over. What Does America Look Like Now?

Overall, a Good Night for Democrats. But Something for Everyone and Risks Everywhere.

Goodness knows the airways are full of post elections analysis. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need to read another article about the 5/10/20 important lessons of Tuesday night.

We have only had a few hours or so to absorb the electoral results. Too much is in the mix to deal with in one post, anyway. But I had a cautionary note at the end of this post, referring back to something I said in a post some months ago.

It’s One Day AFTER Voting. Time to Go a Better Way.

What Was Old is New Again. We Have Better Way to Confront our Voting Challenges.

 

Well, it’s the morning after the election. We all need a bit of time to process what went down, so more on that in our next edition. In the meantime, let’s take a good look at how we vote in this country.

Not all that long ago, when voting machines came to be the norm in much of the country, I was on board. Digital/optical scanners and electronic tabulations were the way to go.

Have We Forgotten the Point of Representative Democracy?

 

There Is Solid Reasoning Behind Representative vs Direct Democracy.

The founders of these United States carefully reviewed governments throughout history. They focused much of their attention on ancient Greece and Rome. Oftentimes, they did so by reading in Greek and Latin, so as not to lose subtleties in translation. We could use a few of those founders today – but that is a discussion for another day.

We are making our choices in midterm elections. I don’t think anyone on any side of any issue underestimates the importance of these elections.

The Purposes and Power of Conversation

 

As We Careen into the Midterm Election, Let Us Reflect on the Art of Conversation.

This blog began last Summer in part to provide improved dialog opportunities.

Our diminishing ability to talk with each other in this country should be a matter of concern for all. Disagreements are natural – and healthy. But if we are unwilling to talk at all with millions of our fellow citizens, this is problematic. Not easy stuff, but we need to try.

It cannot bode well for the health of this country to continue down this path.