- Heating in the Forge: Softening the metal so that it can shaped
- Shaping: Hammering the hot steel into a new form
- Quenching: Cooling red-hot steel to transform it into hardened steel
- Finishing: Fine work to turn a blade into a knife suitable for all kinds of useful work
Friday, November 11, 2016
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
- They bring together diverse coalitions with diverse interests
- They advocate common goals
- They centralize fund-raising and communication
- They coordinate political actions for common benefit
- They provide a place for new ideas to incubate which may eventually be adopted by the Major Parties
- They provide a place for old ideas to gracefully die out without bothering the Major Parties
- They provide fertile ground for new broad coalitions to form which will replace one of the Major Parties (the Republican Party was once a third party)
- They provide a place for protest votes when neither major party is representing a pool of voters
- Donald Trump, Republican Nominee: A political outsider who has surfed a wave of populist discontent against both parties for failure to listen to their constituents and provide tangible advancements since at least the economic crash of 2008. Mr. Trump wasn't a political figure until fairly recently, has never held political office, does not appear to have firm philosophical or political views, and has supported the Democratic Party and its candidates publicly on numerous occasions. Mr. Trump has also had numerous public lapses of personal ethics and has a pugnacious and impulsive temperament. He is, however, the clear choice of the Republican nominating process.
- Hillary Clinton, Democratic Nominee: A political insider nearly her entire life, Mrs. Clinton lost to Barack Obama in 2008 but survived politically by becoming Secretary of State within his administration. She defeated insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders and laid claim as Barack Obama's heir to win the primary. Mrs. Clinton has an impressive resume - lawyer, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the USA (under President Bill Clinton who called her his “co-president”), Senator, Secretary of State, etc. But she is hard-pressed to point to specific victories or accomplishments. She has been dogged by scandals throughout her career - both her own and her husband’s - and as her party has moved Leftward she has remained a New Democrat staying close to the left side of Center. Recent leaks of DNC e-mails raise questions of whether there was a level playing field for her nomination and thus whether she is a "legitimate" candidate
- Republican: An unethical narcissist with no Conservative resume
- Democrat: An unethical scandal-plagued candidate whose values are not in line with her own party
- Clearly communicate to the leaders of both parties that the nominees are unacceptable
- Demonstrate a rejection of the candidates’ platforms and personal pedigrees
- Potentially keep one of the major parties from adopting the platform and identity of an unacceptable candidate
- Voting Third Party is throwing your vote away and the equivalent of staying home on Election Day.
- Election Day is about far more than the President. By not staying home, I still decide who are my local, state, and national representatives which is more likely to impact my daily life.
- A vote cast for a third party is a protest vote. And by voting for a candidate which better reflects my values and priorities, I send a message that party leaders can easily read by poll results. They can then factor that into the next election.
- If both candidates are completely unacceptable, what advantage is there to voting for a “lesser evil”? If leaving by the front door will get me eaten by tigers and leaving by the back door will get me trampled by rhinoceroses, I am wisest if I find a third option.
- Voting Third Party could get the other guy elected!
- If I distrust both candidates equally, then either one winning is a loss for me.
- If I repudiate both candidates equally, then either one winning will be a loss for me.
- There is still the potential - however remote - of a third party candidate gathering enough votes to capture the presidency. Our system allows for it and even presupposes it. If enough Republicans and Democrats walk away from the nominee to someone else, then that someone else could win.
- What about the Supreme Court? The winner of this election will decide who serves and could swing future cases!
- The Supreme Court is designed as the last line of defense of the Constitution. A bad law should first NOT be passed by Congress, then SHOULD be vetoed by the President, and only should reach the Supreme Court if everyone else failed. It is better to focus on getting the right people into Congress in the first place, and in putting pressures onto the President to toe the line.
- If I do not trust either candidate, then what assurances do I have that the “right one” will nominate justices who reflect my political and philosophical opinions? George H. W. Bush was a great man and a moderate Conservative, but he nominated David Souter who has consistently sided with the Liberal wing of the court.
- If a bad justice if nominated, the Senate can still shut them down. Again, better to focus on Congress.
- The court should not serve one party or the other, regardless. Their role is to be an impartial interpreter of the Constitution. They can’t help but bring their own world views to the table. But ultimately, a good justice is better than a bad justice, regardless of their political affiliations.
- What about [Insert Favorite Issue Here]?
- If I do not trust either candidate to do what they promise, then my favorite issues are already in jeopardy. Neither major party candidate has a resume showing faithful support for the issues closest to the heart of their base.
- There are few issues so dear to me that I would abandon all else for them. And none of those issues are obviously more or less safe with either major candidate.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
But a new study from Australia - where bike helmets are mandatory - shows that bicycle helmets dramatically reduce head injuries in accidents and crashes.
The risks of severe head injury were more than five times higher in cyclists not wearing a helmet compared to helmeted ones, and more than three times higher in motorcyclists not wearing a helmet at the time of injury.It's time to abandon the attitude of "If I don't like it, it must not be effective." Helmets save lives. If you'll be out and about on your bike, buy one and wear one. Just keep a comb in your back pocket to deal with "helmet hair" when you get there.
Severe head injuries were defined as any with significant brain haemorrhage, complex skull fracture or brain swelling.
Some 70% of such patients end up on a ventilator in intensive care units; many patients with severe head injuries are left with permanent brain damage.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Thursday, August 09, 2012
With the presidential cycle upon us, it is becoming painfully clear that we need to sit everyone down and explain language to them. This means YOU if you watch FoxNews, MSNBC, read Reddit, or basically any other political blog. Remember, this simple truth:
Lie: Speaking an untruth while knowing it to be untrue, with an intention to deceive. (ex. "Jimmy broke the vase, but lied and claimed that Donny did it, hoping to avoid punishment.)Mistake: Speaking an untruth, because you do not know it to be untrue. (ex. "The Bush administration was mistaken in claiming there were WMDs in Iraq.")Pander: Speaking with the intent to flatter or reinforce the beliefs of an audience, without special focus on precision. (ex. "President Obama pandered to the Democratic audience by saying that George W. Bush was the worst president in history.")Argue/Debate: Making a point in an attempt to convince the other side, or defend your own position. This may include data which is not fully accepted by both sides. (ex. "Mitt Romney cited the Rasmussem report in his argument for lower taxes, but critics dismiss the study as flawed.")Blather/Bloviate: Speaking without thinking - often while tired and distracted - which may lead to pandering, argument, and mistakes. (ex. "After his 10 day whirlwind tour, John McCain wearily blathered on, at one point claiming Senator Obama was born in Kenya.")