All posts by Greg Laden

fake dictator, just like the real one

How Trump Gets To Be Dictator

Mobut Sese Seku Kuku Kibombe
When you see an election result like “98%” for a sitting president who is actually a dictator do not assume that this dictator would have lost the election had the election been fair.

I lived in Zaire. Mobotu Sese Seku Kuku Kibombe, the arch-typical syphilitic dictator, the model for all the other African dictators found in real life and fiction, would win by 99% every time he ran. He did that because of two things. Continue reading How Trump Gets To Be Dictator

Nuclear Plant Bill Riles, Confuses, Perhaps Conspires

There is a pair of bills working their way through the Minnesota state legislature that would change the way Xcel Energy can pay for certain costs of maintaining and upgrading its nuclear power plants between now and their eventual final shut down several years hence. Continue reading Nuclear Plant Bill Riles, Confuses, Perhaps Conspires

Presidential Proclamation: National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

A PROCLAMATION

Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars. During National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for victims, and strengthening our response. Continue reading Presidential Proclamation: National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

A New Robot For Littler Kids

The typical robot these days (such as the Makeblock DIY mBot and the Tomo) hooks up to an android or iOS device, via blue tooth, and allows for programming using a scratch-like programming language.

The smaller of the two kits, normally about $60 but under $50 last time I looked.
For somewhat younger kids, and for kids who do not happen to have a tablet they are allowed to use because they drool on it and stuff, there is an alternative that is on one hand a little harder to code but on the other hand more intuitive and very creative. I speak of the Botley Coding Robot, which comes in two styles: 1) Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, 77 Pieces and Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot, 45 Pieces. (I tested the latter, but they are the same in the parts that matter). Continue reading A New Robot For Littler Kids

Are health insurance companies pulling the wool over our progressive eyes?

A core Democratic Party value, it seems, is to not talk about health insurance reform. This is at odds with the rapidly developing grassroots movement that insists that we talk about almost nothing but health insurance reform, until we get it fixed. And, for a majority of Americans, fixing it means going to a universal, single payer plan. Continue reading Are health insurance companies pulling the wool over our progressive eyes?

Little Big Man Cat’s Pajamas

One of my favorite movies of all time is Little Big Man. If you have not seen it, you should, it is truly magical. Of course, sometimes the magic works, sometimes ….

Anyway, go see it. I’ve had the book sitting here for a while and I’ve not read it yet, but it is very near the top of the pile. Meanwhile I just discovered it is available cheap in Kindle form: Little Big Man: A Novel.

And, while we are at it, Bradbury’s The Cat’s Pajamas: Stories is also cheap.

Life on Earth: Dinosaurs; A Kids science book

I usually think of flip-lift books as being appropriate for little kids who can’t read yet. I remember my daughter being obsessed, for two years or more, with an Arthur flip book. She needed to look under every single flap, in order (many were in fact numbered or had letters on them, to teach counting and the alphabet, so there was indeed an order). There were pictures, not words, under the flaps. Continue reading Life on Earth: Dinosaurs; A Kids science book