All posts by Greg Laden

The Trump Letter

The Trump Letter is here as a PDF.

I recommend instead that you read The Lazlo Letters.

In letters to stars, dignitaries, and chairmen of the country’s most powerful organizations, Don Novello’s alter ego Lazlo Toth pestered his victims for photographs, offered outlandish advice, fired off strange inquiries, and more. The strangest part? Practically everyone answered, leaving Toth with a hilarious collection of outlandish correspondence unmatched in the history of American letters.

The Lazlo Letters contains nearly 100 notes to public figures, including then-President Nixon, Vice President Ford (“I’ve been Vice President of a lot of organizations myself, so I know how you feel.”), Bebe Rebozo, Lester Maddox, Earl Butz, and America’s top business leaders. The replies, says the author, “classic examples of American politeness.”

In an on-going correspondence with the White House, Toth suggests everything from ridiculously corny jokes for the President to use, to a campaign song sung to the tune of “Tea for Two.” He asks the president of a bubble bath company just how to use the product, as the packaging instructions specifically state to “keep dry.”

“No matter how absurd my letter was, no matter how much I ranted and raved, they always answered,” reports the author. “Many of these replies are beautiful examples of pure public relations nonsense.” One is not: columnist James Kilpatrick has a lone sentiment for Toth-“Nuts to You!” 247,000 copies in print.

Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

I am recommending this new title by Neal Katyal and Sam Koppelman. Katyal is a former Acting Solicitor General for the US, and law professors at Georgetown, and you know him as a frequent contributor on various MSNBC shows.

Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

Why President Trump has left us with no choice but to remove him from office, as explained by celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.

No one is above the law. This belief is as American as freedom of speech and turkey on Thanksgiving—held sacred by Democrats and Republicans alike. But as celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal argues in Impeach, if President Trump is not held accountable for repeatedly asking foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, this could very well mark the end of our democracy. To quote President George Washington’s Farewell Address: “Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” Impeachment should always be our last resort, explains Katyal, but our founders, our principles, and our Constitution leave us with no choice but to impeach President Trump—before it’s too late.

Hurricanes may start stalling more, and that is bad.

The tempo of storms has changed with global warming. A single storm that might drop X amount of water across a zone one thousand miles in length and hundreds of miles wide may now drop that same amount of water over a zone that is only a few hundred miles in length. Major floods in Calgary, Boulder, Southeastern Minnesota, Duluth, and other very wet rainfall events are now on record as examples of this, and the cause is quasi-resonant Rosbey waves. Continue reading Hurricanes may start stalling more, and that is bad.

A big tent need not include the outhouse

Democrats need to understand that we are a big tent party. In fact, we are THE big tent party.

So, when Colin Peterson, representing Congressional District 7 in Minnesota votes in favor of environmentally irresponsible mining, or against health care reform, or against sensible gun control, or against a woman’s right to choose, he looks like a Republican, acts like a Republican, and smells like a Republican, but we accept that because we are a big tent party and he represents a very conservative district. Continue reading A big tent need not include the outhouse

Major child abuser rolls back in town, open for business.

You may have heard of the “Children’s Theater Company” in Minneapolis, known for about five years in the 1960s as “The Moppet Players.” It has long been a big deal, nationally known, and award winning. It has put on multi-generational plays friendly to children of various ages, but also, has long run a school for kids to learn to act. I have relatives who have done that program, and in fact, I think we are going to a performance of something sometime next month where a young grade-school age cousin will be in his second or third play (he usually does Shakespeare). Continue reading Major child abuser rolls back in town, open for business.

Things To Do After Installing Xubuntu or XFCE

One: set up Dropbox and, as it syncs your files from the cloud, go outside and mow your lawn or rake your leaves.

Two: Start using your computer.

Three: Cancel the order for the new laptop because your old laptop is faster now.

You may have been expecting one of those posts that tell you the “ten things to do after installing [Linux Distribution]” but this ain’t it. In fact, for the most part, those posts have become fairly useless. Consider these “things to do”: Continue reading Things To Do After Installing Xubuntu or XFCE

Trump Betrays Kurds, World Must Act to Prevent Human Rights Crisis

I’ve long been a supporter of Kurdistan, and I think the Kurds should get their country back.

So, it is my pleasure, though a sad pleasure, to print this OpEd by Kenneth F. McCallion. Kenneth F. McCallion is an accomplished human rights attorney, former federal prosecutor, and author of “Treason & Betrayal, The Rise and Fall of Individual -1Continue reading Trump Betrays Kurds, World Must Act to Prevent Human Rights Crisis

Why is no one immune to having racial biases?

I’ll just put this here:

Racism is a phenomenon that emerges from our individual lived experiences and the culture in which we grow up and participate in as adults. A humanistic perspective or a logical mind does not obviate biases in how we know things, and thus, how we perceive or perform as actors in it.

Anthropologist Greg Laden will discuss North American racism as a phenomenon in science and society, its history, and how it is maintained. How do racial, or similar, biases form at the individual and societal level? How are they affected, or not, by societal fixes, great speeches, or education? How can Humanists be better humanists by grappling with this difficult area of human behavior?

Greg Laden is a biological anthropologist, educator, and science writer. His PhD work (at Harvard) was with the Efe Pygmies of the PR Congo, and he has contributed to research on the key features of human evolution, the initial chimp-human split, and the rise of our genus Homo. More recently, Laden studies, speaks, and writes about climate change and race and racism. He is working on a book on falsehoods we know and love.