Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

March 1, 2017

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Donald Trump

Among many logical fallacies, consider Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. Roughly, the words mean, “after this, because of this.” It’s a common fallacy, and one which comes easily to those with tunnel vision. (For those whose comfort zone involves English, correlation does not imply causation may seem more familiar.)

Certainly, we all want to avoid the fallacy associated with attributing an outcome to an event, just because the former follows the latter. That said, although correlation does not imply causation, events do cause outcomes. And sometimes we need to look with clear eyes at what we’re facing.

So about the threats against Jewish Community Centers. Threats against JCCs or other Jewish institutions did not

Continue reading...

After Five Weeks of Trump: An Assessment

February 24, 2017

After Five Weeks of Trump: An Assessment

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been our president for five weeks. Slightly less than 2.5% of a full, four-year term. Seems like it might be time for an assessment.

The good: No new wars. No market crash, and rising portfolio values. (Stay tuned on the markets.) The sun still rises every day, and it sets every night.

The bad: [Nothing.]

The ugly: Everything else.

Wrapping my head around the awful, evil, disgraceful face of America circa 2017 stretches me to the breaking point. (I know it stretches many others, but my names sits above the fold here, and I own my words, alone.) Maybe I got there this morning, when I read Federal Agents Move

Continue reading...

Amateur Hour at the White House

February 2, 2017

Amateur Hour at the White House.

To say that it is amateur hour at the White House is to slander amateurs. The recent executive orders were drafted and signed without any normal agency review or even semicoherent legal advice, filled with elemental errors that any nursery school student would have caught.

–David Brooks, from his January 31 piece for the New York Times, The Republican Fausts.

Sadly, while David Brooks tries to separate President Trump from the Republican Party, they are of a piece, completely. The other day on Facebook I wrote: “The incompetence transcends the malevolence.” Obviously, some Rs are competent (and there are incompetent Democrats, too.) However, Ronald Reagan told us 36 years ago, in his first

Continue reading...

The Refugee Policy Stinks!

January 29, 2017

The Refugee Policy Stinks!

I’ve been quiet here for more than three weeks, if you ignore recycled posts from my childhood and six years ago. Lots of life, for better and not so much, and I’ve been wrestling hard with finding my voice. Socia l media abounds with sound and fury. Before I added to the mix, I wanted to be sure I could be significant.

Whither, the refugee policy aka travel ban aka a solution in search of a problem. Contrary to candidate Donald Trump’s lies, we don’t have a terror problem in the United States. We don’t! Here’s a fact sheet from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. (Between 1995 and 2014

Continue reading...

Random Thoughts on the Tucson Tragedy

January 16, 2017

Random Thoughts on the Tucson Tragedy

[Note: Cleaning generates lots of forgotten stuff. I shared these thoughts, six years ago to the day, at a different blog site. Since she was shot on January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has made a truly remarkable recovery. She’s a vital member of our community, and a public citizen who works hard to reduce the adverse impact of guns in our lives.*]

I’ve been quiet until now. “Mostly quiet,” to be totally truthful. We had a dinner party on January 8. The food was ready and the friends close, so we saw little reason to cancel. At about 9:30 and with a snoot full of wine in me, I answered the phone.

A

Continue reading...

From a budding blogger … 50 years ago

January 15, 2017

From a budding blogger … 50 years ago. Enjoy!

A father told his seven-year-old son he could ride his bike to school. The father explained to his young son that along with the privilege of riding the bike to school he would have to assume some responsibilities. A few of these were: keeping the bike in good condition, keeping it locked, and obeying all the safety rules. The young son then reconsidered riding to school, in view of all the responsibilities he would have to accept.

We as American citizens must accept the fact that we are in the same relative position as the seven-year-old boy. We have many privileges in America. Some of these are freedom of speech, freedom

Continue reading...

Mad as Hell … about Obamacare Repeal.

January 7, 2017

Mad as Hell … about Obamacare Repeal.

Why? you say. Or, Just another Liberal who can’t accept a loss? I’ll explain what has me torked off just now—I was pretty equanimous about the whole repeal thing, really—in a bit. Some background first.

Self-employed from 2000 until 2009. Uninsurable from 2006 on, dependent on a state-sponsored program for small businesses. (Uninsurable, for some of my R friends, means No. Policies. Available. Without. Exclusions. For. My. Health. Issues. None, at any cost. For reals.)

I joined a fine law firm in January 2010. Health insurance mattered, although I’d have gone even if insurance was not an issue. I worried about my insurance program continuing. Passage of the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare

Continue reading...

Trump Appointees, Ethics, and a Tax Break

January 2, 2017

Trump Appointees, Ethics, and a Tax Break.

My law practice involves conflicts of interest. No, not because I allow them; instead, it’s on account of the fact that I do and have done legal ethics matters for almost 30 years, representing attorneys in discipline and professionalism matters, and suing and represent them in legal malpractice cases.

Federal government appointments and I don’t mix, but the principles associated with attorney conflicts and governmental conflicts differ not at all. Doing someone else’s bidding mandates that you focus only on that “client,” whether it’s an individual, a corporation, or the United States of America. With that in mind, I’ve been following with interest the staffing of the Trump Administration.

The people Donald Trump

Continue reading...

Israel, the United States, and the Mishegoss

January 2, 2017

Israel, the United States, and the Mishegoss 

The passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016 prompted me to share these words on Facebook:

No doubt this issue is more complicated than I can fully appreciate. That said, I stand with my country and its leaders in support of their decision not to veto the United Nations Security Council resolution. For sure, peace requires movement from both ends. However, the continued expansion of settlements represents a poke in the eye to Palestinians, and moves the sides away from any opportunity for peace.

We are moving into a world—along about January 20, 2017—when confrontation will rule. In the meantime, however, I applaud a decision in

Continue reading...