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Monday, June 30, 2014

It was fascinating to read that a majority of members of the Supreme Court support a single payer system for contraceptive coverage for the employees of for-profit companies with closely held ownership whose owners hold sincere religious beliefs..

I hope they will expand that view and insist on single payer insurance coverage for all ailments for all Americans.

Sent to New York Times

Illinois Personal Assistant Case

The Supreme Court in its recent decision,, affirms that " no person in this country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party.

However, there was no subsidizing of speech. the non-members of the SEIU were paying a "fee for services" to the Union for collective bargaining services and not paying to support the broader political aims of the Union.

We have come to a pretty pass when a majority of the members the Supreme Court of the United States cannot (or are unwilling to) make this distinction.

Sent to Boston Globe

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Favor of an Anti-Lying Law

I disagree with Tom Keane that forbidding a lie has no place in politics (Boston Globe, June 22, 2014.
I sympathize that some hyperbole and exaggeration are inevitable in political campaigns. However lies can be damaging and if repeated over and over again become utterly believable so that attempts to correct the lie become viewed as incorrect.
I would suggest that it is time to amend the First Amendment. We need a mendacity amendment. 
This would not prevent politicians from lying -- after all in the heat of the moment a little exaggeration can be expected. 
However, once a statement had been judged to be a lie by independent observers, the politician who had uttered the lie would be prohibited from repeating it: in person, over the airwaves, in newspaper reports, in fliers. Surrogates and the politician's allies, party and campaign staff, as well as friendly PAC's would also suffer this prohibition. 
The Federal Elections Commission would be responsible for enforcing this rule.
This would allow for exaggeration but forbid it becoming institutionalized.

Sent to Boston Globe

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In Massachusetts, Politics Trumps Science

Representative Capuano and Senator Warren should be ashamed.

The scientific consensus was that the MIT fusion lab was less effective than the two other fusion labs in the nation.

The politicians overturned that scientific decision and released funding for the MIT lab. Where will that money come form? What more promising scientific endeavors will be truncated because of this political interference.

We decry the behavior of the politicians from the coal and oil states who prevent us from acting on the scientific consensus on climate change. It seems that when Massachusetts' interests are at stake, our politicians are no better.

This event was not a cause for celebration. It shows once again that politics trumps science.

Sent to Boston Globe