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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

July 2020

That Which You Sow?


Actions have consequences. We all know this, something that good parentis teach children. In a recent column of mine, I referred to Darwin Awards: a mocking catalog of actions that have disastrous consequences, mainly removing the perpetrator from the gene pool.

Donald Trump has a serious problem: he wants to win reelection from a voter pool that has shrunk from its high of 49 percent. Polling, even that done by his propaganda organ, Fox News, is showing numbers well under more...

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"Incredible," and "Unbelievable," Indeed.

Words are a funny thing; they sometimes morph from one meaning to its opposite over time, as we can see today. President Trump?s limited vocabulary favors "incredible" and "unbelievable" every time he means "wonderful." Knowing how untrue most of his utterances are, I always take his "unbelievable" and "Incredible" literally: "not believable" and "not credible."

Among things not believable and not credible are his promotion of conspiracy theories: that the Coronavirus was created more...

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Pandemic Playbook for Dictators


From the early 20th century until now, leaders of democracies have been confronted with deadly epidemics. The US had Yellow Fever, Cholera, and the 1918 great Spanish Flu. (This is the one that President Trump stubbornly miscalls the 1917 flu.)

Every president took these epidemics seriously, and followed the best advice of health services to mitigate the damage. They cared about human life. That is what leaders do, don?t they?
Today?s pandemic is giving us a differe more...

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"Believing" Can Be Deadly


Human beings, unlike most lower species, are not governed much by instinct. The birds that return to Capistrano each year do not have travel choices. Monarch butterflies are programmed with two destinations: winter and summer groves, thousands of miles apart.

Religious systems fall into the category of "beliefs," that is: accepting by tradition certain ideas that cannot be confirmed by reason alone. But even religions hold each believer capable of rational thought: doing r more...

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The Real Pandemic: Lies

A new virus, the coronavirus, is sweeping the world. When our hunter-gatherer ancestors began settling in villages, towns, and later cities, and when they began livestock agriculture, diseases have spread from animal hosts to human beings, with no immunity at first. Throughout history, China, India, and Africa have been the incubators of disease outbreaks that then became worldwide.

In China, the problem was crossovers from animals kept for food use, starting with flu from swine, more...

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