Home Columns Books Papers Biography Contact

"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  

June 2021

Census Analysis (2 of 2)

In the 1990s, an alarmist but popular program was the need for zero population growth. Warnings were circulated that population growth was reaching disaster proportions, with the collapse of civilization imminent. This alarm was mostly ignored, especially in the lesser developed world, with many women having seven or more children. Civilization did not collapse, but overpopulation certainly did make the lives of many very unpleasant. Food crises were met quickly by the United Nations Foo more...


Census Analysis (1 of 2)

A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. From the beginning of civilization (towns and cities), governments have needed periodic counts of how many people lived under their rule. They needed these figures to know how many people they could feed and water, how many they could tax, and how many able-bodied men they had to dig irrigation channels and to defend the community when under attack.


An Asylum Issue

Our country has a long history of granting asylum to people in need. It was not usually an issue of compassion, however; it was the pragmatic need to increase the population of this country, particularly the need for inexpensive labor. We took in the Irish, victims of the British-made famine, and they served as domestic help and heavy labor building the railroads.

But they suffered suspicion as Catholics, fearing their loyalty was to the Pope, not the country. They were n more...


Afghanistan Dilemma

The United States is just one more great power to leave Afghanistan after twenty years of trying to fix it. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has never been fixable, even before it became an actual country. It has a problem that was perfectly illustrated in a political cartoon on the Santa Cruz Sentinel: a map of Afghanistan divided equally into two parts: the west in the 21st century, the east in the 15th. It is two countries, and a third country, Pakistan, helping the 15th century part. How can we f more...