Archive for the 'One Wondrous Sentence' Category

One Wondrous Sentence: Nuclear weapons

January 18, 2013

This one wondrous sentence, part of a fascinating contrarian take on the historical role of the atomic bomb, explains the prescription one chemist and blogger has for addressing a global danger.

No number of technical remedies will cause nations to abandon them until we make these destructive instruments fundamentally unappealing and start seeing them at the very least as outdated dinosaurs whose technological usefulness is now completely obsolete, and at best as immoral and politically useless tools whose possession taints their owner and results in international censure and disapproval.

Source: Ashutosh Jogalekar, “On the uselessness of nuclear weapons,” Scientific American, date.

One Wondrous Sentence: Chuck Hagel and the right-leaning GOP

January 17, 2013

This one wondrous sentence, by left-wing novelist and political commentator Steve Erickson, indicates one subtle strategy that President Barack Obama is using to marginalize his Republican opponents.

The more that supposedly seasoned members of the GOP claim that Hagel is out of the mainstream for challenging the buildup in Iraq and potential war with Iran (skepticism with which the public agrees on both counts by large margins), then the more that Republicans lurch rightward in the eyes of the public at large and, in particular, two-fisted guys sitting in front of their televisions curling beer cans into furious fistfuls of metal every time Lindsey Graham opens his mouth.

Source: Steve Erickson, “Obama’s Genius Defense Pick,” The American Prospect, Jan. 14, 2013.

One Wondrous Sentence: The expanded meaning of the Second Amendment

January 17, 2013

This one wondrous sentence shows just how far out of the mainstream the proposition that the Constitution guarantees private citizens the right to bear arms was once considered.

The NRA’s fabricated but escalating view of the Second Amendment was ridiculed by former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger — a conservative appointed by President Richard Nixon — in a PBS Newshour interview in 1991, where he called it “one of the greatest pieces of fraud — I repeat the word ‘fraud’ — on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Source: Steven Rosenfeld, “The Suprising Unknown History of the NRA,” Alternet, Jan. 13, 2013. (Quote appears on the second of three pages.)

One Wondrous Sentence: The perils of climate change

January 16, 2013

This one wondrous sentence captures some of the dire news contained in a quadrennial federal report — suspended, incidentally, during the administration of President George W. Bush — about changing meteorological conditions.

The draft Third National Climate Assessment, issued every four years, delivers a bracing picture of environmental changes and natural disasters that mounting scientific evidence indicates is fostered by climate change: heavier rains in the Northeast, Midwest and Plains that have overwhelmed storm drains and led to flooding and erosion; sea level rise that has battered coastal communities; drought that has turned much of the West into a tinderbox.

Source: Neela Banerjee, “Climate assessment delivers a grim overview,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 2013.

One Wondrous Sentence: The Nazi gun control falsehood

January 16, 2013

This one wondrous sentence, quoting Brown University history professor, Third Reich expert and former Israeli combat soldier and officer Omer Bartov, tears down a prominent fallacious conservative argument against gun safety laws and regulations.

He continued: “Their assertion that they need these guns to protect themselves from the government — as supposedly the Jews would have done against the Hitler regime — means not only that they are innocent of any knowledge and understanding of the past, but also that they are consciously or not imbued with the type of fascist or Bolshevik thinking that they can turn against a democratically elected government, indeed turn their guns on it, just because they don’t like its policies, its ideology, or the color, race and origin of its leaders.”

Source: Alex Seitz-Wald, “The Hitler gun control lie,” Salon, Jan. 11, 2013.

One Wondrous Sentence: Mental health and murder

January 11, 2013

This one wondrous sentence lays the foundation for an argument that a well-intentioned policy has unintentionally and indirectly caused a great number of mass killings and other tragedies.

Since the passage of the Community Mental Health Act (1963) during the Kennedy administration, which mandated the closing of state mental institutions in favor of “community health centers” and outpatient care, and the massive and progressive “deinstitutionalization” of the mentally ill during the 1960s and ’70s, the residents of those old state hospitals have been transferred, almost totally, from the wards to the streets, and with predictable results.

Source: Philip Terzian, “In the Presence of Violent Psychotics,” The Weekly Standard, Dec. 18, 2012.

One Wondrous Sentence: Opposing gun safety vs. opposing slaughter

January 10, 2013

This one wondrous sentence, published on a website that bills itself as being “from the mind of Herman Cain, America’s favorite CEO,” neatly summarizes a key part of the conservative argument against additional gun safety measures.

President Obama’s speech in Newtown last night was mostly pretty good, but I did not like his suggestion that incidents like this keep happening because we as a nation have somehow decided to tolerate them — the clear implication being that not passing new gun control laws equals tolerating more mass killings.

Source: Dan Calabrese, “Don’t get rolled by the gun control juggernaut,” CainTV, Dec. 17, 2012.

One Wondrous Sentence: Religion and slaughter

January 9, 2013

This one wondrous sentence blasts the argument by preacher, Fox News presenter and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee that lack of religion leads to mass shootings.

It suggests that somehow prayer can prevent anybody from being mentally ill, that hetero marriage cures murder, and that having a manger in the town square can stop a gunman from blasting his way into a school.

Source: Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Huckabee blames gays for the Newtown massacre,” Salon, Dec. 17, 2012.

One Wondrous Sentence: Guns and liberty

January 8, 2013

This one wondrous sentence debunks the notion that privately owned firearms are vital instruments in the preservation of liberty.

As long as we are writing science fiction, in the event that a Hitler, Stalin or Mao seized control in Washington, D.C., this American tyrant would worry far more about being murdered by the praetorian guard or overthrown by the military than about the near-impossibility of defeat of the U.S. armed forces by ordinary armed citizens, particularly the kind of pathetic right-wing militia members who would have trouble taking over a trailer park.

Source: Michael Lind, “Guns have never saved us,” Salon, Dec. 17, 2012.

One Wondrous Sentence: The upside and downside of gun safety measures

January 7, 2013

This one wondrous sentence notes both the difficulty in stopping mass murder and the unintended benefits such measures can bring.

The irony is that some of the proposed gun control measures that would have been useless for preventing either Columbine or the other mass school shootings of the late 1990s might be perfectly reasonable measures for preventing ordinary gun violence.

Source: Gary Kleck, “Mass Shootings in Schools: The Worst Possible Case for Gun Control,” American Behavioral Scientist, as quoted by Tom Jacobs, “School Shootings and Gun Control,” Pacific Standard, Dec. 14, 2012.

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