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Showing posts from October, 2020

Musings about Amy Coney Barrett and the Supreme Court

Perhaps Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment, and confirmation, to the Supreme Court will be good for the United States’ democracy in a way that President Trump and Barrett’s other supporters never imagined. First, however, I must emphasize my strong disagreement with both how Barrett reads laws, including the Constitution, and her views on abortion, gun ownership, the death penalty and a host of other issues. Barrett has stated that she seeks to read laws literally, taking the law at face value, following in the footsteps of her mentor Justice Scalia and others. This approach to exegeting a document (or law) fixes the document at a particular point in time and thus precludes it becoming a living document, adaptable over time to changing circumstances and values. I object equally strongly to reading the Bible or other sacred texts in a similar manner. But the president, and not I, has the power of appointment. The Senate's Constitutional role is to advise and consent, not to exercis

Trump's Covid-19 response: science or pseudo-science?

  What if Trump’s disregard for masks and social distancing, combined with his demand to reopen the economy, reflects his advisors’ push for developing herd immunity in the U.S.? if so, Trump may think he is acting in accordance with scientific principles in spite of usually disregarding science as fake and fraudulent. Herd immunity implicitly presumes culling the herd of its weaker members, those least able to survive a present threat. This adheres to the evolutionary principle of the survival of those best suited for current conditions. Not wearing masks and not socially distancing allows the Covid-19 virus to spread more easily from person to person. Persons who have an asymptomatic or very mild case are well-suited for survival. Those who develop a serious, life-threatening case are less well-suited for survival. Reopening the economy increases the probability of these cases overwhelming the healthcare system’s capacity. The human herd collectively – in the U.S. and/or on ear