Dealing with the Trump Bully

How Jeb Bush Should Handle the Bully that is Donald Trump.

At the recent GOP debate, Jeb Bush finally tried to stand up to
Donald Trump. Trump responded, as all bullies do, but insulting the person who
challenged him. Jeb’s response was polite, but his attempt at smiling made him
look like a school boy who had mustered up the courage to challenge his bully
and was doing his best to pretend that the insults didn’t bother him.

What should Jeb! Have done instead? Well, I actually teach how
to stop bullies and Jeb’s approach was a good start but incomplete. To put a
bully in their place and to get to them to stop, you have to remove the reward
they get for being rude. For Trump, you have to not let him gain status from
putting other people down.

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Resist Fear Mongering

Resisting Fear Mongering

Why we must call it out when we see it.

Don't Be Afraid

I was recently defriended on Facebook by a person I really like. The problem was that she had become seduced by fear mongering and I, and others, were challenging her on it and calling her out on it. Mostly because it’s really so unlike her to engage in the promotion of such fear.

Her latest was the fear that a Muslim will become president. Why is this fear mongering? Because, at the moment, there is no Muslim running for president. It’s a non-issue. We aren’t in “danger” of having a Muslim president for at least 5 more years. Probably longer though given that there are so few Muslims holding political office at the moment and it takes time to build up support for a presidential run.

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Pill Mills & Addiction – we need a different approach

Pill Mill Alternatives

My county has a problem and we seem incapable of dealing with it.

We need a more rational response to the problem of addiction

For a while, FL had a problem with pill mills. These were pain clinics where doctors prescribed heave duty pain meds. The problem was we had a lot of them and people were addicted to the pain meds and if you could afford it, you could get your addiction treated legally. The problem is that even legal drug addiction kills.  At one point 4 people a day in Florida were dying from drug oxycodone overdose.

If Florida was the pill mill capital of the country, my region was the pill mill capital of Florida. In a 2 county area we had 50 pill mills and in my county alone, we had 83 deaths in a single year.  

By 2010, we had decided to shut down the pill mills.  (see: http://www.tbo.com/news/crime/florida-heals-from-pill-mill-epidemic-20140830/)

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What does rational Gun Control Look Like?

What would sane gun laws look like?

With the massacre of the month behind us, I’ve decided to think of what I think would be an ideal set of gun laws.  I felt this was necessary because I find myself advocating for what I think is possible to enact and that’s not anywhere close to what I would ideally like to see happen.

Gun violence

First, let me be clear. I don’t have a problem with most gun owners. I am concerned about people who feel like they need to have an arsenal. It’s not the arsenal that concerns me – it’s the reasons why they feel like they need to have an arsenal that concerns me.

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Punitive vs. Supportive Government

Punitive government vs supportive government

We know from decades of behavioral research that punishment doesn’t work. So why do we still use it as an approach to government?

We need to motivate ourselves to work past our current problems

The purpose of the United States government, according to our Constitution, is to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

A lot of this has to do with controlling behavior, which is odd for a government whose main purpose is to secure the blessings of liberty.  For instance, to secure justice, we sometimes have to secure and limit the freedom of people. The same goes for insuring domestic tranquility and providing for the common defense.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how best to do all this, ideally in a way that maximizes the blessings of individual liberty?

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Bernie Sanders’ Humanism

Bernie Sander’s Humanism

Bernie Sanders may not self identify as a Humanist, but he sure sounds and acts like one. no wonder my hubby is smitten with him.

Bernie Sanders Humanist

“The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.” – Bernie Sanders.

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Humanistic Policing

Humanistic Policing

What do we want our police to do?

There is a better way. Humanism

Keep us safe of course. But they don’t always do that. Sometimes the police are the problem. So what kind of person do we want policing us?

Ideally, someone who is fair, responsible compassionate and courageous. We want them to help us, which requires compassion. We want them to be fair, so that if we are accused, they treat us with compassion even though we are a suspect.  We want them to be responsible and respond promptly, fairly and professionally.  And we want them to be courageous so that if they are called on to use force to defend themselves and others, they will do so.

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Humanist Economics

Humanist Economics

Economic policy should not be judged solely on whether the system creates wealth, but rather, on whether it creates human wellbeing.

Business are run by humans for humans. Humans matter

Economics is the study of how resources are used, shared, traded and consumed.  Resources can be human labor, minerals, produced or manufactured goods etc.  

When we consider human economies, we are studying how humans interact with one another and collaborate to survive. In modern economies, we use a barter system based on money where we barter our time for money and then barter the money for the necessities of survival.

What economics isn’t is a study about how money or capital is made in isolation. Economics isn’t about wealth, it’s about distribution of resources and how our societies create, source and distribute things that people need, again, to survive.

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How critical are you of the news?

Where you get your news from matters

Critical thinking is important and it doesn’t take much effort. Failure to verify whether what you think you know is so can lead to bad decisions and even worse public policy.

Critical thinking. It's not just for debunking religion

Forbes has an excellent article – on the anatomy of a lie. Specifically it is about how a lie about how minimum wage will cause employers, specifically restaurants to shut down propagated and what that tells us about how we get our news.

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We need to elect better politicians

Politics and Critical Thinking

Can we stop electing politicians who aren’t smart enough to think of the consequences of their proposals before they propose them?

Your actions have consequences. Choose wisely - humanism

Recently, the Oklahoma legislature proposed eliminating civil marriage. (see: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/okmarriage.asp)  Their reasoning for this bill is that they don’t want the state to approve gay marriage. Whether this bill will ever pass the senate or be signed into law by the governor is up for debate.  What I want to discuss is why critical thinking skills are important in politics.

Let’s say you agree with the premise of this bill. You don’t want gays to get married for whatever reason you have and since gay marriage is now legal, you think the best way to avoid having gays get married is to ban civil marriages.

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