Wednesday, December 28, 2022

COVID's Risks

Assessing Potential Risks of COVID-19
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, December 28, 2022, p. A6

Too often, following a series like Erin Jordan’s reports on the Marengo explosion and fire, a school shooting, or events on Jan. 6, a corporate executive or public official may say, “This must never happen again.”

My response, “Well, of course.” But “never happen again” is never enough for me. What I want to know is why the folks who get the big bucks to prevent such disasters didn’t prevent this one.

Could all disasters be prevented? Of course not. But there are procedures used in business, government and the military that could reduce the number substantially.

The procedures deal with “risk”; risk perception, risk analysis, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication — procedures useful in our daily lives as well.

Based on others’ experiences, and using our imagination, what’s the risk of driving without fastening the seat belt? Serious injury or death in an accident. What’s the likelihood of it happening? How serious would it be if it did? What does it cost in time, money and inconvenience to fasten the seat belt?

As either the likelihood or seriousness of the risks increase, we’re less likely to gamble on their happening. As either or both are minimal, we’re less concerned.

Which brings us to COVID. What are the risks? If we become infected we can infect others, even if we have no symptoms. Some of the unpleasant symptoms can include fever, sore throat, fatigue, and loss of taste or smell, requiring cancellation of work and plans. “Long COVID” (possible monthslong serious symptoms), hospital stays and death are additional risks. [Photo source:]

At one extreme are those who never leave their house. At the other are those who haven’t been vaccinated, never wear masks, and sit with friends in crowded bars.

In between are most of us, wondering whether an N95 mask is worth the added protection. Balancing the pleasure of being with family and friends who say they’re fully vaccinated against the risk one may be infected but not symptomatic. We want to follow President Barack Obama’s admonition: “Don’t do stupid stuff.” But not to extremes.

Tennessee Williams, a University of Iowa student in 1937-38, and noted for his 1947 play, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (among others), closed the play with the character, Blanche DuBois’ last line, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Blanche had her challenges, but her revelation expresses the lack of foresight that many of us, including myself, have on at least one occasion brought to risky behavior.

Iowa City Historian Irving Weber’s son, Willis, and I were neighbors and partners in numerous risky explorations and experiments. One involved running a telegraph line from the roof of my house, across Melrose Court, to the roof of his. There is no way I would be climbing on either roof today. But back then it wasn’t that we thought ourselves invincible, it’s that we didn’t think about risk at all.

Today, at 88, I’m holding stairway railings and I gave up my love of bicycling. I’ve found the tools of risk assessment useful. Maybe you would, too.
Nicholas Johnson, now fully vaccinated, was former co-director of the Iowa Institute for Health, Behavior and Environmental policy.

Erin Jordan/Marengo. E.g., Erin Jordan, “Marengo officials worry about long-term cleanup costs after explosion,” The Gazette, Dec. 22, 2022, p. A1,

Never happen again. E.g., John Costa, “ATU Shocked and Saddened by Fatal Texas School Shooting,” Amalgamated Transit Union, May 25, 2022, (“We must find the courage to come together as a nation to take serious action to ensure that these unspeakable acts of violence never happen again.”)

Risk. Lisa D. Ellis, “Using a Risk Analysis Framework to Guide COVID-19 Decisions,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Jan 7, 2021, (“Risk analysis is a scientific tool that can help us assess threats to human health, provide input into how to manage these risks, and enable us to communicate more effectively with the general public about how best to respond to the threats,” says James K. Hammitt … “For communicable diseases like COVID-19, which are spread from one person to the next, a person’s risk is affected by other people’s behaviors.” … Risk analysis … includes the following three key steps: risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication.” … “We can estimate how much an action might reduce transmission, then find out how costly or burdensome it would be. Keep in mind that some interventions are costly, but they don’t reduce the risk much. So, you need to weigh each intervention to see if it makes sense,” he says. … some experts felt it would be better to let people develop herd immunity. Whether the latter is a good idea depends on how willing people are to get sick, and how many will die, and how costly it is to try other things,” … System 1 is fast and is based on feelings. This is usually our default system. System 2 is analytical and takes more effort and more time, so we can’t activate this system too often,” he notes. … system 2 and think more carefully about how much risk their actions could have. As a result, they might decide not to gather because the chance of harming loved ones outweighs the benefit of getting together. … activate system 2 and think more carefully about how much risk their actions could have. As a result, they might decide not to gather because the chance of harming loved ones outweighs the benefit of getting together.)

Google search: “what college courses deal with risk assessment” (“Relevant majors/degrees: Risk management. Management or business studies. Finance or economics. Science Statistics. Engineering. Law.

MBA risk management includes: Liability Insurance. Agricultural Insurance. Marine Insurance. Life Insurance. Fire Insurance. Investment Planning and Management. Risk Management. Marketing of Financial Services.

Risk Management … Framework … Information Systems … Plan … Agency …Tools”)

Risk in everyday life. Your Dictionary Staff, “Examples of Risk You Encounter Daily,” YourDictionary, (“A teenager knows that she will be grounded if she chooses to invite friends over after school instead of doing her homework, but also knows that the likelihood of her parents finding out she did so is slight. If the teenager chooses to invite her friends over she is taking a risk of getting in trouble with her parents.
• A 55-year old man wants to quickly increase his retirement fund. In order to do so at a rapid pace, he must change his investments to those that could either yield higher results or completely fail, in which case he would lose his retirement. If the man chooses to move his investments to those in which he could possibly lose his money, he is a taking a risk.
• A gambler decides to take all of his winnings from the night and attempt a bet of "double or nothing." The gambler's choice is a risk in that he could lose all that he won in one bet.
• An employee knows that the time for him to leave work is contractually at 5 p.m. and leaving early puts his job in jeopardy. However, the man is motivated to get home early to let out his sick dog. By leaving early, the man is risking getting caught and facing the consequences of breaking the rules.
• A driver is approaching a yellow light and must choose to brake in order to stop in time for the light to turn red or to accelerate to make it through the light before it turns red. If the driver accelerates, he is risking going through the light which could result in an accident or a ticket.
• A student in college knows that there is a curfew by which students are expected to be back on campus in the evening. However, the student wants to stay out later with the group she is with. If she chooses to stay out past the curfew time, she is risking experiencing the consequences for choosing not to follow the rules.
• A man lost his job and is unable to pay his rent. As a result, he makes the choice to steal money from the local convenience store. In doing so, he risks being caught and arrested.
• A woman gets into her car in the morning and notices that the gas level is low. She chooses to drive to work, regardless, without stopping at a gas station. By making this choice she is risking that she will run out of gas in her car on the way to work.
• A woman watches a man kidnap a child. In order to keep him from getting away from the scene of the crime, the woman jumps in front of the car. By doing this, she risked her life in order to save the child.”)

Mike Patton, “Everyone Needs Risk Management,” Forbes, Nov. 30, 2014, - excellent (essential?) article, requires Forbes subscription

Daniel Speiss, “The Importance of Risk Management in Daily Life,” Linkedin, Nov. 15, 2021, (“• Every decision we make is laced or spiked with an underlying layer called risk, and navigating life without knowing that risk is an active participant in what makes your present moment and future are, well, risky.
• What do I mean by risk? Every decision that we decide to enact, whether that decision is social, experiential, financial, has to do with risk management.
• Managing risk isn't something we're taught in school, even at a college or university level. Most people go through life unaware of risk being one of the many materials that go into the structure of making choices.
• Everyone is going to have a personal attitude towards risk and risk management. Some people ignore risk by not doing anything risky (which still implies risk), some play the middle of doing a little of both, and some people are all-around risk-takers. Everyone is at some point on the spectrum of how they view and utilize risk and risk management.
• The purpose of this read is to elicit a remembrance of risk, that risk is something we do and use every day, in the most unexpected ways. Risk is a unique tool to help guide us in life when making any and all decisions.
• Examples of risk could be how you manage your health (or not), how you strategize your performance at work and meet your goals, who you allow into your life, and the effects that have on your social life and network. You could even say that there is risk in what coffee mug you want to use in the morning, when one mug elicits a micro mood as opposed to the other and how that will affect your day.
• When considering important decisions, consider the risks, your goals, and the expected outcome you want. When making the small choices in your day, how are you guiding yourself to manage the theme tied to these choices?
• If you are easily stressed, do you manage the risk of being exposed to stressors in your day-to-day life? If you need to watch your diet, are you managing the risk of your exposure to friends, family, and places that encourage behavior that would go against your current efforts?
• Poor risk management skills come at a cost, and that cost is what you want out of life. Managing risk can be the difference between seeing your dreams as intangible and seeing them as a reality
• Thinking differently about how you approach to risk can change your life within days, given the attention.
• If you are to leave this blog post with anything, I would only encourage you to think about risk, how risk is involved in your life both big and small, and challenge yourself to think about the magnitude in which you manage risk in your life.
• What are your goals? Write them down, and then think about setbacks you've had towards those goals. You will find within every goal, every desire, the risk is there, mostly unmanaged and unmitigated.
• What will you do differently knowing the risk is a key player in life and what happens to you?”)

“How to Manage Risk in Your Daily Life,” Fashion Gone Rogue, (“while driving may be a risk, wearing a seatbelt reduces the risks.

Many people right now are at a big of a crossroads in how they think about risk, however, with the covid-19 pandemic. …

In essentially every way, there are usually four general steps of risk management. The first is assessing the risk. Then, there is categorizing the risk. This means you determine if the risk is small or minor to you, or more serious and severe.

You have to think about the probability of risks occurring too.

Then, once you’ve handled these steps, you can start considering your options. Education can be used in all of these steps.”)

Adnan Manzoor, “7 Ways to Apply Risk Management to Your Personal Life,” Lifehack,

COVID Risk. “Symptoms,” COVID-19, CDC, Oct. 26, 2022,

Google search: COVID risk assessment and masks

Lisa D. Ellis, “Risk Analysis in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Weighing the Cost and Benefits of Vaccines and Masks,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Nov 7, 2021, (“Every single day, people take risks. They drive in cars and fly in airplanes, expose themselves to environmental pollution and so much more. While some of these public health risks are so integrated into our lives that we’ve stopped worrying about them, other risks—such as engaging in activities that increase your likelihood of contracting COVID-19—can be much harder to ignore right now. … look to a risk analysis framework to measure the level of threat and to determine how best to respond and communicate the risk to others. Specifically, you can use this framework to compare the cost of actions like masking with the extent of how that might reduce transmission and save lives. When you weigh these two factors against each other, you can determine if the cost of the action is worth the benefit—in this case, reducing the number of people getting sick and dying. … “People who are vaccinated are less likely to contract COVID-19, and if they do become infected, they are less likely to become very ill or die. With masks on the other hand, it seems clear that they do a lot to help the wearer not infect other people,” he adds. … “)

“Analyzing Risk: Principles, Concepts and Applications,” Harvard School of Public Health, Continuing Education, Feb 11-14, 2019,

Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, “How to Judge COVID Risks and When to Wear a Mask; Scientific American asks experts in medicine, risk assessment and other fields how to balance the risks of COVID with the benefits of visiting public indoor spaces,” Scientific American, Apr 19, 2022,

Risk Assessment,, (“This involves identification of risk (what can happen and why), the potential consequences, the probability of occurrence, the tolerability or acceptability of the risk, and ways to mitigate or reduce the probability of the risk.[2] … At the individual level, a simple process of identifying objectives and risks, weighing their importance, and creating plans, may be all that's necessary. … Exposure to a pathogen may or may not result in actual infection, and the consequences of infection may also be variable. Similarly, a fall from the same place may result in minor injury or death, depending on unpredictable details. In these cases, estimates must be made of reasonably likely consequences and associated probability of occurrence. … General health There are many resources that provide health risk information.

The National Library of Medicine provides risk assessment and regulation information tools for a varied audience.[24] These include:

TOXNET (databases on hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases),[25] … The US Environmental Protection Agency provides extensive information about ecological and environmental risk assessments for the public via its risk assessment portal.[29] … In project management, risk assessment is an integral part of the risk management plan, studying the probability, the impact, and the effect of every known risk on the project, as well as the corrective action to take should an incident be implied by a risk occur.[37] … the probability and magnitude of unfavorable outcomes such as injury, illness, or property damage due to environmental and related causes, compared to the human development or other benefits of outdoor activity.”)

A Heeney 1, F Hand 2, J Bates 2, O Mc Cormack 2, K Mealy 2, “Surgical mortality - an analysis of all deaths within a general surgical department,” Surgeon, Surgeon . 2014 Jun;12(3):121-8. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2013.07.005. Epub 2013 Sep 8,, (“Mortality rate following elective surgery was 0.17% and following emergency surgery was 10-fold higher (1.7%). The main cause of post-operative death was sepsis (30.02%). Emergency operations, increasing age and major procedures significantly increased mortality risk (p < 0.001).”)

Long COVID. Michael Marshall, “The Lasting Misery of Coronavirus Long-Haulers; Months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, some people are still battling crushing fatigue, lung damage and other symptoms of ‘long COVID,’” nature, Sept. 14, 2020,

“Long-Term Effects of Coronavirus (Long COVID),” National Health Service England, Oct. 24, 2022,

Tae Chung, et al, “Long COVID: Long-Term Effects of COVID-19,” Health, Johns Hopkins, June 14, 2022,

Mayo Clinic Staff, “COVID-19: Long-Term Effects,” Mayo Clinic, June 28, 2022,

“Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions,” COVID-19, CDC, Dec. 16, 2022,

“Long COVID: Some COVID-19 Symptoms Last for Months,” UC Davis, Feb. 10, 2022,

Tennessee Williams. “Tennessee Williams,” LitCity, University of Iowa, (“Tom Williams, an aspiring playwright and transfer student a year short of a degree . . . enrolled at the University of Iowa, earning his B.A. in 1938, and soon thereafter picked up the moniker ‘Tennessee.’”)

Willis Weber. See my “In Memoriam: Willis Weber,” FromDC2Iowa, Nov. 5, 2006,

Kindness of strangers. “Streetcar Named Desire,” text,

# # #

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A Profit Deal

Gambling is a "Profit Deal"
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, December 13, 2022, p. A6

Steve Martin plays the intellectually challenged character Navin Johnson in the 1979 movie, “The Jerk.” Navin’s lack of weight-guessing ability at the fair is losing money for the owner. Informed of this, Navin responds, “I get it, this is a profit deal!”

The same insight came to me 32 years earlier. Dad had been invited to teach a University of Southern California summer session. After exams, we travelled up California’s scenic Highway 1 to San Francisco. Dad wanted to visit the parents of one of his graduate students. They lived in what then seemed to me a huge, multi-storied house.

The owner, not wishing to include me in grown-ups’ talk, handed me a straw hat filled with slugs the size of five-cent nickels and showed me a staircase to the attic. That’s where I was to play with slot machines until called.

Since I was carrying a small spiral notepad and pencil, I saw this as an opportunity for research. I made a mark for each slug inserted in the machine and for each one it coughed up that clanked in the tray.

Always careful with my newspaper delivery money, that was the day I decided to opt for saving, rather than gambling. It’s not that I never go into casinos. I do. I once interviewed a fellow in Vegas who seemed to know the payout percentages of every slot machine in town. Casinos are a significant sub-set of America. I just don’t leave any money there.

Gambling has a long history among Homo Sapiens. The first “dice,” made of animals’ teeth, date from 3000 B.C. But they were primarily used for divining the future rather than betting on it. Venice had the first casino in 1638. And though church basement bingo has lost popularity, friends’ weekly poker games and other betting continues.

Today’s increases in problem gambling and addiction are consequences of its commercialization. Gambling’s become a super-profitable industry. From 2021 to 2022 global gambling went from $287 to $456 billion, with projections of $840 billion by 2026.

Meanwhile, risks of gambling addiction grew 30 percent from 2018 to 2021. Five percent of those from 11 to 17 are showing signs of problem gambling. Gambling addiction is increasingly recognized as a brain disease, like addictions to alcohol, nicotine or other drugs.

Addicts are money makers. Drug dealers give free first doses. Sports gambling gives free first bets. Gambling soon becomes for many like a pandemic with no vaccine – impacting others like the second-hand smoke from cigarettes.

The industry uses technology, marketing and advertising manipulation to spread its tentacles throughout our society and grow its customer base. [Photo credit: Nicholas Johnson. "[T]he last time I checked (so it may have changed), the Kinnick scoreboard was still running an advertisement for the Riverside gambling casino, and the casino still had a Kinnick skybox for its high rollers." "Does Herky Have a Gambling Problem?", January 25, 2012, NOTE DATE.]

States like Iowa, once criminalizing gambling, now profit from lotteries and their take of casinos’ profits. Anyone with a smartphone is a potential customer for the gambling industry – from anywhere and at any time.

Want to know more? Take the advice of Woodward and Bernstein’s source, “Deep Throat”: “follow the money.” In the long game the house always wins. Commercialized gambling is, indeed, “A profit deal.”

Nicholas Johnson is waiting for sports next gambling-related scandal. Contact

“The Jerk.”

“The Jerk,” 1979,

Brain disease.

Ferris Jabr, “How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling; Addictive drugs and gambling rewire neural circuits in similar ways,” Scientific American, Nov. 1, 2013, (“In the 1980s, while updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially classified pathological gambling as an impulse-control disorder …. In what has come to be regarded as a landmark decision, the association moved pathological gambling to the addictions chapter [May 2013]. The decision, which followed 15 years of deliberation, reflects a new understanding of the biology underlying addiction and has already changed the way psychiatrists help people who cannot stop gambling.”)

“Is Addiction Really a Disease?”, Indiana University Health, Nov. 14, 2022,

“Gambling Addiction and the Brain,” Brain, Sept. 3, 2015,

Gambling history.

“Gambling, Wikipedia, (“In Mesopotamia the earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BCE. However, they were based on astragali dating back thousands of years earlier. In China, gambling houses were widespread in the first millennium BCE, and betting on fighting animals was common. Lotto games and dominoes (precursors of Pai Gow) appeared in China as early as the 10th century.[7] Playing cards appeared in the 9th century CE in China. Records trace gambling in Japan back at least as far as the 14th century.[8] Poker, the most popular U.S. card game associated with gambling, derives from the Persian game As-Nas, dating back to the 17th century.[9] The first known casino, the Ridotto, started operating in 1638 in Venice, Italy.[10]” …”)

The Gambler’s Lament,, (“The Gambler's lament” or "Gamester's lament") is one of the hymns of the Rigveda … in the late Tenth Book (RV 10.34), . . . the early Indian Iron Age.” “The poem consists of a monologue of a repentant gambler who laments the ruin brought on him because of addiction to dice.[4]”

Rigveda,, “The Rigveda is the oldest known Vedic Sanskrit text.[7] Its early layers are among the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language.[8][note 2] . . . Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in . . . the Indian subcontinent . . . between c. 1500 and 1000 BCE,[13][14][15] . . . c. 1900–1200 BCE has also been given.[16][17][note 1]”

Kathryn Selig Brown, “Life of the Buddha,” The Met, (“ According to tradition, the historical Buddha lived from 563 to 483 B.C., although scholars postulate that he may have lived as much as a century later.”)

Sigālovāda Sutta, (“Sigalovada Sutta is the 31st Sutta described in the Digha Nikaya ("Long Discourses of Buddha").[1]” “The Buddha first describes fourteen evil ways that should be avoided by a householder. The Buddha enumerates these evil ways to be avoided as: . . . the six ways of squandering wealth: 1. indulging in intoxicants 2. wandering the streets at inappropriate times 3. frequenting public spectacle 4. compulsive gambling 5. malevolent companionship 6. habitual idleness
Private gambling.

Hamil R. Harris, “Church Bingo's Number Is Up,” Washington Post, January 24, 2004,

Gambling in Iowa.

“The State of Gambling in Iowa and How It Is Influencing the Economy,” The Daily Iowan, June 14, 2021,

“Gambling Legislation in Iowa,” The Daily Iowan, Aug. 28, 2020, (“[Iowa] has a grand total of 19 different casinos, second only to Nevada in the number of casinos per capita.” “The most recent change . . . has been the arrival of sports betting [following the] May 2018 [decision] … by the US Supreme Court that all states who wanted to make the activity legal should be permitted.” “[It] is only legal to play [poker] for money within licensed casinos. This means that games played anywhere from bars to people’s homes which involve gambling could make the organisers liable to prosecution.”)

Todd Dorman, “Iowa’s gambling flood gates opened 50 years ago,” The Gazette, Sep. 24, 2021,

Increase gambling addiction.

Stephen Marche, “America’s Gambling Addiction is Metastasizing,” The Atlantic, Nov. 26, 2021, (“Gambling also leads, indirectly, to increases in violent crime, suicide, divorce, and bankruptcy.”)

Rob Davies, “Problem gamblers at 15 times higher risk of suicide, study finds,” The Guardian, March 12, 2019, (“The study found that suicide rates increased 19-fold among men between the ages of 20 and 49 if they had a gambling problem and by 15 times among men and women of all ages.”)

Martha C. Shaw, et al., “The Effect of Pathological Gambling on Families, Marriages, and Children,” Research Gate, Sept. 2007, (“Pathological gambling (PG) is widely reported to have negative consequences on marriages, families, and children. Empirical evidence is only now accumulating but when put together with anecdotal information, the extent of these problems is clear. PG contributes to chaos and dysfunction within the family unit, disrupts marriages, leading to high rates of separation and divorce, and is associated with child abuse and neglect.”)

Chelsea Connor, “Do Casinos Increase Crime?” Story Maps, Dec. 13, 2020, (“Approximately one half of compulsive gamblers commit crime. Typically, their motivation is financial and non-violent to either collect more money to gamble or repay debts.” “[T]he Horseshow Casino in Baltimore … was constructed August 26, 2014. I will use crime data in 2014 showing pre-conditions and 5 years after construction, 2019, to show post conditions. … Total crime count for 2014 was 42,620. Total crime count for 2019 was 1,638,600.”)

“Problem gambling,”, (“Impact (Australia) According to the Productivity Commission’s 2010 final report into gambling, the social cost of problem gambling is close to 4.7 billion dollars a year. Some of the harms resulting from problem gambling include depression, suicide, lower work productivity, job loss, relationship breakdown, crime and bankruptcy.[55] A survey conducted in 2008 found that the most common motivation for fraud was problem gambling, with each incident averaging a loss of $1.1 million.[55]” . . . “Nevada has the highest percentage of pathological gambling; a 2002 report estimated 2.2 to 3.6 percent of Nevada residents over the age of 18 could be called problem gamblers.” . . . “According to a 1997 meta-analysis by Harvard Medical School’s division on addictions, 1.1 percent of the adult population of the United States and Canada could be called pathological gamblers.[63] A 1996 study estimated 1.2 to 1.9 percent of adults in Canada were pathological.[64]” . . . “approximately 6 million American adults are addicted to gambling.[67]” Signs of a gambling problem include:[67][medical citation needed] • Using income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling • Chasing losses • Losing sleep over thoughts of gambling • Arguing with friends or family about gambling behavior • Feeling depressed or suicidal because of gambling losses”)

Gambling a profitable industry.

“Gambling Global Market Report 2022,” The Business Research Company, (“The global gambling market grew from $287.43 billion in 2021 to $456.61 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 58.9%. . . . The gambling market is expected to grow to $840.29 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 16.5%.”)

Adam Scovette, “Casinos and Regional Economies: Has the Game Changed?” Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, July 2022, No. 22-28, Casinos and Regional Economies: Has the Game Changed?

Increased number of gamblers.

Nicholas Johnson, “Move to online gambling a bad deal for Iowans,” Letter to the Editor, Iowa City Press Citizen, April 7, 2021, (“Gambling, once illegal in Iowa, is now online. TV commercials encourage record-breaking sports betting. As a former sports law professor, gambling’s impact on the integrity of collegiate and professional sports concerns me. More concerning, Tom Coates (Des Moines Consumer Credit) believes the odds are good that Iowa will see more bankruptcies, suicides, divorces and other fallout due to the spike in sports wagering.”)

“Statistics,” Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers, (“Approximately 2 million Americans are addicted to gambling with another 6-8 million Americans experiencing life problems directly related to their gambling.”)

Marsha Mercer, “As Sports Betting Grows, States Tackle Teenage Problem Gambling,” PEW, July 12, 2022, (“We believe that the risks for gambling addiction overall have grown 30% from 2018 to 2021, with the risk concentrated among young males 18 to 24 who are sports bettors,’ said Keith Whyte, the council’s executive director, in an interview. … The percentage of high school students with a gambling problem is double that of adults, research has found. About 5% of all young people between 11 and 17 meet at least one of the criteria for a gambling problem….”)

Gambling and college athletics.

Tom Witosky, “U of I to review sports-gambling links; Car-giveaway ad spotlights whether schools should promote state lottery, take casino sponsorship dollars,” Des Moines Register, Feb. 8, 2007,

Deep Throat.

“All the President’s Men,” 1976,

# # #

Tuesday, November 22, 2022


U.S. House Needs More Bipartisanship
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, Nov. 22, 2022, p. A6

Even dreams that never come true sometimes lead to proposals that do. So may it be with my dream for selecting speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mike Huckabee said when he inspected planes before flying: “I'm not just interested in the left wing or the right wing, I'd kind of like for both of them to be there.”

Well, so would I. And after the last election, an increasing number of Republicans and Democrats think so as well. By definition, a successful democracy requires more than one ruling political party. It requires bipartisanship, time and effort at legislating, with compatibility, mutual respect, and willingness to compromise.

Unfortunately, it is the U.S. House of Representatives’ traditions and norms that have created the battlefield. The Constitution imposes no such constraints. Article I, Section 2, merely states, “The House … shall choose their Speaker ….”

The Speaker need not be a majority party member – nor even a member of the House (though no outsiders have been elected, some received votes).

Republicans need to rebuild their party. Democrats want Republicans they can work with. Voters are disgusted, asking both parties to start helping working people, not just major donors.

The opportunity before the House is the selection of their next Speaker. [Photo credit/source: U.S. House of Representatives.]

Yes, I know the House Republicans have pre-selected Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. But he may not have the support of a House majority when the vote is taken Jan. 3.

Rather than leave McCarthy with the need to yield power to his no-compromises, election-denying, party-without-a-platform, MAGA, extremist, insurrectionist House members, how about the ultimate bipartisanship?

Each party can have its leadership. And tradition would dictate a Speaker from the House majority party. But shouldn’t the Speaker be the choice of both major parties?

There is precedent. In 1910, dissatisfied Republicans joined Democrats in stripping Speaker Joseph Cannon of some powers. In 1997, Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich feared dissenting Republicans would vote with Democrats, making Democrat Dick Gephardt Speaker. In Nancy Pelosi’s 2021 election as Speaker, two votes went to neither her nor McCarthy, and three members voted “present.”

On a more positive note, since 2017 the House “Problem Solvers Caucus,” with 58 members (29 from each party), has been successfully seeking to foster bipartisan cooperation on key policy issues.

Wouldn’t it be worth a similar try to build a majority from both parties that could agree on a Republican Speaker who would serve all House Members? A Speaker indebted only to them, with no need for concessions to those Members more interested in winning a war with the “enemy” party than legislating for the American people.

Like Huckabee’s airplane, the House needs wise adults on left and right. With or without a bipartisan speaker, hopefully this dream of one may inspire other proposals for converting the current mudball fight into a legislative body of problem solvers worthy of the name — and the U.S. House.

Nicholas Johnson is the author of “Columns of Democracy.”


Picking presidents. “It’s Huckabee; My Republican Pick: Governor Mike Huckabee,” July 24, 2007,

Speaker of the House:

Constitution. “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 2,

“Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,”, (“The most recent election for House speaker took place January 3, 2021, on the opening day of the 117th United States Congress, two months after the 2020 House elections in which the Democrats won a majority of the seats. Incumbent speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, secured a narrow majority of the 427 votes cast and was elected to a fourth (second consecutive) term. She received 216 votes to Republican Kevin McCarthy's 209 votes, with two votes going to other persons; also, three representatives answered present when their names were called.[34]” …”In 1997, several Republican congressional leaders tried to force Speaker Newt Gingrich to resign. However, Gingrich refused since that would have required a new election for speaker, which could have led to Democrats along with dissenting Republicans voting for Democrat Dick Gephardt (then minority leader) as speaker.” … “non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years.[8] Every person elected speaker, however, has been a member.[7] … As the Constitution does not state the duties of the speaker, the speaker's role has largely been shaped by traditions and customs that evolved over time.” ,,, “In 1910, however, Democrats and several dissatisfied Republicans joined together to strip Cannon of many of his powers, including the ability to name committee members and his chairmanship of the Rules Committee.[18]” … “John Boehner was elected speaker when the 112th Congress convened on January 5, 2011, and was subsequently re-elected twice, at the start of the 113th and 114th Congresses. On both of those occasions his remaining in office was threatened by the defection of several members from his own party who chose not to vote for him.[23][24]”)

Capitalization. “'Speaker' an exception,” Chicago Manual of Style,

House leadership. McCarthy. John Wagner and Mariana Alfaro, “Republicans engage in full-scale brawl after disappointing midterm elections,” The Washington Post, Nov. 15, 2022,

Marianna Sotomayor, “As Pelosi backs away, a new generation of Democrats steps forward; Democratic lawmakers both seasoned and new embraced the prospect of a fresh start, while recognizing the massive impact Pelosi has had,” Washington Post, Nov. 18, 2022, (“Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Katherine M. Clark (Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (Calif.) have emerged as the expected leaders …. Jeffries, 52, would break barriers as the first Black person to lead any party in either chamber of Congress. Clark, 58, could become the second woman to serve as minority whip, and Aguilar, 43, would be the second Hispanic lawmaker to chair the caucus if elected this month.” “… Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who earned the GOP conference’s nomination to be speaker next term ….” “Republicans begin to acknowledge that they will have to rely on Democrats to approve must-pass legislation to overcome their razor-thin majority.”

Problem solvers. “Problem Solvers Caucus,”

“Problem Solvers Caucus,” (“The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in the United States House of Representatives that includes members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, who seek to foster bipartisan cooperation on key policy issues. The group was created in January 2017 as an outgrowth of meetings held by political organization No Labels starting in 2014.[5].” … “Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus is co-chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and counts 58 members evenly divided between the parties, who are working to forge bipartisan solutions to America's toughest challenges.[6]”)

# # #

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Bill Maher's "Democracy's Deathbed"

I've been saying this ever since publishing the book "Columns of Democracy" years ago. But Bill Maher has a way of putting it across -- while even weaving in some humor about our demise -- that deserves distribution this election day, November 8, 2022.

Note: I'm operating on the assumtion that since this is posted on YouTube, with instructions on how to post it elsewhere, that there will be no opposition to my posting it here. If I'm wrong about that just email me at and I will take it down. -- NJ

# # #

Money and Politics

Money in Politics Buys Influence
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, November 8, 2022, p. A8

California’s 1960”s Assembly Speaker, Jesse Unruh, was the first to observe, “money is the mother’s milk of politics.”

EMILY’s List, dedicated to supporting women candidates, named itself with an acronym for “Early Money is Like Yeast” – adding, “it makes the dough rise.”

And rise it has. The total for the 2018 congressional midterms was $5.7 billion. This year? Open Secrets reports over $9.3 billion.

And what percent of the 18-and-above U.S. population of 255 million personally donated a total of $200 or more to that $9 billion? For men, 0.58 percent; women, 0.35 percent. Total for the top five donors? $365 million.
[Photo: wikimedia; attribution:]

What’s wrong with this picture? To borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “let me count the ways.”

Influence. It’s not clear that America ever had what Abraham Lincoln wished for at Gettysburg in 1863: a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Early Federalists were fond of the line, “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” We still have what those Federalists wanted: a “government of the people, by the wealthy, for the wealthy.”

Doubt it? Go back and re-read the numbers.

Everyone can cast one vote. Everyone does not have the same political influence. As Molly Ivins titled one of her books, “You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You.”

Investment. For some anonymous big donors their political contribution is an investment, not a gift. It can return more than buying stocks. I once calculated the return as 1000 or 2000 to one. Give a million dollars, get back a billion – in subsidies, contracts, tariffs, tax breaks, cut rates on drilling or grazing on public lands, or approved mergers.

Time. To put fundraising in perspective, a U.S. senator would have to raise $9343, every day, 365 days a year, for six years, to amass this year’s $25 million average campaign cost. For House members it’s $4528 a day for two years. That’s half, or more, of every day. No wonder they don’t have time to read, let alone write, legislation.

In addition to their own campaign, they’re expected to raise money for their party’s leadership and committee chairpersons – thereby further transferring political influence and power away from the individual Senate and House members.

So what can we do? There’s no shortage of suggestions. Here are examples – some used in other countries.
  • Public funding; from government, or via voters’ vouchers.
  • Term limits. When terms are expiring incumbents don’t need money.
  • Reject Citizens United. Corporations aren’t “persons;” dollars aren’t “speech.”
  • Outlaw dark money. If an organization’s money ultimately reaches candidates all its donors should be identified.
  • Limit weeks of campaigning.
And, because half of all campaign contributions pay for media and fundraising:
  • Require that TV stations, licensed to serve “the public interest,” provide free time to candidates.
  • Prohibit, or limit the number of, political TV commercials.
  • Require candidates using attack ads to pay for attached reply ads from the candidate attacked.
Anyone want “government for the people”? Let’s get to work.
Nicholas Johnson, a former FCC commissioner, has worked in political campaigns since 1952. Contact

Mother’s milk. Gary Hooser, “The Mother’s Milk of Politics,” The Garden Island (Hawaii), Aug. 7, 2019, (“Jesse Unruh . . . is credited with coining the phrase ….”)

Emily’s list. “Our History,” Emily’s List, (“Early money is like yeast, it makes the dough rise.”)

$9 billion. “See how campaign money is being spent ahead of midterms,” PBS, Oct 17, 2022, (“You go back to 2018, [total spending was] $5.7 billion. … this year? … OpenSecrets says more than $9.3 billion ….”)

Donors. “Donor Demographics” [donors as percentage of U.S. population], Open Secrets,

“Who Are the Biggest Donors? Open Secrets,

(Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions, 2021-2022 (rounded; top five) George Soros $128 million (Democrats) Richard Uihlein $81 million (Republicans) Kenneth C. Griffin $69 million (Republicans) Jeffrey S. & Janine Yass $47 (Republicans) Timothy Mellon $40 million (Republicans) $10,000 (Democrats) Total $365 million

E. B. Browning. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43),, (“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach …”)

Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, Nov. 19,1863, (“… we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”)

Those who own the country. Search Google Books with “Adams” AND “those who own the country” Numerous sources. Attributed to John Jay and Samuel Adams. Including, Gilbert John Clark, Life Sketches, Thoughts, Facts and Facetia/e of Eminent Lawyers (1895), vol. 1, p. 46, quoting from, John Adams Diary, 1774, p. 79, “’Those who own the country ought to govern it,’ was a favorite maxim with Mr. Jay.”

Molly Ivins. Molly Ivins, “You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You,” 1999,

Political “Investments.” Nicholas Johnson, “Campaigns: You Pay $4 or $4000,” Des Moines Register, July 21, 1996, p. 2C, (“Why would anyone contribute so much money? The answer first came to me during President Nixon's Administration. Milk producers wanted a higher support price. The Department of Agriculture could find no justification. The producers gave Nixon $200,000. Shortly thereafter we all started paying $400 million more for our milk. The math isn't too hard: $400 million divided by $200,000 means the milk producers got a 2000-to-one return on that campaign contribution. What a "return on investment"!”)

“Campaign finance in the United States,” Wikipedia, (“Campaign finance in the United States is the financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. In 2020, nearly $14 billion was spent on federal election campaigns in the United States -- "making it the most expensive campaign in U.S. history",[1] "more than double" what was spent in the 2016 election.[2] Critics complain that following a number of Supreme Court decisions -- Citizens United v. FEC (2010) in particular -- the "very wealthy" are now allowed to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns (through "Super PACs"), and to prevent voters from knowing who’s trying to influence them (contributing "dark money" that masks their identity).[3] Consequently, as of at least 2022, critics (such as the Brennan Center for Justice) allege "big money dominates U.S. political campaigns to a degree not seen in decades" and is "drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans."[3]) (“More than one billion dollars of Dark money was donated in 2020.[50]”) (“No major party nominee turned down government funds for the general election from 1976, when the program was launched, until Barack Obama did so in 2008.[71] Obama again declined government funds for the 2012 campaign, as did Republican nominee Mitt Romney, setting up the first election since the program's launch in which neither major party nominee accepted federal funding.[72] Nor did either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton accept federal funding for the 2016 general election.[73]”) (“Impact of contributions A 2016 experimental study in the American Journal of Political Science found that politicians made themselves more available for meetings with individuals when they believed that the individuals had donated to their campaign.[85] A 2011 study found that "even after controlling for past contracts and other factors, companies that contributed more money to federal candidates subsequently received more contracts."[86] A 2016 study in the Journal of Politics found that industries overseen by committees decreased their contributions to congresspeople who recently departed from the committees and that they immediately increase their contributions to new members of the committees, which is "evidence that corporations and business PACs use donations to acquire immediate access and favor—suggesting they at least anticipate that the donations will influence policy."[87]) (“A 2012 study by Lynda Powell examined "subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which money buys influence" in state legislatures "from setting a party's agenda, to keeping bills off the floor, to adding earmarks and crafting key language in legislation", rather than the roll call to vote yes or no on particular legislation.[90] She found that political money "carries more weight" in states with "more highly compensated legislators, larger chambers, and more professionalized leadership structures", where the "majority party's advantage is tightly contested and whose legislators are more likely to hold hopes of running for higher office";[90] less weight where legislatures have term limits and voters are more highly educated.[90][91]”)

Expenditures. “Top Spending Candidate Committees 2022 Cycle,” Expenditures, Open Secrets, (Top five Senate committees (rounded): Warnock $76 million; Mark Kelly $73 million, Val Demings $68 million, Fetterman $52 million, and Tim Ryan $45 million; Total $314 million. 6 years = 2190 days. $76 million/2190 = $34,703

David Knowles, “U.S. Senate seat now costs $10.5 million to win, on average, while US House seat costs, $1.7 million, new analysis of FEC data shows,” New York Daily News, March 11, 2013,

Average cost. “Average Price of Victory,” Karl Evers-Hillstrom, “State of Money in Politics: The price of victory is steep,” Open Secrets, Feb. 19, 2019, (“[In 2018] Victorious Senate candidates spent an average of $15.7 million, while the average winning House candidate shelled out just over $2 million on average.” See third “Source” cite. Total costs this year ($9.3 billion), vs. costs in 2018 ($5.7 billion), is a 163% increase. 163% of $15.7 million is $25.6 million; 163% of $2 million is $3.26 million. Daily costs. 6 years=2740 days. 25.6 million/2740=$9,343 2 years=720 days. 3.26 million/720=$4528

What can we do?

The examples/selections of proposals are my own, from reading, conversations, and experience over the years. I make no claim to being the first to think of any of them (except perhaps the last). What follows are random selections of material touching on these ideas.


Electoral Reform, Wikipedia, (includes “4. Electoral reform by Country” for 17 countries)

Google search: “reforms to cut the high costs of American elections”

Column’s proposals.

Public funding: government or vouchers.

“Public financing of campaigns,” Campaign Finance in the United States,” Wikipedia, (“Massachusetts … taxpayers are allowed to contribute $1 to the statewide election fund by checking a box on their annual income taxes.” “Seattle voters approved the Democracy voucher program in 2015, which gives city residents four $25 vouchers to donate to participating candidates.[99] Vouchers have been proposed in other cities and states as a means to diversify the donor pool, help more candidates run for office, and boost political engagement.”)

Term limits. When their term is expiring incumbents don’t need money.

Dan Greenberg, “Term Limits: The Only Way to Clean Up Congress,” The Heritage Foundation, Aug. 10, 1994, (“[T]erm limits … are supported by large majorities of most American demographic groups; they are opposed primarily by incumbent politicians and the special interest groups which depend on them.”)

Reject Citizens United.

Corporations aren’t “persons;” dollars aren’t “speech.” “Campaign Finance Reform Amendment,” Wikipedia,

“We the People Amendment,” Campaign finance reform amendment, Wikipedia, (“Section 2. Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of that person’s money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.”)

Dark money.

“Dark money” exception,” “Campaign Finance in the United States,” Wikipedia,"Dark_money2_exception (“A major loophole to disclosure requirements is "dark money," so named because while the recipient knows the identity of those giving them money, the public knows neither the identity of the campaigns, candidates nor other entities receiving the money, nor the amounts raised and spent, as these are exempt from disclosure requirements.”)

Limit weeks of campaigning.

Danielle Kurtzleben, “Why Are U.S. Elections So Much Longer Than Other Countries'?” National Public Radio, Oct. 21, 2015, (Japan 12 days; France 2 weeks; Canada 78 days; Argentina 60 days; U.K. 139 days; Mexico 147 days;

Require that TV stations, licensed to serve “the public interest,” provide candidates free time.

Danielle Kurtzleben, ibid, “Big Money in Politics,” (“ … in some countries, like Japan, candidates each get equal, free, ad space”).

Prohibit, or limit the number of, political TV commercials.

Danielle Kurtzleben, ibid, “Big Money in Politics,” (“A candidate can't keep advertising for a year and a half, for example, without millions of dollars at his or her disposal. The U.S. system essentially requires candidates to raise millions of dollars to even mount a serious run.” “Brazil, the U.K. and Japan, among many others, simply don't allow candidates to purchase TV ads (but that doesn't mean zero ads — in some countries, like Japan, candidates each get equal, free, ad space).”)

Require political attack ads to pay for an attached reply ad from the candidate attacked.

By “attached ad” is meant that a reply to the attack would immediately follow the attack. Many variables are possible. The station (or social media source) could provide that the station would provide the time to the person attacked without charge (as the FCC required with its “personal attack” rule). It would be an equal opportunity to immediately reach the audience exposed to the attack (a variance on the “equal opportunity” rule). And it would provide a different view on a “controversial issue of public importance” (as required by the “fairness doctrine”).

So while this idea has no specific antecedent its underlying concept was the basis for analogous FCC rules (dates indicating when they were abolished): the “equal opportunity,” “fairness doctrine” (1987) and “personal attack” (2000) rules. (For the “equal opportunity” rule, see “Equal-Time Rule,” Wikipedia, .)

Overly simplified but adequate for our purposes, they all recognized the power of mass media, and the “public interest” requirement in stations’ licenses. “Equal opportunity” provided that if a station gave free time to one candidate, they were obliged to provide an “equal opportunity” to reach its audience to all other candidates for that office.

The “fairness doctrine” required two things: stations must provide some programming dealing with “controversial issues of public importance,” and, in doing so, provide a representation of the range of viewpoints on that issue.

The “Personal Attack Rule, “The personal attack rule was invoked whenever ‘an attack is made upon the honesty, character, integrity, or like personal qualities of an identified person or group’ during broadcast or original cable TV programming while discussing ‘controversial issues of public importance.’[1] After such an attack, within a week the broadcast station or cable provider responsible for the programming was required to give the person or group attacked the following: notification and identification of the cablecast; a script, tape or accurate summary of the attack; and an offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond over the cable facilities.[1]”

# # #

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Human Race

Reflections on Being Human
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, October 26, 2022, p. 6A

Homo sapiens are the only animal species able to talk themselves into difficulties that would not otherwise exist, from divorce to war.

“Is” enables the generalizations of prejudice: “she ‘is’ Black,” “he ‘is’ a Jew” – when they are both so much more.

Although some list three to nine human groupings, there is only one race. The human race. One species. Homo sapiens. Individuals whose DNA is 99.9 percent identical.

“Race,” or species, relations would be how we get along with cats and dogs, wildcats and bears.

An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut come from different cultures and speak different languages. But they have more in common with each other than either does with their countries’ farmers, or brain surgeons. The same can be said of different countries’ trades workers, hobbyists and athletes.

Like other species, humans vary in height, weight, bone density, eye and skin color -- including comparing “whites” who spend the summer building the perfect tan and those who stay indoors.

But the significant differences between us are matters of culture: customs and norms, language and arts, religion and celebrations, history and mythology.

We trivialize the cognitive ability of plants and other animal species because we believe ourselves to be so much smarter. But the only two cognitive abilities any species requires are survivability and reproduction.

Molly Ivins once said of a Texas legislator, “If his IQ slips any lower we'll have to water him twice a day.” Given what Homo sapiens have been up to recently there are plant species demonstrating more cognitive ability than we have.

There are many advantages of a liberal arts education, however obtained. It’s like going from black and white TV to color TV, or well-seasoned rather than bland stew. Everything you see, hear, read about or do explodes with multifaceted meaning.

Even if one’s goal is great wealth from business, take note: Over one third of Fortune 500 corporate CEOs have liberal arts degrees.

Similarly, the more one values and knows of others’ cultures the more one can borrow and use in their own. Why are Denmark’s citizens so happy? How do matriarchal societies work? Cultural anthropology should be a required course.

When walking my Fitbit steps I greet those I meet. I’ve followed up with some I’ve talked to from India, Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Vietnam in a neighborhood park. For example, our Turkish friend attended our family gatherings. He informed us about, among other things in Turkey, family relationships, history, politics, his military experiences – and the game of reading fortunes from Turkish coffee grounds.

In fact, throughout my life I’ve found everyone I’ve met and talked with, no matter where they’re from or what they do, has had something to tell me I didn’t know. From millionaires to the homeless, they all have their story.

But that can only happen when I see an individual rather than a member of a group; when I approach the conversation with questions rather than assumptions and labels.

Nicholas Johnson is the author of "Test Pattern for Living." Contact


The “is” of identity. See generally, S.I. Hayakawa, ed., Language Meaning and Maturity,” p. 29 (1954) (“4. The ‘is’ of identity. … To be wary of the ‘is’ of identity is to guard against confusing words and things ….”), and Wendell Johnson, People in Quandaries (1946), (“Unconscious projection shows itself rather conspicuously in our use of the verb to be in its various forms is, are, am, etc.”)

Human groupings. Paul Rincon, “Three human-like species lived side-by-side in ancient Africa,” News, BBC, April 2, 2020, (“Two million years ago, three different human-like species were living side-by-side in South Africa, a study shows. The findings underline a growing understanding that the present-day situation, where one human species dominates the globe, may be unusual compared with the evolutionary past.”)

Jasna Hodzic, “Homo sapiens is #9. Who were the eight other human species?” Big Think, April 12, 2022, (“Have you ever wondered why there is not another species like us? One line of reasoning suggests that we would not be so unique had we not killed off some of our relatives.”)

One race. “Ruth Benedict,” Heroes for a Better World, (“The peoples of the earth are one family.” “Culture is not a biologically transmitted complex.”)

DNA 99.9%. “Genetics vs. Genomics Fact Sheet,” National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, undated, (“All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup. Differences in the remaining 0.1 percent hold important clues about the causes of diseases.”)

Culture. “Ruth Benedict,” Heroes for a Better World, (“The life history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community.” “No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking.” “We do not see the lens through which we look.”)

Molly Ivins. “Quotations,” Molly Ivins, Wikipedia, (“On James M. Collins, U.S. Representative, R-Dallas: "If his IQ slips any lower we'll have to water him twice a day.")

Cognitive ability. Paco Calvo, et al, “Plants are Intelligent, Here’s How,” National Library of Medicine, Oct. 20, 2019, (“Intelligent behaviour is usually recognized when individual organisms including plants … change their behaviour to improve their probability of survival. … Intelligent behaviour in single cells and microbes is frequently reported. … There is real biological benefit to regarding plants as intelligent …. The inbuilt driving forces of individual survival and thence to reproduction are fundamental to life of all kinds. In these unpredictable and varying circumstances the aim of intelligence in all individuals is to modify behaviour to improve the probability of survival.”)

Alison N. P. Stevens, et al, “Animal Cognition,” the nature education Knowledge Project, 2021, (“The physical world poses a number of problems for animals to solve. On a daily basis, animals must find food, avoid predators, and seek shelter. Solving these problems requires cognitive capacities. Cognition involves processing information, from sensing the environment to making decisions based on available information. Such cognitive capacities include, among others, the ability to navigate through space, account for the passage of time, determine quantity, and remember events and locations.”)

Homo sapiens have been around for about 300,000 years. “What does it mean to be human? Homo sapiens,” National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, But ferns have been around for 300 million years! Will we be? I doubt it. Jerald Pinson, “About Ferns,” Resources, American Fern Society,

Liberal arts. “Ruth Benedict,” Heroes for a Better World, (“The adequate study of culture, our own and those on the opposite side of the globe, can press on to fulfillment only as we learn today from the humanities as well as from the scientists.”)

“Liberal Arts Education,” Wikipedia, (“Liberal arts education can refer to studies in a liberal arts degree course or to a university education more generally. Such a course of study contrasts with those that are principally vocational, professional, or technical.”)

CEOs. Tim Askew, “Why The Liberal Arts are Necessary for Long-Term Success; The Short-Sightedness of STEM,” Inc., (“In fact, over a third of Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees.”)

Elizabeth Segran, “Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees With Liberal Arts Degrees,” Fast Company, Aug. 28, 2014, (“Other tech CEOs across the country agree that liberal arts training–with its emphasis on creativity and critical thinking–is vital to the success of their business.”)

Happy Danes. “Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S.,” World Happiness Report,” Jan. 9, 2020, (“Finland and Denmark have consistently topped the World Happiness Report in all six areas of life satisfaction: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.”)

Matriarchal societies. Matriarchy, Wikipedia, (“Matriarchy is a social system in which women hold the primary power positions in roles of authority.”)

Anthropology. “Cultural anthropology,” Oxford Languages, (“the branch of anthropology concerned with the study of human societies and cultures and their development.”)

Note: Two books by Ruth Benedict had a very early impact on my thinking about cultural anthropology that continues in this column: The Races of Mankind (1943) and Patterns of Culture (1934).

# # #

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Why Iowans Are Voting for AG Tom Miller

Why Iowans Should Vote for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

Iowans can be proud of their Attorney General, Tom Miller.

He is the longest serving state Attorney General in the nation. The national organization of state attorneys general chose him as their president and recognized his outstanding service.

His Consumer Protection Division has helped thousands, his Farm Division was the first in the nation. His tobacco efforts saved thousands of lives. His integrity and high quality legal skills are widely acknowledged.

Tom Miller is the epitome of a non-partisan “public servant” rather than a “politician.” Had he sought higher office he likely would have it. Had he wanted wealth, private law practice would have provided it.

He chose instead to give his life and talents to the welfare of Iowans. We can thank him for his service by looking down our ballots and giving him our vote.

-- Nicholas Johnson, Oct. 13, 2022

# # #

Tags: #IowaAttorneyGeneral, #IowansForMiller, #TomMillerAttorneyGeneral

Nicholas Johnson
Web pages:
Postal: P.O. Box 1876, Iowa City IA 52244-1876
# # #

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Grandma's Oven

It Starts With Grandma's Oven
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, October 4, 2022, p.5A

As a Gazette reader you don’t need reminders of the challenges Iowans and other Homo sapiens have helped create for us, other species, and our home planet.

Some challenges require resources individuals don’t have -- billions of dollars, heavy equipment, or inventions not yet imagined.

Other challenges we can not only address but turn into win-win-win accomplishments.

Erin Jordan’s article about the St. Andrew Lutheran Church’s “grow not mow” project (Sept. 28) (partnered with Feed Iowa First), followed that day by the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health got me thinking.

Remember the story of a young couple preparing a meal for their extended family? Questioned why they cut the turkey in half, they explained that’s what the wife’s mother did. When the mother arrived, she explained that’s what Grandma did. A phone call to Grandma solved the mystery. Her oven was too small for the roasting pan.

Our species has been surrounding homes with acres of grass for over 600 years. Why? Because our English ancestors did. Why did they? The number of human laborers required to trim grass without a mower made it what Thorstein Veblen called “conspicuous consumption” – evidence of their elite, wealthy status.

Immigrants to America brought the idea of grass lawns and the seeds to grow them. Industrialization introduced the lawn mower. The suburbs provided the acreages. And now forty million acres of America are lawn – our largest irrigated crop.

Meanwhile, over 20 million Americans are drinking unsafe water, while nine billion gallons of clean water flows over the grass daily, chemicals flow into the rivers, lawn mowers pollute the air, and hours of homeowners’ labor are consumed.

A Chinese friend of ours, on her first trip here, asked why homes grew grass instead of food. Cedar Rapids Lutherans apparently asked the same question [omitted from published version: and then, like Robert Kennedy, began to “dream things that never were and say, ‘why not?'”]. The result? Healthy food, including 5,000 pounds of tomatoes for distribution centers. [Photo source: wikimedia]

What the White House Conference reminded us is that “food” is more than calories. Insufficient calories can lead to food insecurity, hunger, and starvation when there’s “too much month at the end of the money.”

But “food” is also (or fails to be) “nutrition.” Healthy food from the produce department is as much “medicine” as pills from the pharmacy department. Yet nearly half of the world’s people cannot afford or get access to it.

Half of Americans have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes; 42 percent are obese. Better nutrition can increase longevity, strengthen immune systems, lower risks of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, while lowering healthcare costs.

Turning some of those 40 million acres of grass into gardens around our homes won’t solve America’s health and hunger challenges. But it sure would help. Help feed Iowans healthy food, save drinking water, reduce pollution from lawn mowers and drives to grocery stores, cut healthcare costs, give us more years of quality life, hours of leisure time, gardening exercise, and some very tasty, cheaper meals.

Nicholas Johnson served as co-director of the Iowa Institute of Health, Behavior and Environmental Policy.

Robin Kash, "At Our House"

A regular reader of my columns in The Gazette, Robin Kash, after reading the column emailed me this well written verbal picture of how the column's general suggestions might blosom in your yard as well.
At our house, it started with our deciding to take up "edible landscaping." More than 10 years ago, we decided to strip turf from half our front yard and plant it in edibles, e.g., rhubarb, strawberries, mint, chives, plus containers with tomatoes, lettuce, and other salad veggies. This summer we got lots of garlic! In the other half we planted blueberries, gooseberries, currants, jostaberries, and bush cherries--plus we planted what has become a huge cherry tree in our side yard.

In the back, we erected raised beds which over the years have produced varieties of tomatoes, squash, an array of peppers, Swiss chard, kale, okra, carrots, beets, and other veggies. We now have three grape arbors. A neighbor got us started with raspberries. My wife fancied blackberries, and planted a seedless sort.

Ours is a small lot. We eat or preserve most of what we raise, but have enough to share with friends.

In addition, we had built three rain gardens. They help keep water from running off, and offer lots of happy meals for pollinators.

Moreover, in places not planted, we have spread wood mulch.

I confess, mowing lawns has never been one of my favored ways of spending time. Our edible landscaping cum mulching multiplies rewards.

Thanks for your article. I hope it encourages others to break their grass addiction. You know what I mean!
St. Andrew Gardens. Erin Jordan, “Church turns lawn into farm for immigrants,” The Gazette, Sept. 28, 2022, p. A7, (“St. Andrew Lutheran Church took the challenge to “grow not mow” and turned its lawn into an urban farm that grows amaranth and tomatoes for immigrants and others in need.

So far this year, the congregation has harvested more than 5,000 pounds of tomatoes. …

The church … partners with Feed Iowa First, a Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit that unites businesses, faith organizations, schools, farmers and volunteers to grow produce for 19 food distribution sites around Cedar Rapids.

Feed Iowa First starts 50,000 plants over the winter and spring that are planted outdoors in 22 fields like the one at St. Andrew’s. …

Grow Don’t Mow farms likely will produce up to 28,000 pounds of produce this year, she [Feed Iowa First Executive Director Emmaly Renshaw] said.

Feed Iowa First has other programs that seek to expand access to fresh, healthy foods.

Don’t Waste Donate allows any local grower to give surplus crops to Feed Iowa First at a drop-off shed at 1506 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids. The program tries to get produce to consumers within 24 to 72 hours, Renshaw said.

“Five to 7 percent of families don’t have a full-size refrigerator,” she said. “Our goal is as soon as those donations come in, they are out for distribution.”

Through Equitable Land Access, Feed Iowa First helps beginning farmers from other countries ….”)

Feed Iowa First. Feed Iowa First,

Grandma’s turkey. Barbara Mikkelson, “Grandma’s Cooking Secret,” Snopes, Nov. 9, 1999, (Snopes, the go-to source for confirmation of assertions and stories, labels this one a “legend” and provides a variety of the forms the story has taken over the years)

First lawns. “Lawn History,” Planet Natural Research Center, (“Closely shorn grass lawns first emerged in 17th century England at the homes of large, wealthy landowners. While sheep were still grazed on many such park-lands, landowners increasingly depended on human labor to tend the grass closest to their homes. Before lawnmowers, only the rich could afford to hire the many hands needed to scythe and weed the grass, so a lawn was a mark of wealth and status.” “Immigrants from Northern Europe brought with them to North America both the idea of the lawn and the grass seeds to create it. Some of those seeds, like the seeds of many other European native plants, were carried here with great care; others arrived on coat hems, or rolled in bundles of bedding or crates of imported goods, or on the rope used to tie such crates and bundles.”)

Lawn data.

(1) 40 Million Acres.

(2) Largest Irrigated Crop.

(3) 9 Billion Gallons.

(4) Hours of Homeowners’ Labor/Least Liked Chore.

Christopher Ingraham, “Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck and most of us would be better off without them,” Washington Post, Aug. 4, 2015, (“[1] There are somewhere around 40 million acres of lawn in the lower 48, according to a 2005 NASA estimate derived from satellite imaging. "Turf grasses, occupying 1.9% of the surface of the continental United States, would be the [2] single largest irrigated crop in the country," that study concludes. Conservatively, American lawns take up three times as much space as irrigated corn. … In some states, a significant chunk of the landscape is covered in turf grass — meaning residential lawns, commercial lawns, golf courses, and the like. Delaware is 10 percent lawn. Connecticut and Rhode Island are 20 percent. And over 20 percent of the total land area of Massachusetts and New Jersey is covered in grass, according to that 2005 NASA study. … Other folks are ditching their lawns because of the amount of water they soak up — [3] 9 billion gallons of it per day, according to the EPA. Think of the miracle that is the modern water supply — pristine water pumped hundreds of miles, … And then consider that we intentionally dump billions of gallons of that water out on the ground! [4] A November 2011 CBS news poll found that for 1 in 5 Americans, mowing the lawn was their least-liked chore — ranked lower than raking leaves and shoveling snow.”)

“Lawn Alternatives; How to reduce your lawn care costs while lessening your yard's environmental impact,” Eartheasy, undated, (“Fuel for power mowers, toxic emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, water consumption, and your weekend time are all part of the cost of lawn maintenance.”)

Unsafe Drinking Water. Katie Langin, “Millions of Americans Drink Potentially Unsafe Tap Water. How Does Your County Stack Up? Rural, low-income Americans are most at risk of contaminants.” Science, Feb. 12, 2018, (“Tainted tap water isn't just a problem in Flint, Michigan. In any given year from 1982 to 2015, somewhere between 9 million and 45 million Americans got their drinking water from a source that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to a new study. Most at risk: people who live in rural, low-income areas. … They found that during the Flint water crisis in 2015, nearly [ over 20 million ]21 million Americans—about 6%—were getting water from systems that violated health standards. And looking back over time, the number of violations generally increased from 1982 to 2015—spiking in the years following the addition of a new regulation, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For instance, after a rule about coliform bacteria was enacted in 1990, the number of violations doubled within 5 years. Such spikes don't mean that the water suddenly got worse, Allaire says, just that previously accepted levels of a contaminant were now considered too high.”)

Robert Kennedy “Dream Things.” Senator Edward M. Kennedy, “Tribute to Robert F. Kennedy,” Edward M. Kennedy Institute, June 8, 1968, (“As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.’")

White House Conference. White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health,”

“Toolkit for Partner-Led Convenings,” White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, May 2022,

Alan Rappeport, “Biden Administration Unveils Plan Aiming to End Hunger in U.S. by 2030; The ambitious initiative comes even as food prices have been soaring and food bank lines have been swelling,” New York Times, Sept. 28, 2022, (“The Biden administration is set to embark Wednesday on an ambitious effort to end hunger in the United States by the end of the decade, convening hundreds of policymakers, health activists, farmers and business leaders as it lays out a plan to make healthful food more accessible across the nation.

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health will be the first such gathering since 1969 ….

Kroger will work with the American Heart Association on a $250 million “food is medicine” initiative. The National Restaurant Association will work with fast food chains to ensure that kid’s meals only contain water, milk or juice. And Rethink Food, a nonprofit organization, will work with restaurants to divert millions of pounds of unused food to communities that are facing food insecurity. … According to the World Bank, nearly 193 million people around the world faced food insecurity last year.

A report from the Agriculture Department this month found that about 90 percent of U.S. households were food secure last year, while about 10 percent, or 13.5 million, had difficulty providing enough food for their family members.”)

Laura Reiley, “The FDA announces a new definition of what’s ‘healthy’; But what’s good for you is a fraught topic — and the federal government has a spotty record on the subject,” Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2022, (“Six in 10 American adults have chronic lifestyle-related diseases, often stemming from obesity and poor diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says these diseases are the leading cause of death and disability and a leading driver in the nation’s $4.1 trillion of annual health-care costs.

And the obesity epidemic is not moving in the right direction: Studies show that obesity, especially among children, rose significantly during the pandemic, with the greatest change among children ages 5 to 11, who gained an average of more than five pounds. Before the pandemic, about 36 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds were considered overweight or obese; during the pandemic, that increased to 45.7 percent.

In some Latin American countries, governments have instituted stricter food labeling laws, pushing back against sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States. In Chile, for instance, foods high in added sugar, saturated fats, calories and added sodium must display black stop signs on the front of their packages.”)

Healthy Food Benefits; 3 Billion Can’t Afford It; Related Facts.

“Nutrition,” World Health Organization, (“Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.”)

“The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2022; Repurposing food and agricultural policies to make healthy diets more affordable,” World Health Organization, July 6, 2022, [The “In Brief” pdf version:] (“The intensification of the major drivers behind recent food insecurity and malnutrition trends (i.e. conflict, climate extremes and economic shocks) combined with the high cost of nutritious foods and growing inequalities will continue to challenge food security and nutrition. This will be the case until agrifood systems are transformed, become more resilient and are delivering lower cost nutritious foods and affordable healthy diets for all, sustainably and inclusively. … The challenges to ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition keep growing. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the fragilities in our food systems and the inequalities in our societies, driving further increases in world hunger and severe food insecurity.”

[Foreword] (“The most recent evidence available suggests that the number of people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world rose by 112 million to almost 3.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of rising consumer food prices during the pandemic.”)

“National Diabetes Statistics Report, Fast Facts on Diabetes” CDC, (37.3 M (11.2%) have diabetes; 96 M (38.0%) have prediabetes)

“Overweight & Obesity; Adult Obesity Facts,” CDC, (“Adult Obesity Facts/Obesity Prevalence Maps Adult obesity prevalence by state and territory using self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. “Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease The US obesity prevalence was 41.9% in 2017 – March 2020. (NHANES, 2021) From 1999 –2000 through 2017–March 2020, US obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%. (NHANES, 2021) Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These are among the leading causes of preventable, premature death. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was nearly $173 billion in 2019 dollars. Medical costs for adults who had obesity were $1,861 higher than medical costs for people with healthy weight.”)

Senator Cory Booker played a major role in creating the White House Conference. Google search: senator cory booker (food OR hunger OR nutrition) produced audio (only) of his remarks on npr, from which NJ made these notes.

“In addition to hunger, Sen. Cory Booker sys the U.S. faces a nutrition crisis,” Morning Edition, npr, Sept. 28, 2022, 5:18 AM ET, audio only, (health crisis, 1/3 federal dollars for healthcare, diet-related diseases; “diabetes, heart disease, this explosion of obesity” “healthy, fresh foods, available” “nutrition-empty foods” “front of packaging labeling” “subsidizing foods that make us sick” “food is medicine’ movement” “50% of America has Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes” “food deserts” “diet related diseases”)

# # #

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Selling Toothpaste and Presidents

Selling Toothpaste and Presidents
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, September 22, 2022, p. A4

When travelling the lecture circuit decades ago, I would occasionally get off on a rant regarding advertising’s manipulation of consumer demand.

I would ask the audience to look at the labels on the products in their bathroom cabinet for any that were not heavily advertised on television.

At that time Procter & Gamble’s Gleem toothpaste was widely advertised as “the toothpaste for people who can’t brush after every meal.”

After such lectures audience members would come forward to dispute my assertions. One especially agitated adult with red face, fiery eyes, and a forefinger in my chest asserted, “Other people, maybe; but I’m sure not influenced by commercials.”

As if to politely change the subject, I asked, “What toothpaste do you use?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Just curious,” I said.

“I use Gleem.”

“With all those toothpastes to choose from, why did you happen to pick Gleem?”

“Well, it’s just, … it’s just …, well I just can’t brush after every meal.”

Since many of the lectures were at academic institutions, my ongoing toothpaste survey revealed that most academics used Crest. (Part of my reason for following up with the Gleem fan.)

Since my dentist believed that brushing and flossing twice daily with water – or if one insisted on a dentifrice, baking soda – was adequate, why would academics use Crest?

It’s only a guess, but it turns out the American Dental Association had endorsed Crest. Perhaps dentists’ research revealed it did less harm than other toothpastes. I don’t know. Perhaps it was only natural that academics would go with the toothpaste choice of their fellow professionals.

Apparently by 2014 consumers had discovered another way to brush after every meal, or otherwise manage their dental hygiene without Gleem. With rapidly declining Gleem sales P&G took it off the market.

What does this have to do with the United States’ and other nations’ current slide from democracies into dictatorships?

Advertising isn’t new. One of the earliest ads (for “fine quality needles”) was printed from a copper plate during China’s Sung dynasty (960-1276). Advertising later began claiming its products raised one’s social status. But industrialization provided the products, and boost in advertising, from $200 million in 1880 to $3 billion in 1920.

This was soon followed by the use of psychological techniques, such as appealing to potential customers’ emotions of love, hate and fear. The economy grew by creating millions my late friend, Molly Ivins, described as people believing “more is better, and too much is not enough.”

As Adolph Hitler discovered, these same techniques had the power to flip a country noted for its educational system, creative literature, painting, poetry, music, theatre, and architecture into a Nazi state. (Photo credit: Danzigers Cheer Hitler, Sept. 19, 1939, wikimedia commons.)

Reflect on that, and then think about our current political campaigns' use of social media, the role of MAGA and its leader, in flipping a political party. As media critic Professor Rose Goldsen observed, from toothpaste to presidents, “Even though we know we are being taken, we are still being taken.”
Nicholas Johnson is the author of "Test Pattern for Living."

Gleem. “Do Crest Toothpastes Have the ADA Seal of Acceptance?” Crest, (“Has Crest Pro–Health Toothpaste received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association? Yes. In fact, Crest Pro-Health Gel Toothpaste - Clean Mint, Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste - Clean Cinnamon, Crest Pro-Health Night Toothpaste, and Crest Pro-Health Whitening are the toothpastes that have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance for protecting against all these areas: cavities, gingivitis, plaque, sensitivity, stains and bad breath. They also help prevent tartar buildup and freshen breath.”)

“Gleem … the toothpaste for people who can’t brush after every meal,” image and text in LIFE magazine Sept. 9, 1957,

Rudy Sanchez, “Procter & Gamble Resurrects Gleem As An Electric Toothbrush, Nov. 11, 2019, (“Many consumers may not have heard of Gleem, which, despite being only recently retired, has long been bested by toothpaste competitors like Colgate and Crest. Although parent company Procter & Gamble shelved Gleem in 2014, they rebranded the product as Crest Fresh and White, forced to wear the livery of a one-time market rival.”)

History of Advertising. “History of Advertising,” Wikipedia, (“A copper printing plate dated back to the Song dynasty used to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with "Jinan Liu's Fine Needle Shop" and "We buy high quality steel rods and make fine quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time" written above and below.[3] It is considered the world's earliest identified printed advertising medium.[4]” … “Total advertising volume in the United States grew from about $200 million in 1880 to nearly $3 billion in 1920.[43]” … “The former chair at Johns Hopkins University, John B. Watson was a highly recognized psychologist in the 1920s. After leaving the field of academia he turned his attention towards advertising where he implemented the concepts of behaviorism into advertising. This focused on appealing to the basic emotions of the consumer: love, hate, and fear. This type of advertising proved to be extremely effective as it suited the changing social context which led to heavy influence of future advertising strategy and cemented the place of psychology in advertising.[57][58]”)

“China in 1000 CE; The Most Advanced Society in the World,” 2022, (“During the Song (Sung) Dynasty (960-1276), technology was highly advanced in fields as diverse as agriculture, iron-working, and printing.”)

Germany. “The Weimar Renaissance,” Britannica, (“Amid the political and economic turmoil of the early 1920s, Germany’s cultural and intellectual life was flowering. … In 1919 Gropius became the founder and first director of the Bauhaus school of design in Weimar, the most important institution in Germany for the expression of Modernism’s aesthetic and cultural vision. Bauhaus artists believed that they were creating a new world through their painting, poetry, music, theatre, and architecture.”)

Rose Goldsen quote. Nicholas Johnson, “Forty Years of Wandering in the Wasteland,” Federal Communications Law Journal, 55 F.C.L.J 521 (2003), (“[FN22]. (“The latest organization of media educators was announced as this paper was being written. See Action Coalition for Media Education, at http:// (last visited Mar. 2, 2003). However media-savvy one may be, a search of cupboards and cabinets may provide illustrations of an insight Rose Goldsen [author of “The Show and Tell Machine,” 1977] once shared with the Author: ‘Even though we know we are being taken, we are still being taken.’") And in Nicholas Johnson, “Your Second Priority,” (2007/2008), p. 83.
# # #