Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Review of “The Prophet” by Isaac Deutcher

“Until we are done with the ironies of history (because they will never be done with us), the image of Trotsky will not dissipate.”~Christopher Hitchens I’ve had a lifelong fascination with socialism, communism and the Cold War. This probably springs from having grown up during the Cold War at nuclear ground zero for World War […]

Making the physician sausage

I started teaching medical students in 1988 and have been an instructor and course director for one or more first-year med school courses continuously since 1990. When I started, there were two full years of pre-clinical course-work. Now we’re down to a year and two-thirds and there are plans to shrink further. Some medical schools […]

Review of “Lenin: A Biography”

I just finished Robert Service’s biography of Lenin. The “Marxism” of Lenin was not Marxist at all. Classical Marxism holds that capitalism must achieve a high level of industrialization before the workers can overturn the landlords and factory owners and collectivize the fruits of labor for the benefit of workers. Like Mao, Lenin retrofitted socialist […]

Can Bill Gates bring nuclear power back to the US?

Usually, discussions of decarbonizing energy production involve solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. But nuclear power generation doesn’t generate greenhouse gas (though the large amount of concrete in conventional nuclear power plants does). Nuclear power generation has a bad name after Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. While there is debate about whether the Three Mile […]

Book Review: “Money”

Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Geneticist In 1998, I went to Moscow for the first time to speak at a summer course sponsored by the Russian Academy. The week before I went, we were on vacation and one morning, I heard the NPR reporter say: “Today, the Ruble lost 100% of its value.” […]

Yes, the CDC Can Change Its Mind

Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Geneticist The Nobel Laureate economist Paul Samuelson famously acknowledged in a Meet the Press interview: “Well when events change, I change my mind. What do you do?” This observation applies to the advice from medical authorities such as the CDC and WHO during the COVID pandemic. Some members […]

Book review: “The St. Louis Commune of 1877”

Prof. Joel Eissenberg, Upfront Blog For Christmas 2021, Linda gave me a copy of “The St. Louis Commune of 1877: Communism in the Heartland” by Mark Kruger. The title certainly grabbed my attention. Having read it, there’s somewhat less than meets the eye here. The reason I never heard of this before is that the […]

Vaccination reduces the probability of new variants

Professor Joel Eissenberg, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology While vaccination reduces the probability of new variants; sadly, there are selfish citizens among us who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Their belief in a decision only affecting themselves. This belief is false. Failing to get vaccinated increases the chances of infecting others and of hosting a […]

This is Just Cringeworthy

Cringeworthy, are the numbers of people who still are unvaccinated and believe they will not be stricken by Covid. Hospitals, doctors, nurses and the staff are at critical mass again. Meanwhile courts continue to block mandatory vaccinations on the premise it is their right to become infected and endanger others. And Republicans are cheering on […]

Explaining Mutations and Variants

Blogger and Commenter Professor Joel Essenberg addresses Covid variants being called mutations. As a geneticist, I am troubled by the promiscuous use of the word “mutation” to describe amino acid or nucleotide differences from a reference sequence. In nearly all cases, there is no known functional significance attached to these differences. Accordingly, the differences are […]