Why don’t stutters ever stutter when they sing?

Stutterers have a genetic predisposit ion to focus tension in their vocal cords, which may lock; stutter-log is the attempt to unlock them. A singer’ s vocal cords are in constant motion, without the chance to tense up. In addition, singing, in which the syllables are more elongated than in speech. moves the vocal cords differently. The anticipatory stress that exacerbates stuttering is less likely to occur during singing, because people tend to focus on the music more than on the words . And finally, music originates in the right side of the brain, and speech in the left; there may be little neurological connection between speaking and singing. At least one well- known figure used music to avert stuttering: Winston Churchill would hum before making speeches.



 In the early 1980s the pair declared that most ulcers are caused by a certain type stomach bacterium, Helicobacter pylon, not by stress or spicy foods, as had long been believed. For years their findings were disdained and ignored. Not until the l990s did the medical establishment finally acknowledge that Marshall and Warren were right—most peptic ulcers can be quickly cured with antibiotics. No more need for the endless consumption of antacids, bland foods and milk.

The lesson here can never be stressed enough: In business, medicine and elsewhere, great breakthroughs very often come from outsiders, entrepreneurial folk not part of the establishment, of “mainstream” thought. Railroad companies didn’t invent the automobile; traditional film-maker didn’t create videotape or DVDs; telephone companies long underestimated the “creatively destructive” impact of the Internet. As universities and colleges turned left, conservative think tanks such as the great Heritage Foundation (on whose board I sit), the Cato Institute and others burgeoned with innovative, groundbreaking research that has changed our country’s political and cultural landscapes.

The federal government plays a massive role in funding medical research. Is there a connection between that fact and the frustratingly slow progress in conquering cancer’s many variations?

All this is one reason the capital gains tax should be eliminated. With more money available to be invested in research, inventors and entrepreneurs would be better able to create products and services that challenge established ones—or create whole new categories altogether.


                                                                        F O R B E S Magazine

November 14, 2005. (Pg. 32)

 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

If you have it, you don’t think about it,

so acquiring it is the means of forgetting it,

because if you don’t have it, you’ll think about it,

and you’re embittered thinking about it, because

to think about it is to acknowledge yourself

incomplete without it, because you know you are

better than that, surely you are better

than the many who have it, thus need not

think about, it the way, after Death,

you won’t think about Death either.


D URING THE 1980s PROPONENTS OF INTERVENTION supplemented security arguments with claims that American interventions promote democracy. This argument fails on both logical and historical grounds.

Democracy requires suitable social and economic pre-conditions: a fairly equal distribution of land, wealth, and income; high levels of literacy and economic development; cultural norms conducive to democracy, such as traditions of tolerance, free speech, and due process of law; and few deep ethnic divisions. Most of the Third World lacks democracy because these preconditions are missing. Moreover, it would require vast social engineering, involving long and costly post-inter-vention occupations, to introduce them. American taxpayers clearly would not support extravagant projects of this sort.

In the past, U.S. interventions have generally failed to bolster democracy. They have left dictatorship more often than democracy in their wake; Washington has often subverted elected governments that opposed its policies; and many U.S.-supported ~~democratic” governments and movements were not at all democratic. Overall, this record suggests that the United States lacks both the will and the ability to foster democracy.

The legacy of American interventions and occupations is not wholly undemocratic: Germany, Japan, Italy, Austria, and Grenada are significant exceptions. But these are the bright spots in an otherwise dark record.

The United States governed Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic in a generally undemocratic fashion during intermittent occupations in the period 1898 -1934, and then allowed brutal dictators to seize power after it left . South Korea has seen far more dictatorship than democracy since American forces arrived in 1945. Following the era of U.S. colonial rule (1899-1946) the Philippines experienced a corrupt and violent perversion of democracy and a long period of repression under Ferdinand Marcos. Even in the post-Marcos era, violence has marred Philippine elections, and the threat of a military coup hangs darkly over the elected government of Corazon Aquino. Iran and Guatemala have been ruled by cruel dictatorships ever since the CIA-sponsored coups of 1953 and 1954. Chile is only now emerging from seventeen years of harsh military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, who was installed by a U.S.-supported coup in 1973.

Some would argue that the United States brought democracy to Panama last year and to Nicaragua this year, but the United States deserves less credit than appearances suggest. The legacy of the U.S. invasion of Panama is still uncertain. The Bush Administration’s invasion deposed the dictator Manuel Noriega and installed an elected government in his place. But the Administration also installed a sinister Noriega henchman, Colonel Eduardo Herrera Hassan, as the commander of the new Public Force, the successor to Noriega’s Panamanian Defense Forces. Herrera has staffed the PF with former PDF members, raising the risk that corrupt military cliques will continue to dominate the country’s politics. Moreover, by invading, the United States merely sought to undo a mess of its own making. The United States created and trained the PDF; then, in 1968, the PDF destroyed Panamanian democracy, installing a junta that later gave rise to the Noriega dictatorship. Overall, U.S. policy toward Panama has not fostered democracy.

This year’s (1990) elections have apparently put Nicaragua on the road to democracy for the first time in its history. The U.S.-sponsored contra war and U.S. economic sanctions contributed by pressuring the Sandinistas to hold earlier and freer elections than they otherwise would have. However, the social conditions required for democracy were created by the Sandinista revolution, over American opposition. In 1979, when the Sandinistas took power, 50 percent of the adult population of Nicaragua was illiterate; land ownership was very unevenly distributed (five percent of the rural population owned 85 percent of the farmland); and the country was terrorized by the Somoza dictatorship’s brutal National Guard. The Sandinistas reduced adult illiteracy to 13 percent, redistributed the land, and disbanded the National Guard.

Had the United States gotten its way, these changes never would have occurred. As the Somoza regime crumbled, the Carter Administration maneuvered to forestall a Sandinista victory by replacing Somoza while preserving his National Guard . A Guard-dominated regime surely would have left intact the old social and political order—an order in which widespread coercion, voter ignorance, and vote fraud made elections meaningless.


The ATLANTIC Monthly

July 1990. (Pg. 74)

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