Ryan Welton

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Category Archives: politics

Standard time is (much) better, so says science

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This blog post is not going to make me popular.

I turned back time like Cher this morning, and like many of you, I’m for abolishing the twice-a-year clock switch-a-roo. However, I strongly advocate for keeping standard time and eliminating Daylight Saving Time — and so does science.

For what it’s worth, I understand why many folks prefer Daylight Saving Time. It’s about the illusion of more light per day (the result of summer and not DST). There’s a sense that you can go home from work and still have much of the day to come. You can get in a workout or go to the beach or have some patio time with family and friends, watching the sun set 2-3 hours after you get home.

However, this is not how the human body is wired — and that is the most important argument for either time standard. We should keep the clock schedule that scientifically is best for the human body.

And it’s no contest.

Read also: “Why Standard Time Is Better”

First, the return to standard time means it will be lighter earlier. Light is needed to get the body going, and for folks who have depression, especially seasonal depression, you want that light to happen in the morning. Light is not equal; it is much preferable in the morning if you have to pick one or the other.

Second, the return to standard time means it will get darker earlier. When it gets darker earlier, your body starts to get tired sooner — and that helps you get to sleep earlier and helps you sleep better.

And sleep is a factor in everything from heart health to car crashes. It impacts decisions at the highest levels, and it impacts how we treat each other each day. Better sleep would make the world a better place tomorrow.

I love it when we fall backward every year because it’s a return to what the time should be year-round. My hunch is that the overwhelming public support is for year-round DST and that scientific intervention into legislative matters on this topic will be met with the same disdain as we get with topics like climate change.

Sigh.

This topic is very much of an “eat your vegetables because they’re good for you” issue. But while the personal, anecdotal evidence might delude you into thinking that DST makes you happier and healthier, science is pretty clear that it does not.

So, you want to get rid of the twice-a-year clock change?

I agree. But pick the right schedule.

Standard time.

Movie Review: ‘Vice’ fantastic mimicry but at least partially unfair

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Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in "Vice"

A few weeks ago, I finished the Chris Whipple book called “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” a book that masterfully and I believe fairly documented the reigns of chiefs of staff from the Nixon era forward.

Here’s a video of my book review, below:

I’ve been fascinated by the presidency since I was 3 and memorized them all. I read biographies of every president although I have never come close to devouring near enough Lincoln material. For the love of goodness, I read a biography of Millard Fillmore once.

And I’m a devotee of “The West Wing,” and to know Leo McGarry’s role as Jed Bartlet’s chief is to understand what the chief of staff is supposed to do.

  1. Tell the president the unadulterated truth
  2. Control access to the president
  3. Wrangle Congress

So, when Kristi and I went to see Adam McKay’s “Vice” a couple of weeks ago, it was with an eye for how they treated its subject, Dick Cheney, during his era as the chief of staff for former President Gerald Ford.

A lot of the details it nailed, but the first thing the movie failed to acknowledge is how well liked Cheney was on Capitol Hill during that first run. The Whipple book painted the picture of an incredibly amiable man, willing to work with people from all viewpoints, a bridge-builder and not a Darth Vader.

Sure, I get that people can change over time.

With “Vice,” we have to acknowledge how terrific Christian Bale was, regardless of who inspired him. Sam Rockwell was terrific as W, and I enjoyed seeing Allison Pill of “The Newsroom” fame.

I think people of all political stripes should acknowledge the role Cheney played in creating the situation whereby America went to war with Iraq in 2003. Even the Whipple book acknowledged that Cheney’s reign as vice president was more powerful than any chief of staff George W. Bush could have had, and that’s a reflection of Cheney’s experience as chief and his interest in manipulating the powers of the executive branch.

A manipulation that every president since has leveraged and will continue to leverage. Forget parties and division, this is the concept that should scare any American. We want our government to have less power, not more.

So, for those who hated W, this movie will cement that further.

For those who hate the liberal media elite, this film won’t do a thing to dissuade you that the fix is in.

For me, I had no problem with how McKay portrayed Cheney as the vice president. My primary issue is how they portrayed him as Ford’s chief. In reality, it’s really as if the Dick Cheney of 1975 and the Cheney of 2003 were completely different people.

Otherwise, a pretty mesmerizing movie to watch. I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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