Reflections

2017 marked the first full calendar year for this blog and, as with most everyone this time of year, it is time to reflect on this past 12 months and look forward to a new year. A new President meant that suddenly Democrats were worried about corruption, military misadventures and the deficit, while Republicans discovered…

Why Does School Cost So Much?

Of all the things we spend money on, very few have exploded in price so much in the past few decades as education.  Some of the others, such as healthcare and housing are easier to understand.  People are getting older and having more chronic health issues and are typically willing to spend whatever resources they…

The Ball Bounces Both Ways

I have many passions outside of pontificating on politics.  One of them is sports and I particularly enjoy basketball.  I probably watch three or four NBA games a week and a few college games here and there.  Sports of all kinds, whether professional or “amateur” are quite the racket in this country.  Owners, leagues and…

The 12 Months of Christmas

Every year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we see special efforts made by individuals and organizations of all kinds to help those “less fortunate” so that they might have a tasty meal or a nice gift under the tree.  While such sentiments are admirable, they fall short in a very important way.  People aren’t just hungry…

The Illusion of Safety

There was a meme going around a while back that talked about Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul walking into a bar.  They all were served tainted alcohol (since there were no regulations) and they died.  Well, I suppose this could happen, except for the fact that Ayn Rand is already dead, but it…

Not Taxation is Theft?

So it appears that the President will finally score a major legislative victory with the passage of the newest “simplification” of the tax code, one which promises some modest tax cuts for at least some of us and all but guarantees a larger budget deficit for all of us.  I suppose it is not so…

The Music of Life

In the past year I have learned a little bit about music theory and have found it fascinating.  In addition, I have figured out  how to play a few songs on a keyboard I acquired.  It turns out that all those confusing black smudges on lined paper actually mean something fairly simple once you learn…

Bad Boys?

The other day I read a short blurb in the local paper about how the television series Cops would be filming in my hometown this year.  Huh?  That show is still on the air?  Yes, it is.  After 30 seasons, there are still people who actually want to watch this horrible show.  It has moved…

The Arrogance of the Satisfied

Ever notice how the people most opposed to our “wasteful, consumer” society tend to be the elites who already have everything they will ever want and more?  It is easy to laugh at people who wait in long lines to get a cheap TV or who buy their clothes at Target or Wal-Mart when you…

The Attack on Reason

Whatever your views on matters of philosophy, ethics and politics, there is one thing on which I would sincerely hope that we can agree:  the rules of logic and reason.  We may disagree on first principles but still accept that those ideas have certain consequences.  We may be opponents but that doesn’t make us enemies. …

Optimism

No, there is no question mark at the end of that word.  Despite what you all might imagine, I am extremely optimistic about the future.  Of course, we could all ruin it by blowing up the world over some nonsense or a meteor could do that for us, but otherwise the future is bright.  But…

Integrity?

I will always remember Al Franken as a frequent writer and occasional performer on the early (good) seasons of Saturday Night Live.  Mostly I think of a spot in which he declared that the 1980’s, in contrast to the “me decade” of the 70’s, would be known as the Al Franken decade.  Going forward, people…