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…

Unpopular Positions

So this week I watched the NBC version of the nightly news.  My experience with ABC was not good and I don’t remember If I finished the CBS broadcast but I know I didn’t like it.  Surprisingly, I mostly enjoyed NBC’s take on things.  Oh, there was the usual natural disasters (sad,) the latest round…

Five Habits of People Who Aren’t Stupid

Sometimes I like to provide useful information that can help people of all political persuasions, though not that often.  Today is such a time.  I proudly present five habits of people who aren’t stupid. People who aren’t stupid don’t click on links in emails or strange web pages.  They know that that is much the…

Lord Acton anyone?

The 19th century Anglican bishop, Lord Acton, is best known for his remark that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  As I tried to watch the news tonight and found that the stories were almost exactly the same as last week, I thought about this quote. Why, I thought to myself, are…

Not Neutrality 

To judge by the uproar in social media over the past few days, you might imagine that “net neutrality” is some long standing principle which has protected the internet from evil corporatations who would otherwise destroy it.  Well, it is most certainly not long standing as the FCC rules have only been in effect since…

Greed is OK

In the 1987 film Wall Street, the character of Gordon Gecko (played by Michael Douglas) famously announces that “Greed is good.” The character, a bit of a caricature of the corporate raiders and junk bond purveyors who rose to prominence in the Reagan years, expressed a sentiment not unlike that of many libertarian thinkers and…