archives

Herb Van Fleet

Herb Van Fleet has written 39 posts for The Absurdity Index

So Long Democracy, We Knew Ye Well. R.I.P.

  Well, it’s is now official. Liberal democracy as we knew it is no more. Or, as Nietzsche might put it, democracy is dead. And how do I know this, you ask? I know because of an April 9 report by Princeton University’s Martin Gilens, and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: … Continue reading

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health Care

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,during a period of philosophic thought called the Enlightenment, the idea of “natural rights” was all the rage. With few exceptions, the philosophers of the day felt that human beings were born with certain immutable rights and that the protection of these rights must be a condition of the establishment … Continue reading

Predicting is Hard, Especially About the Future

The great poet and philosopher Yogi Berra once astutely observed that “predicting is hard, especially about the future.” Well, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes it look easy. In its latest report, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” issued March 31, the IPCC says in so many words (covering 1,552 pages) that the … Continue reading

How to Save a Drowning Man

I recently recalled an old joke about how to tell a Republican from a Democrat. It goes like this: There is a drowning man 100 feet off shore. The Republican would throw the man 50 feet of rope and make him swim half way to safety. But the Democrat would throw the man 200 feet … Continue reading

Time to Quit Digging

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but we, meaning we the nation, have already fallen off the proverbial fiscal cliff. We are like Wiley Coyote who, standing in midair about 10 feet … Continue reading

No Place to Hide

“The [National Security Agency’s] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.”  – Senator Frank Church. Senator Church made that statement in 1975, … Continue reading

From Russia With . . . Irony?

The Syrian dilemma, at least as far as chemical weapons are concerned, has seemed to resolve itself. Russian President Vladimir Putin came riding in on a white horse, shirtless of course, leaving President Obama and Secretary Kerry in a dust cloud of indecision while neatly getting the Syrian regime to turn over its stockpile of … Continue reading

Some Thoughts on the George Zimmerman Affair

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will  not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.     Well, the trial of George Zimmerman is over. Kind of. It lingers on, especially … Continue reading

The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Room

“With Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.” – Will Rogers Here we go again through the quadrennial exercise of electing a President. Every four years, we voters have to endure a mix of ad homonyms, magical thinking, mendacity, hyperbole, hypocrisy, and … Continue reading

Planning Seven Generations Ahead

A recent poll shows the approval rating of Congress at a miserable and embarrassing 8.0%. This, together with recent demonstrations from the Tea Party folks and the Occupy (fill in the blank) groups, exemplify a growing discontent with the direction this country is headed. Indeed, there are many challenges to be dealt now and over … Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: