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This category contains 29 posts

Torturing America’s Values

  “The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example.” – George W. Bush   Although I am loath to use “Senate” and “intelligence” in the same sentence, nonetheless, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report a few months ago on the use of torture … Continue reading

Searching for the Least Worst Decision

“‎The greatest danger of a terrorist’s bomb is in the explosion of stupidity that it provokes.” ― Octave Mirbeau A few weeks ago, most of the world recoiled in shock at a video showing the decapitation of American journalist James Foley by a terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, … Continue reading

Thoughts on the Fourth of July

Another Forth of July is behind us. The speeches are now fading memories, the patriotic music is quiet, the hotdog eating contests are over (thank god), and the fireworks displays have fizzled out Everybody knows (or should know) that the Forth of July is the day of the year when we celebrate the signing of … Continue reading

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

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