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Yin & Yang

By |November 18th, 2018|

In his famous Autobiography, Ben Franklin proffers the following 13 virtues as ‘necessary or desirable:’ Industry Justice Frugality Moderation Order Cleanliness Resolution Tranquility Temperance Chastity Silence Humility Sincerity He does not explicitly tell us ‘necessary or desirable’ toward what end, but it is apparent from context he means ‘necessary or

For Whom the Bell Tolls

By |November 14th, 2018|

Over the years, I have had occasion to pick up one or another of my three sons at the local airport. I would park in the short-term lot, meet my son in the arrival lobby, and escort him and his carry-on to my car. I would ask my son, who

Party Time

By |November 11th, 2018|

A two-party system of governance has prevailed in America for nearly as long as there has been a system of governance. It seems to be the natural order of things, set in stone by God Himself. Who, then, in his right mind, would even think of messing with it? Well,

The Magic of Plants

By |November 7th, 2018|

In the house I grew up in, a built-in cabinet stood at the very end of the hallway that passed by my bedroom. On top of this cabinet, I kept several potted plants as well as, in the spring, a few starter boxes containing mostly tomato and zinnia seedlings. A

Guess Who?

By |November 4th, 2018|

Although our mystery man was heavily involved in the founding of our nation, he never sought elected office. He was elected to various offices anyway, but on each of those occasions he was essentially conscripted into office by people who knew what an authentic leader was and what a faux

Leadership by Example

By |November 2nd, 2018|

True leaders being the agents of all true leadership, here arguably are a few such, off the top of me ‘ead, roughly in chronological order: Eve (versus her feckless 'husband') Confucius Socrates Buddha Jesus (the man, not the myth) Joan of Arc Martin Luther Roger Williams Ben Franklin James Wilson

Missed Opportunities

By |October 31st, 2018|

Barack Obama arguably gave up his moral authority (ability to lead by example) the moment he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with little more to recommend him than he had little to nothing in common with his immediate predecessor. So badly, one senses, did the Nobel committee want to stick

The Blue States of America

By |October 25th, 2018|

Considering the deep divides that exist today between the Blue States and the Red States, might it be time for the former to separate from the latter? If so, might the following principles be used to knit the Blue States into an alternative union? Every citizen benefits from every other

When We Were Children

By |October 20th, 2018|

When we were children, many of us took great comfort in knowing that no matter how bad the scary things in our lives got, someone in authority – the U.S. Government, the Church, some of those really smart people out there – would step in and make everything all right.

Panel of Our Peers

By |October 3rd, 2018|

Our system of justice is based on the theory that we have a fundamental right to be judged by a panel of our peers versus by the king’s (or state’s) representatives. To field a panel of our peers, we use random selection (conscription). (Once upon a time, we employed this


By |September 30th, 2018|

    Many Americans are still asking – almost two years after the fact – how so many beneficiaries of the best-funded public-school system in the world could have voted for the likes of Donald Trump in the last general election. Did not all those well-schooled voters at least suspect

The Power of Juxtaposition

By |September 26th, 2018|

  Here are the first two paragraphs of an article that appeared in USAToday on 9/18/218: “Jamarria Hall’s Detroit high school reminded him of a state prison: chains on the doors, disgusting food and dirty water, bathroom stalls without doors. No computers, tablets, or SMART Boards. The few books he

Lincoln: Man of Principle or Just Another Pol?

By |September 22nd, 2018|

In a letter published in the New York Tribune on August 22, 1862, President Lincoln declared that his “paramount object in the struggle [Civil War] is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.” In fact, Lincoln did not enact the Emancipation Proclamation until January

A Question for You (There’ll Be a Lot More)

By |September 19th, 2018|

A question for you: Why did so many millions of ‘hillbillies,’ rednecks,’ and other such ‘deplorables’ choose to elevate to the seat of Washington and Lincoln one of most shamelessly-incompetent, morally-corrupt, intellectually-vacuous, self-absorbed ‘leaders’ ever to desecrate the sacred ground of the American democracy? Could the answer possibly be that

On Building a Better Mousetrap

By |September 17th, 2018|

The distribution of most human traits can be represented by a bell curve, where the two ends of the curve represent the extreme occurrences of a particular trait, and the summit of the curve represents the mean between the extremes. Take, for example, the distribution of height in the adult

The Liberal Arts: How Do I Love Thee.

By |September 14th, 2018|

Thanks to you indeed – to my exposure to you, and the exposure of others to you – I was able just now, with a single reference to a passionate 19th century poet, to communicate a body of meaning and feeling to you without need on my part to go

Declaration 2.0

By |September 12th, 2018|

We the people of the Blue States of America, in seeking to form a mutually beneficial affiliation, are prepared to take all necessary measures, save the taking up of arms, to remove ourselves from the reach and peril of the following tyrannies: The Tyranny of Ignorance The Tyranny of Arrogance

What Good Are the Liberal Arts?

By |September 7th, 2018|

The most important question any of us can ask is : “What constitutes a life worth all the considerable bother?” To help us answer this question, we have generally had the liberal arts to turn to. So why then are the liberal arts disappearing from the academic landscape?


By |September 1st, 2018|

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