This year my mother (still going strong at age 88) marks 50 years as an antique collector. Since I grew up in a world of hand-stitched quilts, milk churns, Depression glass and yellowing Montgomery Ward catalogues, I have learned to appreciate the classics.
One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve's inflation tax.
Sometimes the right decision is the one that is least wrong. Texas is looking at uncertain tax revenues from the oil patch and a growing stack of unpaid bills for the basic blocking and tackling functions of government, but what do the politicians do? Argue about which tax to cut, of course.
One of the most outrageous but least reported ongoing scandals in Washington is that the House and Senate have both falsely certified themselves as small businesses in order to fund health insurance for themselves and their staff with taxpayer dollars, sidestepping provisions of Obamacare.
Welcome to a new chapter in our history, when we must now ask, "What is going on with these people who seem to get such a thrill out of posting selfies of themselves grinning alongside animals they have killed?"
"And They're Almost Off." Yes, the entrance to the 2016 Presidential Derby has officially been flung open wider than the gap between George Bernard Shaw and Pee Wee Herman. Backstage at the Bolshoi Ballet and the snack bar adjacent to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame gift shop. Horseshoes and mirrors.
Last week two prominent Ukrainian opposition figures were gunned down in broad daylight. They join as many as ten others who have been killed or committed suicide under suspicious circumstances just this year. These individuals have one important thing in common: they were either part of or friendly with the Yanukovych government, which a US-backed coup overthrew last year. They include members of the Ukrainian parliament and former chief editors of major opposition newspapers.
Pope Francis recently annoyed the Turkish government by making the politically incorrect observation that it had exterminated a generation of Christian Armenians. He used the word "genocide," which is something that the Turks have been rejecting for decades.
Should women serve in combat? Right now the military is answering that question with a final verdict scheduled to come down from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in January 2016. This will inevitably become a political question-and thus particularly useless in producing a satisfactory answer-but until then it's useful to understand that the military sees this question differently than you and I do.