I write this final column for 2011 during a momentary and much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. When your family is spread across the country like pinpoints on a map, during holidays, your vehicle and body seem to be in a competition with each other as to which one will wear out first.
December 28, 2011|
Susan Stamper Brown
Americans are familiar with unmanned spy drones providing surveillance of Iranian nuclear complexes and Taliban armed militants combating American troops along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
December 20, 2011|
Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
While running for president in 2012, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was chatting up some students at Otterbein University about how they could get ahead in this world. He offered that his friend, Jimmy John, borrowed $20,000 from his parents to start a sandwich shop. "This kind of divisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we've seen in our country's history," said the candidate. "We've always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business."
I had tickets to the "ghost game," the baseball game played last Wednesday between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. Instead I watched it on television-bore witness, really-and it was as surreal as you'd think. No one was there to chase home run balls. The only cheering came from the dugouts. All that was left was a game played by a team that tried to remind us that what's required in Baltimore is empathy and not judgment.
Apologists for the National Security Agency (NSA) point to the arrest of David Coleman Headley as an example of how warrantless mass surveillance is necessary to catch terrorists. Headley played a major role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed 166 people.
I like to say that I was born on Mt. Sinai, along with the Ten Commandments. Unlike the tablets, though, which were delivered by Moses, I was delivered by Dr. Rizika, an obstetrician at that Baltimore hospital with the biblical name in December of 1961.
urkey's President Recep Erdogan, one of President Obama's new best friends along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, was extremely unhappy last week as truth–tellers worldwide observed the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide.
While the nation sleeps, a virulent epidemic snakes across our width and breadth like a twisting toxic tornado. Everyday, the tragic sufferers of this dreaded disease stagger dazedly down streets walking into poles and Armenians and through glass doors, oblivious to all around them. Often wandering into the path of oncoming traffic. Many times, they are the traffic that is oncoming.
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.