A hundred years ago, business tycoon Samuel Insull consolidated smaller utility companies to form the behemoth (albeit public charity-sounding) Commonwealth Edison. Because of the infrastructure needed to provide energy to an increasingly power-hunger public, Insull and others argued that Commonwealth Edison was a natural monopoly; inherently one company had to dominate the market. This battle cry enabled a mere 10 utility systems to control three-quarters of the nation's electricity business by the time FDR was in the White House, subjecting consumers to higher rates with absolutely no competition save candles.
What compromises must we make when it comes to our security on the one hand, and our privacy on the other? Personally, I'm far less concerned about being tracked by the National Security Agency than I am about being monitored by, say, Google.
Trust ain't what it used to be in America.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
Back in elementary school when I was hand-writing my newspaper The Lewisburg Snoopy Nose, I never dreamed what sort of tools journalists would be using today.
Clearly, it MUST have been a video produced by America's enemies, a vicious piece of propaganda that was so outlandish it would have brought laughs 10 years ago. No one except indoctrinated citizens of communist countries would ever believe it.
In the week following Halloween, Jimmy Kimmel's stunt involving kids and their candy climbed to over 20 million views on YouTube. But public fascination with the gag doesn't change the fact that it is cruel and sadistic. It underscores the worst elements of mass media and social media, and the incendiary possibilities of combining the two.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
Here we go again. Pointing to a conservative study, Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed, "The discussion's over. The debate's over. The proof is in. Texas wins." And who did we beat? California, of course. It's enough to make you wonder if little Ricky got enough love growing up on the dirt farm. Someone get this kid a 4-H ribbon so the grownups can talk, because we've got some work to do.
I've heard a lot of interesting stories of people trying, and failing, to sign up for ObamaCare, but this one takes the cake.
Ahh. Thanksgiving. Best Holiday Ever! Love it all. The fact that a national holiday falls not on a Monday but a Thursday. How wacky is that? A regular Thursday in dead-solid center fall. Where the weather could be 80 and sunny, or 20 and snowing. Or, in certain parts of the Midwest, both.
Since June when the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization bill, tens of thousands of stories and broadcasts have been devoted to comprehensive immigration reform. Yet only a handful have outlined the bill's most crucial feature, namely that it will in most cases give immediate legal status and therefore work authorization to between 11-20 million illegal immigrants. On top of that, 20 million more overseas workers will be issued non-immigrant work visas that will allow them to compete with Americans for increasingly scarce jobs.
If this column needs a subtitle, let it be "Where The Rubber Meets The Vinyl."
It's been an up and down, rough and tumble, crazy, sad, frustrating year for America the Beautiful so far.
Sure, the country isn't doing so well at the moment, but there are still plenty of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
After 13 years of war in Afghanistan - the longest in US history - the US government has achieved no victory. Afghanistan is in chaos and would collapse completely without regular infusions of US money. The war has been a failure, but Washington will not admit it.
President Obama and his Democratic allies are claiming credit for the latest in a string of positive jobs reports, but if they had their way it wouldn't have happened. Why? According to empirical research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York: "most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility."
Welcome to Rocktober, Baby. That's what all the rock and roll radio stations call this, the 10th month of the year. Doesn't require more than a casually cocked ear to realize the airwaves are flooded with concerts and giveaways and promotional tie-ins. All in the name of Rocktober, Baby.
On the road in Atlanta, the Pirates learned they were among 10 teams to make it to baseball's postseason. Reporter Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described what followed:
Law enforcement has long been a popular subject in film comedy. It looks like some producer now has a lot of potential material.