Almost every day, as I plod through a world dominated by Murphy's Law, I am haunted by one of my late father's favorite observations:
If you were out to dinner, particularly with kids, and some manly guys jonesing for food showed up toting AK-47s or AR-15s, would you feel comfortable? Or would you get up and leave the restaurant?
Our country is going to the dogs.
The death penalty isn't perfect, but then neither are we. The botched execution last month in Oklahoma has raised legitimate questions about the secret sauce Texas uses on death row, and a lot of Texans still haven't gotten over the state-that is, us-executing Cameron Todd Willingham based on unscientific and discredited folk tales about arson. The Oklahoma incident in particular has caused many to re-examine the death penalty's use in Texas, but the problem isn't the process but the people who carry it out.
Last week Americans were shocked and saddened by another mass killing, this one near a college campus in California. We all feel deep sympathy for the families of the victims.
You wouldn't know it from all the perpetual doom and gloom in our media and culture, but we have nearly eradicated pollution in the United States. So much so that most Americans are blissfully unaware of how severely polluted the world was for all of human history up to the time of our grandparents.
If only gun bans or background checks could have kept Elliot Rodger from murdering six innocent people.
In the bad old days, medieval German Lords figured out how to pocket some quick coin by charging a toll on the primitive paths meandering across their lands. The money wasn't used to improve the roads or better the lives of the peasants or clean the rivers their pigs pooped in but rather heighten the piles in their treasury. Even back then, you just couldn't have enough pewter candlesticks.
You all know who he is.
When the news first hit that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six students in Santa Barbara, it didn't foreshadow the horrific details yet to come.
I generally pay no attention to 70th anniversary observances, saving up my energies for the 75-year "diamond jubilee" milestones.
Exclusive Excerpt from: "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" by Tom Purcel
Sheesh, China, you sure know how to kick a country when it's on its way down.
The idea of limiting the number of terms anyone can serve in Congress has been around for a long time, but recently I have heard it proposed as a solution to gridlock in Washington. It would almost certainly have exactly the opposite effect, but I've also got other reasons to be against term limits.
The Supreme Court struck down Obamacare's mandatory Medicaid expansion as an unconstitutional commandeering of the states, setting off bruising battles over the issue in state capitals. No place has been more brutal than Maine, where a liberal attack group actually sent out a mail piece criticizing Dale Crafts, a wheelchair-bound state legislator, because he "failed to stand up to Gov. LePaige."
We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
Like a boulder dropped in a lake, Hillary Clinton's dissing of President Obama is still creating serious ripples. So let's stay with this story a bit longer.
Obama has failed to help defeat islamists in Syria, leading to the growth of The Islamic State (The Radical Islamist Murderers Formerly Known as ISIS) and fails to define a foreign policy for the U.S.
If you're frustrated by the skimpiness of "fun-size" candy, wait until you hear some "fun-size" songs.
Men might be from Mars and women from Venus, but at least we're in the same solar system. When it comes to politics, liberals and conservatives can't agree on what the problems are much less solutions. We can blame the politicians for not making progress on the big issues of our time, but until Americans share a common truth about what those issues are we won't move an inch.
Since 1998 it has been prohibited by federal law for states and localities to tax Internet access. This policy, known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act, has been extended three times with broad bipartisan support. But it is set to expire again on November 1, and some Senate Democrats appear willing, this time, to allow it to actually expire if they can't use it to leverage an unrelated tax issue. It's a dangerous game that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars and worsen the digital divide by pricing some lower income Americans off of the Internet entirely.
It takes a special kind of jerk to market fear and exploit public ignorance in the midst of a health emergency - and, sure enough, members of this repellent American subspecies are already flapping their yaps.
Get this: Low expectations are the key to happiness.
The problem with a lie-even one that everyone agrees with-is that eventually you can't ignore the truth. Enron can't paper over debt and crashes. The housing bubble pops. Now, as the rush towards using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers turns into a retreat, it might be time to face that standardized tests are a lousy way to hold schools accountable.