Some thoughts on guns and why some of us want them.
A review from the Smoky Mountain News. Please copy and paste.
The article below appeared at Intellectual Takeout last week. It pays homage to a fine woman--wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother--whose life has lessons for us, especially for the young.
Rest in peace, Dorothy.
The article below, written by me, recently appeared at intellectualtakeout.com.
Before the Civil War, several of my ancestors in Western Pennsylvania were staunch abolitionists. They participated in the Underground Railroad, helping escaped slaves from the South make the journey to freedom.
During the War itself, several of these same ancestors, fought in that conflict. At least two of them died, along with several hundred thousand other Northern soldiers fighting to bring the South back into the republic and to end slavery. Another relative who served with the North, Uncle Marion McNickle, survived and lived long enough to share his tales of the War with my father in his boyhood.
So, a question: Why should I as a taxpayer pay reparations for an institution my ancestors helped defeat?
A piece about grandchildren and the power of stories....
Well, a few days late on this one. For various reasons--a death in the family and some various work obligations--I have neglected posting here in a while. I have a backlog of pieces to put up and will try to do so.
Here's one from Intellectual Takeout:
Please copy and paste.
Happy belated birthday, America!
So here's a question: You need an organ transplant to survive. In the United States, you will spend months on a waiting list until your turn arrives and a suitable donor is found. But then you discover that China is in the organ donor business too--big-time. Only one problem: many of these organs may come from prisoners executed for their political beliefs and for their organs.
So what do you do?
The article below appeared in Intellectual Takeout last week. Please cut and paste.
Okay, I'm early. The Fourth of July is still two weeks away.
But here's a reason to celebrate.
The article below recently appeared at intellectualtakeout.com.
This is a wonderful history of America.
"In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifetime across the scary present and get us past that idiot delusion of the exceptional. Now that blocks good thinking. That is why, in times like ours, when old institutions are caving in and being replaced by new institutions not necessarily in accord with most men’s preconceived hopes, political thought has to look backwards as well as forwards."
– John Dos Passos, quoted in "Land of Hope"
Some American politicians and organizations are now pushing an agenda they call democratic socialism.
Many of them regard the Constitution as antiquated and unfit for our modern age and call for limits on free speech and an end to the Electoral College. Some consider America itself a deeply flawed nation, a swamp of bigotry and prejudice with few redeeming virtues.
These bitter critiques and raucous demands for change raise a question. If the United States is such a bastion of oppression and misery, then why are so many immigrants, legal and illegal, trying to come here? If democratic socialism is the way to go, then why aren’t immigrants storming the borders of North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela?
University of Oklahoma professor Wilfred M. McClay has the answer.
The article below appeared earlier this month on Intellectual Takeout. (intellectualtakeout.com)
Dear Members of the House of Representatives:
I hope this letter finds you in fine fettle.
This is a first for me. I’ve never written an open letter. Usually celebrities, politicians, and academics compose and deliver these missives, often brickbats of denunciation and self-defense, to be printed in the media. For an ordinary guy like me, writing an “open letter” seems a bit pretentious. It makes me want to slip into a silk bathrobe, pop an American Spirit Light into a long-stemmed holder, dandle a glass of Korbel Brut in the other hand, and stroll about a rose garden dictating my words to a secretary who looks like Juliette Binoche.
Instead, here I sit in a McDonald’s six hours from home, sipping coffee, listening to tunes on the sound system from the fifties and sixties, and glancing now and then at a table of five old-timers nibbling their Egg McMuffins and discussing aircraft and the Wright Brothers.
Well, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.
The piece below appeared this week in intellectualtakeout.com.
Google “America’s best institutions for learning,” and all sorts of websites leap to the screen. There’s “America’s Top College List” from Forbes. “America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners” is another. “Best Universities in the United States” is a third option. And finally, “The 20 Best Conservative Colleges in America.” If asked which is the best institution for learning beyond high school, most of us might answer Harvard or Yale, Stanford or MIT, Princeton or Berkeley.
We’d be wrong.
The best, the greatest, the most far-reaching institution of learning beyond high school is the American military: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines.
Think about it.