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You are the enemy. You probably didn’t know that, but your government reminded me of it just recently.

Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard was killed in Afghanistan the other day. So what? So this. An Associated Press photographer caught his death on film. And the AP sent out the pictures for publication.

Secretary of Defense Gates was shocked, shocked! that such pictures would be published. “Because they are upsetting to the the soldier’s family.” Well, la dee dah. In fact, double la dee dah. Continue Reading »

No, Virginia. There is no Santa Claus. And YES, Virginia. They are going to pull grandma’s plug. You are a child, so I’ll say this slowly. Your parents, and their adult co-conspirators, have peppered your tiny brain with stories. Really stupid stories. And you believed them because you’re a child, and like children everywhere, you don’t have the foundational experience or the practice in logical thought that grownups are supposed to possess. Continue Reading »

We don’t have a health care reform bill. We have about a hundred of them. And when THE bill finally gets to the president’s desk, it won’t look like any of them. So, pardon me if I don’t take anyone’s word for what’s in the bill. Least of all, the president’s word. He will say anything to get “health care reform” passed. The reason that’s in quotes is that from the president’s perspective, it truly doesn’t matter what’s in the bill or what’s not in the bill. And in this context “reform” takes its literal meaning – to make a thing different – rather than it’s implied meaning – to fix something. It doesn’t matter because a bill is not an end, it is a means. Continue Reading »

Some middle-aged men wile away their spare time fantasizing about nubile swimsuit models jumping onĀ  trampolines. I, on the other hand, fantasize about free markets and living in a world chock full of them. This can probably be explained by my love of freedom, and my distaste for trampolines.

We need a free market in health care, as we do in everything. In the past, we have been a country of innovation and accomplishment. Even the limited amount of free market activity we were able to squeeze out between the cracks of our economic meshwork was enough to make us exceptional. But we are no longer able to sustain. We have been overtaken by an ideology that used to be considered both foreign and undesirable. The reasons are clear. By creating an unstable base of operation for our lives, government and its corporate partners have cast a pall of hopelessness over us. All thick and blankety. Continue Reading »

Separation of church and state. A lovely little phrase made popular by Thomas Jefferson when he posited a “wall of separation between church and state” in his letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. This principle, sort of enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, has been operative, also sort of, ever since ratification. I say sort of because a foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds (Emerson), but an honest, intelligent consistency has never been the hobgoblin of our Supreme Court. In fact, our Supreme Court has always had ample anti-hobgoblin spray on hand when it comes to any type of consistency at all.

So, we sort of have this wall of separation. However, if you watch Huckabee, a Fox News (?) Channel show named for Huckleberry Hound, since he’s the host (go ahead, just try to tell me that guy doesn’t look like Huckleberry Hound), then you’ll discover all manner of guests who will swear up and down on a stack of religious paraphernalia that Jefferson was indeed a believer in Jesus Christ and never meant to say any such thing.

Actually, they are partially right. Jefferson indeed believed in Christ. But his version of Christ was very different than today’s evangelical “buddy-Christ.” He was not a purveyor of a Christ who served as your imaginary friend, that Christ who you converse with about the vagaries of your day in the darkness of your room before you jot it all down in your Hello Kitty diary. Continue Reading »

I go to political meetings. Lots of them. And they always start with the obligatory Pledge To A Piece Of Cloth, followed closely by an invocation.

Here is the first Merriam Webster Dictionary definition of invocation.

Invocation: 1. The act or process of petitioning for help or support, a prayer of entreaty (as at the beginning of a service of worship).

But I like the second definition a lot better.

Invocation: 2. A formula for conjuring.

See what I mean? That second definition adds some perspective on what’s actually happening, doesn’t it? Conjuring. It fairly reeks of snake oil salesmen and medical side shows from the 1800’s. Doesn’t that fraud John Edwards conjure spirits from the “other side?” Continue Reading »

Sometimes people get all tangled up in legaleze. I suppose it makes us feel smarter when we can successfully wade through the maze of judicial opinions and technicalities. Law is transformed into some kind of religion, and only those with special knowledge can decode its secrets. I know I’ve been guilty of this at times. (In fact, just yesterday I wrote a long winded blog here that contained a whole lot of nonsense concerning the failed Thune Amendment.)

But when it comes to our rights, I think we need a much simpler, more secular standard. Continue Reading »