Category Archives: Political

Some Thoughts on a Free Press

What do you need for a successful democracy? One of the most important elements is a free and independent press.  I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying about power corrupting, so having a watchdog on the beat is essential. I’ve been thinking about this for two reasons.  The first is all the discussion about “fake

Read More

How Common Are Wrongful Convictions?

There is a fine line that separates us from anarchy — our legal system.  Most of us think our system works pretty well, the occasional horror story on social media notwithstanding. And yet, I’m finding enough of those horror stories to give me pause.  For example, Jim Parsons was convicted of murdering his wife twelve

Read More

Finding a Way to Un-radicalize Youth

  We seem conditioned to read the emotions of people we come in contact with, then respond in kind.  If they smile, we smile.  Or if they are angry, we get angry.  Our reaction usually controls our response, kind of like the dogs in the photo.  This is called complementary behavior.  It is perfectly natural

Read More

A Muslim Registry? It’s Already Been Tried

During the recent presidential campaign, there was talk of establishing a Muslim Registry as an anti-terrorism tool.  Some may be surprised to learn that’s already been tried. On September 10, 2002, the Bush Administration implemented the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), also known as INS Special Registration, to register non-citizens like students, workers, and

Read More

How Much the President Really Matters, Part II

Earlier I had written about a Freakonomics podcast dealing with the power of the presidency.  I’ve always thought that the Founders put so many checks and balances in our system, the president is actually pretty effectively constrained.  This podcast, entitled “How Much Does the U.S. Presidency Really Matter?”,  supported that view.  ( http://freakonomics.com/podcast/much-president-really-matter-rebroadcast/ ) Now there

Read More

A Better Political Movement

I’ve noticed two things about this presidential election I’ve never seen before.  First, so few people have yard signs or expressions of support for a candidate.  Second, there is a very unusual yard sign in my neighborhood.  The American flag serves as the background, but the the top line simply says “Civilize It”.  The fine

Read More