Two Areas Where Media is Dropping the Ball

We Need Better Than This

About That Whole “Fourth Branch of Government” Thing

From its earliest days, America – well, some Americans, anyway – have recognized the importance of a free and responsible press to democracy. We all know the famous lines from Jefferson, wherein he stated that if he had to choose between a society with no press or one with no government, he would choose the latter. The press, media today, is that important to an informed citizenry.

Today, let’s talk a bit about the mainstream press, not social media.

Why Halloween Was a Big Deal This Year

Probably More So for Adults Than Kids


The Evolution of Halloween

Halloween has been around for a long time, in one form or another. Much of this is rooted in more ancient celebrations that are generally known as All Souls Day. This earlier celebration goes back at least 3,000-4,000 years in a number of cultures.

In Mexico, the belief is that on midnight the 30th of October, the souls of the departed come back for a brief visit. Relatives go all out making alters and laying out food and other items to welcome them back,

Sharing Some Good News

Synopsis and Links to Encouraging and Inspiring Articles

Cheer Up!

Goodness knows we have had more than our share of discouraging or unnerving news of late, especially in the political realm. OK, also in the social realm, climate, weather, medical, economics….

We could use some good news.

Take heart. I am about to share a short synopsis with links of six recent stories that offer hope and encouragement. Most are based in science or medicine, but a couple are just about folks who decided to have lives well lived; in one story,

The Passing of Colin Powell Merits Reflection by All of Us

He would be the first to say Life is Complicated- And Its All Connected

An Extraordinary American Has Left Us

Colin Powell’s passing has led to a steady flow of 1:1 stories and reflections on his life that remind us all of some important things. You could have zero background or interest in military or diplomatic affairs, and yet learn much from Powell’s life. I certainly have done so.

The Many Roles of Colin Powell

 Powell saw himself first and foremost as an American. To him, that title carried with it special advantages and specific obligations.

Have You Ever Noticed…?

It’s Friday. Let’s Have a Lighter Discussion to Usher in Your Weekend

I have Noticed a Few Things of Late

Any of these ring a bell for you as they have for me? Some have been with us awhile, others a bit new. All are, at the least, a bit irritating. There are, actually, a gazillion such things in life, but in the interest of Potential Reader Fatigue (PRF – Stand by for announcements of a telethon to help crush this devastating condition. 😉)

 Health Warnings on Drug Ads

Every time I listen to one of those drug ads on TV,

The Mystery and Power of Language

We Sometimes Forget What a Powerful Thing Language Can Be

What Do We Mean by Language?

For a long time, when we thought of language we thought of word-based communications between human beings. One of those things that separated us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Now, of course, we are learning that this was our ignorance showing itself. It seems almost daily that we learn of communication between critters of all kinds that go beyond just particular sounds.

The basic definition holds – a system of communication that may be verbal,

Is There Anything in Transportation Better Than a Train Ride?

No. There is Not Anything Even Close.

A Life-Long Love Affair Continues

I suppose I tipped my hand a bit in the opening lines for this post. I do indeed love just about everything related to trains. There have been times when AMTRAK tested that love mightily (more on that later, with  good news).

Much of my life has been spent in one form of transit or another. A lot of it in airplanes (sometimes landing with them, sometimes jumping out before they landed). More miles than I can count on roads and highways,

The Phantom Post!

Where IS that Texas Article?

A few of you were kind enough to pass on that you received an email yesterday announcing a post in Agents of Reason about Texas. You clicked on the link and found no such article. What happened? Has Texas actually left the Union, taking the article with it?

No such worries. Yours Truly hit the wrong button yesterday during drafting of said article and accidentally hit SEND before it was ready. I deleted the article, but could not recall the notice. My apologies for the false alarm.

Our discussion of Texas is alive and well (which is more than we can say for the state) and will appear in your inbox next Monday,

Economics for the Rest of Us

Much Economics Writing is Academic and High Level – Today Let’s Look Closer In


Economics is Life

Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, economics is a powerful force in all our lives. It may be complex, it may be removed from our observation, but it determines so much, including much of our politics and social norms. If there ever was a domain in which the term “unforeseen consequences” rings true, it is economics.

I am in the process of reading Barack Obama’s last book and have just completed the section about the economic crisis he inherited and the remarkable demands it placed,

If I Were King for a Day

A Short List of Things to Make the World a Better Place- In My Humble Opinion

Ever Play “King for a Day?”

We all did this as kids. Let’s do a grown-up version. If I were granted the power to do anything, including some fanciful things, this is my short To-Do list of a dozen items as it stands today. Enjoy!


  1. An Engine Check Light for People– We are far enough along in science and medicine now that we should have one of those all-purpose trouble lights just like in our cars.