Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture."
Everyone seems to have an opinion about the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri.
The New York Times is again on the warpath against what it calls "predatory lending."
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional -- which means that decency is likely to become less common.
Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don't want another war.
While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we seem increasingly to let both private and government decisions be determined by mob rule.
New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves "progressive," is gung-ho to solve social problems. In fact, he is currently on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn't exist, even though there are plenty of other educational problems that definitely do exist.
Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience.
"Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."
The news from Iraq that Islamic terrorists have now taken over cities that American troops liberated during the Iraq war must have left an especially bitter after-taste to Americans who lost a loved one who died taking one of those cities, or to a survivor who came back without an arm or leg, or with other traumas to body or mind.
At one time, people in India had to get on a waiting list to buy Hindustan Motors' Ambassador automobile, even though it was an obvious copy of Britain's Morris Oxford of some decades earlier.
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
Will the Veterans Administration scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care?
Many years ago, in upstate New York, there was a lady who was caught in a fierce snow storm that produced conditions called a "whiteout." That's when the snow is falling so thick and fast that all you can see in any direction is just sheer white.
Black journalist Chuck Stone was one of those people whose passing makes us think, "We shall not see his like again."
Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor) have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year.
There may be something to the claim that all people want to be free. But it is a demonstrable fact that freedom has been under attack, usually successfully, for thousands of years.
It seems as if, everywhere you turn these days, there are studies claiming to show that America has lost its upward mobility for people born in the lower socioeconomic levels. But there is a sharp difference between upward "mobility," defined as an opportunity to rise, and mobility defined as actually having risen.
Freshman Senator Ted Cruz says many things that need to be said and says them well. Moreover, some of these things are what many, if not most, Americans believe wholeheartedly.
New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people "on the far right" who "continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics." According to Mayor de Blasio, "They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else."
As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash for it.
Depressing news about black students scoring far below white students on various mental tests has become so familiar that people in different parts of the ideological spectrum have long ago developed their different explanations for why this is so. But both may have to do some rethinking, in light of radically different news from England.
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