On Bailouts and Economic Panic

“‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them.”
-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

No age or epoch of humanity has not eventually found itself the victim of its own base instincts.

Fear, greed, and panic spread through the body politic like a virus, with apparently little to stop them once again running their course.

This followed by talk of lessons learned – until the next time.



On the Politics of Resentment

“There are two distinct species of popularity; the one excited by merit, the other by resentment.”
-Thomas Paine

Too often it seems as if our political leaders and those seeking power pander toward the worst in people – intolerance and resentment, fear and prejudice. Achieving popularity by inciting the darker passions in people may win elections, but it does not constitute merit.

On Redefining Torture

“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
-Thomas Paine

The justification to use what has heretofore been known as torture, in the name of the very same principles that prohibit such action as immoral, illegal, and inhumane, is to justify the nullification of those very same principles.

It cannot be explained away as a necessary evil. It is merely evil creeping into soul of a nation.

On Cheap Energy

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly”
-Thomas Paine

True for any aspect of our lives, but particularly significant today with the rising cost of energy, in terms of dollars as well as the social and environmental consequences of our energy culture.

For decades we in the developed world have enjoyed an abundance that has been all too easy to take for granted; energy flowed into our homes, cars, and offices as if it would never run out.

Do we value our natural resources less and less as we use up more and more?  At some point, will there by a much larger price to pay than we ever bargained for? 

On Dodging Bullets in Bosnia

It is easy to tell a lie, but it is difficult to support the lie after it is told.
-Thomas Paine

How easy it is to be swept up in the moment and find yourself stepping over the line between fact and fiction. How hard it is to explain it after the moment has passed and hindsight casts its critical eye.

On Voting for Change

“When moral principles, rather than persons, are candidates for power, to vote is to perform a moral duty, and not to vote is to neglect a duty.”
-Thomas Paine

When it is necessary for a nation to change its course, as it surely is now, it is not only a right but also our duty to vote for the principals of moral change that we seek. We must then vote for the personality that best embodies those moral principals.

A cult of principal, not of personality.

On the Campaign Primaries

“A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation”
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Capturing the imagine of a nation, inspiring its citizens to unite and rise above petty grievance and intolerance, is what we need. Instead we get the primaries.



On Talk Radio and Rush Limbaugh

The “Among ridiculous things nothing is more ridiculous than ridiculous rage.”
-Thomas Paine

There are those that don’t know which battles to choose in life, those that do, and those that charge into an invented battle with indignation and rage, obscuring, to the casual observer, the twisted deficiency of the invention. For whatever reason it is done, it is ridiculous to its core.

While certainly not the only one, Rush Limbaugh comes to mind.

If Mr. Limbaugh’s brain is “on loan from God”, then God should foreclose.