The Veterans Affairs scandal contains messages galore, not the least of which is that bureaucratically managed, socialized medicine can be a life-robbing political blunder. And, please, do not suppose a system that falls a tad short of that description is not a blunder, too. Let Obamacare bloom and watch the rationing there.
The eminent historian Paul Johnson begins his acclaimed book “Modern Times” by describing Albert Einstein’s quest at the beginning of the last century for an all-encompassing general theory of relativity and the three specific tests he determined were required to empirically validate his equations.
It can happen, I suspect, to any of us. Someone comes along with major thoughtfulness, lays it out in an enticing book that happens to lend aid and comfort to our ideological druthers, and we shout its praises and sneer at those who don’t.
(Washington, D.C) For a devotee of history there are few more relaxing experiences than a mid-afternoon reverie in the Round Robin Bar at the Willard hotel. While awaiting a colleague who has promised much good gossip about bad politics in the Imperial City, my imagination goes to an upstairs room where Pinkerton detectives fearful of cascading assassination threats secretly conveyed president Elect Abraham Lincoln to wait out the final week before his inauguration in 1861. Or to the nearby hotel lobby where in more placid times President Ulysses Grant liked to stop and smoke a cigar and sip a glass of whiskey while patiently fending off job-seekers and other supplicants (The hotel dubiously claims this to be the origin of the term “Lobbyist”).
Common Core is a brave, new issue that maybe hasn’t come your way yet, and so let’s sum it up. It is a mathematically weak, humanities-jabbing, ideologically inebriated, innovation-squashing, sparsely tested and therefore unproven scheme to dramatically change the educational lives of tens of millions of American children in grades K-12. You might want to study it some.
Many emails the last couple of weeks reminded me to send Norma the flowers and candy I usually send her on Mother’s Day. But I didn’t order them. I haven’t spent that 45 minutes or so picking out the exactly-right Mother’s Day card. And I’ve made no Mother’s Day phone call to tell her how much I love her and talk about my next visit. There will be no next visit in this life because my Mom, Norma, went to be with her Jesus on December 19.
(’76 Contributor) What a great honor it is to be here to address the graduating class of 2014! First, congratulations! Second, a special thank you to your outstanding president Bill Armstrong and to your board of trustees. Thank you for your leadership and for providing a remarkable institution of quality and integrity.
(’76 Contributor) Whenever I talk to a woman who has looked into her past lives and reincarnations, she is almost sure to include having been a midwife, a slave, a warrior princess, Napoleon’s mistress, a male soldier or artist, or often a nun or monk. She is likely to report
With quiet dignity a hooded figure revealed himself from the protective ring of trees. Mounting a small hillock he faced the sea of expectant faces. A measured sweep of his hands pulled back the hood to reveal a wizened face framed by a long white beard. For a long moment not a sound was heard or movement evident in the crowd.
For the record, I’m in favor of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, with the usual and, I should think, reasonable exceptions (the clichéd but relevant prohibition against yelling “fire” in a school or crowded theater or showing pornography in either venue, for example).