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Petty Annoyances

People think runaway government is the only thing that bothers me, but there’re some minor nuisances that bother me as well. Chief among them are people’s seeming inability to differentiate between the number zero and the letter “o” in conversation – even telephone operators. An information operator might say, Dial 31o-3o55. I’d ask, “If I […]

Why Not?

Why shouldn’t the soul of a mortal be proud? Life goes, it is true, like a swift-flying cloud But while it is going and ere he has died A man may do many things worthy of pride The high and the humble, the meek and the brave, Are all of them destined in time for […]

Legalizing the Illegals

Many Americans are concerned because millions of illegal immigrants enter this country and little seems to be done to stop them. But California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, is upset because now something is being done to catch some of them. Police raids on dozens of Wal-Mart stores […]

Mandatory Restrictions on Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

The Senate is set to vote Thursday on a bill that would impose mandatory restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases, affecting practically every business and consumer in the country. While supporters claim that the climate-change legislation, S.139, introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), has been toned down in response to concerns […]

Deadly Denial of Muslim Anti-Semitism

The prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, informed the world this month, among other things, that “Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. national security adviser, described Mahathir’s comments as “hateful, they are outrageous.” But she then added, “I don’t think they are […]

The Market’s “Retarded Potential”

For the last several weeks, the expression “retarded potential” has been rattling around in my head, without having any idea what it means. So I Googled it, and it turns out that it has something or other to do with the physics of electromagnetism. Lots of equations and Greek letters are involved. You don’t want […]

Lessons from Adam Smith: Private Interest Public Good

Adam Smith, author of “The Wealth of Nations” (1776) and popularizer of modern economics said about people in general and businessmen in particular, “By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” That’s a lesson lost in today’s rhetoric of “giving something back”, […]

Will President Bush Let Congress Increase Taxes?

In a recent column, I predicted that President Bush will likely be forced into a budget deal involving higher taxes sometime after next year’s election because of rising interest rates. Some of my friends thought I was endorsing such an action. I was not. But my experience in Washington over the last 25 years left […]

Who’s Guarding our Military Equipment?

On Oct. 3, an illegal alien truck driver from Canada was caught hauling a shipment of Humvees into northern Maine. They weren’t just any Humvees. They were U.S. military Humvees scheduled for delivery from the Texas Army National Guard in Houston to the Maine National Guard facility in Limestone. Well, why not? If we’re going […]

Spinning Education

You want to know what liberal bias and media spin are? Try a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle of October 25th: “California School Rankings Improve.” According to education officials quoted in the story, an “unprecedented rise” in test scores has been achieved by “shifting away from a nationally normed test and toward exams that […]

The PEG Ratio: A Winning Factor in Investing

Time, as I exhort young investors, is the single most important factor in stock market success. But you can own a stock for 100 years and, if it doesn’t increase its profits at a nice annual clip, you’ve got a depleting asset on your hands. The winning formula is time plus growth. A stock with […]

No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, Part II

Last week’s column discussed parts of Abigail and Stephen Thernstrom’s new book, “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning.” It’s a gap that finds the average black high-school graduate having achieved only what the average white youngster has achieved by the seventh or eighth grade. Popular recognition of the education meltdown has led to […]