Halloween is Harmless

It happens every October. A handful of particularly uptight Christians prohibit their children from participating in Halloween, because they consider it “satanic.” While a parent has every right to control his child’s activities, I think the claim is just plain silly. The implication that the Prince of Darkness, if you believe in such, would count […]

The Rush From Judgment

Like many people, it crossed my mind early in the Beltway Sniper case that this might be a terrorist attack. I reserved judgment, realizing — unlike the armchair experts who flocked to fill airtime on cable news channels — that I did not know all of the facts available to the police. But the moment […]

The Snipers: Crazy or Jihadis?

‘Why now? Why? Why? Why? Why? That’s the question I think everyone is asking.” So agonized the half-brother of Lee Malvo, the alleged 17-year-old sniper, baffled by the causes behind the Washington, D.C.-area shooting spree that left 10 people dead. One answer came from a friend who quoted John Muhammad, the senior alleged sniper, saying […]

In That Voting Booth

One of the most common laments in letters from readers is a sense of helplessness to do anything about the negative trends in politics and society. Yet the people who make those laments have the ultimate power in the most powerful nation on earth. All they have to do is exercise that power in the […]

The Investing Enigma

Investing is the most supremely arrogant thing that you can do. In effect, whenever you buy or sell an individual stock — or even if you trade an index fund with the intention of timing the market — you’re placing your judgment ahead of the judgment of the entire world. You’re saying that you’re right, […]

The Rational Basis of Sex: Psychological Visibility (Part 2 of 4)

Let us take a closer look at what such admiration consist of by grasping the concept of psychological visibility. Every person holds fundamental ideas about himself. Take Tom who thinks “It’s important to make healthy, honest choices in my life. I want to feel proud of the way I’m leading my life.” He values, not […]

Rights vs. Wishes

We hear so much about “rights” — a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these […]

Explaining to the Grandkids

Those of us who are optimists believe that someday sanity will return to our society. Our media, our officials — perhaps even our schools and colleges — will begin to talk sense. Those of you who are young may live to see it. But there is a downside to sanity. Once there is a whole […]

Cognitive Child Abuse in Our Math Classrooms

The test results are in: America’s children are flunking math. In 1996 American high school seniors finished close to the bottom on an international mathematics test. At the end of last year, American eighth-graders ranked below those of Malaysia, Bulgaria, and Latvia. As educators scramble to explain America’s math meltdown–as the Bush administration urges more […]

The Lure of Baseball

As half the nation eagerly awaits the next game of the World Series, the other half looks on in puzzlement at what could be so enthralling about grown men hitting a little ball and running around in circles. Baseball fans who cannot articulate why they love the game may retreat to their television sets feeling […]

Boring Sportscasters: Fans Want to Watch Sports, Not Hollywood Gimmicks

There are people who find sports exciting and people who find sports boring. Unfortunately, the latter seem to be the ones in charge of baseball telecasts. And they seem to be trying to make those telecasts boring for the rest of us. Somehow the people who televise baseball games have become fixated on just one […]

Good Advertising is Salesmanship

Let us emphasize that point. The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales. It is not for general effect. It is not to keep your name before the people. It is not primarily to aid your other salesmen. Treat it as a salesman. Force […]