“Good morning.” “What do you mean by that?!”

In my high school, a public school in a poor community, we had rhetoric, and debate teams that had to defend whatever position was put in front of them, and compete before judges with other schools. Today, there is no rhetoric and no debate. We refuse to listen to conflicting opinions and grow to hate people who don’t agree with us, no matter how suspect our own positions. A woman who feels her political opinions can’t be challenged and anyone …


Do We Need Awards Shows At All?

The Emmys last night proved to be still another snooze fest, with two dullards from Saturday Night live hosting in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that being funny is not important in the job requirements. Most of the people present were either unidentifiable or will be completely gone from public view in the next year. And the legitimate talent in attendance (how I loath the word “artists” bandied about in these ceremonies) embarrassingly lend their gravitas to such self-indugent, lethargic …


School Daze

Yesterday morning I’m driving home from working out and encounter a school bus coming toward me on its usual rounds. l dutifully stop across from it as its red lights flash and the onboard monitor walks out. She is, this is troubling in a politically correct sort of way, much heavier than is healthy. Much. She chats with the parents for a while, then her duty is to check under the bus for children or animals, front and rear. But …


November Elections

My observation is this: The opposing party almost always does better in the off-year elections in the US. If the Democrats cannot take back the House of Representatives in November, it will be a larger defeat than their loss in the Presidential election. I’m taking no sides, simply making an observation.


The Finger Pointers

I mostly read Facebook to remind me how fortunate I am. I don’t believe in conspiracies, I don’t hate people who disagree with me, I’m not hawking some miracle product, I don’t believe big businesses are evil, and I’m not showing gruesome pictures of injuries. What stuns me is the lengths to which people will go to find fault, to blame, to castigate. Today there’s some debate about whether the US flags were flown at half-staff sufficiently to honor Senator …


Would You Please Stop Shouting So That You Can Hear Me Shouting?

Every political comment and response I read on social media are among people who have no intention of changing their minds.They simply shout their positions at each other. What is the point of that? I’ve never seen a chess match won by an opponent shouting at his rival. Of course, I doubt anyone I read or hear shouting political views on social media is capable of winning at chess. ALANISM: Ironically, if you don’t want to listen, you’ll never change …


The Weight of Political Correctness

This is from reader Doug MacKenzie and demonstrates the bizarre edge we teeter on with people who believe they’re on some higher moral plane: “Alan—hope you are enjoying summer. I thought you might enjoy this vignette about how pc has turned ridiculous. “I joined a new gym in Scottsdale and the second week I looked for a scale to check my weight. I was told the gym is a judgment free zone and they have no scales.  Hmmm.” Doug In …


Be Careful Out There

When I began my first job out of college at Prudential Insurance, my boss ran a 400-person division, where I would be a supervisor. He took me aside to look at all 400 and he said, “Kid, X percent of the population are untreated alcoholics, Y percent are on drugs, and Z percent have irrational biases. Some have violent tendencies and barely controlled anger issues. People are also known to lie, cheat, and steal. All of our divisions reflect the …



Reporting the Facts

The New York Daily News screamed that the horrible attack at the Annapolis Star was caused by right-wing extremism against the media. Sean Hannity, responding to the event, who is a conservative commentator, said that he predicted liberal Congressional Representative Maxine Waters would create extremism from the left with her reckless calls for action against President Trump. (He now denies this.) The violence was apparently from a man who had a long standing grudge against the newspaper and who had filed defamation …