The snake, the farmer, and the epi-pens

There is an old tale of a farmer who finds a half-frozen snake in the field and takes pity on the poor, nearly dead creature. To warm it up, he puts it inside his shirt. When the snake revives it bites the farmer on the chest. The farmer is now going to die, but he asks the snake why he did it, after that act of kindness? And the snake replies, it is just doing what it does according to its nature.

What should journalists do?

Journalism has taken several big hits over the last ten or so years, but none bigger than the seismic shift from being impartial observers to being filters that try to shape the outcomes rather than report on them.

This might make sense to individual journalists who study something and then have a point of view, and then try to communicate that point of view through their reporting, but it is a dangerous turn for the profession--and our free society--when this becomes the norm. And it apparently has.

Debt-free college

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on Hillary Clinton's shift from trying to reduce public college costs to free public college education (or debt-free public college education) for all students except those from rich families. This shift in her position is explained by her deal to get Bernie Sander's endorsement and to appeal to the Bernie voters.

Ted Cruz and the Battle of Khitomer

Yes, it's that time of the month...time for another Star Trek reference.

It has been too long, hasn't it? And today's article is about the improbable rise of The Donald and what the Republican establishment did wrong to enable this outcome. And, of course, a lesson learned from a Star Trek incident that happened hundreds of years in our (possible?) future.

What's not to love about negative interest rates?

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today that negative interest rates seemed to be depressing spending and increasing savings in countries that adopted them, contrary to what economists had predicted. Consumers seem to view negative interest rates as a sign of market distress which made them nervous about spending. Economists were puzzled.

Trying to outlaw discrimination

When did "discrimination" become such a dirty word?

The word discriminate has several positive meanings in addition to the most-well-known negative one.

Someone who is picky and looking for the best quality can discriminate between the available options. And a manufacturer can add features called discriminators to set his products apart from the competition.

What President Obama should have said

Yesterday, President Obama answered a question about Donald Trump at a news conference, declaring the Republican nominee unfit for presidential office. Here's what he should have said instead:

After serious reflection, I have decided to make my opposition to Donald Trump's candidacy public, using the office of the presidency to interfere in a political race in a partisan way. This is a break with the traditional decorum, I know, but this election is too important to stay silent when the future of our country is at stake.

Muslim father of dead soldier goes over the top

I didn't watch too much of the Democrat National Convention (DNC) but I've heard of the speech given by the Muslim father of the dead U.S. soldier, and have since watched the speech on YouTube. It is six minutes long and is available here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzkkk-oJ6bo

The speech is powerful and the Dad is obviously proud of his son and heartsick from his loss, as is his wife. But he was used as a partisan tool by the Shemailer, and his argument falls short, despite the powerful emotions of his son's and his family's sacrifice.

The Shemailer and socialism

The Democrat nominees, the Shemailer and Kaine, are going to continue and extend the socialist policies enacted by our current President. This would be an economic mistake as capitalism is what has made this country strong, and socialism will make it weaker.

"No more likely"

Statistics can be really fun. But the conclusions one reaches from them can be confusing or can be used to mislead people. I read a whopper of misdirection by Anglea Merkel just now, but before I get to that, let me recount a story I heard on the radio yesterday by a financial analyst.