Language barriers are obviously an impediment to communication. If one man speaks Chinese and another Swedish, it may be hard for them to settle even simple matters, let alone the deep issues of the day. Yet there can be language barriers even within a language, such as when people use ill-defined terminology. In fact, some debates rage on endlessly partially because people who have the same tongue are, sometimes unknowingly, speaking a different language.

California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.

There are four Republican candidates left standing in the GOP’s presidential primary contest: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.

But to listen to most of talk radio and Fox News — i.e. the so-called “conservative” media — you would think that Ron Paul had withdrawn from the race, if he was ever in it at all. 

Some time ago I received a letter from England that was written by an intelligent, accomplished and motivated adult who had a “reading problem.” He had been taught to read by the look-say method and exhibited the usual symptoms of dyslexia, and he wanted to know how to cure his disability.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has pledged to work for Puerto Rican statehood if the voters on the island commonwealth approve of it. Whether that will happen before or after Americans gain statehood for their settlement on the moon is uncertain. The former Speaker has said that once the lunar colony he envisions reaches a population of 13,000, those residents will be eligible to petition for statehood. Since Puerto Rico has a population of nearly 4 million, perhaps the residents there should consider subdividing the island and petitioning for the entry of 333 new states. That at least would provide new employment for flag-makers, which could be called an economic stimulus.