In an age that glorifies specialization, and often threatens to narrow the interests and achievements of individuals to subfields sterilely reduced to less than an intellectual handbreadth, a person who is truly multifaceted and who offers contributions to a broad array of fields is to be received as a treasure. The recent “manifesto” produced by Jaron Lanier — one of the giants of “virtual reality” research — continues to demonstrate that its author is one such individual.

Look out, or the politicians hustling to rescue us from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its sexual assaults at the airport may run you over.

Of course, these liars and hypocrites could simply abolish the TSA, either by introducing legislation to do so or, more easily, by refusing to re-authorize — and raise — its budget every year. That would guarantee that the agency never again molested a young woman, killed a missionary, or endangered an expectant mother and her baby. It could no longer violate the Constitution with its warrantless searches nor sic cops on us because of the “evidence” those fishing expeditions yield. The Feds would lose some of their power over us — and they can’t have that, can they?

Walter WilliamsWhy is it that Egyptians do well in the U.S. but not Egypt? We could make that same observation and pose that same question about Nigerians, Cambodians, Jamaicans and others of the underdeveloped world who migrate to the U.S. Until recently, we could make the same observation about Indians in India, and the Chinese citizens of the People's Republic of China, but not Chinese citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The new children's movie Gnomeo & Juliet is  of course an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic work, Romeo & Juliet. In this new world, the bickering enemies are red and blue garden gnomes. The blue garden belongs to the Montagues of 2B and the red Capulets live next door, at not 2B.

These are times that try nations' budgets. Even President Obama is talking seriously about budget cutting — not as seriously as the Republicans claim they are, but hey, give the guy credit. He has proposed trimming $100 billion from this year's spending level to produce a 2012 budget of a mere $3.7 trillion. He proposes reducing the deficit by $544 billion, so that next year' s budget will produce only $1.1 trillion in red ink. And the long-term budget projections are for an additional $7 trillion in public debt (now at more than $14 trillion) over the next 10 years. There, now. How's that for frugality? Eat your heart out, Calvin Coolidge.