June wasn’t a good month for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While Lena Reppert, the 95-year-old wheelchair-bound U.S.-born woman with terminal cancer, was being humiliated into removing her soiled adult diaper by TSA agents in Florida on her final trip home to die, a male with dual Nigerian-American citizenship, Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi (left), was casually frolicking through airport security checkpoints all across America — on stolen boarding passes, with only a University of Michigan ID card, and on flights that didn’t correspond to the destinations on the boarding passes.
Asked about newspaper publishers who opposed his presidential candidacy in 1952, Adlai Stevenson was prepared with a characteristically witty rejoinder:
"Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and then print the chaff, " the Illinois Democrat said.
In the third installment of the Transformers series, Dark of the Moon (also known as Transformers 3) focuses on the Autobots’ mission to search for a Cybertronian spacecraft that has been hidden. The Autobots must reach the spacecraft before the Decepticons do in order to learn of its secrets. While the movie contains a strong moral, as well as some patriotic themes, the absurd dialogue, failed attempts at humor, and intense violence may keep many potential viewers at home.
Is America still a free country? Many of us like to think so. Yes, we can get into a car and drive wherever we want. But the high cost of gas now prevents us from taking the longer trips we’d like to take. We can still go to the mall and buy whatever we want, even though prices have gone up. We can still read whatever we want, and we can say whatever we want. But when it comes to education, suddenly we are confronted with compulsory school attendance laws, compulsory property taxes to pay for the government schools, compulsory testing, compulsory inoculations, forced busing, restrictions against prayer, forced sex ed, death ed, and drug ed. And now, every day over four million children are forced to take Ritalin, a powerful mind- and mood-altering drug, if they want to attend the government school.
Most people take the alphabet for granted. It has been a part of our culture and civilization for so long that most of us haven't the faintest idea of how or where it originated. Yet the idea of using abstract symbols — which we call letters — to stand for the speech sounds of a language is one of the greatest intellectual inventions in all of human history.
The other day I was having dinner at a friend's house and was chatting with his 12-year-old daughter who attends a local public school. I asked her how she was doing, and she told me that she hated school -— not merely disliked school, but hated it.
On July 4, 1776, after months of heated debate, representatives of the Continental Congress voted unanimously that “these United Colonies are and of right ought to be Free and Independent States.”
Central to the politics of states with democratically-constituted governments is the notion that all sovereignty resides in “the People.” In no place and at no time has this idea been more prevalent than in contemporary America. It is an idea that both Democrats and Republicans peddle furiously.
In spite of its popularity, however, it is a fiction. Worse, it is an invidious fiction.
By now I assume that most of my readers have already seen the Oscar-winning movie of 2011, The King’s Speech, the dramatic story of King George VI and his debilitating speech impediment and how it was cured by an eccentric Australian speech therapist.
For years I have been telling parents and educators that the kind of reading difficulties afflicting perfectly normal children in our schools today are being caused by the teaching methods and not by any defect in the children themselves. The educators have been telling us for years now that the reason why so many children are having problems learning to read is because of a learning disability they've been born with.