Back when my family vacationed in Miami Beach, it wasn’t uncommon for the hotels abutting the shoreline to have high diving boards. I mean sometimes really high — maybe even the kind you see on Olympics telecasts. It was a scary jump for me as a child, but I think I mustered the courage once or twice. But I couldn’t as an adolescent. You see, the boards were closed down by then (circa 1980), an obvious victim of our society’s increasing litigiousness. Insurance regulations, you know.
On Friday, August 13th, President Obama welcomed members of the Muslim community to the White House to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Ramadan with an Iftar banquet — the meal served after the sunrise-to-sunset fast. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar.
Many Internet users look at websites that share aerial imaging technology as a novelty, a fun way to see what their house and community look like from the air. Little do they know that various levels of government around the world are using it for less amusing means. Sites like Google Earth and Bing Maps are being used as a tool to find so-called "tax cheats" and individuals and businesses that willingly or unwillingly sneaked past the building permit process.
Just as the State’s wars and taxes, oppression, corruption and cruelty are a worldwide curse, so is its xenophobia. The United States has plenty of company as it erects walls both literal and figurative at its borders while pitting natives against newcomers: so do Canada, Mexico, Australia, England, Asia, and Europe – specifically Germany.
I received an e-mail last evening from an ardent and perpetually active pro-life woman in my state of New Hampshire who was irate over the fact that the National Pro-Life Alliance in Washington, D.C., has announced that Manchester attorney Ovide Lamontagne is the number one pro-life candidate in this year's New Hampshire U.S. Senate race and please send money to help the Pro-Life Alliance elect Ovide and people like him to high public office.
You might think that incompetence so massive it results in the recall of over half a billion eggs would also result in the recall of those responsible — or irresponsible. But no. Instead, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demands that we increase its power. This is rather like a babysitter's running over your toddler as she pulls into your drive, then insisting you hire her to chauffeur your other kids to school.
My column titled "What Handouts to Cut?" created a number of angry responses, and for the first time in my life, I had some, not much, sympathy for political cowardice. Most letters were from senior citizens angered by my suggestion that they were receiving handouts and those handouts be cut.