It's a dance performed around the state a couple of times each year. A member of the Legislature or county government resigns — to take on a different office or to "spend more time with my family." The local party apparatus begins a process that gives them relevance: the constitutional duty to nominate three people for the vacant post. Then, the county legislative authority — county councils or county commissions — appoints one of the three.
As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash.
I like capitalism. Specifically, I like the idea that if I write a better book, have a better idea, build a better mousetrap, I will be rewarded accordingly. A system where everyone gets the same reward regardless of quality or quantity of work is inconsistent with excellence and innovation, as the mediocrity and inefficiency that beset the Soviet Union readily proves.
Should non-Catholics care what Pope Francis says? Of course. His is a big, big voice, he is a good, good Christian man, and millions just may be swayed when he says capitalism hurts the poor. His high intentions in a recent papal statement are the kind forever paving the road to more socialist bedevilment, and we all have a stake in that.
In his disproportionate praise of the six-month agreement with Iran, Barack Obama said: "For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program." But if the program, now several decades old, had really been "halted" shortly after U.S. forces invaded Iraq, we would not be desperately pursuing agreements to stop it now, as 10,000 or so centrifuges spin to enrich uranium.
U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries may be militarily effective, but they are killing innocent civilians in a way that is obscene and immoral. I'm afraid that ignoring this ugly fact makes Americans complicit in murder.
Depressing news about black students scoring far below white students on various mental tests has become so familiar that people at different parts of the ideological spectrum have long ago developed their different explanations for why this is so. But both may have to do some rethinking, in light of radically different news from England.
Trendy Seattle must add a new word to its progressive vocabulary: resilience. In a time of severe storms and evident climate change, prudent investments are being made around the country in public infrastructure — roads and bridges, traffic lights and storm drains — that learn from horrific weather events and anticipate rising sea levels.