Tagged: smart

Religious Wackos

Those crazy Iraqis seem to be having a hard time crafting a national constitution. The biggest obstacle, according to news reports, is that every religious sect there has its own agenda. The Sunnis want this; the Shiites want that; and the Kurds want everything else. What these people don’t understand is the crucial difference between...

Why Golf on Los Angeles Municipal Courses Takes Forever

When I play golf locally, it’s usually at a nearby Los Angeles County municipal park course in Griffith Park. What ought to be a pleasant walk among the tress and birds often feels like a death march through rush hour traffic. Four-hour rounds morph into six-hour trudges, and the joy of chasing a little white...

What Is This Thing Called Luck?

Motivated strivers brought up on the encouraging nostrums of business seminars and personal “empowerment” training know that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. In this model, luck isn’t an unseen, fickle agent. It’s something that doesn’t exist — and if it does, it can be conquered with hard work and cleverness. People who play the...

Appropriations

Should any naive idealist still embrace the quaint notion that our country’s brief experiment in democracy fulfills the purpose of “representative government,” a cursory glance at the way the Appropriations committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives operate will cloud even the sunniest outlook. How we, the tax-paying citizens of America, spend...

Poem: Song of the Misanthrope

Because the center of the universe can be located easily the anthem I pen is naturally of me: I did this and I did that, throw in a semi-automatic rat-a-tat-tat — and now you’ve got a song for radio, Which rhymes conveniently with “ho,” a word to which I’m well accustomed, unlike instruments I’ve never...

Poem: Suppositions

If my father were around to see what has happened to my dog and me, he would smile, I reckon. That important types do beckon is a sign, you see, of achievement. And conveniently they pay the rent.   If youngsters were inclined to glower at old thieves presently in power, we’d suffer less corruption....

Deciphering Intelligent Design

Proponents of “intelligent design” — which is another way of saying “opponents of the theory of evolution” — were pleased by President Bush’s recent remarks that “both sides ought to be properly taught” in public schools. Here was the most powerful person in the world lending credence to a wacky notion that has been widely...

Time is Money

Of all the cliches one encounters regularly, “time is money” may be the one uttered most frequently and with the largest degree of conviction, particularly by people who charge by the hour. The concept is that the two are interchangeable. After all one IS the other. If only it were so. Our maniacal pursuit of...

Jared Diamond, Television Phenomenon

The historian, biologist and UCLA Professor Jared Diamond has accomplished a feat more rare than altruistic Congressmen. He’s transcended the anonymity and general irrelevance of academia. Like Camille Paglia, Alan Dershowitz, and Noam Chomsk, Diamond is a scholar who’s achieved pop culture notoriety. His two best known books, the recent “Collapse,” and “Guns, Germs, and...

The Concept of Hell

Impressing upon the living that an afterlife consumed by pain and suffering awaits those who misbehave is a powerful way to get people to conduct themselves lawfully, and maybe even civilly. More effective than capital punishment as a deterrent, the concept of Hell gives everyone pause, even atheists. To some, Hell is a real place,...