Against the Dragnet

Dear Senator Clinton: You should be ashamed. Dear Senator Schumer: Thank you for voting to remove the telecom immunity provision from the contemptible bill recently before the Senate. Dear Representative Hall: I am very concerned about the direction this country is taking under President Bush and a Congress which seems willing to abandon our essential […]


Richard Posner states, It is infeasible to build and man, at reasonable cost, a wall or fence that would actually close our border with Mexico. Compare the cost and effectiveness of the following walls. The Great Wall of China Hadrian’s Wall The Warsaw Ghetto The Berlin Wall The Israeli security fence

Simple Economics Too Complicated for Lou Dobbs?

I walked past a television at the hospital today, and Lou Dobbs was bemoaning that families could no longer afford college, though I’m sure his can. It seems to me that college tuition has always been expensive. There are many within living memory who were the first in their families to attend college. But it […]

Sins of Omission

I’m bothered by The Media’s self-imposed role as society’s filter, particularly when it comes to elections. Take this very interesting electoral season for example. There’s no incumbent running for President, so it’s considered a “wide-open” race. Would that it were so. In some cases the filtering is with adjectives, such as “front-runner,” a somewhat meaningless […]

Framing the Question, a “facilitator” of civic participation, sends out an e-mail update each week which includes a simplified issue and a simpler survey question. Here’s an example from today’s mail. Performance Pay for Teachers In a recent speech, Congressman George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, proposed “performance pay” for teachers as part […]

The Powerlessness of the School District Budget Process

On Tuesday, voters defeated most of the proposed school district budgets in Dutchess County. The New York State Education Department, however, said that state-wide, most voters approved the school district budgets. Except that department only gives the approval in terms of a percentage of budgets passed: 88.9%. This leaves some unanswered questions. What was the […]