To its credit, the Record-Eagle meticulously publishes a balance of op-eds on various topics. Typically, someone like Pat Buchanan on the right is balanced by someone like E.J. Dionne on the left. But I wonder about its editorial judgment in deciding to publish the October 8 opinion piece by the justifiably obscure Doug Patton. In it, Patton deplores the closing of the WWII Memorial as a part of the government shutdown. I happen to agree that this was an unfortunate and clumsy piece of theater by the administration. But there is a difference between strongly expressed political views and demagogic ranting. More
Liquid gold spills across the calm lake as the sun rises. Yesterday the wind was shaking trees, pelting the deck with beech nuts, breaking their bristly shells and scattering nuts. The driveway and lanes are covered with rich brown acorns, rolling and crunching as we walk on them. It is October and fall is here. I find it a time to reflect, to enjoy the harvest of apples and grapes and to walk in the woods whether they be calm or in windy turmoil. More
The current standoff in Washington over the budget and the debt limit has penetrated my subconscious. Last night I had a strange dream, which may be worth repeating for your analysis.
In my dream, President Obama is in the White House press room addressing the press corps. He makes an introductory speech, which goes something like this: More
My Truth and Consequences blog certainly stirred the pot! And that, of course, is my goal since as a moderate I wish to encourage a conversation between the left and the right sides of the political spectrum.
But the nature of the responses from seemingly smart and articulate partisans of the right cause me concern. We appear to be talking past each other, and that is not a conversation. More
Sometimes I think I hear the groans and moans and “ya, ya” accompanied by eye rolls. Ok, so there’s lavender and good wine and non-stop baguettes and people sit in the outdoor cafés, even in January.
Sometimes I cannot even explain it to myself. The last two bananas I’ve eaten were from the Ivory Coast and Columbia, respectively. So it isn’t just about the abundance of fresh, local produce year ’round. But in part, it is. More
Not for nothing did Theodore Roosevelt say, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Unfortunately, if you look at some of our politicians, they seem to only remember the big stick biz.
At a time when Iran’s leaders are sending messages that indicate they’re ready to negotiate on their nuclear enrichment program, Americans are reacting as if we were Cleopatra being offered a basket of figs. What about “new leader, different mindset” do we not understand? More
It’s almost ten years down the line since my arrival in France to take care of the Domaine de Claparèdes, a compound of vacation rental properties in the south of France. I’m reflecting on all that has happened since those hot and humid days of broken pool gates and broken promises. I realize that until that experience, I was a spirit looking for a home. Until that summer and these ensuing years, I was basically spiritually homeless. I was a French soul living in another country. More
and soaking up the last bits of summer has been my goal the last few weeks. I’m storing up inside me images of sunflowers, summer harvest, green shaded paths, birds on crystal clear lakes, deep blue skies; the smells of sun-dried grasses and warm pine wood; the sounds of grass hoppers, crickets and cicadas. Through the summer the roadsides have been graced with white daises that are replaced by Queen Anne’s lace, dainty yellow, star-shaped flowers are replaced by golden rod; fresh green and brown cattails now have the green turning ochre. The purple has faded from the meadows, maples in swampy areas are turning red, the sun is riding lower in the sky and shadows are lengthening —September has arrived. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.) More
To its credit, the Record-Eagle periodically publishes extensive analyses by FACTCHECK.ORG which examine various claims by members of both ends of the political spectrum. They bend over backwards to be scrupulously neutral and balanced. Recently, two FACTCHECK articles were published on the same day which touched on two themes I’ve been considering for this blog. So I will comment on both here. More
I believe the issue of personal tax deductions deserves more consideration than is offered by the debate here over the IRS treatment of the subject. I have gone into this issue of deductions and other tax policy in some detail in my blog at henryklugh.blogspot.com. The blog is called Variations on a Theme and the particular entry dealing with personal deductions and other tax policy is under the heading Prolegomena to Any Future. I’ll summarize my position here because with that intro I doubt that any of you will be sufficiently grabbed by the title to bother reading it … And for some who do read it there will be a risk of apoplexy. More