Category Archives: Essays

My thoughts on social, political, or historical issues, or any other topic on which I feel the need to pontificate.

Farewell Facebook

As a general rule, I am not an early adopter. I typically wait until the development of a new product has stabilized, features have improved, bugs have been worked out, and prices have come down. This was the case for my use of Social Media. I never once even viewed MySpace, I have no idea what the draw are to Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram, and I even avoided Facebook up until just a couple years ago.

I began using Facebook a few years ago when I realized I was missing out on things my family were doing. I have … Read the rest

A proposal to put myself out of work (part II)

Earlier I wrote a bit about what I would do to cut the Department of Defense down to something more limited in scope and expense. Granted… some of the proposals weren’t strictly Department of Defense, but that’s not particularly important.  In that post, I mentioned I might get around to explaining some of my rationale for my recommended changes, and at the moment I have some time, so I’ll start and see how far I get.

1.  There are no substantial external threats to the United States

My first, and most important, recommendation was to recognize that there are … Read the rest

Grouchy bear and Clifford Heber

As I sat in church today, two men wove their way through my thoughts in a way they haven’t for years.  It happened during a discussion about talents, and using them to further the Lord’s work.  It crossed my mind that one talent that has greatly influenced my life was the talent to tolerate young boys.

When I was quite young, I was part of a pack of boys at church.  We were what you might label “challenging” to the extent that the church leaders had trouble finding anyone who could put up with us for more than a few … Read the rest

A proposal to put myself out of work

I believe it’s the nature of any bureaucracy or bureaucrat to take whatever territory, responsibility, or power they have and expand it through any means possible.  Walking around Washington, DC, there is ample evidence of that trend.  If you visit the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall and make your way to one of the corridors you can see a display of two panoramic pictures taken from the top of the castle tower.  One of these pictures was taken roughly in 2005, and shows the area as it is now with the exception of a few new buildings.  The other … Read the rest

A Rant on Modern Science

When I was a kid, my best friend Zeke (not his real name) was what we all considered “fat.” In addition to being heavier than the rest of us, he had a complexion that would have been described as sallow, had a tendency for profuse sweating, bad teeth, and delayed mental development. He was different, and that made him a target. Aside from Zeke and one or two other kids in my elementary school, I can’t remember a single kid who would be labeled overweight by today’s standards. Fast-forward thirty years, and my experience would infer that Zeke would be … Read the rest

What’s so wrong with not liking Christmas?

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”

“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, “Bah!” again; and followed it up with “Humbug.”

“Don’t be cross, uncle!” said the nephew.

“What else can I be,” returned the uncle, “when I live in

Read the rest

Book Burning

For most of the world, there is little thought that goes into disposing of something.  You simply put it in the trash bin, set that bin on the curb roughly once a week, and it magically disappears.  When you live where we do, though, there is more to it than that.  For those in our “neighborhood” who elect to pay for regular trash service, they pay roughly ten times what it costs in the city for the privilege.  As an alternative, we have the option of bagging our trash and hauling it off to the local dumpster once a week … Read the rest

What Do We Hunger For?

Today I was listening to a talk (or sermon depending on your faith tradition) and was granted a new insight into a scripture story I’ve read and contemplated many times before.  The speaker brought up the miracle of the loaves and fishes, where Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes.  Often this miracle is the focal point of the message.  As the speaker continued with the story, I was struck by what followed.

In John chapter 6, we read about Christ feeding the masses with five loaves and two fishes.  In addition to the marvelous teachings they heard, all who were there … Read the rest

Bag of Rocks

Many years ago, two intrepid scout masters took the young men from my church youth group on a week-long backpacking trip into an offshoot of the Rocky Mountains.  One of the guys in our group was physically smaller than the rest of us and had a chip on his shoulder to compensate.  As a result, and as matter of record, I didn’t have a lot of love for him.  In fact, he had spent most of the last two years pestering and tormenting me — his apparent goal being to start a fight with me (beat me up) to prove … Read the rest


Life can be funny sometimes.  Things we often tend to view in absolutes can become quite fuzzy or even inverted when the context is right.  One example I’ve experienced very recently is an inversion of the concept that it’s bad to be unwanted.

Most of us spend a good portion of our lives trying to be something or someone who is wanted.  We develop skills that are wanted by employers.  We seek to be wanted by friends and love interests.  We often find ourselves trying to acquire stuff and abilities that place us in a position to be envied.  I … Read the rest