I Hate to Fly

I travel a relatively great deal.  And, overwhelmingly, I enjoy it.  True, it interferes with reading, research, and writing -- and I recall Hugh Nibley's withering words about "scholars" who spend more time in airports than in libraries -- but I see interesting things and meet interesting people.I always hate getting ready for a trip, though.  I'm always desperately trying to finish things off that need to be finished, wishing I had more time.  Wishing, in fact, that I … [Read more...]

How Obama Can Win

Mitt Romney can't relate to ordinary people, say various Obama spokesmen and their media surrogates, because he's part of "the one percent" and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and his wife has never worked a day in her life, and his house is too big, and they own not one but two Cadillacs, and he knows NASCAR owners, and etc., and etc. I saw this remark somewhere over the past day or two:The Obama campaign wants you to worry more about what Mitt Romney does with his money than you … [Read more...]

Grade Redistribution NOW!

 Barack Obama has made it quite clear that, to some greater degree or other than we currently have, he favors the redistribution of wealth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1irae5l4UU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPbCSSXyp0 In that light, this is a really great idea. After all, the same differences in opportunity, native talent, luck, health, and the like that affect wealth and earnings also impact grades and educational success.  In … [Read more...]

You Need to Pay More Taxes

Jeff Neely, a commissioner with the federal General Services Administration, shown in a hot tub high in a Las Vegas hotel during an advance reconnaissance trip to that city that was devoted to planning a major subsequent tax-payer-funded GSA training event there featuring endlessly flowing alcohol, lavish meals, a clown, a mind reader, and a comedian.You are selfish, and you need to pony up for the common good.  Federal employees are working hard for you, and yet you think to deny them … [Read more...]

Science Begins in Wonder

Lots of things about life puzzle me.Right now, I'm wondering about certain of my critics.  Why do they seem perpetually outraged?  And why don't they get the joke?  How is it that they can't figure out that their outrage at the joke very often is the joke? These are mysteries. And, while we're at it, what is the sound of one hand clapping?  And where, for that matter, is my missing backpack? … [Read more...]

Please. Pray for Bo.

One of Bo's many heartbreakingly futile attempts to escape.An important public service announcement. … [Read more...]

Bountiful Harvest

Brigham Young University's Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship has released a new book entitled Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown:Professor Brown, now retired from Brigham Young University (on behalf of which he also served over many years as a teacher, associate director, and director of BYU's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies), has been a friend to me and my wife for roughly thirty-five years.I first went to the Near East with Kent, when he led a … [Read more...]

My Two Encounters with Jimmy Carter

During the 1976 Democratic convention that nominated Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia for the presidency of the United States, someone was shown -- perhaps there were several such people; I really don't remember -- waving a banner bearing the words JC Can Save America.A month or so later, a friend, incensed by the implicit quasi-blasphemy of the sign, persuaded me to join him in protesting a Carter campaign visit to Salt Lake City.  (I was finishing my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young … [Read more...]