It’s All Greek to Them

From First Thoughts

It was late at night in a dodgy neighborhood of Athens, Greece. I argued with a cab driver who clearly wanted to be rid of his irksome passenger and call it a night. I’d arrived at the Athens train station after midnight after a long ferry and train trip from Brindisi, Italy. I clutched a . . . . Continue Reading »

Someone Else’s Problem

From First Thoughts

Today is tax day. As millions of Americans finish filing their 2010 federal income taxes, 47 percent of their fellow citizens will pay no federal income tax. That’s right. Nearly half the country pays nothing* towards a government that in theory represents everyone. A family of four earning . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Capital Punishment Pro-Life?

From First Thoughts

This week Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in Illinois . His primary concern with the state’s system for capital punishment was possible error. “If the system can’t be guaranteed, 100-percent error-free, then we shouldn’t have the system. It . . . . Continue Reading »

DADT: The Aftermath

From First Thoughts

As expected, Congress voted to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy concerning homosexuals serving openly in the military and President Obama signed the repeal into law. Despite a lot of misgivings and reasons for leaving the policy in place, some of which I made here here , Congress . . . . Continue Reading »

The Reason for the Season

From First Thoughts

My wife’s mother died this week. Catherine Wilson Payne, born in Fleetwood, England, in March 1929, had lived a rich life and raised four children to healthy, productive adulthood—one of them my wife, Colette. Mamma Payne proudly doted on her eight grandchildren from her home in . . . . Continue Reading »

Wax On. Wax Off.

From First Thoughts

One of my favorite movies is The Karate Kid. Who can’t identify in some way with Daniel Larusso, uprooted from all that is familiar by his single mom and plopped down in a new environment where he is the outsider, the new kid who becomes automatic bully bait for the tough guys at school. A lot . . . . Continue Reading »