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Opening Arguments

National chumps

Things blowed up real good in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday. According to NBC News, riot police used tear gas on the crowds. They also used pepper spray. Officers were called to multiple reports of dumpster and couch fires in the streets. The crowds were said to be "intense." Arrests were made.

It's the jews, or the guns

Sorry, Charlie

I got curious about the "Charlie" in "Charlie Hebdo" (Charlie Weekly) and did a Google search. Actually it took me four searches with different wording. Apparently news organizations aren't as concerned about providing background information as they used to be. Anyway, the magazine was originally Hara-Kiri, then Hara-Kari Hebdo, then Charlie Mensuel (Charlie Monthly). It has skewered everything even vaguely "establishment" and has a particular disdain for all religions. Charles de Gaulle, I gather, was one of their early targets.

Posted in: Current events

Be afraid

I'm not one of those yearning for a bipartisan love fest to end the political gridlock in Washington. In fact, I'm one of those who gets a little nervous when it looks like the two sides might stumble onto the same page. This makes me very nervous.

Freeeee!

Oh, goody, goody, goody, more free stuff. Who doesn't like free stuff? "Free," as in "free for me" because you're paying for it:

President Barack Obama will need the approval of Congress to realize his proposal for making two years of community college free for students.

Shameless plug

I will be on WFWA, PBS Channel 39, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow with Journal Gazette Editorial Page Editor Karen Francisco, IPFW's Andy Downs and moderator Bruce Haines for the annual legislative preview edition of "PrimeTime 39." The early consensus among General Assembly watchers is that there won't be anything big or controversial like gay marriage or school prayer this year, so legislators will concentrate on the basics, such as education and a new two-year budget. But we don't always agree with conventional wisdom.

Today's inch

There's a bill awaiting the govenor's signature in Michigan that would make that state a true "shall issue" state for concealed weapons permits. (It's already supposed to be, but county gun boards, which the bill eliminates, can be tougher than the state). The bill is controversial for more than the usual "guns are evil" reasons:

Easy come, easy go

Congress can giveth:

A bipartisan group of lawmakers predicted Wednesday that the House could repeal ObamaCare’s tax on medical device sales by the end of March.

The latest effort at repeal, a bill introduced on Tuesday by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), already has the backing of well over half the House – including two dozen Democrats.

Old Men's War

This story about a challenge being faced by veterans' organizations makes it sould like a new phenomenon, but it's not:

EDINBURGH, Indiana — Membership in local military organizations is changing; and attracting new, younger members is a key to keeping the groups running.

Really Kinky

Oh, for God's sake, lighten up. It was a freakin' joke:

We're sorry. What the hell were we thinking?

OK, you got our attention

I don't know if this "defense" of free speech is spineless and cowardly or, in the writer's own words, "just being stupid," but it's infuriating in either case:

In the bag

Psstt, hey, buddy, whatcha got in the bag, huh, huh, huh?

McDonald's is starting off the new year with new takeout bags that seem to offer customers a choice: Blare to the world that you’re lovin’ it, or hide your McIndulgence altogether.

Is our God their God?

Metaphysical question of the day: Is your religion ready to meet ET?

How will humankind react after astronomers hand over rock-solid scientific evidence for the existence of life beyond the Earth? No more speculating. No more wondering. The moment scientists announce this discovery, everything will change. Not least of all, our philosophies and religions will need to incorporate the new information.

[. . .]

Posted in: Religion, Science

Supply and demand

Mitch McConnell gets lectured in The New Republic for his "economic ignorance" by a writer peddling a load of liberal crap:

Don't sue, don't sue!

Too bad. At least one Indiana city is plunging into the "somebody might sue us, so nobody is allowed to have fun" movement:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As anyone who has grown up around snow knows, part of the fun of sledding is the risk of soaring off a jump or careening around a tree.

No-rules schooling

Don't herd me

When I exercise my rights, how does that violate your civil liberties?

Gray Lady down

Admirable

Less from the government, hooray

For the "we'll take any victory, however small" file:

The federal budget is shrinking as a percentage of gross domestic product, falling just below 20 percent in the third quarter of 2014. That's down four points from its peak of 24 percent in 2011, according to market analysis firm Strategas' survey of recent Treasury Department data.

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