Published Articles

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Perry attorney Larry Walker penned an interesting article on wild hogs and describes their increasing destruction of flora, fauna, and property — a scourge and a serious concern to citizens in more than 40 states. He cites corroborative evidence from the University of Georgia (UGA). Wild hogs, as I have written elsewhere, are indeed a growing problem.

After citing disheartening statistics about wild hog damage, Walker further opines, “…trapping is difficult, if done properly, and shooting is not very effective.” I ask: Are there any challenging tasks or arduous sports worth pursuing that are not difficult?

Where there is a will there is a way. Moreover, Walker’s assertion is not entirely correct. While trapping feral hogs is vastly superior, hunting them is not impossible, and the sport is not devoid of value and excitement: The hog population can be culled, or at least the sounders can be forced out of valuable pasture and agricultural land and chased to more natural habitats in swamps and low-lying brush by hunting and trapping by private sportsmen (or farmers can invite hunters with dogs to do so). There is no need to bring more government agencies to do a job...



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A unifying principle of American law governing the defensive use of deadly force is that a victim may use such force when an attacker threatens violence capable of causing death or grave bodily harm. There is little doubt that it is justified when the robber draws and points a handgun at the victim.

But what if an unarmed assailant advances with fists clenched, clearly getting ready to beat his victim? Should the victim take a few punches and hope he remains conscious long enough to draw and shoot, thus stopping his attacker? At what point short of being beaten to a bloody, crippled pulp can the victim still convince a jury that he feared he was about to die or be forever damaged?  

The law offers no clear answers.

To begin the discussion of defending against an ostensibly unarmed attacker, we must first understand the need to recognize an attack. Both police and civilians face this dilemma, but police are given more training in reading body language and responding than are most civilians. Few people can beat a drawn gun or a thrown punch. We must learn always to understand where we are, what we are doing, and what is going on...



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's life;
and the killing of the aggressor...The one is intended, the other is not.
— Saint Thomas Aquinas

Violence is a global problem, which in the context of this article (interpersonal violence), is intentional force against another person or persons with the potential to cause injury or bodily harm, resulting in disability or death. Despite what one has been led to believe, America is not the most violent nation. [Figure 1, right] When it comes to violence, objectively compared to developed nations, the U.S. is in the middle of the pack; when considering the rest of the world, the U.S is far behind Latin America (including Brazil), Africa, and much of Eastern Europe and Eurasia (including Russia).

Nevertheless, we must admit that we have an endemic problem that needs addressing. Violence perpetrated by assailants carrying (or having the opportunity to rapidly be able to pick up and use) a blunt object to attack another person may result in severe bodily harm and/or head injury. In the body, severe blunt trauma may result in long bone fractures and...



Thursday, February 4, 2016

We can all feel it. With violent crime dominating the headlines, the pressure to blame gun owners is mounting. Everywhere we look, we see the familiar gun grabbers calling for “universal” background checks, a ban on semi-automatic rifles, and that old saw, restoring funding to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for “firearm research.” 

President Barack Obama, gun prohibitionists in Congress and their many friends in major media outlets have done a formidable job of spinning the story of how the CDC lost its funding for gun research. Their version is that back in the 1990s, the CDC was producing valuable public health research on “gun violence,” saving lives and preventing injuries with their policy suggestions.

Then, they contend, because the “gun lobby” didn’t like the results of the research, the National Rifle Association opposed this great advance in public health and—against the great tide of public opinion—persuaded Congress to take away the CDC’s federal funding for all gun research. According to them, there has been no gun research since then, so we have no way to know how to stop gun violence. That’s the bedtime story told...



Monday, January 18, 2016

Symposium — An anti-Christian barrage in the midst of the Middle Georgia Bible Belt? (With apologies to both Plato and Alexander Pope)

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1709

For the past several months an unexpectedly ongoing and curious religious debate has been raging on the Opinion pages of my local newspaper, the Macon Telegraph. I write “unexpectedly” and “curious” because we are supposed to be living in the midst of the Bible Belt here in Middle Georgia, and one would expect, if anything as it relates to the realm of religion, a Judeo-Christian perspective to be promulgated on Sundays for the benefit of the majority faithful. This should be particularly true given the decidedly progressive bent of the paper the rest of the week; instead, we are presented every Sunday with an anti-religious column written by a former priest, Dr. Bill Cummings, who apparently has an ax to grind against Christianity and Western culture, in...



Monday, January 18, 2016

Some time ago, the ACLU threatened to sue to force Los Angeles County to remove the tiny cross from its seal. You can see it if you look very closely. The cross represented the Franciscan missions, an integral part of California history. The mere threat of a suit frightened the county into removing the cross. A group of us filed suit to restore it. We lost, but at least we tried.

As Pastor Niemoeller would say, we spoke up to protest the erasure of part of our history. Only tyrants want to alter the past. So instead of the tiny cross, we have a “mission” that looks like a barn. No cross on the building? Okay. But no bell? Is a bell also a religious symbol, and therefore verboten? Are even indirect, oblique, implied references to religion not allowed?

When anyone refers to the United States as a “Christian country,” the media denounce him, while liberals ridicule him as a bigot. My reaction is a bit different. When I hear this description of America, I think, “What an optimist!” Perhaps my family’s background can explain my attitude.

My mother was born in Czarist Russia. Her most vivid memory of childhood was a pogrom. She and her...



Monday, January 11, 2016

I had a friend with an odd sense of humor. As he greeted guests at the door, he would yell over his shoulder to his wife, "Put more water in the soup!" Of course, there was always more than enough food. It was his way of bringing a smile to his guests' faces. But for some people, putting more water in the soup isn't a joke — it's a fact.

No, I'm not talking about desperately poor people, who must really water down the physical nourishment of their families. I'm talking about well-to-do people who have no need to do so, yet who continually water down the intellectual and spiritual nourishment of their nation and their civilization. I'm talking about people who for decades have been watering down the education, the civic pride, and the religion of everyone's family.

If you start with really rich, thick soup, you can water it down considerably, and it will still be nourishing. Only after an extreme degree of dilution will you reach a point that the soup can no longer sustain life. It's the same with education, civic pride, and religion. If you start with really rich material, it can withstand a good deal of dilution before it is no longer...



Thursday, January 7, 2016

There are many ways to assess a civilization. It all depends on your point of view. Some people believe we are advancing. These people point to a woman's "freedom to choose," more "rights" for those accused of crimes, and greater "tolerance." Other people believe we are declining. These people point to nearly a million babies killed every year, up to the time of birth and sometimes even after. They point to increasing reluctance of the law-abiding to rely on the legal system. They point to widespread cheating in schools, in business, in government, and in relationships.

Those who believe we are declining point to the same events as those who believe we are advancing — they just see these events from a different perspective. But are there some ways to assess our civilization that most people might agree on? In an effort to find such methods, I adjourned to the bathroom, where I often do my best thinking, and came upon a possibility.

The toilet-paper index

A few years ago, I'm not sure exactly when, rolls of toilet paper all shrank an inch or two in width. The rolls used to fit snugly into their holders, which had remained the same for many decades. But...



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The downing of a Russian jet by a Turkish F-16 fighter plane is a distracting development for the war on ISIS, as well as an event that could have ominous repercussions for the NATO alliance. Turkey says the Russian plane, a Su-24 aircraft, was shot down while violating Turkish airspace. The Russians deny this and affirm that their jet did not stray from Syrian airspace. Turkey, a member of NATO, is supported by the Western alliance that asserts the Turkish claim that the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace, flying over a tongue of land stretching into Syria.

What is lost here is the fact that despite political disagreements about the Syrian government, both the Russian Federation and Turkey should be cooperating on the war on terror and the defeat of ISIS; instead they are responding in a historic and adversarial manner that could lead to a major and potentially catastrophic war in Europe involving not just old historic enemies — i.e., Turkey and Russia — but also NATO and the U.S. with calamitous consequences for Europe. Defiant Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be reconsidering Turkey’s rules of engagement in alleged Turkish...



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Inheritance and estate taxes (collectively referred to as the “death tax”) are the taxes one must pay to the government to be able to inherit property or money following the death of loved ones. With inheritance taxes, the beneficiary pays the tax before taking possession of the money or property. With the estate tax, the tax is levied on the decedent’s assets before the beneficiaries may receive their inheritance. Either way, the State (the government) takes its share: The bigger the legacy, the larger the government’s slice of the pie! Despite the alleged fairness, these inordinate taxes are government money-grabbing wealth redistribution schemes fueled by the politics of envy and promoted by progressive politicians usually of the Democratic persuasion. Inordinate estate tax rates are a measure of the level of socialism afflicting a given society. This is so because demagogic politicians pander to the dark side of human nature, eliciting envy to pander to the resentful, eyeing the money they can grab, seeing the votes they can buy, muscling the power they can exert over the masses, and enjoying the perks they can obtain for themselves. It is sold supposedly to the people as a...

Keyword(s): economics, taxation, taxes




Published on July 11, 2016, the lyrics to The Doves song "Pulse" remind us: “…the steady drumbeat of your “Pulse” — thump, thump, thump — is all that stands between you and eternity.”