This country is in serious debt. Our future depends not only on how much we spend but on how wisely we spend. One of our greatest national money holes and policy failures has been our drug policy.
Perhaps the biggest political battle of today is about how much control the federal government should have, especially concerning education and health care.
Since the Dwight Eisenhower era, the white evangelical movement has been very close to the Republican Party. This partnership has worked out better for the Republican Party than for the evangelicals.
My wife and I joke that our New Year's resolutions should be to work toward immigrating to France. We love the United States but this year has convinced us that we may not actually live in the United States.
The pitfalls of communism are well known but people still have undeserved faith in laissez-faire capitalism. Laissez-faire capitalism is like communism in that both sound nice on paper but they don't work in real life.
Right now the world is convinced that the American market system has failed. To feed our consumption, we have experienced five decades of budget deficits, four of trade deficits, three of easy access to credit cards and one of artificially low-interest loans. Sure we bought lots of clothes, built lots of big houses and planted strip malls all over the nation, but all with borrowed money.
Humans crave friendship and belonging. We fear exile from the group. So we often remain silent when we disagree with a majority. That silence makes it harder on those who do speak up.
Our Social Security and Medicare systems must be changed for the sake of the nation. It simply cannot continue as it is presently designed.
When we were hunter gatherers, meat was communal property. A man, whether hunting with a group or alone, was expected to share his meat with the other tribesmen. The man shared, not out of generosity, but because in the past he had feasted on someone else's kill and later would want a share of another's kill.
With the 2010 census completed, our Congressional districts will be redrawn. You don't have to be a cynic to recognize the districts will be drawn to maintain the present political balance.
For every $2.30 we raise in taxes, we borrow $1.50. To end the deficit without raising taxes, we would have to cut spending by 40 percent. Is that politically possible?
Last year Republican Bobby Franklin suggested dismantling the Department of Family and Children Services to save money. He said if this were done, churches and charitable organizations "would be knocking themselves over to pick up the slack."
Again wild pundits have us drowning in a sea of irrelevance as they yell about the Wisconsin union protests. What is occurring in the media with regard to Wisconsin is one of the most amazing propaganda drives ever.
When the Jasmine Revolution began in Tunisia, I was happy. When it spread to Egypt, I was thrilled. When it spread to Libya, I could envision the existence of a group of democratic Middle Eastern nations with intelligence agencies capable of doing what our CIA is incapable of, tracking down and destroying al-Qaida from within.