FUBAR

Love or selfishness?

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Garrett Hardin’s extremely influential essay "The Tragedy of the Commons."

And now a belated word for reality

With Americans fleeing to multiplexes to escape reality and the heat by seeing the latest Batman movie, it is important that someone speak up for poor, neglected reality.

Rights? What rights?

An FBI agent testifying at the first Guantanamo war crimes trial said interrogators did not advise detainees here of any rights because the military prison is dedicated to intelligence gathering, not law enforcement.

Agent Ali Soufan, an al-Qaida expert and star witness for the prosecution, said Tuesday the Guantanamo Bay Navy base is the only place in the world where he has not informed suspects of a right against self-incrimination.

Disasters waiting to happen

For millions of Americans living in flood-prone places, all that stands between the waters of mayhem and safety is a pile of dirt.

Earthen berms, dikes and levees identical to those overtopped and breached in scores of places along swollen Midwest rivers in recent weeks, make up the vast majority of flood protection efforts across the United States.

Once again, we pay the check

Do we never learn?

In the 1980s, Congress, for what seemed good reason at the time, deregulated the thrifts — savings and loan institutions — and what followed were several intense years of wildly risky speculation in real estate and development, fueled by the creation of new and at the time exotic financing like brokered deposits and the bundling of mortgages for sale to Wall Street.

Time to overhaul the VA

PATIENT (waving his right arm in a big circle): Doctor, it hurts when I do this. So what do you recommend?

DOCTOR: Don’t do that.

– Old vaudeville joke.

This Bud’s for who?

Wassup, Mr. G? What’ll it be?"

"A Bud. A Bud Light, please, Mr. Barkeep."

(pause)

"So now, how do you like that Belgian beer?"

"Don’t get me started. Is nothing sacred anymore?"

"Well, it’s hard to turn down $52 billion. That’s what that Belgian brewer InBev is paying for old Anheuser-Busch, isn’t it?"

A few good words about newspapers

Survey the latest news about newspapers — the unending layoffs of staffers, the ever-shrinking content — and then understand that there’s a threat here, not just for those poor souls in a struggling business, but to you. The threat is of intellectual diminution.

Let’s start by rebuilding America

The next president, with Congress, will have to put aside stale ideology and engage the federal government in a crash program of job creation — the most potent way to reverse America’s economic decline and growing unemployment. Rebuilding and improving America’s rotting infrastructure — and esprit — will be one of his most potent tools, and the work can’t be exported overseas.

Our founding fathers knew best

While religion, particularly Christianity, played a key role in the settling of this country, the framers of the Constitution were concerned enough by the potential dangers of its influence on the government to mandate a separation of church and state. With a republic that is now growing rapidly in ethnic and religious diversity, the wisdom of their efforts is increasingly apparent.