In the post below I expounded on the Law of Unintended Consequences, using an episode of my service with the U.S. Army as an example. The Law is a universal constant, a great crocodile which bites in all directions and nips all whose attentions wander.
It says that any action – done with the best (or worst) of intentions and the cleverest of planning – is liable to backfire in ways that cannot be foreseen and are rarely appreciated.
The Law flexed its jaws again as April waned in 1952, and communists around the world prepared to celebrate May Day, Continue reading
One of the most powerful regulations in human affairs — bettering perhaps the influence of laws governing gravity and thermodynamics — is the Law of Unintended Consequences. It is that immutable rule which holds that an act, done with the finest of intentions, may return to bite its unhappy author in the butt. It works equally well if one’s goals are honorable, or the opposite.
I watched this law in action on a massive scale while serving with the Army in Japan from 1951-1953. Contrary to the opinions of academics, intellectuals, politically-correct columnists, and other mush-brained types, the U.S. Army is loaded with good intentions, which it pursues with great ferocity to the point of imbecility. Continue reading
Marriage is the toughest human institution — it’s always been pretty much the way it started out, no matter how much legendary claptrap is hung upon it.
Take the first marriage, the biblical story of Adam and Eve, a beautiful analogy to the life of a modern couple: they get hitched, sin against the laws of economics, load up their credit cards with debt, lose their clothes and wheels, and are finally kicked out of their condominium. In biblical terms they get off light. Nobody earns his bread anymore by the “sweat of his brow.” But our Generation X pair probably had to park their cat with a vet, and eschew fine wines, until things looked up again. Continue reading
Long-range weather forecasts these days leave me running hot and cold.
Frozen Greenland is warming up and dumping its ice into the Atlantic Ocean, which is rising. Are we doomed, lungs full of carbon dioxide, panting our last as we tread water? On the other hand, are advancing monstrous glaciers about to chase us all into Florida and Cuba?
Let’s take a little longer view, using the findings of paleoclimatology, an obscure field of study which tracks the marks weather has made during earth’s history. Paleoclimatology draws on the talents of: archaeology, Continue reading
How do you stand on the subject of capital punishment, the death penalty?
Many will assault your ears with opinions on this subject at the least encouragement. Debating teams jaw about it endlessly, when they aren’t dissecting the Electoral College, or determining whether global warming is real or myth. Editorial writers don’t even have to be asked. But how many folks who flap their lips on this subject have ever attended an execution?
My own education in this particular phase of crime and punishment took place in 1957 when I was reporting for the State Times, a daily newspaper of record in Jackson Mississippi. The city editor called me aside one day to ask Continue reading