As anyone knows who has read more than a half-dozen or so of these “Skeptic’s” columns over the years, especially those emphasizing some aspect of history, one of my all-time favorite quotes is by the German historian and philosopher of history G. W. F. Hegel: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history,” an assertion no less true for being facially self-contradictory. A simpler, more colloquial, and less high-falutin’, way of saying the same thing is “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”. Many of the comments, predictions, and prognostications being bandied about by the liberal / progressive community in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections sorely tempts me to conclude that, having lost the last presidential election, progressives have a
This "Skeptic's Collection" column was first published in October of 2014. But in light of the recent mass shootings in, e.g., Las Vegas, NV, Sutherland Springs, TX, and Parkland, FL, it seems appropriate to reprint it now, especially given that the bravery, eloquence, and conscience of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the latter city seem to have eventuated -- at least so we may hope -- a kind of moral conversion of the public debate on gun control. This column may well also be published as an essay in the Be-Zine, the other e-periodical for which I write. That is quite all right. To quote Mao Zedong: "Let a hundred flowers bloom". I want to add my modest impetus to the newly "woke" consciousness regarding the Second Amendment.
A well-regulated militia,
This is going to sound really strange coming from me, but … (deep breath) … Donald Trump is right about due process. Granted, "due process" is probably just a phrase Trump overheard on an episode of Law and Order, or maybe from one of his cadre of attorneys. But the source being whatever it may, when you're right, you're right. The US Constitution guarantees due process prior to the deprivation of “life, liberty, or property”. For that reason alone, Trump is right, even if only in a stopped-clock-twice-a-day manner, about the criticality of due process. Furthermore, we should understand a few things up front, one about professional relationships between men and women, another about free speech, and third about the economics of legal defense and the implications for the practical avail