A Vision

My face was three inches from his face, max. I couldn’t tell for sure on account of the darkness, it being night and we being lightless, an “oversight.” He was on his back; I on my side. He doesn’t get my puns—the light/oversight thing. I’d taught him the word breeze earlier, my euphemism for the …

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Taxpayers Rejoice

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, signed by none other than rascally leprechaun Bill Clinton himself, provided some curious incentives, as it turned out, that we might do well to remember. Coupled with the Balanced Budget Act, TRA of 1997 arguably helped to create the much heralded—and in many ways miraculous—federal budget surpluses starting in …

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What Does “Stabilizing Housing Prices” Mean?

An American walks into a bank and obtains a mortgage loan he can’t afford—be it an ARM, interest only, or even a 30-year fixed. Because of the risky loan, he’s able to pay more for a house than he otherwise would have. If he hadn’t obtained a mortgage on the house he wanted, it seems …

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What Rough Beast Slouches Toward Bethlehem to Be Born?

I’m in the process of being bludgeoned by three media whales – Ike, Obama vs. McCain, and the meltdown of the financial sector. I can’t check my electronic mail or turn on public radio without encountering “news” about them, and I’ve descended into a sort of meta-panic, not about the “news” but about the fact …

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Learning Curves

How Differential Calculus and Reading Employ the Same Skill We build too many walls and not enough bridges. -Sir Isaac Newton It’s fairly widely known, and confirmed in an old NFL Films piece, that former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swan studied ballet in the off-season. I’m sure some of his teammates who spent their free months …

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Poem for Heather's birthday

This is one of the poems that prompted a classmate of mine at Notre Dame to proclaim that love poetry died with John Keats in 1821.  This desperate vitality reminds me to be grateful you were born and encourages me to love you better: Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art– Not in …

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Sharing

Parents who bring their toddlers to public places like libraries and beaches tend to make a big show, when their child inevitably purloins another kid’s toy and starts playing with it, of encouraging their own child to share and be nice and let the kid who had been chewing, for example, on the plastic toy …

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Pied Beauty

If you find yourself on Lake Lonely near Saratoga, you see two distinct shorelines, different in many ways. To the south lie the manicured lawns and square-cornered docks of lakefront properties, each separated neatly from the next, cultivated and carved into a perfect waterfront dream house like you see in magazines. Some aren’t yet complete, …

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Saturday in Saratoga

S: Driving around today, I saw five or so blacks fishing off the bridge on the north side of the lake. The white people were, presumably, driving the boats on the lake itself. R: How many African-Americans, did you say? S: ‘bout five of them fishing, I’d say about five blacks. R: Imagine that. S: …

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