Our beloved federal government.
This nation's single-largest entity, biggest industry and most omnipresent institution. It is the "thing" that controls more aspects of American life than anything else.
And if it stays on its present course, it will eventually destroy the United States of America as we know it. Just as our Founding Fathers predicted it would.
Does "consent of the governed" still exist in this country?
That’s a valid question, given the state of affairs in 2014 America. The very fact the question is being asked in certain circles indicates that more than a few of us believe the answer is “no." As in, we the people no longer approve of this government's authority.
Next time you take a dyed-in-the-wool liberal out to breakfast – something I don’t necessarily recommend – take special notice of the sweetener packet she uses for her coffee.
If she's the really crunchy variety, chances are she'll pick either sugar (especially the brown, “unrefined” kind if it's available) or something “organic” like stevia. When it’s your turn to thumb through the sweetener caddy, pick a packet of the pink, blue or yellow artificial stuff.
A few years ago I interviewed a physiologist whose research is dedicated to fighting the unhealthy effects of obesity, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
His university laboratory focuses on a hormone that slows muscle growth in aging adults. He found that inhibiting the production of this hormone in populations of mice genetically engineered to be overweight greatly reduced the adverse health effects obesity would ordinarily cause.
Here’s something cops should add to their list of roll-call platitudes: “Remember, it’s legal for citizens to record you.”
Slip it in between the usual litany of stock phrases – be safe out there tonight, let’s take down some perps, etc. It just might save the department a bunch of money in legal fees and out-of-court settlements.
Smart people can do some pretty dumb things.
Exhibit A: Our federal government's executive branch.
Obama & Co. are the smartest people in this big room we call America. This is true because a bunch of people who work for a handful of media companies have told us so every single day since Jan. 20, 2009.
Every. Single. Day.
A Washington public-policy expert spoke not too long ago at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce's economic luncheon.
His topic was immigration reform. Anyone in the audience hoping for a talk advocating more aggressive border enforcement and increased deportation of illegal aliens was probably a little disappointed by the time they dug their forks into the vegetable medley.
My colleagues and I were talking the other day about how we became conservative.
Our collective answers indicated our conservatism was forged mostly through two natural life processes - having children and gaining wisdom through age.
There's certainly nothing like kids and getting older to sharpen the conservative blade in your Swiss army knife. But if this were universally true, every parent would be a conservative who, theoretically, grew stauncher with age.
So there's obviously more to it than that.
Meet Jeb, 53, a third-generation wheat farmer in rural Oklahoma.
He's married, has three children and oversees a 600-acre operation that employs several migrant workers. He's a deacon at his church, an ambassador for his local chamber of commerce and treasurer of his county's Republican Party.
Now meet Sheila, 27, a single mother of two in urban New Jersey.
Many years ago, I hoped the reality TV fad would die.
Now I no longer care. I’ve become quite adept at avoiding reality-based programming. And by that I mean I no longer turn on my television. There’s no need to; I have no cable or satellite service.
The only action my thoroughly unsexy, non-high-def, weighs-a-ton TV gets is a hookup with my children’s video game consoles and a “leaf”-style digital antenna that would let me pick up over-the-air emergency broadcasts in case I happen to be home when Armageddon strikes.