This past week, we came to know the meaning of "Polar Vortex." The cold converged on Midwest and the Eastern regions of the country without mercy. Health issues became a matter of life and death for humans and other animals. Frostbite was threatening exposed skin. Schools were closed, and people were told to stay indoors. More than 1,000 flights were canceled. It was too dangerous for the news reporters to continue reporting on how dangerous it was. If some of us had forgotten words like "Fahrenheit" and "hypothermia," we remembered them in a hurry.
There's little debate among academic economists about the effect of minimum wages. University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He reports that 85 percent of the studies "find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers." A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers.
A friend recently wrote me, "What the 'Duck Dynasty' affair means to me is that, finally, some have had the courage to say 'ENOUGH' within the context of the media."
Just three days after Christmas, I ventured into a store and was greeted by a massive display of pulmonary confectionery: Valentine's Day candy in heart-shaped boxes, as it's known on the streets. I marvel at the power of capitalism and its never-ending push for the next source of revenue, but seeing Valentine's candy while the Christmas tree is still glowing is just too much!
Before President Barack Obama's health-care law was passed, Americans were frustrated that insurance companies had too much control over the medical care they received. Now, Americans are frustrated that the government has too much control.
The discord between Democrats and Republicans regarding the three-month extension of unemployment benefits will be used by the Democrats for political fodder against the Republicans, if Republicans let them.
Here's the Samuel Hay Chronology, as best I can remember:
One of the fundamental gaps between the American people and their elected politicians can be found in perceptions of the relationship between economic growth, job creation and government spending.
The runaway train has again picked up speed fueled by government's out of control spending. You certainly won't read this in the major media this week.
Campaigning and courting have something in common, I've decided. Both are built on fevered promises made at the height of passion. You know the lingo: "I'll never (whatever)." Or: "I'll always (whatever)." Or: "I promise (whatever)." "You can (always) count on me." "You'll be my top priority (forever)." "You'll (always) come first." "(Your) wish is my command." "I will (never) compromise my pledges to you." "There will (never) be a day in your life when you will question my commitment to you."
At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don't always coincide.)
The Heartland Woman's Club will hold its 21st croquet tournament Saturday at Oxford College on the field behind the tennis courts. The tournament is for novices and anyone can learn to play in less than three minutes. Teams of two players usually play at least five matches which last around 20 minutes each, and team members are treated to breakfast, lunch and prizes. There will also be a silent auction.
"School stinks!" How many times have you heard that from a kid with too much homework and not enough weekend? I'm sure every student has said it at some point, and I'm beginning to think the kids may be right, but not in the way you might be thinking and certainly not in the way they intend it.
Listen, you and I both know that using profanity is an ugly and immature thing to do. However, a cuss word or two, when the situation calls for it, can be an unavoidable sin. Let's say you just dropped a 50 foot oak tree with your new chainsaw, and you watched in horror as the tree crushed your house, which was just 40 feet away. That would justify a pretty good blast of profanity and no one would reprimand you - at least, not until you turned the chainsaw off. So, I'm not unrealistic. I know there are times ...
Just in case you missed this, a study conducted by a psychologist at Cornell University determined incompetent people are too stupid to know they are incompetent.
The federal government in Washington has grown to the level where it is dominating all aspects of our lives. The answer is in our own backyards. The states have the power to stop "Obamacare" and all other forms of out-of-control federal government mandates and overregulation from all agencies. If states want nothing to do with National Healthcare as proposed by Barack Obama or Congress, then they should refuse it.
Would you agree that television's highest rated reality show since the dawn of that egregious genre's debut has been this year's Republican presidential primary campaign? Who in their right minds consented to all those debates where facts were given hiatus, mud was the medium of discourse and lies and distortions cascaded in a verbal and suffocating avalanche? One came away not only questioning one's sanity for watching, but also that of the candidates whose performances were subjected to the microscopic review of the 24/7 press corps, as is required. The unrelenting review of every parsed ...
I lived next door to my mother-in-law for over 25 years. From the top of her blonde, blue-eyed head to the bottom of her pointy-toed high heels, she was a true Southern belle and a steel magnolia. All five foot two inches of her. Actually I think that she exaggerated her height an inch or two; she was a petite woman.
Dear Public School Teachers: The "school choice" crowd in the General Assembly is after you again. I am beginning to think this is all your fault.
Lent began this week on Feb. 22. It ends April 8 with the celebration of Easter. In the Christian tradition, the Lenten period is a time of fasting and prayer, preparation and reflection in anticipation of Easter, which commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Winter is waning and baseball season is upon us.
So there we were last Sunday evening, huddled in PJ's on the couch, jockeying for space with a dog that thinks the couch belongs to him alone. We were waiting eagerly, even breathlessly, for the trumpets that would announce the beginning of the last episode of the season for "Downton Abbey" on PBS. No doubt about it, we've joined the millions of Downton devotees who find themselves completely hooked - addicted, even - to the upstairs/downstairs fortunes of the aristocratic Grantham family and its household staff residing in a magnificent Yorkshire mansion in a period of time that began ...