On governmental stimuli for child-rearing

As the rate of population growth in developed or developing countries decreases, governments interested in managing their financial risk for social programs quite often offer one short-sighted solution: financial stimuli for making more children. The idea is to increase the future tax base and cover the costs of running a country's social programs. It's what [...]

The best of times

Isn't it interesting how timeless and true good writing proves itself, even in our modern age, and even though it was originally intended for a different literary context? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of [...]

The answer to a great many questions of today

This post will seem to fall right out of nowhere for you, mainly because you haven't been privy to my thoughts in recent years -- how could you be, after all? It may also strike you as highly inconsiderate and you may even become angry with me. Let it be so. You will inevitably calm [...]

The need for true craftsmen

I filmed a short vlog today about the need for true craftsmen, which is becoming more apparent in developed countries pretty much everywhere. The more emphasis is placed on white collar jobs, IT and college degrees, the less people you have going to vocational schools in order to learn how to become craftsmen. Countries don't [...]

Beware of chimney sweeps in Romania

As cold weather begins to set in Romania, itinerant chimney sweeps begin to make their rounds. They'll come to the gate and offer to clean your chimneys, or they'll use lines like "We're here from our head office, we've been sent down to check and clean your chimneys," which of course is a bold-faced lie. [...]

Child rape survivor saves young girls in Zimbabwe

So happy to hear about the good work Betty Makoni is doing in Zimbabwe. She's put together a support network for rape victims. Child rape survivor saves 'virgin myth' victims - CNN.com Witch doctors (so-called traditional healers) have spread the rumor that a man can be cured of AIDS if he rapes a virgin. So [...]

The Italian road trip

We came back yesterday morning from a wonderful week-long road trip through Italy. We started out in Pisa last Wednesday, February 18th, and returned from that same city yesterday, on February 25th. Before we left, we mapped out a circular route that cut through the following regions: Toscana, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Marche, Abruzzo, and Lazio. [...]

Good vs. bad globalization

As I traveled around Europe, I saw globalization in action, and made the following observations. Being able to drive through various countries without needing to go through customs checks at the borders was wonderful. Unencumbered travel is a great experience. The preservation of local or national cultures is of the utmost importance as people from [...]

Migratory state of being

Every single day, I go around with a little pain in my heart. It's the sort of pain that only certain people can understand. These people are called immigrants. Sometime this month, a familiar date will pass, and I'll know that I've been in the States for 17 years. I've been a naturalized citizen for [...]