Stripper wigs and bizarre makeup aside, the great costumed one — Lady Gaga, that is — just may be a genius. Yes, a genius I say, and a political genius at that.

“There is nothing that’s more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate,” began MacKenzie McHale, one of the primary characters in Aaron Sorkin and HBO’s new journalism-based TV series, “The Newsroom.” “When there is no information, or worse, wrong information,” McHale continued, “it can lead to calamitous decisions and clobber any attempts at vigorous debate.”

“People suck” is a thing we’ve all heard said and have probably said ourselves. Indeed, it seems that integrity is a personal quality that is often cast aside when someone finds themselves in a difficult situation, when their personal interest is threatened or when they stand to benefit from something unjustly. History, of course, provides us with ample examples of good living so we aren’t doomed to repeat it.

Without sound, the shadow rapidly advanced over the ground until onlookers across the world were cast into the darkness. The crowd looked up towards the sun, watching through special filters and pinhole cameras while for the first time in many years the moon came between the earth as it did during the recent solar eclipse.

“Freedom of the press, or, to be more precise, the benefit of freedom of the press, belongs to everyone, to the citizen as well as the publisher. ... The crux is not the publisher’s freedom to print; it is, rather, the citizen’s right to know,” said Arthur Sulzberger, former publisher of The New York Times.

Revolutionary thinker Thomas Jefferson said, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

Zealous proponents of political correctness and the man-hating variety of femi-Nazis get all hot and bothered when the subject of manliness comes up. Manliness carries with it a set of stereotypes, many of which change actual manliness into its unsavory and repugnant cousin, male chauvinism, which justifiably attracts the ire of those sensitive to such things.

Quiz a dozen different people about what they think politics is and you're likely to get a dozen different answers, though all almost certainly with at least some degree of cynicism.

Thomas Jefferson held the basic belief that the United States ought to trade with all nations who would trade with us, and avoid treaties with one nation at the cost of another. Jefferson learned this was sometimes easier said than done when trying to deal with Britain and France, who we wanted as allies but were both at war with one another during his presidency.

For some of you, this Friday will be your last day as a college student. I congratulate you and wish you well. But I do so with a touch of sadness, for as a returning student I know better than most just how special this time is.

Last week I wrote an article regarding the need for a classical liberal education as part of a citizen's duty to most effectively participate in their governance. I asserted that education has transitioned away from classical liberal principles and toward the vocational. I cited Iowa State's focus on engineering as an example of vocational schooling and condemned the focus on one subject as being detrimental to citizenship.

Once upon a time in America, primary schools tended to offer a wide variety of subjects, from mathematics to physics, from philosophy to literature, from history to civics. Practical education was there, with things such as farming and economics being covered too. It was not uncommon 100 years ago to find a 15-year-old learning about meteorology for planting crops while also reading John Locke.

Author’s note: On the night of Sept. 27, I had the privilege to ride with presidential candidate Ron Paul on his trip to the airport to fly home. For about 30 private and unscripted minutes, I had the 12-term congressman to myself. The results of that interview comprise more information than possible to convey in a single column, so the story has been broken into segments, of which this is the fifth and last.

Note: On the night of Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, I had the privilege to ride with presidential candidate Ron Paul on his trip to the airport to fly home. For about 30 private and unscripted minutes, I had the 12-term congressman to myself. The results of that interview comprise more information than possible to convey in a single column, so the story has been broken into segments, of which this is the fourth.

Author's note: On the night of Sept. 27,, I had the privilege to ride with presidential candidate Ron Paul on his trip to the airport to fly home. For about 30 private and unscripted minutes, I had the 12-term congressman to myself. The results of that interview comprise more information than possible to convey in a single column, so in the interests of fairness to the reader and appreciation to Dr. Paul for the opportunity, the story has been broken into segments, of which this is the third.

"[T]he message of freedom is important," was one of the first things Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul said to me during my private interview with him on Sept. 27. Nicknamed by many as the "Modern Thomas Jefferson," he has spent more than two decades in Congress doing his best to adhere to the limitations placed on the federal government by the Constitution. But the congressman quickly dismisses any credit for his positions, insisting that he's just following the rule…

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