Pondering Pogo's Enemy: One Op-Ed at a Time

Pondering Pogo's Enemy: One Op-Ed at a Time

by Herb Van Fleet
Pondering Pogo's Enemy: One Op-Ed at a Time

Pondering Pogo's Enemy: One Op-Ed at a Time

by Herb Van Fleet


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As of July, 2016, I have had 50 op-ed columns published in the Joplin Globe, Joplin, Missouri, which began in 2009. Given that volume of material, I had, in effect, written a book. The question then became one of selecting which op-eds to include. After making the selections, I found that they could be divided into five categories:

• Economic Issues

• Governance and Democracy

• National Security

• Political Issues

• Social Issues

Regardless of the category, each of the Op-Eds here is my own reflection on certain aspects of our social institutions and culture. But the opinions, of course, came from my own worldview.

As the writing progressed and with the subject matter sometimes pointing to the stupid stuff people do, I often thought of the famous Pogo declaration, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Then the wheels started turning in my meager brain.

My pondering, contemplating, mulling, and cogitating about the human condition and expressing the same through a series of Op-Ed’s seemed to make sense. So, in keeping with this theme, I titled the book, “Pondering Pogo’s Enemy.”

I have selected some of what I think are the more interesting, diverse, and sometimes controversial of my commentaries to include here. Some of these appear as they were originally published. A number of others were expanded and revised as I had time.

Where I could, I added a few quotations pertinent to the topic that were not in the original piece to underscore and emphasize my point. I also added references as needed to identify the sources for the material that were not published due to restrictions on the word-count permitted by the Globe.

Of course, most of the commentary here is time-dependent and things will have likely changed by the time this book is read. There are statistics, for example, that were current at the time of the writing, but have not been updated.

Nonetheless, I hope the reader can just enjoy seeing another point of view. I hope, too, that these writings may also provide ideas for essays, or for research, or even for use in an op-ed or two.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532317606
Publisher: Op-Ed Publishing
Publication date: 12/05/2016
Pages: 148
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.32(d)

About the Author

Herb Van Fleet is a retired financial consultant and resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has had no formal training as a writer except in what few writing courses he took in college many,
many years ago. After retirement, Mr. Van Fleet considered writing a book, specifically on current events. Initially, he submitted a number of letters-to-the-editor to his local paper in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then started sending the LTE's to home town newspaper, the Joplin Globe. As those became longer and longer, the Globe started running them as op-eds. After more than 50 of those op-ed's, the book was born and it became Pondering Pogo's Enemy.

Table of Contents


1. 1 Blaming Henry Ford 1
1.2 Minimum Wage and Big Business 5
1.3 The Tragedy of Self-Interest 8
1.4. Drug Companies and Free Enterprise 14

2.1 Planning Seven Generations Ahead 18
2.2 What is the Power of We The People? 22
2.3 The 800-Pound Gorilla in the Room 26
2.4 The Right to Keep From Being Shot 31
2.5 Time to Quit Digging 33
2.6 How to Save a Drowning Man 36
2.7 So Long Democracy, We Knew Ye Well. R.I.P. 39
2.8 Thoughts on the Fourth of July 42
2.9 The Debt Ceiling Conundrum 46
2.10 Why Supreme Court Opinions Need a Supermajority 49

3.1 Terms and Conditions for Government Surveillance 56
3.2 No Place to Hide 61
3.3 The Snowden Controversy 65
3.4 War and Humanitarianism 68

3.5 Searching for the Least Worst Decision 71
3.6 Torturing America's Values 74
3.7 Chicken Little and the War on Terrorism in America 79

4.1 A New Star Chamber 82
4.2 From Russia With . . . Irony? 90
4.3 I Like IKE and So Should You! 93
4.4 Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health Care 97
4.5 When "Give 'em Hell" Truman Actually Gave 'em Hell 107

5.1 Oskar and Huck 111
5.2 Tribalism, Pluralism and Geronimo 113
5.3 Speaking of Broadcast Media and Free Speech 116
5.4 Predicting is Hard, Especially about the Future. 119
5.5 When Politically Correct is not Politically Correct 122
5.6 About the Death Penalty 125
5.7 About Marriage - Gay or Straight 129
5.8 Pro Life or Pro Birth? 132
5.9 Marriage Licenses and the Wall of Separation 135
5.10 The Conversation About Race 139

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