Great American Dumb Ideas column

Column by Julian I. Taber, Ph.D.
Great American Dumb Ideas, monthly column published every first Friday.
Great American Dumb Ideas: Teleligion
Television religion is a hugely profitable American business.   Organizations like Focus on the Family and the 700 Club beg and wheedle millions of dollars from Americans each year. They pay few taxes because Americans can't seem to realize on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Prohibition
Americans can't claim any special ability in thinking up dumb stuff. However, we do have a talent for carrying a dumb idea to the extreme. In the beginning When something bothers, hurts, or scares us, prohibition immediately comes to mind. The on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Christian Sunday school
In the beginning: In the beginning, we are all children; we all start out as wide-eyed, gullible, trusting children to be molded by the grown-ups. And what they want is people like themselves, people speaking the same language with the same beliefs, on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Atheists are Evil
It's time for me to come out of a dark closet. I am a proud non-believer, a better-than-thou, evangelical atheist, if you will. And that's not a comfortable position to take in the United States today where one is expected to pay polite attention to on

Great American Dumb Ideas: External Identity
In the beginning Most living creatures don't worry much about, "Who am I?" Humans do, of course, and sometimes we let it show. We want to know who we are and we want others to recognize us as unique. Americans didn't invent external identity. It's on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Gang Phobia
In the beginning America has a long history of gangsters, leaders of gangs that form in economically depressed urban areas. In human evolution, no behavior was more adaptive than a tendency to form close-knit work groups. The survival advantages on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Christmas
In the beginning   Carols and bells are incessant. Shoppers riot in stores for the latest gimmicks and toys. Credit card balances expand. Liquor and wine sales boom along with attempted suicides. The Post Office is swamped. The churches on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Sanctity of Life
In the beginning Most of the silly ideas I write about did not begin in the United States of America. It's just that this country is a hotbed in which dumb ideas can rage out of control and cause great social damage. A majority of Americans, on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Elder Blues
Fads in mental health diagnoses come and go. Something called Existential Neurosis was popular for a while, but seems to have lost some of its gloss in recent years. For a long time now, any high-energy, active child risked being diagnosed - often on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Debt-life
Money may be the root of all evil, but lack of it isn't far behind, and massive debt can be a living hell for many people. In the beginning In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Lord Polonius says: Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Writing Contests
In the beginning Publishers are swamped by submissions. Some publishers and literary agents get dozens of manuscripts and book proposals every day. Low level employees keep busy stuffing rejection slips into self-addressed return envelopes and on

Great American Dumb Ideas: Automatic Citizenship
During a meeting recently one of our most respected members announced that she had been awarded the status of a legal permanent resident of The United States. She would get what is called a "Green Card." There was applause, cheers and on

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