Even In Death, John McCain Gives Us Something To Think About

Today, John McCain will be laid to rest at the US Naval Academy Cemetery. Services were held in AZ, where he had his home and who he represented in the Senate for several terms. For those who paid attention, John McCain left all of us a lesson even in death. Continue reading “Even In Death, John McCain Gives Us Something To Think About”

Does Anyone Really Still Think The New York Times Is ‘Journalism’?

The New York Times announced days ago that it had hired Sarah Jeong to serve on its editorial board. Normally such an announcement would not be that noteworthy, except that Jeong has a history-and a relatively recent history-of inflammatory racist comments on social media. Continue reading “Does Anyone Really Still Think The New York Times Is ‘Journalism’?”

Is Violence the Issue or Just Gun Violence?

The debate over violence cannot be solved with sound bites and pre-conceived, emotional reactions…

The shooting and killing at YouTube Headquarters this week was done in a state with the most strict gun control laws in the nation, by a foreign-born, vegan who spoke out against the ‘murder of animals’ (but apparently didn’t put humans on the same level) who did not use any automatic weapons.

Today, a series of seven  attacks in ninety minutes (a attempted mass murder, would we agree?) in London were done by a knife.

Earlier this week, two bombs were detonated in a Sam’s Club in southern California.  Fortunately, no one was injured in the blasts.

None of the examples this week fit the standard narrative, and so have resulted in much less ‘cries for action’ because the solutions aren’t that simple.

Two weeks ago, a serial bomber exploded five bombs in nineteen days in Austin, TX and was planning another until police caught him.  Several people were killed and more were injured.

The problem with violence we are seeing is a societal and social problem, which are complex. The problem is not how many things are nearby that can hurt someone, as those are varied and abundant and always have been.

 

 

 

The Russians Are Still Coming

A year later and Russia still dominates the news around US elections.  Investigations and political maneuvering over Russian influence in the last presidential continue at full tilt.  The partisan wrangling, as tragically is often the case, makes it hard to get to the real heart and findings of the problem.  But what we should be doing is just that—trying to find out exactly what happened.  That means that we should search for the truth, regardless of where that takes the search and who is involved.   If you are one that doesn’t agree then you can stop reading-justice is not the priority to you and you won’t agree with anything else. Continue reading “The Russians Are Still Coming”

Friday Quick Takes–It’s Taxing

End of the week quick takes focus on comments about the recently passed tax plan.  Some different perspectives and…interesting opinions in this edition…

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who served during the Obama Administration, said that the recent tax bill was a ‘ticking time bomb’ because of the large increase in the national debt that will result.

That is a very legitimate concern and the largest drawback to law Over 10 years, even if optimistic estimates of increased economic growth play out, the debt will increase by hundreds of billions of dollars (the initial estimate by the CBO is $1.5 trillion). At some point, that will have to be addressed.

However, it’s ironic and strangely odd that this concern would come from the Treasury Secretary who helped form economic policy during an Administration where the national debt doubled, rising roughly $10 trillion, in 8 years.

But That’s My Money!

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that the recently passed tax reform bill was bad, in part, because it unfairly penalized high tax states by limiting the deduction for state taxes to $10,000. Well, yes, yes it does.

Or said another way, others will no longer be subsidizing people from high tax states by allowing them to pay less in federal taxes.

There is, of course, one obvious solution: stop having such high taxes.

 

That is just too much to consider for Cuomo.  So he has announced that he is having the state of New York sue the federal government in an attempt to invalidate the law, saying its unconstitutional.   Unconstitutional?  How is that, you may ask.  Good question, but that has sort of become ‘the thing’ to do when you disagree with a law may threaten to not give you as much money as you have started to feel entitled to getting.

So, we have one government suing another government, taking up a courts time and resources because…well, because it’s so important to settle the question of who gets more of the taxpayer’s money.

Battle for the Soul of Conservatism

There is a battle for the soul of conservatism.  Conservatives are being drawn separate ways in today’s political world and the division risks changing one of the fundamentals of a movement grown by early torchbearers such as William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan and others who made modern conservatism the political force it is today.

Much has been made of the difference between President Trump and so-called ‘establishment’ Republicans—President Trump representing the nationalist, somewhat isolationist wing compared to the more traditional and expansive US policy.

Donald Trump was elected as a reaction to an out of control politically correct rampage by an Administration where the Secretary of State said that global warming was the greatest threat to national security while ISIS terrorist attacks struck worldwide.   Where making sure there were ‘gender neutral’ bathrooms was more important than fighting readiness on Navy ships.

But the fight for the soul of the conservative movement isn’t about whether we should follow a “US first’ policy or should be more internationalist, or whether to take a more hard line on immigration or some other policy point.  The real battle for the soul of conservatism boils down to one thing:  whether conservatives have decided that power is worth any cost? Continue reading “Battle for the Soul of Conservatism”