Month: January 2017

Make America Good For Once

I owe an explanation to my loyal readers:  I’m not going Democrat or Republican, and I’m not suddenly anti-Trump any more than I am anti-Clinton.

The reason I’m here, saying the things I’m saying, is that nobody else seems to be doing it.  CNN and Fox News have stopped reporting what is and are each now spinning absurd fictions — not, I think, because they want to sway our opinions, but because they honestly can’t come to grips with the actual truth long enough to put it into words.

And the horrifying truth is, we’re all terrified and angry and disgusted because President Donald Trump is keeping his campaign promises (more…)

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The War On Bureaucracy Has Begun

It is now required that every new government regulation will require two to be marked for removal.

This is intended to reduce government bureaucracy and interference in existing systems.  In principle, it’s perhaps a good thing; we do, after all, have far too many laws and regulations on the books.  But in practice, this will be disastrous — which is why it’s never been successfully done before. (more…)

I Hate This Place: Revisiting Refugees, Pros and Cons

“I Hate This Place”
-Spider Jerusalem

“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy… One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives.

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.  Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable…”
-H.L. Mencken, “The Smart Set” (more…)

On Ruling The Cycle

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a candidate for president who was doing daily interviews and talk shows, doing his level best to get his message out and to snag any publicity he could manage.  His numbers were rising after a long slump, and he’d just gotten some good press from an over-the-top (more…)

On Pipelines And Oil

It’s been half a week since the Inauguration, and I for one am finding it hard to keep up.  Eventually, I hope to post an ongoing log of executive actions, signed bills, and other notable events, but for right now it’s still one by one, dealing with the most important things first.

And this is pretty important.

So it looks like the DAPL review is going forward at speed, and Keystone XL is semi-authorized.  That’s thanks to three executive actions yesterday.  They are three distinct (more…)

Food Stamp Reform (Oh, SNAP!)

One of the dangers we presently face is that, with now-President Trump doing or saying something outrageous every couple of days, we’re likely to lose track of the national dialogue on policy.  To resist that trend, let’s discuss something other than what’s happening right now but instead might happen soon.

The perennial Republican talking point on food stamps (actually SNAP these days) is that there’s widespread abuse.  To be fair, this is what their constituents want; vast numbers of calls and letters show up in their offices every single day complaining about this person who was buying junk food at a convenience (more…)

Be FOR Something

Yesterday, an unpopular man was inaugurated.  It was a nasty drizzly day, and we can’t blame the small crowds entirely on his unfortunate personality, but on the other hand the nation wasn’t exactly dancing in the streets.

But the news wasn’t the man.  It wasn’t what he said and what he did, or who came and who didn’t.  The big story was the carefully-orchestrated riot of a thousand protesters in downtown DC, the torched limo and broken windows and two hundred arrests and six injured cops.

And then the sun rose (more…)

Inauguration Protests: The Details

I’ve long believed that a President-elect shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a sitting President.  So when I tell you that Mr. Trump’s recent Twitter activity is lauding the efforts of a bunch of bikers who want to ride in and build a “wall of muscle” to protect the Inauguration, please understand that this is not a criticism of Mr. Trump’s decorum.  That starts Saturday.

Instead, I’d like to talk briefly about the different protests and counter-protests that we should expect both in the nation’s capitol and across the (more…)

Are We Right To Protest?

On Friday, we’ll inaugurate the most unpopular president since Lincoln.  An estimated million people will be going to the Capital in order to celebrate, and half again as many will be going to protest.

Some would say that, since he’s already been elected, there’s really no point to protesting.  But the purpose of the protests is to influence policy, and to demonstrate the power of an organized (more…)

On Reform

There’s tons of articles about Trump’s character, how he won the election, obstructionism then and now, and so on.  Yesterday the media message was all about fake news; right now the big thing is his cabinet confirmation process, and tomorrow there’ll be something else, depending on what people choose to be scandalized about.  But in the mean while, things will be happening, and we shouldn’t lose sight of them amid all the hype.

So let’s boil it down to essentials:  We’ve got a brand new president coming in, and his platform was Reform. (more…)