Another Perspective

Another Perspective

Pass the House Border Bill

By 8.1.14

Conservative and liberal media alike were all atwitter with Thursday’s midday news that the House of Representatives was going on its summer recess without passing a border-related bill because Republicans did not have the votes to pass it. The left was particularly pleased in the apparent inability of the new House leadership team to pass a relatively inexpensive bill that contained at least one conservative priority on an extremely visible issue.

Later in the day, we learned that Speaker of the House John Boehner and House GOP leadership are keeping the House in session until there is a vote on a bill, which may occur on Friday.

Boehner is right to do this, and the House should pass the bill under consideration.

According to Boehner’s office, key aspects of the House bill include that it:

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Whom Would Jesus Shoot?

By 7.30.14

This question is posed by a liberal Baptist Huffington Post columnist, and the answer has potential public policy ramifications for all.

It’s both a strength and weakness that Protestantism and Evangelicalism traditionally emphasize personal relationship with Jesus. The strength is that faith becomes intimate and warm. One potential negative is that it tends to focus on Jesus the man during His earthly walk while often unconsciously minimizing that Jesus, according to Christian theology, is the eternally existent Second Person of the Trinity.

The Christ of Christian faith was present at creation and present through all the drama of the patriarchs and prophets of the Hebrew narrative. God in Christ ordained kings, summoned nations, ordered generals into battle and presided over great and often violent events.

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Fences and Neighbors

By 7.28.14

President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras said, “We are neighbors and it’s best to remain friends with your neighbors,” as he arrived in Washington for meetings with his U.S. confrère in the presidents’ club this weekend. They are concerned about emigration and immigration, which are causing tensions and difficulties on the Rio Grande, the great river that forms our natural border with our neighbors. We too want to be neighbors, and in fact have little choice. They are there. We are here. They are so far from God, so close to the United States, as the Mexican proverb has it, we can tell them to complain to God, or better yet, get it through their heads that God helps those who help themselves, but since the surest and quickest way of helping themselves is to cross the Rio Grande, we have to face it: their problems are ours. So what do we do?

Our great poet Robert Frost provides sound advice: “Good fences make good neighbors.” He means this in several ways, including the neighborly bonds that are formed in a common project. Consider:

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My Father, L. Brent Bozell Jr.

By 7.25.14

As his title suggests (“An appreciation ….” TAS, July 4), Daniel J. Flynn’s review of Dan Kelly’s book Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell Jr. is meant as a salute and I’m grateful for that sentiment. But it’s also flawed. I suppose that reaction’s a normal one for the progeny of the person discussed, but in this case it’s serious enough to beg a response. I pre-emptively plead guilty to the charge of bias while underscoring that I also speak with authority.

Just one paragraph in this review is devoted to my father’s contributions to the modern conservative movement (which, he might joke were he still with us, is one paragraph too many). Less than two deal with his final years in service to the poor. Everything else in Mr. Flynn’s piece focuses on my father’s eccentricities, some which were nothing of the sort, and manic depression, which was very real. It is essential that both topics be discussed, but not this way.

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They Shoot Illegals, Don’t They?

By 7.17.14

There is a way to deal with the children, teenagers, and adults who are crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States.

Shoot them.

It is simple. It is straightforward. It is efficient. It is politically, strategically, legally acceptable. I am not sure about morally, but who is sure about anything morally these days?

There is no law that says the Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona National Guards cannot be mobilized to protect the hundreds of miles on our southern border that are violated daily by illegal immigrants. Reports differ, but recent estimates have close to a hundred thousand entries since the beginning of this year, most of them, we are told, from Central American countries.

There is no law, and no political wisdom, that says that if persons refuse direct orders to halt at a border crossing, you cannot stop them forcibly. It is widely acknowledged the world over that national sovereignty includes the right to defend recognized international borders.

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The Case for Ex-Im Bank

By 7.14.14

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, more commonly known as Ex-Im Bank, is fighting for its life, now that its eighty-year-old charter is up for renewal by Congress. The new leadership and conservative wing in the House of Representatives view Ex-Im Bank as an entitlement for private enterprise, an example of corporate welfare and so-called crony capitalism. But before overreacting, Congress should consider the facts about Ex-Im Bank’s mission to support American jobs, its performance, and the possible consequences of its demise.

In view of systemic bad credit practices, the economic meltdown, and the destruction of part of Wall Street in 2008, there is no shortage of sniping at anything with “bank” in its name, or for that matter, anything resembling a harbor for the one percent. When he was a presidential candidate, Barack Obama himself called Ex-Im Bank an example of corporate welfare, although in 2012 when he extended its existence for two years, he emphasized the need for American export competitiveness.

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National Service for Those Who Missed Out

By 7.10.14

Our armed forces have been stretched to the breaking point with the continuing commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Troops have experienced three and four combat tours and repeated extensions of their tours in country beyond what was predicted. Reenlistments are down and military recruiters are having trouble meeting their quotas. 

Various strategies are being devised to boost recruitment. The Pentagon has appealed for more generous GI benefits, and some time ago the Army raised the maximum age for recruitment from 35 to 42, the second time it has acted to broaden the pool of potential recruits.

Recently, the Air Force announced extension of the maximum age for enlistment from 27 to 39, meaning it may now be the best choice for those who feel the call to military service later in life. The Navy and Marines continue to cap recruit ages at 34 and 28, respectively.

Not to worry, your average 42 year old Army recruit can probably manage the rigors of basic training just fine. In fact, I know some 62 year olds who would put some young, flabby 18-year-old recruits to shame on the obstacle course and the dreaded ten-mile forced march with full field gear.

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The Other Daniel Allott

By 7.9.14

“Police name suspect Daniel Allott, wanted in connection with fatal stabbing” 

That was the headline that greeted me one morning in April. It dropped into my email inbox in the form of a Google Alert I’d set up to track where and when articles I write are published.

Of course, I knew I wasn’t the Daniel Allott the police were looking for. For one thing, I don’t make a habit of stabbing people. I also learned from the article that the stabbing had taken place in England, the country I was born in and frequently visit but hadn’t set foot in in over a year. Nevertheless, it was a little jarring to see my name associated with murder.

In the subsequent days, I received a series of Google Alert articles whose headlines shed some light on what happened next.

“Wanted man, Daniel Allott, arrested in Burton-on-Trent”

“Stafford man Daniel Allott charged with murder after death of Connan McLeod in Stone”

“Daniel Allott denies murder of Stone man Connan McLeod”

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Hillary’s Religious Hobby

By 7.3.14

A few years back I wrote book on the faith of Hillary Clinton. To this day it jolts liberals and conservatives alike that I, a principled Reagan conservative, would have written God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life, especially on the heels of books I did on the faiths of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

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Lt. Gen: ‘Putin Has Knocked the Pieces off the Board’

By 6.27.14

For a long time, we’ve been playing checkers while Putin has been playing chess, combining tactics with strategy and looking several moves ahead,” said the General. “In Ukraine, though, he’s done something wildly different, to which we have no real response. He has simply knocked the pieces off the board.”

The speaker, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, is the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which supports our combat operations everywhere. Commissioned as an Army intelligence officer in 1981, he served in that branch ever since, in many posts and deployments. A chest full of ribbons attests to his qualifications. He has sharply original points of view and he has not hesitated to shake up the organizations he commands. He is of medium height with short hair, has strong, lean features, and an intense expression. The modernistic DIA building where we met is on the Anacostia-Bolling air base, out beyond the Pentagon.