A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

The Right Lessons From a Tragic Drone Error

By 4.30.15

In the wake of revelations that a January 2015 drone strike targeting two senior al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan also tragically resulted in the deaths of two hostages — U.S. citizen Warren Weinstein, and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto, both aid workers — the Obama administration is apparently preparing to review its rules governing drone strikes. While it is imperative to understand what went wrong in this particular incident, it is also imperative that it not be used as a means to further constrain the drone program, which has proven an important tool and rare bright spot in what has been an otherwise poor track record for this administration when it comes to defending our national security interests.

A Further Perspective

Solar Amendment Goes to Court

By 4.28.15

Tampa
A proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution which would oblige the state to promote the use of solar energy is going to the Florida Supreme Court to see if its wording is proper.

Here’s how this one starts out: “It shall be the policy of the state to encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers.”

Wow. That’s enough to make hearts around Solyndra go pitty-pat. Oops. I guess it can’t. Because Solyndra is gone, as is the more than half a billion taxpayers’ dollars sunk into this ill-fated project. But with an open-ended mandate that would be created by the meat-axe language above, Florida could have its own Solyndras.

The group pushing the amendment, Floridians for Solar Choice, claims more than 85,000 certified signatures on their petition, enough to send it to the Supreme Court to determine if its language is clear and treats only a single subject. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has approved the amendment’s trip to Tallahassee.

A Further Perspective

Clinton Greed

By 4.27.15

(Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Linda Chavez.)

The Clintons have always had an uneasy relationship with money. Bill never had any. And although Hillary had a comfortable upbringing, she didn’t take the path to riches that her Yale Law degree might have provided, choosing instead to do public interest law right out of law school and marry a man with great political ambition.

But, clearly, both Bill and Hillary wanted the good life — and the money it takes to provide it. Nothing wrong with that, but the means by which they’ve enriched themselves have been unsavory at best. And all this makes suspicious the recent revelations that Bill and Hillary have become fabulously rich through the former president’s speeches paid by individuals, corporate interests and governments who stood to benefit from their relationship with a former president married to a U.S. senator who then became secretary of state.

A Further Perspective

It Won’t Be Hillary

By 4.24.15

Honestly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign won’t go any further than — if it even gets as far as — her ill-fated 2008 attempt at returning to the White House. After all, Clinton isn’t a more attractive candidate now than she was then, and after two terms of a failed Democrat president one would think it would require a candidate with real political skill to keep a Democrat installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Clinton, unlike her glib husband, has no such talent. Last week’s amateurish and clumsy “rollout” to her presidential bid showed she has no more aptitude for retail politics than she has for messaging. Want proof? This woman, who touched off guffaws nationwide by claiming she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House (with silverware in tow) in 2001, decided to offer herself as a champion of the little people as the key theme of her campaign.

A Further Perspective

Plus-Sized Paris

By 4.22.15

You’ve heard by now, haven’t you, of the new French law banning women with an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) from modeling?

The legislation, backed by the country’s Socialist Party, also makes it illegal to promote anorexia online, or even manipulate a photo to render a woman ultra-thin unless the photoshopping effort is made public. The move is meant to curb “excessive thinness,” which can result in “risk of mortality or damage to health.” Reuters reports on the measure which was earlier adopted by Israel:

The measure is part of a campaign against anorexia by President François Hollande’s government.

Models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg (121 lb) for a height of 1.75 meters (5.7 feet), before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.

A Further Perspective

Chaos in the Primaries

By 4.21.15

Painful as it is to realize that both the Democrats and the Republicans will still be holding their primaries a year from now, that is one of the high prices we pay for democracy.

Seldom does the initial “front-runner” in either party’s primaries end up being the actual candidate when election day rolls around. However, even if we cannot predict the outcomes of the primaries this far in advance, we can at least start trying to understand the candidates, the almost candidates and the people who are running just for the publicity.

One of the curious things this early in the process is that, while the Republicans’ three freshmen Senators — Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — have all had interviews on various television talk shows, veteran politician Hillary Clinton has been hiding out from real interviews by hard news reporters, as if she is afraid to be cross-examined.

A Further Perspective

The Manufactured Drought

By 4.20.15

California is in the third or fourth year of a drought. It is not the first one. There was one in the early ’90s that lasted about the same length of time.

Restrictions were placed on watering lawns, washing cars and so forth, but that was before Climate Change had been invented, so people took it in stride and, in time, the rains came again.

This year’s drought drew national attention when governor Jerry Brown called for a 25 percent reduction statewide in water use. Alas, the drought is unevenly distributed. On the north coast, rainfall is close to normal and there is enough water stored not only for this year, but also for another year or two. Where there is not enough water storage—and it is aggravating the effects of the drought—is the state’s great Central Valley. 

There has not been a new reservoir built as part of the statewide system in 35 years, thanks to the organized opposition of environmental zealots who claim that dams prevent salmon and trout from spawning. That is a diversionary argument. No dams means a reduction in economic activity such as agriculture. This is a goal the environmental zealots pursue non-stop.

A Further Perspective

Solution to Atlanta Cheating Scandal Is Education Freedom Accounts

By 4.17.15

Public reaction to eight Atlanta educators being sentenced to jail time has generated a separate controversy over whether the sentences are fair or excessive. I believe we should focus attention not on these adults, but on the truly injured parties — the students. The Atlanta cheating scandal is but a small part of a much larger scandal, the $600 billion spent annually in the U.S. by the governmental monopoly known as traditional public schools, which effectively cheats millions of students, especially low-income minority students, of an equal opportunity to a quality education.

A Further Perspective

O Rubio, Rubio, Wherefore Art Thou Rubio?

By 4.16.15

“We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., proclaimed in his presidential campaign kickoff Monday. It was impossible not to think of when Barack Obama in 2008 — a freshman senator with an impressive personal story — chose to challenge presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. She had supported President George W. Bush by voting in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq. By 2008, most Democrats opposed that war.

Rubio seemed especially Obama-esque when he took a swipe at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the erstwhile presumptive GOP front-runner.

Like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who also is a freshman senator and Cuban-American, Rubio tells an upbeat story of his immigrant parents’ embracing of the American dream. “He’s an optimistic, positive Republican voice,” opined Ruben Barrales of the Latino-GOP group Grow Elect. And: “Republicans need to focus on not being perceived as the party of ‘no.’“

A Further Perspective

Not As Stupid As They Think

By 4.14.15

Late last year, the name Jonathan Gruber became part of the public consciousness for his newly public declarations that Obamacare passed due to the “stupidity of the American voter.” While there are many cases one can cite affirming that most Americans don’t closely follow politics and/or the political process and, therefore, may be called “stupid,” the campaign to sell the manmade climate change crisis narrative proves otherwise.

We are smarter than they think. We are not buying what they are selling.

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