A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

One More Reason to Dislike Him

By 1.21.14

In a wide-ranging interview with the New Yorker, President Obama characteristically saw fit to cast aspersions on those who disagree with him. Obama told David Remnick:

There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who really just dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.

Now it’s true that Obama went on to say that there are many voters, both black and white, who give him the benefit of the doubt on account of his race. What this indicates is a man who sees everything in terms of race. Or put another way, Obama views the world in black and white.

As I write this, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. My dislike of President Obama isn’t a matter of the color of his skin, but rather because of the content of his character or lack thereof.

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A Further Perspective

America’s Bipartisan Political Class

By 1.20.14

America is a class-based society. But based on politics, not economics. An elite political class runs the state to their benefit. The rest of us pay the bill.

The differences between the assumptions and values of people within and without Washington’s 68 square miles of fantasy long have been on ostentatious public display. For example, for years Congress routinely exempted itself from rules imposed on everyone else. The Republican-controlled Congress in 1994 theoretically stopped that.

However, legislative privilege never really ended. The Democrats’ health care “reform” became the latest example of elite privilege. Never mind the endless rules exemptions and multiple deadline postponements. Most dramatic was the tender treatment of those in the capital who approved the measure despite being opposed by those outside the capital.

Critics of Obamacare successfully pushed an amendment requiring congressmen and congressional staffers to purchase their health insurance through the new government exchanges. Being tossed from their special plans meant the end of federal subsidies, which run $5,000 annually for individuals and $11,000 for families.

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A Further Perspective

The Oscar Game

By 1.16.14

Celebrity behavior may be rather unpredictable — who knew a weakling like Justin Bieber could do $20,000 in damage throwing eggs at a Calabasas mansion — but celebrity awards programs, generally, are not. The 2013 Oscar nominations announced today, however, feature a number of surprises. Oprah will have no excuse to snub Academy Awards red carpet reporters, as she was snubbed by the Academy itself. Chris Martin will not be looking dejectedly at the camera as Bono picks up a shiny new toy for his mantle. Tom Hanks does not even need to show up. And the producers of Jackass can now put the words “Academy Award nominated” in front of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

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To Each According to His Delusions

By 1.15.14

The latest faux issue to insinuate itself into our political polemics travels under the unedifying name of “income inequality.” As political abstractions go, this one is more incoherent than most. (Shabbier too in its naked appeal to envy and resentment.) Almost no one who uses the term says what he means by it. But it has the ring of yet another incitement to leftist larceny.

Since President Obama heaved this dead cat into the room a few weeks ago, I’ve been waiting for anyone speaking for the Republican Party to say that this hustle is nothing more than Marxist boilerplate. Since no one in the Grand Old Party has either the courage or the awareness to say this, I guess it’s up to me.

If income inequality is the problem, then income equality is the goal. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, to coin a phrase (or to each according to his or her fanciful desires, if we are to adopt the Sandra Fluke addendum to the original Marx). 

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Inequality in a Crony Capitalist World

By 1.14.14

If popes and presidents have anything to do with it, 2014 looks set to be the “Year of Inequality.” Already the rehashing of old, old arguments has begun in earnest. Economists, for instance, are re-disputing the inequality statistics. Others are re-debating perennial philosophical questions such as what we mean by inequality and (depending on the meaning) whether it’s always a bad thing.

You don’t, however, have to join most of the contemporary academy in worshiping at the altar of the prophet of modern liberal egalitarianism, the late John Rawls, to recognize that some seriously unjustifiable inequities do characterize virtually all modern societies. And one such injustice, though rarely spoken about in these terms by many politicians (for reasons that will become obvious), is the rise and rise of crony capitalism.

Crony capitalism is an expression that’s used a great deal these days, so let’s be clear what it means. Crony capitalism is not criminal activity or outright corruption — though it verges on, and often enters, these spheres. Crony capitalism is about hollowing-out market economies and replacing them with what may be described as political markets.

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Contrite Christie

By 1.9.14

When it first emerged that Barack Obama lied about policy cancellations under Obamacare last year, Governor Chris Christie had some advice for the president: “Don’t be so cute,” he told Jake Tapper, “and when you make a mistake, admit it.”

Today, Christie had to practice what he preached. After initially denying that his administration had any knowledge of a suspiciously timed lane closure in Fort Lee, N.J., emails surfaced showing that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, encouraged a member of the Port Authority to cause “traffic problems.” The closures, allegedly for a traffic study, resulted in massive gridlock on the already torpid George Washington Bridge.

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Renaming the Redskins

By 1.9.14

Always ready to meddle in other people’s business, the Washington Post in a recent editorial advised Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to start 2014 by changing the name of the team. Though a new national poll shows that 71% of Americans oppose a name change for the team and only 18% want a change, the Post as usual sided with the offended minority and demanded that “Redskins” be sacked.

When I think of the Washington Post, the phrase “dumb as a post” often comes to mind, but that is neither here nor there. As a traditionalist and a conservative, I tend to resist change and honor the past, so Redskins is fine with me. The recent editorial, however, got me thinking about what name the team might adopt if Snyder decides that being politically correct would be a prudent (money-making) move to make. I took my inspiration from the team names currently in use in the National Football League, pondering either similar names or opposites.

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Predictions: A Postscript

By 1.8.14

This being the time of year for looking back and looking ahead, many have made their predictions for the coming year; most dealing with the premise that Obamacare will be the straw that finally breaks the liberals backs, revealing in all too painful detail that big government cannot be trusted. I do think that the Democrats have overplayed their hand, and that the GOP will retake the Senate and hopefully roll back the socialist tide that has engulfed our nation. So, with these predictions I heartily agree. But permit me to add a couple of my own for the not-too-distant future.

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Entrepreneurship, North Korea Style

By 1.7.14

North Korea long has been called the “Hermit Kingdom,” largely sealed off from the rest of the world. Although the North’s isolation has eased in recent years, it still resembles “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” as Winston Churchill famously described the Soviet Union. For instance, no one is sure what to make of the execution of the young leader’s uncle and one-time mentor Jang Song-taek. 

However, the latest turmoil provides an important entrepreneurial opportunity for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The country is one of the poorest on earth, with constant hunger and occasional starvation, which killed hundreds of thousands of people in the late 1990s. In fact, Jang was tasked with promoting economic development and denounced for having “seriously obstructed the nation’s economic affairs and the improvement of the standard of people’s living” and “making it impossible for the economic guidance organs including the Cabinet to perform their roles.” 

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A Further Perspective

Farewell 2013, With Cheers

By 12.31.13

Why all the grouching and complaining about 2013? Was it that bad? In the perspective of the long record of human folly and perversity? In comparison with 1941 or ’42? With reference to the year our forces marched into an ambush at a place called Kasserine, or less than 10 years later, when they very nearly were over run by Chicom hordes streaming across the Yalu River? Buck up, people! There have been worse moments in the Republic’s epic history, and it would not be epic were there no occasions to fear for its success and even survival.

By any objective reckoning, the trials and disappointments of 2013 are little more than slight dips in the forward march of American civilization. We may be dismayed by the spectacle of a federal government that seems like nothing so much as an obese slob on a binge, eating and drinking and farting to such a degree he cannot even recognize what an embarrassment he is to his friends and family, but there are students of our national story who think this is not unusual. Our government rises to the occasion when the situation becomes really dire, and the rest of the time it just plods along.

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