Category 4. Government

Bleak Thoughts

I went on a bicycle ride with a close friend this morning. Our route took us along beautiful – and quiet – country roads. The sky was blue, the air was warm, the leaves were just starting to turn and the conversation was, well, really depressing. Most CH posts reflect my generally up-beat disposition; this one will not.

I kicked off the big picture part of our conversation with the observation that while my most recent post had ended on an optimistic note – that ‘one of democracy’s greatest strengths … is that it fosters orderly course corrections as voters come to new understandings about what does and doesn’t work’, and a quote from Winston Churchill about America always eventually finding its way, subsequent reflections have dampened my optimism.

I was thinking about...

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Nighty Night, Little Knights

By now you have doubtless read about the letter signed by numerous former high-ranking members of the intelligence community decrying President Trump’s revocation of MSNBC commentator John Brennan’s security clearances, or seen the hilariously funny clip (https://youtu.be/udblJfjYttI) of former CIA analyst Phil Mudd, now employed by CNN, exploding in anger at the very suggestion that he and others like him might also lose theirs.

Apparently, security clearances are viewed by many former government officials as rights belonging to them. They think they get to know about things that we mere peasants do not because, … because those are their rights as (former) knights of the realm...

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Abortion and The Role of Government

I really don’t think you care what I think about abortion and, for the most part, I’m ok with that. Most likely, either you think it is a morally neutral medical procedure and every woman’s natural right, or you think it’s murder, straight up. It is, ah, unlikely that a blog post is going to convince you to change positions.

Even so, I might be able to convince you to rethink the role of government as regards abortion and other matters of widespread and profound disagreement.

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I recently had a conversation with someone who is terribly afraid that the new Administration will defund Planned Parenthood. I told her that I think that the government should defund Planned Parenthood – for the exact same reason, ironically, that I wouldn’t support an outright abortion ban; I also told...

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It’s Never Enough

A lot of ideas for new taxes are being bandied about. The President wants to more heavily tax investments, inherited property and even college savings plans. Mayor de Blasio wants to tax commuters and wealthy out-of-town apartment owners. And many on the left are arguing that since oil prices have fallen, we should dramatically increase taxes on petroleum products – the idea being that consumers won’t notice the new levies, while higher gas prices will both bring forth a gusher of tax revenues and discourage driving – a twofer, from their perspective.

These various ideas got me to wondering: can we even imagine a scenario in which those on the left would say: “That’s it. We have enough in tax revenue; now it’s time for the government to live within its means. “

No, we cannot.

F...

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