Look at Detroit, the first major American city ever to file for bankruptcy, and, after bemoaning how it got there and the hurt that’s going to follow, say thank you for this object lesson in how a bad situation can be made worse. Continue reading
It is a good thing for the American people to know the extent of government’s surveillance of us, and the harms of disclosure, it seems to me, reside somewhere between trivial and none. It’s also crucial to arrest and try Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who released material about the government collecting phone records and more and is now doing his best to dodge arrest.
Am I contradicting myself? I don’t think so. Continue reading
President Barack Obama is more right than wrong in his embrace of massive data collection to help prevent terrorist attacks, but watch out, fellow Americans.
Thomas Jefferson said to keep a close eye on government and others chimed in that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Phooey, says President Barack Obama. He recently told graduating college students in Columbus, Ohio, to ignore those thus intervening in their snooze time.
“Unfortunately,” he said in a commencement address at Ohio State University, “you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems,” and maybe he’s right. Maybe some of those students did study the founders who told us government is necessary — but watch out. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) In the movie “Flight,” something major goes wrong with a passenger jet. It starts plunging downward, the pilot amazingly, incredibly rolls the plane upside down to keep it just barely under control, and, at this point, if President Barack Obama were watching, he’d probably stand up to reassure the audience.
“We don’t have an immediate crisis,” he would say, an encouraging smile on his face. “The plane is in a sustainable place.” Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Last July, a Gallup poll said 21 percent of American adults had a “great deal” of confidence in TV news, which is odd even though it is a minority, seeing as how there is so little really, truly to have confidence in.
The wisdom of the majority in not much trusting TV is surely more justified. Yes, there is some splendid reporting. And even if liberal bias still dominates, there’s Fox News, born in the ‘90s, now outrunning its cable competitors in ratings and affording the public interpretations and subject choices decidedly less dependent on neo–socialist, big–government amiability. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Despite diatribes to the contrary, American corporations include multitudes that are tough–minded, occasionally brilliant and manifestly capable, a major reason the stock market is not just alive and well, but downright perky.
That’s worth a grin, as is the somewhat misleading decline in the unemployment rate. But don’t suppose the government can’t change that to a frown, even wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s trying right now. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the new Carrie Nation, and that’s no small thing because she was no small thing. Says one biographer, she was the “prime dragoness on a field strewn with the bones of sinners,” a hatchet–wielding, epithet–spouting, hymn–singing crusader who broke whatever was breakable and threw bricks at whatever moved. Her purpose was to stymie booze consumption through bar destruction. Continue reading
“Spit in the ocean” — it’s a phrase that’s well-worn, and for a reason, namely that it sums up so splendidly the idea of something that is itsy-bitsy relative to something very, very big.
“Sequestration” — it’s a four-syllable word referring to across-the-board spending cuts of $85 billion scheduled for automatic implementation with the purpose of reducing deficits and better controlling the federal debt. However large it sounds, the amount is spit next to the oceanic gobs of owed money that could easily drown the American economy. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) While it included some reasonably expressed generalities, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was also a mix of black swan obliviousness and invisible gorilla syndrome, with some goulash for the gullible thrown in as well.
The worst of it revealed much that’s wrong with politics, even as it was delivered in a tone of morally superior wisdom that clearly caused some commentators to forget the test of wisdom. It is found in outcomes far different from a recovery so mangled that average middle-class income per household actually declined thousands of dollars more than during the preceding recession. Continue reading