Category Archives: Opinion

Is Trump in trouble?

by Andrew P Napolitano

“The bad news for President Donald Trump keeps coming his way, notwithstanding a generally bravura performance on the foreign stage this past week in Riyadh, Jerusalem and Vatican City. Yet while he was overseas, his colleagues here in the United States have been advising him to hire criminal defense counsel, and he has apparently begun that process. Can the president be charged with obstructing justice when he asks that federal investigations of his friends be shut down?” (05/25/17)

Kindness and non-aggression

Source: Strike The Root
by Glenn Allport

“Kindness and non-aggression are the bedrock principles of civil society and of decent individual behavior: they are what allow and encourage every positive social form and institution. At this level, everything else is detail, distraction, trivia — or corruption. Kindness flows from a feeling of empathy for all life; empathy promotes kind behavior and strongly discourages cruelty. Empathy, and thus kindness, is most reliably created by a loving early life and (to become or remain widespread in a society) must be further supported by social structures and intellectual understanding. Because kindness stems from each individual’s unique consciousness, attempting to coerce or otherwise ‘enforce’ kindness only adds aggression to the situation and thus reduces kindness overall.” (05/25/17)

Kimmy Schmidt uses the market to enact social change

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

“The Netflix original series and brainchild of Fey, in which she also occasionally guest stars, has been extremely popular since its first season debuted in 2015. Its third season, which premiered a week ago, is arguably its best yet and displays Fey’s continued comedic insight into all corners of society. From questioning the overuse of the term ‘privilege,’ to mocking the right wing’s obsession with shallow patriotic tradition, nothing is off limits when it comes to the show — including political correctness. But in one particular episode, meant to poke fun at the hardline right wing Trump supporters, Fey, perhaps unknowingly, makes the case for using capitalism to bring about a desired social change, something that is far from leftist in practice.” (05/25/17)

Percentages, purposes, and NATO “mini-summit”

Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

“Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as president moves from the Middle East to Europe, with a ‘mini-summit’ with NATO leaders today. The summit organizers have already ruled out a major policy declaration. The event should be notable nevertheless given how frequently the president lambasted the Atlantic alliance on the campaign trail. However, it might also provide a worthwhile opportunity to reinvigorate discussion of why the alliance matters in the twenty-first century and how to judge the contributions of its various members.” (05/25/17)

The Drumhead

Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

“Anyone who has seen the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called ‘The Drumhead’ will probably have a pretty good idea of where I’m going with this. In the episode, a klingon happens to be a spy, and is caught–however, an accident that occurred at around the same time went unexplained, and, worried about saboteurs and collaborators, Starfleet began an investigation into the crew of the Enterprise. … The moral of the story is that we’re never more than one accident away from a witch hunt.” (05/25/17)

How compassion becomes contempt in America

Source: Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

“Somebody get this man a dictionary. Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration budget chief, desperately needs some serious lexicological support. That became obvious when Mulvaney stepped up before reporters to defend the new Trump budget for the federal fiscal year starts in October. The assembled scribes, noting the hundreds of billions in cuts for the poor and the vulnerable in the new budget plan, wanted to know if Mulvaney considered his budget compassionate. Mulvaney promptly set about defining ‘compassion’ — in his own terms. We have too many people out there, he told reporters, ‘who don’t want to work. We don’t have enough money to take care of people who don’t need help. We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we help get off of those programs.’ And getting folks off ‘those programs,’ the budget chief insisted, would be an act of true compassion.” [editor’s note: Conflating charity and compassion with bureaucracy and big government continues to be the “progressive” regimen- SAT] (05/25/17)

The entire public sector is about to be put on trial

Source: In These Times
by Naomi Walker

“Within the next year, the Supreme Court is likely to rule on the latest existential threat to workers and their unions: Janus v. AFSCME. Like last year’s Friedrichs v. CTA (a bullet dodged with Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death), the Janus case is a blatant attack on working people by right-wing, moneyed special interests who want to take away workers’ freedom to come together and negotiate for a better life. For years, the Right has been hammering through state-level ‘right-to-work’ laws in an effort to kill public sector unionism; it would see victory in the Janus case as the coup de grace.” [editor’s note: We libertarians should be cheering for this to happen; by definition, the term “labor union” should have no place in the “public sector” – SAT] (05/25/17)

We all scream for the ice cream man’s head

Lenore Skenazy

Source: Reason
by Lenore Skenazy

“Paul DiMarco has been selling ice cream in Poughkeepsie, New York, for two decades. He owns a fleet of trucks. When one mom confided to him, ‘You gotta be careful because there’s a lot of pedophiles in this world,’ he recalls replying, ‘That attitude falls into the same category as ‘All black people that drive Cadillacs are pimps,’ and ‘All clowns kill little kids.” … Fear of ice cream peddlers points to a larger problem few parents want to admit to: our collective mistrust of any man who chooses to work with kids. From male day care employees to school bus drivers to Cub Scout leaders, they’re all potential predators until proven otherwise. And they can’t prove otherwise. How can you prove a negative?” (for publication 06/17)

There is an opportunity for improved relations with Iran

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Unfortunately, one of the few consistent positions Trump has held as both candidate and president is his hostility to Iran, and it is one that most politicians in Washington share. This would be regrettable at any time, but it is especially so when we can see that most Iranians support international engagement and gradual reform. Hard-liners in the U.S. desperately wanted Raisi to prevail so that they could claim that he represents the ‘true’ face of Iran, but as we saw last week he doesn’t represent most Iranians. There is an opportunity here for the U.S. to reduce tensions with Iran if our leaders were wise enough to take it, and missing this opportunity could have substantial costs for both countries.” (05/25/17)

Ethics watchdog can only do so much

Source: The American Prospect
Eliza Newlin Carney

“For more than 30 years, watchdogs have pleaded in vain with Congress to strengthen the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an independent agency set up in the wake of Watergate to ward off executive branch conflicts of interest. Now, lawmakers may finally take notice. Until this year, it’s been easy for Congress to overlook the OGE’s relative lack of clout, sleepy profile, and reluctance to take forceful action. After all, until now all presidents have voluntarily followed fixed ethics conventions, such as disclosing their taxes and placing their assets into blind trusts, and have stood squarely behind the OGE in its inevitable clashes with other federal agencies. But Donald Trump’s determination to throw those conventions out the window, and his administration’s moves to not only reject OGE’s advice but block it from doing its job, have made it impossible to ignore just how tightly the ethics agency’s hands are tied, as OGE Director Walter M. Shaub Jr.’s recent showdown with Trump’s Office of Management and Budget clearly illustrates.” (05/25/17)