Tag: politics

Did the American Legion Join CNN in Fact-Free World? Time for a Change in Flag Half-Staff Policy.

 

On Monday, August 27, CNN was constantly running a chyron claiming the American Legion “scolded” President Trump into issuing a proclamation to re-lower the flags. But, what are the rules? Would President Trump break the flag etiquette rules out of personal animus? If facts matter to you, the answer is readily at hand.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a helpful PDF publication on half-staffing: “Flying the American Flag at Half-Staff.” It informs us:

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Quote of the Day: Pythagoras on Beans

 

“Abstain from beans.” — Pythagoras of Samos

Pythagoras has a reputation as having been a somewhat odd dude. Perhaps a charlatan, perhaps a thaumaturge. One thing that many sources say is that he urged his followers to abstain from beans. About a thousand years ago when I was in school, it was explained to me that he did this because the Ancients believed that beans gathered spirits of the dead, and this is why they created gas, because the spirit was the breath.

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One is reminded of the movie “Weekend At Bernie’s,” where people feel the need to pretend that their employer is still alive. We have become accustomed to members of Trump’s cabinet contradicting the person they work for. Ramesh Ponnuru provides some examples in his column titled, Trump Seems Barely In Charge of His Own Administration:  […]

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New Hampshire state employees who don’t wish to join a union will save more than $1 million a year in compulsory union fees following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, according to data obtained by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy through a […]

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The Panoramic Overton Window

 

What shape is your Overton Window? Is it tall and narrow, or low and broad? That is, what range of ideas are you willing to tolerate in public discourse? And how high are you willing to pile the rhetoric? Joseph P Overton, who worked for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, believed the realm of political ideas wasn’t limited so much by individuals’ interests as it was by a window of public discourse, where ideas at either end of the window were considered radical, and ideas falling outside the window (too “left” or “right”, assuming limiting ideas to a one-dimensional spectrum makes sense) were considered unthinkable, hence unmentionable. This window of discourse, usually thought of in just one dimension, was named after him — the Overton Window.

I discern two dimensions to the Overton Window, though, both width and height. It takes effort to maintain a big Overton Window, whether the window is unusually broad (breadth of ideas) or unusually tall (how high do people ratchet up the rhetoric?). Mere mortals, it seems, struggle to maintain expansiveness in both dimensions. Recently, Ricochet Member @steverosenbach wrote a post asking the Ricoverse for the names of honorable pundits on the left. One often-cited name was that of Scott Alexander, who runs the blog Slate Star Codex (SSC). Truth be told, Scott is not very far left (probably one reason so many of us find him palatable); moreover, Scott is sympathetic to much of the backlash against trends in leftist thought. Perhaps what’s most remarkable about Slate Star Codex, though, is that its Overton Window is panoramic.

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Christians and Abortion: An Understanding

 
Rachel Held Evans.

Rachel Held Evans is a fairly famous liberal Christian. She recently made a foray into abortion politics by claiming that people who both support Donald Trump and oppose abortion should think again about opposing abortion. This is because, if abortion was stopped, many more African Americans and other minorities would be born.* Therefore, since Donald Trump is racist, as are his supporters, he and his supporters should not want more of these people born. Furthermore, the only way to prove that Trump and his backers want more minority babies is by adopting Progressive social and economic policies.

What she appeared to be saying in her tweets, however, was that abortion killed a lot of minority babies and that was a good thing. If Trump and his supporters realized that, they would join with Ms. Evans in upholding abortion. Ms. Evans deleted her tweets saying that she was misunderstood and pointed interested readers to a blog post of hers from 2016. In the post, she claimed that truly pro-life Christians should vote for pro-abortion candidates without fear and reject pro-life candidates because they are not truly pro-life.

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“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams – 2nd President of the United States, 1st Vice President, and assisted in drafting […]

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“If there is any place in the Guinness Book of World Records for words repeated the most often, over the most years, without one speck of evidence, ‘diversity’ should be a prime candidate. Is diversity our strength? Or anybody’s strength, anywhere in the world? Does Japan’s homogeneous population cause the Japanese to suffer? Have the […]

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I shudder to think what we would be facing today if Donald Trump were not POTUS and we had Hillary Clinton instead. Of course, we have many other things to be thankful for, but Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice tops my list. Four justices were dissenters in the decision affirming Executive authority under […]

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In case you missed Bill Kristol’s interview with Christopher Caldwell on Populism in Europe and the Future of the European Union, it was sobering. In a calm tone, his thoughtful and measured responses to Kristol’s questions seemed to need deliverance via a bullhorn. Seismic shifts in, well……everything – is anyone paying attention? https://ricochet.com/527807/conversations-with-bill-kristol-christopher-caldwell-on-populism-in-europe-and-the-future-of-the-european-union/ More

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$10,000 Is Not Nearly Enough to Compensate for Living in Vermont

 

(I’m posting this from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy’s weekly email newsletter, which you can get for free each Friday by signing up here: https://www.jbartlett.org/about-us/email-sign-up)

Moonlighting in Vermont

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David French has a post on The Corner at NRO arguing that the NFL has made a mistake in deciding to fine teams when players protest during the National Anthem. Before last year’s parade of horribles at the quarterback position, I wasn’t convinced that Colin Kaepernick was still good enough to play in the NFL. […]

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Quote of the Day: Legislation

 

“The urge to pass new laws must be seen as an illness, not much different from the urge to bite old women. Anyone suspected of suffering from it should either be treated with the appropriate pills or, if it is too late for that, elected to parliament [or congress, as the case may be] and paid a huge salary with endless holidays, to do nothing whatever.” – Auberon Waugh

Every time something tragic happens there are calls for legislators to “do something.” What to do, whether it is wise or foolish, is less important than passing some new law. Years ago, when I was writing for Listen Magazine (now gone) I wrote an article about a couple of teens who created a fantasy politics game — it was similar to a fantasy football league. You picked a “team” of legislators, and got points as they created legislation.

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From The Truth About Guns: Intuit QuickBooks has apparently had quite the busy month of May – and it isn’t over yet. We first heard about their poor treatment of Gunsite Academy, but it turns out they were simultaneously doling out similar treatment to Flint River Armory and Lone Wolf Distributors. More

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I have a habit to sit with Pastors and ask them a tough question. The question is: If you don’t teach us about how to merge our Christian faith with our politics who will? This does not make me very popular with the Pastors as you might imagine. I have been convicted however and I […]

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First Lady Melania Trump has championed cyber-bullying as a cause, but Hoover visiting fellow Markos Kounalakis thinks she should broaden her horizons – to include a little diplomacy in her native Central Europe. It’s a portion of the world that’s drifted into angry nationalism, economic uncertainty and civil unrest, with one country (Poland) displaying troubling […]

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I wrote this column about Paul Ryan’s retirement for USA Today, and C-SPAN was nice enough to have me on this morning to talk about it. An excerpt: More

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I really don’t watch much news from tv media but I did tune in today to get updated on the Syrian situation. There still seems to be a propaganda offensive from Russia amid reports that an independent Swiss Lab has determine that the poison gas used in the Skipral case in the UK was produced […]

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Quote of the Day: Socialism

 

“The old argument about the science of socialism was that it would be more efficient than capitalism and markets. Eliminate all that waste of competition and plan what is to be produced, by whom, where, and we’ll all have more stuff. We’ll be richer in short.

“Then we went and tested the contention to destruction and 1989 showed that it was incorrect.

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What Pro-Life Walk-Out?

 

Have you noticed the media-wide publicity on the students and schools participating in a national walk-out to celebrate the pro-life movement?

Neither did I.

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