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Archive For: Government

The Health Care Quandary

Traditionally, most Americans placed a high value on personal responsibility. They believed people should provide for themselves by working hard, living within their means, and saving money for unexpected needs, notably illness. At the same time, they believed that parents should help children, children should help parents, siblings should help one another, and neighbors should help neighbors.

The traditional view no longer dominates. Many Americans emphasize rights more than responsibilities.… Read More

 

A Catholic Bishop and Some Syrian Immigrants

Village Maalula on the rock in Syria

Bishop Gregory Parkes’ column was titled “Compassion for immigrants, refugees will keep America Great.” I wondered: Is this title a rejoinder to Trump? A way of saying, perhaps, America’s already great, thank you?

The column’s first paragraph answered my questions in the affirmative. The Bishop claimed the President’s recent executive orders “stand in stark contrast to the foundations upon which our nation was built.” In other words, the Bishop thinks the executive orders are un-American.… Read More

 

Understanding President Trump

Some of the people who opposed President Trump may never give him a chance. But I believe many others are prevented from doing so only because they misunderstand his intellectual style. This is ironic because that style draws upon two things prominent in our western cultural tradition—hyperbole and a common sense approach to everyday challenges.

Hyperbole is exaggeration used to capture an audience’s attention and emphasize an idea.… Read More

 

The Liberals’ Struggle with Logic

Almost three months after the 2016 election, many liberals still cannot acknowledge Donald Trump’s victory. The most recent example of this incapacity is the growing list of members of Congress—68 at this point—who have refused to attend his inauguration.

One of the first refusers was John Lewis, who explained that he doesn’t “see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” When asked why, he said, “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.… Read More

 

American Leaders “Still Don’t Get It”

59486011 - governance word cloud on blue backgroundThe person closest to a task is in the best position to identify its imperfections. This idea, one of the most important ones of the past century, seems harmless enough today. Yet when Edwards Deming first proposed it, business leaders considered it heretical, for it challenged the reigning view of management, Scientific Management, that executives alone possess the intelligence to solve problems and make decisions.

Edwards Deming (1900-1993) was an engineer, statistician, management consultant, and the creator of Total Quality Management or TQM.… Read More

 

The Marriage of Denial and Groupthink

28919296 - concept of fear with businessman like an ostrichWhen psychologists begin to ponder liberals’ refusal to acknowledge Islamic terrorism, they will likely stumble over one another in their rush for research grants to probe the phenomenon. Some brave doctoral student might also wonder what cognitive defect caused the psychologists to avoid the issue for so long. (Chances are she won’t get that dissertation topic approved.)

At this time, however, relatively few psychologists are showing much interest in the matter.… Read More

 

James Comey’s Costly Blunder

James Comey 2FBI director James Comey confirmed that Hillary Clinton acted “with great carelessness” in handling classified government information and was untruthful in a number of related matters. Yet he decided not to recommend prosecuting her.

The reason that supported his decision was that the investigation found insufficient evidence of “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information” or behavior that would “support an inference of intentional misconduct.”

I do not doubt Comey’s personal integrity and I take him at his word that “no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear” on him, though that would have required heroic restraint on the part of Clinton operatives.… Read More

 

Obama’s Self-Deception

Obama SpeakingSince he first assumed office, President Obama has steadfastly refused to acknowledge Islamic terrorism, even when the perpetrators admit to acting in the name of radical Islam. Instead, he classifies their actions as “workplace violence” or “lone wolf attacks.”

Many conclude that President Obama has deliberately tried to deceive the American people. After all, they reason, no Christian, Jew, or Buddhist has ever committed a violent act while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” So no honest person can deny that those who do so are Muslim.… Read More

 

Politicians Abusing Logic

Hillary ShruggingWhen a spokesman was asked whether the State Department would investigate allegations that Hillary had misused her office, he replied, “We’re not going back to do a retroactive examination of each of those cases and we’re not going to make a retroactive judgment,” adding that they are not aware of any cases of such abuse.

Two reporters then asked him whether the Department’s lack of awareness wasn’t precisely the reason they should investigate and find out whether the allegations were true.… Read More

 

Making ALL Legislation “Clean”

Congress, 25485457_sLeading the March 3, 2015 news was the announcement that the House of Representatives had passed a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and avoid a government shutdown. “Clean” in this case meant free of the rider that would have ended the President’s executive action blocking the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Media pundits were excited by the announcement. That got me wondering.… Read More