I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

Please refer to participants only by their designated identities.

suggestion for US citizens: When a form asks for your race, write in: -- American

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Defunding Obamacare

I think this is a quite silly idea.

Consider the general situation.  If every law that involved spending money was eligible to be "defunded", then nothing would ever be complete.  All spending bills would be open for reconsideration right up until the money was spent.

We are in serious danger of looking like fools.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just a handshake.

The American nation has labeled Iran a principle source of terrorism in the world.

The Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran's current Supreme Leader is Ali Khamenei.

The number two man in Iran is its, President Hassan Rouhani, who was required to obtain the permission of Khamenei in order to even be eligible to run for the office he currently holds.

Apparently, someone suggested that Iran's number two, Rouhani, should chat with our number one, Obama. Obama, agreed.

Rouhani then backs out and leaves Obama with his "hand out for a shake" that never came.

Some say the symbolism of such things is irrelevant.

I disagree.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

English as the official language?

In 1787 the Constitutional Convention conceived of the United States of America. There was, however,  much work to be done to bring about a successful birth. Ben Franklin and the Pennsylvanians wanted their state to be the first to ratify the document.  To that end they published 3,000 copies of the document and distributed them throughout the state.  Two thousand of them were in English and one thousand were in German.

Apparently, even in the womb, the nation avoided paralytic monolingualism..

Friday, September 13, 2013


If you would like to see a description of the current Syrian situation that presents Obama as engaging in a deep and successful maneuver that has trapped Putin go here and check out Andrew Sullivan's view.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Obama's red lines

I have held off for as long as I can in contemplating the failure of Obama's foreign policy approach.  

I had originally hoped that his rhetoric should be interpreted as: "I will tone down the American assumption of of the role of policeman of the world without abandoning our vital interests."

Although he says he can, without Congressional approval, rewrite laws in the middle of implementation - which the Constitution does not allow - he apparently cannot, without Congressional approval, function as the Commander in Chief - which the Constitution and/or modern practice does allow.

He looks like he is continuing the arguably bellicose tone of our foreign policy (red lines and all that) while implementing it in a very timid and contradictory way.  His earlier talk was of what HE would do about the use of chemical weapons.  When it came time to do it, he waffled and then collapsed in an attempt to get Congress to join him.  Or does he want Congress to disapprove and therefore extract him from his red line rhetoric?

I do not  think that he is directly abandoning our vital interests with one very important exception.

His and America's credibility have taken a dramatic hit in the last few weeks.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Balance Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane

The full title is Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America.

If you are among those of us who worry that America may be sailing into treacherous fiscal waters, then you will find this book very interesting.  The authors worked on the Romney campaign, but do not seem to be extremely partisan.

Aside from the usual suspects Rome, Spain, Britain, the US they includes 15th century China, the Ottoman Empire and California.