Those four words invoke a thousand images: rows of crosses on foreign shores, a kneeling Marine in dress blues handing a folded flag to a small boy, a uniformed man with no legs saluting as the flag goes by in a parade.
That’s where the mind goes, and with good reason. A lot of good men and women have fought and died to preserve our freedom, and we should honor that sacrifice. There are those who will scoff, saying things like “fighting for oil” and the “military-industrial complex” — but that’s not disagreeing; we need to make absolutely certain that, in the future, we never go to war for less than a righteous cause, or we dishonor the price that will be paid.
Worthy though that sentiment is, however, that’s not what I came here to say today.
I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
With respect to the apparent suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Portland, Oregon over the past few weeks:
Members of the U.S. military (it is asserted) are rounding up and detaining uniformed protesters on the streets. This has been reported in Portland for some weeks now, and a few recent videos appear to demonstrate the truth of it. (more…)
One could write volumes about Donald Trump the celebrity, the business mogul, the particularly slimy real estate developer, and so on. I’m giving that a miss. As a public person I find him odious and in business I’d resort to extreme measures to avoid him (I haven’t ruled out self-defenestration). Beyond saying that, it’s entirely immaterial for our purposes. Our subject is Donald Trump as president: the pros and cons of his tenure, his chance at escaping unscathed from impeachment to run again, and his likelihood of winning in 2020 based on the issues. That should be enough for one article.
(What: You didn’t honestly think I would give him a pass just because he’s the Evil One, did you?) (more…)
This is not being written in response to any particular event. There was probably one today or yesterday or last week, and CNN no doubt covered it with their usual attention to detail and mechanical concern. I’m probably pretty sad about it myself. This is why I’m writing this article on a day when the headlines are about something else. It’s important to keep perspective. You can’t create effective policy and solve social problems when you’re too busy yelling or sobbing or both.
Trouble is, I’m furious. Even today, I can’t help but be furious (more…)
The general public is having another pointless debate, this one over the Second Amendment.
I call it a “debate” only out of courtesy. It’s not really a debate; it’s a loud argument and it’s convincing nobody. It’s just like talking to your idiot brother-in-law over the holiday table; after a couple of minutes, both sides are too busy shouting to even hear anyone else, much less actually listen to them. That moment when we drift beyond polite and reasonable discussion is the moment talking stops being productive. (more…)
It’s said even Reagan was against every Tom, Dick, and Harry owning an AK-47. And that may well be true; on the other hand, what difference does it make? We should keep this discussion to the essentials, and reduce whatever we can to its core.
There exists a philosophical difficulty with banning “assault rifles”; it can be (more…)