A Killer President

There is inherent immorality in one man wielding enough coercive force to identify, target and execute any individual deemed to be a terrorist threat to the United States. That is the power possessed by Barack Obama and it is currently being expressed through the use of aerial drones in several parts of the world. I recognize the Commander-In-Chief role held by president Obama in a state of war, but that is a purely legal argument not necessarily a moral one. The nature of the endless War on Terror is a separate topic for examination. For now there is a curious … Continue reading A Killer President

Fiscal Cliff Notes

Allegedly, it is crucial that the US Congress and the Administration come to terms on tax and spending to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. What is the fiscal cliff? When Congress failed earlier to come to terms on taxes and spending amidst concerns about the looming debt ceiling a deal was struck in exchange for raising that borrowing limit for the US government. The deal involved an array of automatic spending cuts that would take effect at the start of 2013. It also allowed that the already extended Bush tax cuts would expire on January 1, 2013. Now I hear … Continue reading Fiscal Cliff Notes

Vision and Truth

President Barack Obama made his case for a second term last night in Charlotte. Today, opinions vary about its impact, from—commentators are using baseball analogies—a grand slam hit to a swing and a miss. This is hardly surprising in the context of partisan interpretations. However, it is also not surprising that opinions would vary about Barack Obama and anything he says, or does. It is his stock and trade to say one thing and mean another, not unlike most politicians who will utter almost anything it will take to get elected or re-elected. Nothing new there either; politicians lie. A … Continue reading Vision and Truth

I’ll Be Damned. We’re Americans!

When New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez shared an anecdote about a lunch date with a pair of crusading Republicans—in which she endured a voyage of self-discovery—she followed up with the revelation, “I’ll be damned. We’re Republicans!” Governor Martinez was one of an array of inspirational speakers at the just-concluded Republican National Convention in which Mitt Romney was formally installed as the party’s presidential candidate. The convention was a barnburner. It was pretty clear the central theme was making the case for the exceptional nature of the American national union. Positive Tone Apparently, convention strategy was to portray Americans as self-reliant, … Continue reading I’ll Be Damned. We’re Americans!

Framing the Debate

The week’s big story is the well-timed announcement of Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan for vice-presidential running mate. It is big because of its impact; it frames the debate for the rest of the campaign. In Congress Ryan has actually tried to address the government spending problem. Democrats and Republicans must talk about this now if they are to say anything about Ryan. The Democrats’ initial response was to denounce Ryan as an “ideologue” and immediately try to discredit his ideas. Small-government Republicans and Tea Party supporters have welcomed Ryan as someone who injects intelligence and practicality into the … Continue reading Framing the Debate

The Spending Crisis

Most media coverage of the main political fight in Washington these days refers to the “debt crisis” or “debt ceiling crisis”. Debt is the result of overspending. More spending, in the absence of sufficient revenue, leads to escalating debt. With the US economy already taxed at levels that can negatively impact investment, further spending can only exacerbate the debt problem. A more precise and fundamental headline would be “The Spending Crisis”. Obama Reveals Spending Crisis Unwittingly, President Obama made some remarks on Friday that really drew attention to the spending crisis. He wanted to emphasize that the reason for the … Continue reading The Spending Crisis

Era of Big Government Not Over

The question of whether Barack Obama would tack to the political center in Tuesday’s State of the Union address was answered resoundingly. Over the course of sixty-two minutes President Obama clarified that he remains a Big Government man. The mercantilist export, socialist education, corporatist industrial and Marxist taxation policies implicit in his remarks can be summed up as “statism”—that is, the state is the preferred means to achieve peace and prosperity. Burdened by an unsustainable debt load and the failure of interventionist policies, the obvious prescription is for fiscal restraint and political statesmanship. What do the American people get instead?—promises … Continue reading Era of Big Government Not Over

Tea Leaves

Poking at tea leaves following the U.S. mid-term elections is a rationalistic divining exercise. One thing is clear: American voters indicated they are unhappy with the status quo. Unfortunately, government influence in daily life will continue to escalate. The biggest problem the world over is the ever-expanding scope of the State in the lives of individuals. Nothing about this election is likely to check the growth of Leviathan. Staying with the U.S. example, there are several factors which justify pessimism. Foremost is the primarily partisan reaction of President Obama: as surprising as sunrise.  Nothing about this man suggests to me … Continue reading Tea Leaves

On Location

“Location”, “location” and “location” are said to be the three most important attributes of real estate properties in terms of desirability. The proposal to build Cordoba House, now called the Park 51 Islamic Community Center, within two blocks of the former World Trade Center site affords much opportunity to speculate about the three most important attributes of this particular development; they are not self-evident. There might be more lucrative commercial alternatives to building a mosque and related facilities at 51 Park in New York City. Supposedly, Soho Properties originally planned to develop a condominium project before partnering with Imam Faisal … Continue reading On Location

The Greek Experiment

According to New York Times reporting concurrent with the bailout of Greece, the President of the United States advised leaders of Germany and France relative to the European Union/International Monetary Fund (IMF) decision. The Times cited unnamed senior Administration officials who stated that President Obama’s “experience” in brokering big deals was brought to bear (i.e. through his involvement in various U.S. economic stimulus packages and corporate bailouts); Obama’s encouragement to “think big ideas” allegedly helped lead to the trillion dollar deal via a “special purpose vehicle” (essentially a form of Eurobond issue). The end result of the weekend negotiations was … Continue reading The Greek Experiment