Yes, political economy can even come up in spiritual mentoring discussions!

Dick Armey, the former majority leader of the House of Representatives during the 90s, used to say something to the effect of “Republicans are always afraid you won’t understand the issue; Democrats are always afraid you will”  Democrats seemingly could care less about reams of data, but live and die by the anecdote–they just need one real face with a stirring heart story to put in front of the camera.  While this is not universally true, it is true that… Continue Reading ››

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

How has US culture become so coarse, so quickly? I subscribe to an email list from the White House “1600 Daily”. I periodically receive news alerts and “what is going on” messages from the Administration. At 9:01 am eastern on 7/20/17 I received an email that said: Yesterday, I met with Republican Senators at the White House and told them that now is the time for action. Obamacare was a big lie. “You can keep your doctor”—lie. “You can keep your plan”—lie.… Continue Reading ››

Please, let me pay more taxes!

And it must be compulsory, through taxation, as government is “what we do together.”  So this past week we saw Seattle pass an income tax (which may be unconstitutional), amid the cry of its citizens to be allowed to pay their fair share. …backers of the measure rallied supporters, including software developer Carissa Knipe, who told the council before its 9-0 vote on Monday that she earns more than $170,000 and endorses the tax measure.  “Seattle should serve everyone, not… Continue Reading ››

A Tribute to Jane Jacobs and a Christian View of Life in Cities

I realized only this week that last year was the centennial of the birth of Jane Jacobs, who was born in 1916 and died in 2006.  Now some or all of my readers might not recognize the name, but among city planners, architectural scholars, urban historians, urban economists and political scientists of an urban bent, she was (and is) legendary.  So my tribute here also gives me an opportunity to once again write about cities, their successes and failures.  It… Continue Reading ››

Spectre: Russia Investigation Hovers Over Trump

Baby Driver, written and directed by Edgar Wright, is a cinematic marvel. Though ostensibly a heist film from the wheel man’s perspective, it is really a soundtrack with a movie layered on top. Gunshots punctuate the percussion. Disembarkations are done in musical time as precisely as a ballerina’s twirl. Music is not a background element, but an organic component that both propels and reflects the action on screen. If I were sitting in an editing room, trying to splice together… Continue Reading ››

From Russia with Love

I don’t pretend to know what is going on in the Russia/Trump imbroglio, but we ought to have a bit of discussion on this, since its all the media will cover in the headlines.  First, I will say that I think there is a lot of room for Christians to disagree on the seriousness of the issue.  And in full disclosure, that despite being generally not a fan of some of Mr. Trump’s policies and much of his personal style and… Continue Reading ››

Are People Finally Getting Wise About Higher Education?

The Pew Research Center has released a study that shows Americans, especially more conservative Americans, are realizing that colleges and universities are, as the study states the most common answer, “have a negative effect on the country.” (see http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharp-partisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/)  While overall 55% of respondents still believe institutions are higher education are valuable, the percentage has declined in recent years, and dramatically among conservatives, who just a few years ago reported a positive view.  So what is happening?   A Washington… Continue Reading ››

Seeing the things unseen–the case of the disappearing retail jobs

Henry Hazlitt said: The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists of tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. The drumbeat gets louder daily about Amazon crushing retailers, and it is no doubt true.  People love the convenience of a click and two days later, the item is on our doorstep.  So retail jobs are going… Continue Reading ››

Sharia Law Protests: The Truth About Sharia

It has been reported that today (June 19m 2017) has been set aside for protests around the nation against Sharia law, the legal system used in most Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent.  The principles for Sharia are derived from both the Quran and Hadith, the alleged sayings of Muhammed and have been more or less systematized into various schools of legal thought (five to be precise), all having significant overlap.  There are a number of groups today… Continue Reading ››

“How Do You Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm When They’ve See ‘Gay’ Paris”*

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.  I will say at the outset that I support this move.  Let’s settle the “legal” issues first.  The agreement was not a treaty, and was not ratified by the Senate.  It might be classified as an executive agreement or as a simple presidential agreement.  The courts have never held an agreement other than a treaty as binding in an attempt to leave that agreement.  That should settle that–unless of course some… Continue Reading ››

Quote of the Week!

“Blame is much easier to understand than causation, more emotionally satisfying, and more politically convenient.” –Thomas Sowell