All posts by Marc Clauson

Conservatism and Religion: The Inseparable Tie Broken?

I read a very intriguing article yesterday in the National Review Online by Eliott Kaufman, with the title of “Are Conservatives Really Just Liberals?”  By the title you might think the author is about to criticize conservatives in Congress or in the Federal bureaucracy who aren’t acting like conservatives.  However the article actually poses a serious question about definition, and even further, about how conservatives and liberals (of a certain kind) ought to define themselves. But the article also draws… Continue Reading ››

What Do We Do with “Experts”? Human Nature is the Key to the Answer

I happened to catch a couple of minutes of the Rush Limbaugh program, in which he was playing some snippets from an interview of Kurt Anderson and Charlie Rose on PBS, on the subject of Anderson’s new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire.  The theme of the books seems to center on how conservative talk radio has mislead so many people in the United States, but I want to focus on a sub-theme, mentioned in the interview, in which Anderson… Continue Reading ››

The Latest in the Obamacare Saga: Iteration Number x+……

I have refrained from writing about health care recently until I could get a better handle on what would happen.  It seems I now have a better handle–for now at least.  The Senate bill or its iterations was likely doomed to failure for this reason:  There were and are at least three factions at cross-purposes: Moderate Republicans Democrats (almost all) Conservative Republicans We knew the Democrats would vote more or less as a bloc.  But the problem was the Republicans.… Continue Reading ››

Churches and Zoning: An Interesting Clash

I read an interesting article that brought together my concerns both about zoning and land use and religious freedom issues.  It seems the City of Palo Alto, California, quite a nice place to live it is said, and the home of the elite Stanford University, is “cracking down on churches” that allegedly violate its zoning laws.  In an article from CBSSFBayArea, at http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/07/27/palo-alto-neighborhood-churches/, it is reported that city officials in Palo Alto have ordered a the First Baptist Church to… Continue Reading ››

The “Better Deal” is Another Raw Deal

The Democratic Party, recognizing that it has lost touch with many of its former constituents, rolled out its “Better Deal” this week in Virginia.  We have now had Teddy Roosevelt’s “Square Deal,” Franklin Roosevelt’s more famous (or infamous) “New Deal,” Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal,” and now the latest “deal” for the American people.  All of these deals by the way were proposed by Liberal/Progressives, coincidentally or not.  As we should let’s look at this new proposal.  To provide a little… Continue Reading ››

Civil Asset Forfeiture: A “Criminal” Action

Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF) is back in the news as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an expanded Federal program just the other day.  I was extremely surprised and disappointed in his announcement.  Like other Federal forays (and in this case, state), the CAF program has been so abused by law enforcement that it must be reined in by the courts or by the Congress, or both.  Now notice it is called Civil Asset Forfeiture.  That does not mean the assets… 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 ››

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 ››

Making Cities “Great” Means Making People “Great”

I just returned from a visit with my mother in my (and her) home city, Huntington, West Virginia.  We drove by way of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Both cities are in “flyover country” and both have suffered from the heavy (and likely irreversible) loss of manufacturing jobs.  To give you an idea of the losses, Huntington has dwindled from about 90,000 residents in 1960 to about 45,000 today.  Even accounting for suburban flight, that is a big loss–and the suburbs haven’t grown… 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 ››