Category Archives: Bureaucracy

Trump’s Follies: Ethical? Legal? Impeachable?

My Bereans colleague Mark Smith wrote a blog post the other day that has irritated some people and made others quite happy.  In this post, I hope to irritate both sides of the Donald Trump “crisis.”  By now, we have all read or heard about President Trump’s misdeeds, or alleged misdeeds, depending on your perspective: firing FBI Director James Comey, “giving” classified information to Russia, and lately, inviting Comey to the White House before he was fired and then pressing… Continue Reading ››

The Core Problem of Common Core.

I suppose it is time to write about Common Core again, in light of the recent withdrawal of a former Bush administration pro-Common Core staffer, Hanna Skandera, from consideration as an assistant secretary for the Department of Education.  This blog is not about her specifically, though she is a member of one of the Common Core testing organizations, PARCC (Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers).  Rather I am concerned about the incredible confusion that has set in… Continue Reading ››

The Deep State: How Deep Is It?

“The Deep State”–what is it?  Is it real?  Is it fiction?  If it is real, is it dangerous?  To what extent is it harmful?  This is a fascinating subject, perhaps partly because we all love a conspiracy theory, true or not.  I will suggest that this one has a basis in reality.  But I also want to be careful not to overstate my case.  I hope to address these questions below. The term “Deep State” was coined to describe a… Continue Reading ››

President Trump’s New Executive Order on Immigration

President Trump’s new immigration Executive Order (EO) was issued.  You can read it at the New York Times of March 6, 2017: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/trump-executive-order-immigration-text.html The order is a variation on his earlier January 27 order which was stopped from taking effect by a Federal court and the Federal Ninth Circuit.  How is this one different?  First, it exempts any person who has some legally granted right to be in the United States, those with “green cards,” those with valid visas, etc.… Continue Reading ››

What is Going On in the Surveillance World?

What a morass we have now with regard to the allegations, refutations, and counter-allegations concerning the possibility of intelligence community “wiretapping” of Donald Trump or his associates before the election and after it.  At this point, we have an allegation by President Trump that Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower.  Now before people go off on Trump prematurely, let me say that the word “wiretapping” is the commonly used popular term for any kind of “spying” or surveillance.  Trump was not… Continue Reading ››

An Exile in Trumplandia and The Road to Serfdom

Illiberal. That one word, expresses my primary fear about President Donald J Trump. Yesterday I posted An Exile in Trumplandia Discovers Twitter which I hope partially illustrates our president’s response to some of the institutional pushback he is seeing. When I use the word “liberal”, I am not using the word to mean government control, as “liberal” has come to mean in typical usage in the political arena in the United States. My usage of the word liberal indicates a belief that the… Continue Reading ››

An Exile in Trumplandia Discovers Twitter

I have been fairly adept avoiding social media so far. Over a decade ago I experimented with Facebook for a very short while, soon deciding that Facebook simply took up too much time. When we joined a house church in the early part of this decade I revived my Facebook account in order to read and respond on the house church’s private Facebook page. We no longer attend the house church and now my Facebook page sits dormant. Because of… Continue Reading ››

A Real-Life Story of Bureaucratic Dysfunction

If you want to read a classic insider narrative of the degeneration and dysfunction of a large and powerful (and unlimited) federal bureaucracy, read here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443227/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-tragic-failures.  The article chronicles the work of one highly placed lawyer in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  before it was slapped hard by the Federal courts. I have frequently written about what can and does occur when Constitutional limits are ignored.  This is all too frequent, given the propensity of Congress to simply give up its… Continue Reading ››

Bureaucracy and the New President

I was reading an interesting article in Reason today that directly addressed one of the major issues I have raised before and frequently alluded to (see http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/19/trump-versus-the-we-bes, December 20, 2016).  It has to do with the theme of “Trump versus the bureaucracy.”  One could substitute any president’s name in that slogan since the 1930s at least.  This is the crucial question: How does a president or his cabinet or his political appointees actually control the huge Federal agencies and make… Continue Reading ››

The Pernicious Income Inequality of Federal Employees

In an article from CNS News dated December 16, 2016, we have the new but predictable Census Bureau statistics on median income for households in counties of the United States.  The first four richest counties are, …, you guessed it, all in the Washington, DC area, and range from about $99,000 per year to $122, 000 per year (see http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/highlights/2015.html).  That is more that twice the United States Average of around $55,000.  Nine of the top twenty counties are in… Continue Reading ››