Category Archives: Government Power

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 ››

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 ››

Who Cares For the Most Vulnerable?

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gard family tonight, as they mourn the loss of their baby boy.  We sorrow alongside of them. The Gard family’s grief compels us to ask a difficult question that lies at the heart of recent debates over healthcare in America.  Who should determine and provide healthcare needs for the most vulnerable in our society (the poor, the sick, children, the elderly)? Responding to Charlie Gard’s publicized healthcare debacle, which included a court preventing… 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 ››

“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 ››

President Trump’s Budget: Neither Great nor Terrible

A reader asked me to post something on President Trump’s proposed budget to Congress.  Opinions have varied as to whether this budget is the apocalypse on one end or the second coming on the other, and pretty much every nuance in between.  As with most budgets–though you may not remember the last one, since it has been some time–this one is only a prospective declaration of a vision embodied in numbers.  There is no likelihood it will be adopted as… Continue Reading ››

Democracy: Embrace or Re-think?

I recently finished a book by Jason Brennan entitled Against Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2015) that I found intriguing.  It might not sound glamorous but I think the topic is timely in light of our American love of democracy in its various forms, whether direct or representative.  I don’t want to leave the impression that Brennan is some sort of either anarchist on the one hand or totalitarian or monarchist on the other.  Rather what he does is pose a… Continue Reading ››

A Preliminary Look at Health Costs and Insurance

I was asked to address the question of insurance in connection with healthcare, so I am finally mostly over my flu and hopefully can think more lucidly.  Insurance, as has been defined by some others, is simply a hedge against the future attained by paying someone (an insurer) who has established a firm that accepts many similar payees into a pool.  Out of that pool come payments now to those in need of them (contractually) and also those not in… Continue Reading ››