Category Archives: Government Power

“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President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.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 ››

The Next Step Toward the Brave New World

Wesley Smith wrote a short news item on “The Corner” in National Review Online, and linking a longer article in First Things, in which he mentions that in New Zealand and India, a few rivers have now been granted formal rights, allowing them, through their lawyers, to sue on behalf of themselves.  They were legally declared persons under law.  (See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446347/rivers-given-rights.  I saw this coming almost 40 years ago, in a couple of articles in law reviews as well as… Continue Reading ››

Is the Patient Dead? Or Is he Frankenstein’s Monster?

Ted Poe, R-NC, and a House member of the Freedom Caucus, has quit the group, uttering these words among others:  “saying no is easy, governing is hard.”  This was in reference to the Caucus’s opposition to the American Health Care Act, which was pulled by Paul Ryan before a vote.  Poe says he wants to be more effective as a senator by finding common ground with Democrats as well as other Republicans.  I am certain that my view on Poe’s… Continue Reading ››

The New Executive Order: “Here Comes the Judge”–Again

Once again a Federal district court judge has issued a nationwide Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting enforcement of the president’s new executive (EO) order temporarily suspending entry into the United States of non-citizens living outside the United States for a period of 90-120 days, with waivers possible for defined exceptions.  The EO identified six nations as targeted by its provisions.  The reasons stated were the possibility or likelihood that these nations were producing or would produce terrorists.  I have reproduced… Continue Reading ››

Update on the American Health Care Act

I want to provide a brief update on the American Health Care Act bill in the House.  I also want to add a bit more analysis.  Currently the bill has been passed out of two House committees.  Democrats are trying to slow it down but aren’t likely to be successful.  But if it makes it to the Senate, it faces stiff opposition from Democrats and from more conservative Republicans who see the bill as a compromise and not what was… 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 ››

Democracy: Is It Over-hyped? Or Overdone?

I noticed a poll taken the other day in connection with Fox News (unfortunately I did not catch the purveyor of that poll, perhaps Fox itself).  Whether the methodology was right or not, I don’t know but it found that 50% of people polled opposed the elimination of the Obamacare insurance mandate, while 48% supported its elimination.  If that reflects the public opinion generally, then we may have reached Alexis de Tocqueville’s “tipping point” in relation to democracy.  In a… Continue Reading ››