Sunday, April 30, 2017

Weird Science

Science seems to cease to be science where politics is concerned.  Politicians raise the issues of climate change and gender choice/identity with false scientific narratives. Techniques employed to support science in the political arena include parsing mountains of journal articles to pick certain items of data – taken out of context - to support claims, or when the facts do not fit, “facts” can simply be manufactured. And when those chosen and/or manufactured facts fail and measurements do not fit the theories, or a counter argument is proposed, then science simply devolves to name-calling in defense of the political agenda. 

For example, gender is now a choice.  So let’s play this out. If this is so, then why is not age a choice?  After all, we have people referring to themselves as an “old soul”.  Therefore, if age is a choice too, then we should accept the “science” that upon an individual’s sex change operation, they can also choose to be 65.  In this case, Medicare can pay for the operation and Social Security would provide retirement benefits. 

If the predictions of man-made global warming do not fit the observations then, we are told, the reason for any skepticism is that the opponent of such beliefs must be a closed-minded science denier.  Imagine if this was the standard for all sciences.

There is something wrong in a society that only looks to use certain “facts” to support a claim to politically launch themselves.  There is something even more disturbing with a public that not only allows this sort of behavior, but supports it and has even adopts it on a grander scale.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Newly Grad Dilemma

As graduation season approaches, so does job hunting season…and graduates are eager hunters…or are they? You would think that with having had a taste of freedom afforded in their college years there would be incentive to continue that lifestyle - to be able to have their own place and live a life of their choosing.

However, what we are increasingly seeing is a majority of college grads not pursuing the American Dream.  The 2012 article in The Atlantic captures the thought with its title, “53% of Recent College Grads Are Jobless or Underemployed—How?”.  According to data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Labor, “about 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed”.

We can speculate as to the cause of this condition that may include upbringing towards entitlement, lack of opportunities in the job market, ambiguity in the direction to take their lives, or studies in disciplines that yield little marketable skills.  This is a critical situation in which, no matter the causation, we face an emerging population of which the takers outnumber the makers.

This is not sustainable, and with the urgency of the matter, the sources and symptoms must be treated swiftly and in concert.  Public policy change would probably bear little fruit for two reasons: (1) more government involvement has a track record of hindering rather than helping, and (2) many government policies are arguably at the heart of the issue we now face.

We find the solution needing to come from bending parts of our culture away from the vilification of individual success, the “evil” of profits, and the embrace of indolent intellectual thinking that reduces all discourse to a stout of racist when disagreement arises.  We would advocate a hearty discussion toward the benefits of personal pride, self-sufficiency, confidence gained from experiencing failure and success, hard work, and family values as solutions outside public policy.  Invigorating the American Dream can help restore the ambition to succeed and to achieve so much more.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

No Concept of Consequence

In the 60s, student riots came to an end when the National Guard fired into a crowd of students at Kent State, killing four.  The event shook to the nation and campus unrest, which was expressed in vandalism, ceased.  The realization of the severity of the consequences lead to a change in behavior of protestors.  Now, mind you, this is not to advocate the killing of students or protestors of any kind, this is simply an analysis that bad actions that are met with severe consequences can result in the future adjustment to those actions.

Today, there are relatively no consequences or responsibilities imposed on most behaviors.  Get pregnant?  Government is there for free, no-questions-asked or parental permission needed, day-after pill or abortion.  Realize you have too much debt from student loans…AFTER graduation?  Government will forgive the debt in time.  And now that you have that $7/hour minimum wage position at the McDonald’s drive thru window, why work at all?  Government assistance can get you $25/hour.  Simply put, too much is handled by someone, something or an invisible hand to make any consequence of an action not felt.

How do you deal with a society that has no sense of consequence or responsibility?  When there is no negative affect for a misjudgment or wrong-doing, why wouldn’t you do whatever you wanted? And if it assumed that someone or something else will always fix your problems, why avoid making problems?

As such, the threshold question to ask is: What does a society with no consequences look like?  We expect this answer will be an existential threat to liberty and prosperity.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Give 'em Hell, Trump!

In 1948, President Harry Truman gave a campaign speech attacking Republicans when a man from the audience yelled “Give ‘em Hell Harry!”.  Truman responded that he didn’t give Republicans “Hell”, but the truth is what Republicans think is Hell.  The event became a theme for the campaign.

During the years of President Obama we were told a great many thing about items of substance, only to find there was no truth to them.  There was the “you can keep your healthcare plan…period”, Beau Bergdahl served with distinction, the death of Americans in Benghazi was caused by an Internet video, inspection of Iranian nuclear facilities will be any time anywhere, the ACA will not add a dime to the deficit, the Stimulus will save or create four million jobs, and . . . we have eliminated, through negations, all of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Now, as President, Trump launched 60 Tomahawk missiles into a specific Syrian airbase identified as the point for the recent Syrian strike on its people allegedly using poison gas.  America’s response was swift, specific, strategic, and measured.  It did what Obama’s words failed to do: it drew a “red line” with a clear message that certain acts of violence will not be tolerated of a third rate country.

There are Middle East experts who have argued the region is a problem without solution but, like a chronic disease, it can be managed.  The Obama policy in the region, and world, was endless and toothless negotiation where the U.S. was a follower in the wishes of others.  Obama’s method of “being a friend to foes and a foe to friends” destabilized the world and gave power to dictators and free reign to terrorists.

Trump’s actions were necessary and will lend credence to words.  America took its first step to reclaim global leadership and reestablish American exceptionalism.  Military might should be the last action of a country, but what Trump did was a pin prick.  It was only 60 missiles that surgically struck targets without the loss of life.  The message of the immense strength and technology of America did not go unnoticed.  Foreign policy of the type President Theodore Roosevelt described to "speak softly, and carry a big stick" is now credible.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Devious and the Dull

Democrats, despite defeat at the state and national levels, remain a dominant political force.  This in in part due to being devious, and in part due to the GOP being dull.

For eight years Republicans preached to voters, “give us Congress and the presidency and we will return toward conservative principals of smaller government, lower regulations, and reduced taxes that will begin the restoration of liberty and prosperity.”  This was a possibility in February.  It would take Republicans to sway eight threatened Democrat Senators to pass legislation on their agenda.

However, the conservative Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP have seemed to have forgotten that politics is the art of the possible.  They have instead put the party’s head on the chopping block for all-or-nothing legislation rather than an incremental and calculated approach to change.  Thus, the failure of the Republicans to unite on healthcare puts the united Democrats in the driver seat.  Democrats can now make demand of Republicans and derail the GOP agenda, which only 30 days ago seemed plausible to achieve.

While Democrats and their media allies dance about alleged Russian attempts to interfere in the election long since passed, Obamacare remains and continues its death spiral.  Congress is in Republican grid-lock.  Senate Democrats are playing chicken with the Neil Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court cunningly by positioning for a filibuster.  What began at the beginning of the year as a GOP springboard to a new agenda is now under water.

It would be advisable for the GOP to enjoy a range of small victories by implementing policy and change in small bites rather than big gulps.  Get somethings done unilaterally from which success will begat success.  The vulnerable Democratic Senators will then be more amenable to bipartisan compromise.