From November 2016 to April 2017, my blog had a weekly “Current Events Write-Up,” in which I would link to news and opinion pieces and comment on them. I have decided to revive that today.
My method will be a little different from how it was last time. Most
of my links will be from the conservative site Townhall. I have
revived a practice that I have done off-and-on over the past several
years: that practice is to read one Townhall column a day. Yeah, some
of their columns have the usual right-wing vitriol and claptrap. But
some of the articles are thoughtful discussions of policy. Some present
refreshingly unconventional perspectives on issues.
While most of the links will probably be from Townhall, I will feel
free to link to other resources. I started subscribing to the
Federalist, and I have occasionally listened to its podcasts. I also
follow the blog of a libertarian economist, Daniel Mitchell.
At times, I will feature left-wing voices. I like how Robert Reich
breaks down issues, so he may appear in my Current Events Write-Ups. I
started subscribing to receive weekly updates from Media Matters, which
attempts to “fact-check” conservative talking-points. I doubt that
you’ll see much from the Huffington Post here, but never say never.
In terms of where I am politically, that is a good question. I am
annoyed with the Left, yet I still find myself signing Democratic and
Move-On petitions to protect the social safety net. I do not care for
the Right’s judgment of the poor, but I think that it has valid
critiques of the system and brings important insights to the table.
I should add: I do not entirely and necessarily agree with everything to which I link.
Anyway, here we go!
Townhall: It’s Time for Conservatives to Address Environmental Issues, by Benji Backer
“More importantly, the lack of conservative ideas in environmental
politics threatens the planet. It has been difficult to pass meaningful
legislation without conservative voices in the mix. The majority of
recent environmental laws have consisted of feel-good rhetoric and
little substantive action, wasting energy and failing to take account of
important sources of clean energy like nuclear power. They punish
instead of incentivize, and they disincentivize crucial hands-on
Townhall: Beware A Monopoly on Pentagon Computing, by Steve Sherman
I like when when conservatives promote competition, and also when they criticize inefficiencies in the military.
Townhall: Eliminate, Don’t Expand, Electric Vehicle Credit, by Veronique de Rugy
According to de Rugy, the Electric Vehicle Credit actually slows down
the speed of electric vehicle production, since companies are reluctant
to produce above a certain limit because that can result in the
elimination of the credit. It benefits only a few wealthy people who
purchase electric vehicles. And it hurts the environment:
“…California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program gives an advantage to
companies manufacturing both electric vehicles and traditional vehicles,
because they can use the California Air Resources Board credits awarded
for producing electric vehicles to offset their dirtier products…” I
am sure that there is another side to this issue, but this article stood
out to me.
Townhall: The Supreme Court’s ‘Bartleby’ Decision, by Michael Barone
Barone offers details about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent refusal
to challenge partisan gerrymandering, assuming that’s what it was.
Barone seems to defend the decision. This article has some partisan
whining, as it notes that Democrats have supported gerrymandering, too!
Otherwise, it is a thoughtful article. This part is noteworthy: “The
Democrats’ current problem is not just that Republicans controlled
districting in more states than Democrats after the 2000 and 2010
Census; it’s also, as the court and the Wisconsin plaintiffs recognized,
that Democratic voters are demographically clustered in central cities,
sympathetic suburbs and university towns, while Republican voters are
more evenly spread around. A party whose voters are demographically
clustered is at a disadvantage in any legislature with equal-population
single-member districts. One solution for Democrats is to try to appeal
beyond their current redoubts, as President Bill Clinton did in the
The Federalist Radio Hour: What’s Happening With The Border And Immigration Legislation On The Hill
I was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. The
Federalist, of course, is conservative, but the discussion on this
episode went beyond the usual conservative talking-points. A policy
analyst, for instance, critiqued President Trump’s emphasis on building
the wall. He said that, unless problems in Central America are
addressed, there will be hundreds of thousands of people trying to get
into the U.S. I think that it is important to acknowledge that illegal
immigrants are coming to this country for a reason, and often that
reason is to escape turmoil in their own countries. In terms of
solutions, the analyst seemed to be proposing that the U.S. help train
Central American authorities to contain and suppress the drug cartels.
Whether that would work is a good question. He sited Iraq as a
parallel, but it took a long time for stability to come to that country.
The Federalist Radio Hour: How San Francisco’s Liberal Utopia Invites Homelessness, Drugs, And Crime Into The City
The podcast was actually more thoughtful and educational than the
title may indicate. John Daniel Davidson talks about the rift within
the Democratic Party over how to deal with the rampant homelessness in
San Francisco. Davidson also interviews some of the homeless people
themselves. In terms of how government policies worsen the problem, a
lot of the problem is bureaucracy hindering the construction of
affordable housing. Another person on the program, Erielle Davidson,
wrote an article here.
Triablogue: “I don’t believe in God, but I fear Him greatly.”
Steve Hays links to an interview in which the late Charles Krauthammer describes his perspective on religion.
Richard Falk: The U.S. Withdrawal from the U.S. Human Rights Council
“Explicitly focusing on alleged anti-Israel bias the U.S. withdrew
from further participation in the UN Human Rights Council. The only
internationally credible basis for criticizing the HRC is its
regrettable tendency to put some countries with the worst human rights
records in leading roles, creating genuine issues of credibility and
hypocrisy. Of course, such a criticism would never be made by the U.S.
as it could only embarrass Washington to admit that many of its closest
allies in the Middle East, and elsewhere have lamentable human rights
The Unholy Alliance of Gods and Countries
11 hours ago