19 January 2020

Is Adam Schiff Guilty Of Perjury?

As the Impeachment Trial of President Trump gets underway, Congressman Adam Schiff, the leader of the House Managers arguing the case for impeachment on behalf of the House Democrats, submitted to the Senate his "Trial Memorandum" laying out his theory of impeachment and the case he will be arguing on its behalf.

The memorandum has just one problem: It's a lie. Many of of Congressman Shiff's allegations are simply and demonstrably not true.

It is to Schiff's benefit that the memorandum appears to not have been filed under penalty of felony, for if it were Schiff would be guilty of perjury, instead of merely lying to the Senate. Yet let there be no misapprehension here: Congressman Adam Schiff has without a doubt lied to the Senate as he has lied to the American people throughout this impeachment inquiry. The only thing standing between Schiff and a perjury charge is the status of the Trial Memorandum as not being sworn and subscribed to.

17 January 2020

The Purpose Of Impeaching Donald Trump: Breaking Presidential Power

Nancy Pelosi finally completed the impeachment of the President, signing the articles of impeachment and transmitting them to the Senate. With articles in hand, the Senate officially swore in Chief Justice John Roberts to preside over the impeachment trial, and the senators themselves were sworn in as the impeachment jury--the Senate has now been converted into the Court of Impeachments described by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65.

After months of partisan wrangling over hyperpartisan inquiry and investigation by the House, the Senate finally will have its say on the merits and demerits of the case the Democrats have assembled, even as the true purpose of impeachment has already been revealed and acknowledge by those same Democrats: removing a President they do not like, or at least subordinating him to the whimsy of Congress.

11 January 2020

Profiles In Courage

It is rare for a single vote by a single Congressman to be noteworthy, or even remarkable. Recently we have seen several remarkable votes by individual Congressmen--those willing to buck demands for party loyalty and unity in defense of larger principles. With so many politicians of all stripes pandering to their particular political base, we should take a moment to consider those who decided to take step back from the partisan divide.

04 January 2020

Getting The Trump Presidency All Wrong

Within the span of two days, President Donald Trump reminded the world yet again the extent to which the legacy media has completely failed to grasp the essence of the Trump Administration. We are barely into 2020, and already the prevailing narratives surrounding Donald Trump have been completely shredded. Trump accomplished with just two highly surgical air strikes against pro-Iranian Iraqi militias and their Iranian sponsors, the first one resulting in the death of Qassim Suleimani, leader of Iran's Quds Force, and the second targeting part of the leadership of the pro-Iranian Popular Mobilization Forces militia.

(Note: Subsequent reporting suggests the PMF leadership was not killed in this second strike, with the PMF disputing Pentagon claims in this regard. As of this writing much of the reporting is unconfirmed with many details subject to change)

01 January 2020

Happy New Year. Let's Have (Another) War

The image is all too familiar: Anti-American protests in a Middle Eastern capital turn violent, with a US embassy--and the US civilians stationed there--becoming a convenient target of the protesters' rage. Too easily, it recalls the horrific 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.  Thankfully, this attack on a US embassy had a somewhat better outcome, as no one was reported hurt during the attack.

31 December 2019

2020: New Year, Old Problems

By any measure, 2019 has been an extraordinary year. 

Interesting Times

For the world, 2019 was the year that Brexit became official--while the final separation between Great Britain and the European Union is not until the end of January, 2020, Boris Johnson and the Tories' commanding electoral victory has been yet another affirmation of British desire to stand apart from the rest of Europe. 

24 December 2019

A Savior Is Born

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God was born in the town of Bethlehem, in Judea. Christian tradition tells us He was born on December 25, the day we know as Christmas.

22 December 2019

Persuading The People On Impeachment

The great impeachment story of the past week, after the House voted Articles of Impeachment against President Trump, was Speaker Nancy Pelosi's sudden decision not to transmit the articles to the Senate for the impeachment trial that is the second phase of the impeachment process. According to statements she made to the press immediately after the impeachment vote, she has a concern the impeachment trial procedures would be unduly biased towards the President.
“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi told reporters at a news conference just moments after the House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstructing congressional investigations. “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”

20 December 2019

Trump Is Still ALMOST Impeached

Even the sobriquet "Clown World" fails to do the absurdity of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives justice. Having engaged in an unprecedented act of political self-immolation in voting ludicrous Articles Of Impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi now seeks to nullify her party's effort at nullifying the 2016 electoral outcome by refusing to send those Articles on to the Senate for an impeachment trial.

Her reason? A concern that the Senate trial will not be "fair" to the Democrats.
“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi told reporters at a news conference just moments after the House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstructing congressional investigations. “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”
The answer to Casey Stengel's immortal question "Can't anybody here play this game?" for the House Democrats is a resounding "No".

Democratic Republic Of The Congo: When The Blessings Of Liberty Are Denied

The Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, in his seminal work Capitalism and Freedom, argued quite powerfully for the intertwining of political and economic freedom, asserting that a free polity and a free market were the foundations of economic prosperity everywhere. That thinking has guided much of the political and economic rhetoric on matters affecting the developing nations of the world.

During his tenure as Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan added an additional element to the prosperity equation--technology.
When historians look back at the latter half of the 1990s a decade or two hence, I suspect that they will conclude we are now living through a pivotal period in American economic history. New technologies that evolved from the cumulative innovations of the past half-century have now begun to bring about dramatic changes in the way goods and services are produced and in the way they are distributed to final users. Those innovations, exemplified most recently by the multiplying uses of the Internet, have brought on a flood of startup firms, many of which claim to offer the chance to revolutionize and dominate large shares of the nation's production and distribution system.
Technology makes life better for everyone. Technology raises everyone's standard of living, and ends crushing poverty.

We know this because Alan Greenspan has said so. We know this because experts and academics have said so. Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas states the case quite thus:
Technological progress is the key to a country’s long-term increase in its material well-being, the work of Nobel laureate Robert Solow and economist Trevor Swan showed in the 1950s. The contribution of factors of production, such as capital or labor, is only temporary. The Nobel Prize-winning work reshaped our understanding of why countries such as the United States exhibit sustained labor productivity growth, while others such as Niger and Zimbabwe become impoverished. Technological progress also might hold a key to understanding persistent differences in the rates of improvement in the standard of living among countries.
The science is settled, as it were. Technology is the magic elixir to bring prosperity to everyone. The secret for poor countries to climb out of poverty is technology. Technology powers economic growth, and economic growth powers rising living standards.

Except, of course, when technology does not power economic growth. Then technology can make life much, much worse. Then technology can foster new ways to exploit and disadvantage people and nations.