Previous Articles

  • Worth Reading January 10, 2023 January 10, 2023 by The Editors - JDQB: The Woke World For those of you who follow the daily madness of the woke world, which does not seem to be going away, several recent short articles are of interest.  The first is by Jonathan Turley titled “Diversity Through Obscurity: Applicants’ told To Delete The Names Of Schools On Their Resumes.”  This is not a university or Government directive, but a New York real estate consulting firm.  To achieve diversity goals, the company wants applicants to list only the degree they got and not where it came from. The second such piece is from the Wall Street Journal, and hence behind a pay wall. The piece is titled: Inside the Woke Indoctrination Machine by two authors who write regularly on education.  The article is based on nearly 100 hours of leaks from the 108 workshops held virtually last year for the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference.  According to the authors the leaked videos “… act as a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the DEI playbook.”  No short summary does the article justice and I’m not sure how many independent private schools in this country buy into the program described, although I am aware that my own alma mater certainly does, which has caused…
  • Biden’s Immigration Policy: Pivot or Pirouette? January 10, 2023 by Matthew Daley - Matthey P. Daley On Sunday President Biden did something he spent two years evading: going to our border with Mexico in the most visual symbol of what may or may not be a real shift in policy.  The motives for the timing of his visit are reasonably apparent:   The 2022 elections are safely in the review mirror and the prospect of House hearings into the border situation looms large, perhaps with an effort to impeach Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. The fiction – one of truly Orwellian proportions – that the border was “secure” and “closed” could not be maintained in the face of coverage, not just by Fox News, but by the mainstream media as well. The trends in illegal immigration are moving sharply in the wrong direction.  There have been more unauthorized border crossings in the past year than in any year in the last five decades.  A change of some type was necessary to avoid even greater damage in the 2024 elections. By way of review, there is no doubt that President Biden came into office determined to undo many of the initiatives of President Trump.  The Biden Administration proclaimed that their immigration policy would be welcoming, and humane and…
  • Thinking About Things:  A Year of Dark Clouds, Silver Linings, and Mysteries January 10, 2023 by John DeQ. Briggs - John DeQ Briggs As Dave Barry said in introducing his 2022 Year in Review: “The best thing we can say about 2022 is: It could have been worse.”    For example, we could have had nuclear Armageddon. This briefly appeared to be a possibility, at least according to the president, who broke the news in October at (Why not?) a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of a wealthy donor in New York City. That must have been an exciting event! One moment everybody’s standing around chewing hors d’oeuvres, and the next moment WHOA WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? The next day, after the news media ran a bunch of scary headlines, the White House Office of Explaining What the President Actually Meant explained that the president wasn’t suggesting that we were facing Armageddon per se, but was merely, as is his wont, emitting words, one of which happened to be “Armageddon,” No year, and this has been especially true of recent years, should end without lifting a glass to Dave Barry and his ability to find humor in all things. The entire column is here. 2022 may have been mostly bad in many ways, but there were some significant silver linings in some…
  • Editors Note: December 21, 2022 by The Editors - Happy Holidays from the Chesapeake Observer The editors wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We are taking this time with family and friends, and will return with the first issue of 2023 on January 10. The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Pinturrichio, Santa Maria Maggiore, Spello, Italy I cannot help but add a few thoughts about the passing year.  I can see little happening in our nation and world to make me merry (for examples, see our Worth Reading selections for this issue).  Lasting happiness cannot come from the external sources of politics and world affairs.  In this season, by taking time off from the world, I can make merry with family, friends and even the cat whose permanent attachment to my lap is making typing an exercise in contortion to reach my keyboard. We can all get solace and hope by following the venerable Christmas traditions.  Most important, with the birth of our Saviour who is also the King of Kings, we can remember that we are exiles here, as the carol goes.  It is our task to do all we can to improve this City of Man, but we need to remember that we are just visitors who will…
  • Worth Reading December 22, 2022 December 21, 2022 by The Editors - Domestic outlook A good assessment of Kamala Harris (MPD) This article seems to cut through a lot of stuff and get to the heart of one key aspect of the Republican Party, if there really is such a thing today. It has the side benefit of being a very short read. (JDQB) Ukraine outlook A well written if perhaps wishful analysis of damage to Russia from sanctions and Putin’s own errors (MPD) An introduction to the doctrine of Forward Resilience to counter Russia’s intended destruction of Ukraine (MPD) A dreadfully pessimistic assessment of the prospects for Ukraine.  Passed to editors by a serious source, but containing some politically-charged phrasing relevant to its credibility (MPD) For those who can stand it, this interview with the vocal “realist” John Mearsheimer reveals the fantasies on which he and others are now basing their views on Putin and Ukraine, as well as a great deal about Mearsheimer’s character. (WDM) Afghanistan In the last issue, we wrote about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and Father Peter Gray's charitable work there. He provides first-hand reports from those he helps about the latest ban on education for women by the Taliban. Something uplifting As a devoted reader of Tolkein, WDM is delighted by this essay on living in a time when…
  • Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan December 6, 2022 by The Editors - By Matt Daley and David Montgomery Much ink has been spilled over the ill-judged policies promulgated by Presidents Trump and Biden that led to the August 2021 debacle at Hamid Karzai International Airport. American credibility and honor were shredded as our Afghan allies were largely abandoned and the Taliban took over. Thirteen US military personnel lost their lives at the airport, more than had been killed in the preceding four years. Afghanistan’s economy was shattered and full-fledged humanitarian crisis blossomed. This essay will not scrutinize the many and varied missteps on the road to that tragedy or the many and grievous violations of human rights by the Taliban, the de facto rulers of Afghanistan. Rather it will look at the situation on the ground today with respect to the humanitarian crisis and the steps being taken to address it. The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan overshadows events elsewhere in the world in terms of the size of the population in dire need. (It is conceivable that developments in Ukraine would give that country the dismal top billing.) The World Food Program (a UN agency) cites predictions that over half the population will experience critical or emergency levels of food insecurity, while…
  • Worth Reading December 6, 2022 December 6, 2022 by The Editors - John DeQ Briggs recommends three items: This is a brilliant interview of Francis Fukuyama by Andrew Sullivan on Liberalism’s Crisis.  While it aired last summer, it is no less pertinent or trenchant today.      The Matt Taibbi Twitter string describing the document dump by Elon Musk and Twitter relating to the pressure by the Democrats to have matters censored is the tip of an interesting iceberg. The Democrats and their enablers have already weighed in with the shopworn Clinton defense: “old news; nothing to see here; this is just Republicans attacking democracy”. But the fact that so many government institutions were determined through prevarication and other such methods to keep certain politically threatening things quiet suggests we have entered a new phase of the abandonment of the rule of law and entered into the realm of unvarnished lawlessness.   Rarely do briefs filed with the Supreme Court as Amicus Curiae involve humor, much less are they laced with humor to make their main point. In this case The Onion filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of an Ohio man who faced criminal charges over a Facebook page parodying his local police department. The opening paragraph is this: The Onion is the world’s leading news publication,…
  • Thinking About Things: Our Hugely Interesting 2022 Mid-Terms November 22, 2022 by John DeQ. Briggs - John DeQ. Briggs  In the election finally almost concluded, the Biden administration faced  hurricane force headwinds brought on by many things. including:  (i) the catastrophic departure from Afghanistan; (ii) the declaration of war on domestic carbon fuels and the consequent spiking gasoline prices; (iii) the flooding of the economy with “free cash” to politically favored groups  and the consequent spiking of inflation to rates not seen since the 1970s; (iv) the disastrous lack of security on the southern border and the consequential spike in deaths from opioids cum Fentanyl;  (v) the toothless criminal law enforcement policies of many urban centers, driving up murders, carjackings, and burglaries; the mishandling of Covid  during  2021 and the caving in to the demand for lockdowns from the teachers’ unions, with the effect of stunting the educational growth of millions of children; and (vi) the panoply of issues surrounding wokeness in schools and elsewhere.    But bucking a nearly century-old trend, instead of receiving the voter punishment expected by most, the administration just about broke even.  This was not because the electorate voted to approve the policies that generated these massive headwinds.  This was because, contrary to most polling and expectations, the GOP in general, and Donald Trump in particular, handed scores of congressional seats to generic…
  • Winnable Elections Lost November 22, 2022 by W. David Montgomery - By David Montgomery Despite a significant advantage in voter registrations, Talbot County Republicans did not do particularly well in local or statewide elections.  Republican Congressman Andy Harris lost to his challenger in Talbot County while winning in his District as a whole.  Republican underdogs in the races for Governor and the U.S. Senate lost in Talbot County, but Republican underdogs for Maryland Comptroller and Attorney General won the Talbot County vote.  The Republican candidate for Attorney General was attacked as an extremist every bit as hard as gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, but the results were the opposite.   At the same time, Republicans took both seats in the Maryland Assembly and the seat in the Maryland Senate.  The Assembly races were close, but Johnny Mautz won the Senate handily over a far-left opponent.  Mautz and one of the Assembly candidates had the advantage of incumbency, and the other Republican won by a narrower margin. Even in races Republicans won, their margin of victory fell far short of their registration advantage. In local elections, the results were mixed.  Republicans ended up with a 3 – 2 majority on the County Council, continuing a trend down from 5 – 0 representation several elections back.  Republican candidates for the four open…
  • Worth Reading November 22, 2022 November 21, 2022 by The Editors - In line with the dedication of this issue to the mid-term elections, we offer a few more reflections on that election here. Republicans are losing races they could have won across the country. It is not just unelectable MAGA candidates coming out of primaries that is responsible. Nationwide and in Talbot County there has been a massive increase in mail-in ballots for Democrats. This short note points out how large this shift is, and contains the recommendation that “Democrats have worked very hard for decades to move to an ‘election season’ where they can harvest ballots every day ... so that by Election Day, they have already won. Whereas Republicans keep focusing on getting people excited for Election Day ... That is not going to work in places where there’s massive unsupervised balloting and ballot trafficking operations, so [Republicans] either need to do a much better job of fighting those things, or they need to join and actually play according to the new rules of the game.” A Republican state senator discusses the outcomes of Maryland races in particular, and again emphasizes how the Democrat mail-in strategy is working for them An article in the City Journal discussed the recent…