Previous Articles

  • Thinking About Things: Highlights of the Downward Spiral in American Education January 21, 2020 by John DeQ. Briggs - It is difficult for me to think about education in America these days without thinking about how much has changed and how much seems to have been lost. I was recently asked to submit some reflections to my alma mater, Harvard College, on the occasion of my upcoming 55th Reunion. What is set forth below is both an excerpt from and an expansion of those ruminations. There is more to say in a further effort down the road. What I said in my essay was that I had neither the will nor the energy to put down on paper all the many things that have so defiled the American educational system. But the main points I mentioned implicated the watering down of the curricula, the absence of any common knowledge base among recent graduates of all colleges, the coddling and closing of the American mind (which begins and is sustained on college campuses such as Harvard), the insidious growth of cancellation history and historical revisionism, and the scandalous ways in which influential parents pry their children into brand-name schools. These and many other aspects of higher education all bode very poorly for the future success of current undergraduates and for…
  • Thinking About Things: Annual, Decennial, and Other Observations January 7, 2020 by John DeQ. Briggs - By John DeQ. Briggs -- As we begin the ‘20’s, I find myself reflecting on the last year, the last decade, the last quarter century and even the last century. This column curates a selection of writings of interest on these things and offers some of my views as well.
  • A Tale of Two States and the Duty to Protect January 7, 2020 by Matthew Daley - By Matt Daley -- Few would argue with the view that there is a universal duty to protect the innocent and a correlative duty for private citizens to do so when government is incapable. This duty was dramatically illustrated on Sunday last in the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas when parishioner Jack Wilson fired his legally carried, concealed handgun and stopped Keith Kinnunen who had opened fire on the congregation with a shotgun, killing two before he himself was shot. Unsurprisingly, Kinnunen had an extensive criminal record. There is little room for doubt that had he not been stopped, Kinnunen would have killed others.
  • Transsexual Terror December 31, 2019 by W. David Montgomery - The last straw was filling out a questionnaire in a new doctor’s office that asked my gender at birth, my chosen gender with at least 6 different choices, and which of 5 pairs of pronouns I preferred. I cannot remain silent on my outrage that the less than one half of one percent of the population who identify as transsexual can dictate language and behavior to the other 99.5%. The analogous group that comes to my mind is the Jacobins during the French Revolution who rewrote the French language and beheaded anyone even suspected of disloyalty to the Revolution. Just like the Jacobins, the transsexual Committee of Public Safety has its new guillotine ready for anyone who dares question its doctrines. Disputing the pseudo-scientific claims that gender is neither binary nor biological will send the dissident straight to it.
  • CHRISTMAS: The Trinity’s Musings December 31, 2019 by Guest Author - Once, not and upon, but in the fullness of time, the Trinity turned its internal conversation to the subject of humanity. "What more can we do for them?" asked the Father. "They never seem to get the message about how deeply we (or is it I? - I can never get this being/person thing grammatically correct) love them. They keep on missing the point, trying to buy our love rather than simply enjoying it." "I know," said the Son, "there is only one thing left we can do. I will become one of them. I know that that will further confuse this being/person language, but it is the only way they will truly begin to understand that we only want to be one with them. I'm the best candidate for the job, for I am the Word through which not only everything was created, but by which humanity defines itself."
  • The Opportunity Cost of Impeachment: H.R. 838 December 10, 2019 by Matthew Daley - Efforts to impeach Donald Trump have clearly been the highest priority of the Democratic Party in 2019, to the exclusion, hopefully temporary, of other important public policy goals. Surprisingly, one bill that has languished would address widespread public concern about mass casualty events. Known as the TAPS Act (the Threat Assessment, Prevention and Safety Act), H.R. 838 would draw upon the techniques developed by the U.S. Secret Service over the past three plus decades to identify, investigate, assess and mitigate threats.
  • How Nancy Pelosi Puts Impeachment Above Her Own Party’s Interests December 10, 2019 by W. David Montgomery - One of the ironies of the impeachment process is that Nancy Pelosi seems willing to sacrifice the very Democrat congressmen whose election gave her a majority by putting good legislation on hold while impeachment proceeds. The case in point is legislation that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico with a new agreement far more favorable to the US and particularly workers in traditionally Democrat districts who voted for Trump. This new agreement, called the US-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA), was described by the Seattle Times (!) as “enormously important to Washington’s economic growth and job creation. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) also substantially improves environmental and labor protections over NAFTA, the 1994 agreement it will replace.”
  • Editor’s Note December 10, 2019 by Guest Author - With the impeachment proceedings producing nothing more notable than Adam Schiff’s intimidation of witnesses and revelation that he was spying on the telephone calls of journalists and private citizens, this issue will address some of the opportunity costs of impeachment: lack of action on legislation with strong bipartisan support in the House that would ensure passage in both chambers. Matt Daley, a former Secret Service agent and co-editor, writes about the need to pass HR 838, and act that would allow law enforcement to utilize techniques developed by the Secret Service to identify and mitigate threats. David Montgomery writes about another action stalled by impeachment, approval of a new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada also supported by both parties and sure to pass the House if brought up for a vote.
  • Impeachment of Donald Trump November 26, 2019 by Matthew Daley - While we are only partially through the House of Representatives impeachment process, a number of judgments present themselves clearly. As a starting point, we take the principled position announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eight months ago, i.e., “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country, And he’s just not worth it.” One need not take a position on whether President Trump is “worth it” to acknowledge and validate the assertion that the issue giving rise to impeachment of a President should be compelling and overwhelming. It arguably needs bipartisan support to warrant the risks it may pose to an already frayed national political and social psyche. Those whose hair is sufficiently gray to recall the Congressional hearings that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation have a strong point of reference with which to make judgments using Speaker Pelosi’s criteria. Sadly, today the House is split, overwhelmingly on partisan lines. Thus far the hearings have not moved the public opinion needle any great distance and can hardly be termed bipartisan. Those who favor impeachment have had to…
  • The Green New Deal and the Poor November 12, 2019 by Guest Author - No area of policy is more prone to panaceas than energy policy. President Jimmy Carter thought if Congress passed his energy program, it would not only solve America’s energy problems, but its economic and moral ones as well. Yet even Carter never thought of a panacea like the Green New Deal (GND). Its main promoter Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), known popularly by her initials (just like her program) as AOC, has said the multi-trillion-dollar GND would: forestall looming climate catastrophe; forcibly transition the entire $20 trillion U.S. economy from one largely based on the utilization of morally suspect fossil fuels to one using only (100 percent) immaculate carbon-dioxide-free renewables; lead to full employment (which the US has anyway); and “promote justice and equity… repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.” And it would be largely accomplished in ten years—completely finished in 30.