Beneath our Consideration

The man is contemptible. For the record, he never served in Vietnam, having received a student deferment to complete his Ivy League business degree, and later a medical deferment, supposedly over bone spurs in his feet. He lied to the press about his deferment status. This became an issue after he criticized John McCain as a loser for being captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese. I had forgotten about Trump’s trashing McCain’s service. I am very glad McCain, a hawkish hothead, did not become president, but Trump’s making fun of him as a POW and torture victim is, well, contemptible.

— Rod Dreher
Gold Star Father Clobbers Tin Pot Politician”
The American Conservative

The First Step

Here in the Pentagon, we need to be careful about casting stones about a requirements process in need of discipline.

Dr. Jamie Morin
Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
United States Department of Defense

Source: Here’s What the Pentagon’s Top Cost Estimator Has to Say About the Death Star | VICE News

The man whose job it is to tell the DoD how much a weapons system is REALLY going to cost comes right out and confesses that the Pentagon has a real problem with controlling program costs. And he’s about 42.

I think we have a future SecDef here…

The Shifting Boundaries of Free Speech

So no society tolerates every imaginable form of speech; there are always boundaries. What’s disorienting about American society today is how quickly the boundaries are shifting. Beliefs that were almost universal less than 20 years ago—and are held by around 40 percent of the American people now—are deemed utterly beyond the pale. It’s hard not to suspect that some of the people most devoted to policing those boundaries are pouncing prosecutorially on views that they themselves held not that long ago. (The convert’s zeal.)

Alan Jacobs
“The Value of Disagreement”
The American Conservative
July 9, 2015


“The wide range of ideological differences that flourish in America is precisely what makes us strong. But when we let those differences prevent us from communicating, the strength turns into a weakness.”

Jon Huntsman

The Big Business Fallacy

I believe that the Republicans don’t think that there’s anything wrong economically in this country that giving big business (as distinct from small business) more power, and increasing globalization, will not solve.

via Trump and Elitism | The American Conservative.

This, from a conservative writer, Rod Dreher. And this is a significant problem with the GOP today: it seems to take its marching orders from the Fortune 500.

Once that gets out (and I’m not exactly whispering, and neither is Dreher or others like us,) the GOP will lose the center for 2016. At that point, we either step up with something better, or we step back and watch the rotten old elephant keel over and die.

A Benchmark Foreign Policy Doctrine

“No foreign policy can be justified except a policy devoted… to the protection of the liberty of the American people, with war only as the last resort and only to preserve that liberty.”

Senator Robert A. Taft

The Role of the Media

It is not the media’s job to decide what the American people can and cannot hear. That is dishonesty, that is lying. It is the media’s job to keep the American people informed. That’s what it’s there for, and doing anything else is simply abusing the trust millions and millions of Americans have for the current news media system.

via Dear America: Please Get Your Head Out of Your Ass About Bernie Sanders — Medium.

Exactly why the mainstream media – from Fox News to MSNBC, from The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times – are becoming impediments to a healthy American system rather than its guardians.

Religious Intolerance is Ingrained in America

A Catholic philosopher friend who thinks very deeply about these things says that we are deceiving ourselves if we think that appeals to religious liberty will protect us in the emerging order. Even if broad-minded liberals wanted to be tolerant and magnanimous, he says, the logic that leads to the discovery in the Constitution of gay civil rights will require intolerance of religious liberty, insofar as it impinges upon gay rights. This is because ideas have consequences, and the ontological and anthropological ideas that led to the moral and legal justification of same-sex marriage depose normative Christianity from the core of the culture’s understanding of itself.

via Rod Dreher
The Unraveling of the Common Good
The American Conservative
April 28, 2015

The Kulturkampf is over, people of faith lost, and it was pretty much inevitable. All that remains for people of faith to do is decide whether they want to assimilate, revolt, or find some modus vivendi that allows us to live according to the precepts of our faiths at a degree of remove from the wider society.

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