The Jim Crow Legacy of Southern Military Bases

The U.S. Congress passed a military defense spending bill with a veto proof majority in December. Yet, President Trump has vetoed the bill setting up a to-the-wire showdown with Congress. Trump’s objections included a provision in the bill to rename U.S. military bases honoring confederate generals. While Congress overrode Trump’s veto – its first – on New Year’s Day, the fact Trump and other Republicans considered base renaming initiative a political loyalty test is both significant and unfortunate. Yet, the so-called heritage critics of base renaming want to protect is probably not the heritage Republicans want to claim, unless they favor a return to Jim Crow America.

The main public objection to bases carrying the names of ex-confederates is that U.S. military bases shouldn’t be named after traitors. These are men who took up arms against the government. There is, however, perhaps a more sinister motivation behind the nomination of the particular generals at the time these bases were established.

Venezuela Goes Digital–It Won’t Fix the Problem

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently announced that the country will be moving toward a “fully digital” economy. The South American nation has struggled in recent years with rampant shortages of staple goods, civil unrest, and hyperinflation. According to the opposition-controlled National Assembly, consumer prices rose more than 65 percent in November, placing the interannual inflation rate up over 4,000 percent. (The Maduro regime stopped publishing official data.)

Federal Burden of Regulation to Increase

Next week, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next President of the United States. With the Congress narrowly divided, his supporters don’t expect much of his policy agenda to gain traction. But he can follow the example of President Obama, who used his pen and phone to bypass the Congress and put many of his policies into effect.

For Obama, that meant using federal regulations to achieve in fact what he could not achieve through legislation. That is unfortunate for American businesses and for citizens, because federal regulations impose a heavy burden.

Voice, Loyalty, Exit, and BLM

Like many Americans, I watched the events at the U.S. Capitol last week in disbelief. My husband, an immigrant, commented that what we witnessed was “why [my family] left Venezuela. This doesn’t happen in the United States.”

He and others have also remarked at the stark difference between the police response to the mostly white pro-Trump mob and the predominantly black Black Lives Matter protests across the United States over the summer. Photos emerged of Capitol police taking selfies with protestors as they broke into Congress. A video surfaced of police holding the door as the same protestors left the building.

Is It Time for Republicans to Move Past Trump?

People have different ideas about the appropriate role for government. Democratic political institutions allow citizens to express those ideas, albeit imperfectly, by campaigning, contributing monetarily, and voting for candidates and parties whose ideas correspond closely with their own. The troubling thing about many Trump supporters is that they appear to be supporting the man himself rather than the ideas he stands for.

Some people consider themselves conservatives, others view themselves as progressives, some as socialists, others as libertarians. They support candidates and parties based on the ideologies behind those labels. Republicans (mostly) self-identify as conservatives, and political institutions give them the opportunity to join with others to further those views on the appropriate role of government.

Powerful, Unaccountable Senior Executive Service Calls for SOS from Taxpayers

“Did you know that the top-level bureaucrats who are doing the most to increase the negative impact of federal government spending cuts to the American people are in line to get big bonuses this year?” That was the intrepid Craig Eyermann back in 2013, in his sole post on the federal Senior Executive Service. This elite outfit was wasteful and redundant, right from the start. 

The Bureaucrats of the Year

If you were to give out an award for Bureaucrat of the Year, how would you pick the winner?

For example, 2020 had a lot of contenders. If you chose incompetence as the main criteria for picking a winner, you might choose the bureaucrats at the Centers for Disease Control. These are the highly educated and trained federal government employees who botched the rollout of their coronavirus test kits. Because they did, their failure allowed the coronavirus to spread undetected in the U.S. for months after it arrived.

Invoke the 25th Amendment?

There has been some talk about using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to remove President Trump from office. The Amendment enables the vice president to do this with support from a majority of “principal officers of the executive department.”

This is not going to happen, but I would not be unhappy if it did, and my opinion has little to do with President Trump. It would set a precedent making it easier to invoke the 25th Amendment in the future, which would reduce the discretionary power of the president.

2024: California Provides a Peek at What’s Ahead for U.S. Under One-Party Rule

Americans who may be curious about what life under Democratic party control will bring don’t need a crystal ball. Having lived under 1-party progressive rule for years, California can provide them a full picture—but they may not like what they see:

The End of the Middle Class

California is home mostly to the very rich and the poor. The primary cause of its high inequality is the cost of housing, according to The Economist: California’s inequality problem is not “the stagnation of low incomes per se. It is stagnation relative to costs—in particular, the cost of housing.” According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, the gap between California’s home prices and those in the rest country started to widen in the 1970s, going from 30 percent above U.S. levels to more than 80 percent by 1980. The LAO blames public policies that suppressed construction when the rest of the country underwent a housing boom. Today, it’s virtually impossible to build new construction in California, as, thanks to regulations like the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), literally anyone can challenge any development, anonymously, with no legitimate cause. As if housing weren’t prohibitively expensive enough, the legislature’s solar mandate passed last year adds another $20,000 or so to each unit’s cost.

The Real Danger of the Capitol Incident: Suppression of Truth and Dissent

Americans are completely correct in expressing utter disgust with the outrageous violent turn of the election protest at the Capitol on January 6th. People who smashed windows, pushed through barricades, injured others, and fought with police should be promptly prosecuted. In a system of ordered liberty, all forms of violent conduct are always dead wrong, unacceptable and counterproductive. Doubts about the election could have been expressed without the violence and destruction. Regardless of reason, the end never justifies the means because every means is an end in itself. Liberty and the Rule of Law require civic virtue and an unswerving standard of individual accountability for one’s acts, without exception.

Peaceful protests are part of political dialogue and have value. There was nothing wrong last summer with people gathering in Minneapolis to express their opinions of law enforcement. Similarly, there was nothing wrong with a march in Washington, D.C., to express opinions about the counting of votes in the election. The problem with both is the unnecessary and inexcusable resort to violence and property damage. Neither is it a justified or indeed helpful component to political speech.

  • Catalyst
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