Iran for Help

The US, specifically the Obama administration, is helping Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons in many ways: Continue reading Iran for Help

Thank You, Veterans

I’m proud of two young men who served as sergeants in Iraq
We’re fortunate; they went in ’91, and both came back
And one yet wears the uniform and serves his country still
The other’s done his job, and both have gained a lot of skill
 
But larger than my family, I raise a proud salute
To all you vets who trained and served that needful high pursuit
We’re here, and we are free, and we’re a nation worth applause
And it has been at your expense — it IS a noble cause
 
A small percentage of us puts their bodies in harm’s way
Some don’t survive. You’ve bought the liberty we have today
And not alone for us, a hundred million souls and more
Were freed by US troops. You know just what you’re fighting for
 
And so do we — and so today I thank you one and all
For answering your country and responding to the call
Our job lies yet before us, to preserve the prize you’ve won
We proudly undertake the job that you’ve so well begun

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

More Engine Trouble

Just hours after I wrote of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket explosion, Virgin Galactica has suffered a similar fate. But this one has claimed at least one human life so far — the pilot — and the co-pilot is in bad shape.

SpaceShipTwo apparently suffered an engine explosion moments after ignition, and after it was dropped from the WhiteKnightTwo mothership. This was the first in-flight explosion for the system, but there is a history here. Continue reading More Engine Trouble

Rocket Science

(In a conversation elsewhere, I responded to complaints about the “NASA rocket” exploding — and to suggestions that this stuff was not new technology and should be easy by now.) Continue reading Rocket Science

The Arctic Joule, One Year Ago

Hmm. This was scheduled to post in August, and never did.

A bit over a year ago, the Arctic Joule full of four tense young rowers was crossing the strait from the Lady Franklin Point — and was bailing out, at the not-quite-halfway mark. By the 28th of August, they were out of the water and done. Continue reading The Arctic Joule, One Year Ago

Term Limits

I’ve been thinking about the term limits issue, and have come to the opinion that the phrase “term limits” needs to be a nonstarter. Federal office is one term, period. And a limited time for bureaucrats in their positions as well. No one should be in Federal office long enough to “retire” from it. Continue reading Term Limits

War Crimes and Prejudice

This is a detailed analysis, with lots of evidentiary support, of the actions of Israel  during the recent Hamas-Israel conflict. It is done through the lens of international law and conventions. An excerpt, after details specific events: Continue reading War Crimes and Prejudice

Christianity and Progressivism

In a discussion at Citizen Tom’s excellent blog, he laments the loss of Christianity (along with politics) as even a topic of popular discussion. In the middle of a long and thoughtful post, with which I largely agree, he notes:

Unfortunately, with each succeeding generation, as a people we have had less success passing Christian beliefs onto the next. Therefore, even though the Bible is still a bestseller, in too many homes the Bible has become a table ornament, not a book that deserves careful and devoted study. As consequence, the values Americans once cherished, the respect we showed for each others God-given rights, have no moral foundation upon which they can now rest.

I responded there with the following observations and example:

I think that it is worth remembering that the scourge of progressivism in the United States was brought about by (mostly) God-fearing men. This is not to blame Christianity, but merely to observe that for most of the past century and a quarter there was little or no connection between belief in God (or absence of that belief) and the rise of socialist/statist bureaucracy and similar other plagues that progressives have wrought.

An example can be drawn from an early and very famous progressive, one who was tremendously influential and who was considered a quintessential Republican. Teddy Roosevelt’s speech here sounds good at first, until he reveals that he (as a proud progressive) would “grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used.”

Note that if it is not “well used,” Roosevelt felt empowered to take it and use it in a way he considered better. He just needed laws to do this … or perhaps not. He described what he meant by “well used”:

It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.

So what did Teddy Roosevelt mean by “honorably obtained”? This:

No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered—not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

These ideas — income tax and estate tax — were years before Amendment 16. He had farmers in his sights as well:

In particular, there are strong reasons why the Departments of Agriculture of the various states, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the agricultural colleges and experiment stations should extend their work to cover all phases of farm life, instead of limiting themselves, as they have far too often limited themselves in the past, solely to the question of the production of crops.

To his credit, TR’s idea of welfare was only for those who deserved it:

The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which he will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him; but if he is a worthy man, try your best to see that he gets a chance to show the worth that is in him … We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life with which we surround them.

Roosevelt stated at the beginning of his speech that people would likely brand him a communist for what he was saying. He used Lincoln’s labor quote, but Lincoln was not inclined to nationalize industries to control capitalism.

But at the time time, the Christian Broadcasting Network and others have pointed out that TR was a man of profound faith:

CBN.com – One thing I have come to appreciate about Theodore Roosevelt is something that largely has been neglected by many history books. That is, the aspect of his fervent Christian faith. In some ways, he might be seen as the most Christian and the most religious of all presidents.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Paul Ryan’s Budgets

Paul Ryan, Republican representative from Wisconsin and the 2012 Republican candidate for vice president, is considering a run for president in 2016. Perhaps I should be happier about this, but I have some problems with Congressman Ryan…

Continue reading Paul Ryan’s Budgets

Obama the Competent

Some commenters have wondered: Since Obama has done so much damage, how can I call him incompetent?  I’d written:

We have, it seems to me, an incompetent, inconstant, insensitive, insidious ingrate for a president — and we are left at this point feeling thankful for the incompetence, without which he’d be even worse.

But the question was fair. It seems a thought experiment may help: Continue reading Obama the Competent