‘Political Opining’ Archive

Did Jesus Give Us Our Individualism? July 27, 2017 No Comments

Patrick Deneen has warned that modern ‘liberalism’, which includes American style conservatism, has stressed the individual and dominion over nature so much as to weaken community.  In trying to liberate the individual, the state, and for conservatives the market, expand to protect us from the arational [as Fukuyama calls them] spheres of authority, which is to say, […]

Suggestions for the Democratic Party, Part 2:  The Housing Issue March 29, 2017 2 Comments

I just put out a post on the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the Democratic Party, and then realized that I had omitted one issue that is close to our heart here at Blue Kennel.  I refer to, of course, the issue of housing.  Jed Kolko and Derek Thompson discovered that the housing crunch was most severe in […]

Several Suggestions for the Democratic Party of California No Comments

The Democratic Party of California has reason for complacency.  It is the only state level political party of significance.  It unites the majority communities of color with the creative class portion of the still powerful non-Hispanic white minority.  The tensions in this should be obvious, and I admit that I pounce with great Schadenfreude on any […]

California’s Trump-like Moment, 22 Years Before Trump: The Adventures of Pete Wilson March 22, 2017 No Comments

The United States on the whole has seen a rather sudden pivot, or so it seemed, of ‘conservatism’ from a coalition of religious or moral conservatives, economic conservatives [the latter were split into ever lower taxes fiscal ‘conservatives’, and deficit hawk ‘moderates’, the latter being pretty much run out of the party after Reagan], and […]

Opportunities for Positive Testimony October 24, 2016 2 Comments

The candidacy of Donald Trump, and his takeover of the Republican Party, has split the American evangelical world and is, I think, purging it.  But it is creating opportunities for positive testimony as well.  The Daily Beast, far from a religious right site, posted recently a story about the Christians of the ironically named town […]

Richard Nixon: A Precedent for Donald Trump? June 12, 2016 No Comments

It occurred to me that a possible precedent for Donald Trump might be none other than Richard Nixon.  Now I think that Nixon was a far more intelligent man than Trump, and, for all his sins, a person of superior moral character to Trump.  [Nixon’s most serious moral failing was deciding to cover up the […]

Andrew Sullivan on Trump and Tyranny: A Response June 1, 2016 No Comments

Andrew Sullivan, having retired from blogging and writing after first giving us the idea of same sex marriage and then being lambasted by his followers for wanting to be tolerant to their enemies who lost over that particular issue, has returned to the public square, inspired by Donald Trump.  His long essay in New York […]

Dictator’s Ex-Wife Finds a New, Younger Love April 10, 2016 No Comments

Dictators ain’t what they used to be, if they can’t put a stop to this!

Trump and Sanders: Where You’ve Seen Them Before March 27, 2016 No Comments

The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is kind of a shock to the American system.  But a European would know exactly, in my opinion, where they fit in.  Trump is not at all a conservative according to the American model of ‘fusion’ conservatism.  But he does correspond to what Europeans call the ‘right.’ […]

Rest In Peace, Nino Scalia – But! March 7, 2016 No Comments

Antonin Scalia [1936-2016] was one of the best loved judges for his wit, and hated for his legal reasoning.  For the most part, he was a hero to those who wish to uphold the text of the United States Constitution as opposed to those who wish to read fantastic things into it. But I am […]

Obama’s “allergy to antithesis” strikes again? December 11, 2015 No Comments

Please read “WaPo columnist slams ‘dry,’ ‘detached’ Obama” in response to my previous BlueKennel post “Obama and the Allergy to Antithesis“.

Allergy to Antithesis, Yet Again August 20, 2014 No Comments

The New York Times has just done a story on how Obama is not getting along well with the Democrats in Congress. To quote it: “In one sense, Mr. Obama’s response was a reminder of what made him such an appealing figure in the first place:  his almost innate aversion to the partisan squabbles that have […]

The Closer to Home, The Farther from the People: The Media have Turned the Founding Fathers’ World Upside Down July 29, 2014 No Comments

In an essay in the recent book The Beholden State [pages 96-101], William Voegeli, of the Claremont Institute, writes about the scandal in the Los Angeles borough of Bell, where the city officers were found to be ridiculously overpaid.  He questions whether people today have the ability to exercise the level of oversight at the local […]

What to do about Ukraine March 4, 2014 No Comments

In other words, Berezow says they need a Nelson Mandela. My own suggestions are more in the Congress of Vienna – Treaty of Versailles tradition:  Cede everything east of the Vorskla and Dnipro rivers to Russia.  This includes Crimea, Kharkiv, and Donbas.  Allow EU troops [which really means French] to be stationed in the rump […]

The Late Chaim Potok and the 2012 Election January 4, 2014 No Comments

My apologies for my long silence.  I was gone for five weeks, mainly on my wife’s business, but the last portion of the trip was a journey through the north of Greece looking mostly at painted churches.  I should start posting from the road, though I have no desire to compete necessarily with my wife’s […]

A Strategic Political Realignment for Evangelicals? April 12, 2013 1 Comment

Darryl Hart, of Hillsdale College, in these two links (From Culture to Party Wars? and Abandon the GOP, Join the Democratic Party) proposes that evangelicals, probably soon to be rejected by Republicans, could consider joining the Democratic party to evangelize it or be salt and light in it.  That was part of my reasoning for […]

Is Hawai’i the Bellwether for California? February 20, 2013 1 Comment

California used to consider itself the leading state and the bellwether for the entire country.  Now that the entrepreneurial initiative has mostly switched to Texas and other such places, and Texas’s infrastructure has pulled ahead of California’s in its quality [I lived in Texas in the 1970s, and it was not so then!], California is, […]

A New Federal Department of Cities? February 17, 2013 1 Comment

Oh good grief.  Don’t we already have a Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Florida?  As C. Northcote Parkinson pointed out more than 50 years ago in Parkinson’s Law, only dictatorships have a cabinet larger than approximately 20.  It is time to start to be vigilant about the size of our Cabinet. Veterans’ Affairs […]

Allergy to Antithesis, Again February 4, 2013 1 Comment

Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal, declares that Obama is trying to destroy the Republican party using a Marcusean strategy of ‘liberating intolerance’.  But in the previous term, Obama was trying a policy of including the Republicans and everyone he could possibly include.  Has Obama changed completely?  What is the connecting link between this […]

Declining Birth and Marriage Rates Threaten Whom? January 2, 2013 No Comments

Jonathan Last says declining birth and marriage rates are “a threat to the right’s political survival”[?]  More likely the left’s political survival; the right is making such babies as are being made, and all they have to do is educate and bring them up properly. In response to: “Demography as destiny: The vital American family” […]

Why Social Conservatives are Still Needed December 26, 2012 1 Comment

David Frum, who has written an e-book called While Romney Lost, says here that social conservatives [for which read Christians] are still useful, because they are the ones more likely to call attention to inequality and the declining living standard of the working class. I appreciate this. In response to: “Social Conservatives: We Need You!” […]

There’s More to the World than America December 23, 2012 2 Comments

I am not all that upset about the November election, for two reasons: 1. The church is growing so fast in Africa and China that it more than makes up for our losses in America and the West.  I feel bad for America, in many ways, but there’s more to the world than America. 2. […]

L.A. vs San Francisco: Who Runs California? June 14, 2012 No Comments

Zócalo wonders why the Bay Area, with half the population of the Los Angeles Basin, tends to dominate the state politically.  I don’t have a theory about that, but I have several suggestions. 1.  A lot of Southern Californians are immigrants, and either haven’t registered to vote, or aren’t from cultures like the African-American and the […]

How The Tobacco Companies Should Spend Their Money June 2, 2012 1 Comment

Once again, in the debate over California’s Proposition 29, the tobacco companies seem to have all the money in the world, even though relatively few people smoke nowadays.  Under the circumstances, I don’t shed much of a tear for them. 1.  They could put on their packs, in type as large as the health warning, […]

RIP Thomas Fuentes, 1948-2012 May 29, 2012 2 Comments

Thomas Alexander Fuentes, long time Director of Communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, and also Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, died in May 2012.  People had actually expected him to die the previous fall, but he hung on, held court from his bed, helped and advised people, and occasionally actually […]

Washington D.C.: The Center of the Universe: And Who to blame? April 7, 2012 3 Comments

Joel Kotkin on Newgeography.com writes about the nearly recession-proof nature of Washington, D. C. and its metro area.  It is a city of government and the mandarin classes, and they never go out of style.  But it seems to me that even during Republican administrations – the age of Reagan and Bush Senior, and that of […]

SAUCE FOR THE CHRISTIAN GOOSE, SAUCE FOR THE MUSLIM GANDER? March 25, 2012 No Comments

Recently it was revealed in a column by Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish liberal Muslim, that Newt Gingrich is a fan of none other than Mustafa Kemal Atatuerk. Say what? Kemal Atatuerk was one of the most radical secularists of the 20th century outside of the Communist world itself. Ruling Turkey from 1923 to 1939, he […]

Observations on California’s Political Geography March 24, 2012 5 Comments

A recent series of political maps from PPIC, Public Policy Institute of California, provides some fascinating information. One of the maps inflates or shrinks the various regions according to population; it makes clear why the Democratic Party dominates the state, largely because they dominate two large urban regions. But the fourth map and the auxiliary […]

The Politician who Defeated Santorum March 21, 2012 1 Comment

I have seen it asserted that Rick Santorum is such a loser that the people of Pennsylvania rejected him and his social agenda.  Him, maybe, but before you conclude that they utterly rejected his social agenda, Gentle Readers, take a look at a few links about the man who defeated him: “Senate Dems defeat contraceptives-policy […]

Stealth Democracy: A Summary of the Thesis of John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse February 22, 2012 1 Comment

It was fashionable in the sixties to talk of ‘participatory democracy.’  But John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, claim, on the basis of much research and reading, that that is exactly what the people at large want to avoid.  Rather, what they want could be best described as […]

Some Vice-Presidential Speculation, Already February 13, 2012 1 Comment

Obama’s recent attempt to force Catholic institutions to act contrary to their beliefs if they serve the public at large has tempted me to cross party lines and vote Republican for President this fall. So I might as well speculate on who the Republicans should nominate as vice president. I think Mitt Romney will win […]

President Obama’s Difficulty with Diversity February 7, 2012 No Comments

The San Francisco Chronicle, not a right wing publication, reports on Obama’s difficulty in getting along with people of diverse opinions. Too much antithesis for him, I guess. Related: “Obama’s 2012 slogan: Can’t work with others” by Debra Saunders at SFGate.com

Obama’s Dilemma, High Speed Rail, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Other Miscellaneous Observations February 1, 2012 No Comments

Joel Kotkin, director of one of our favorite sites, Newgeography.com, has exposed how Obama has alienated people on all sides, even though he will probably win the election.  I notice, now that I think about it, that while the Occupy Movement has not spent a lot of time denouncing Obama, they have not greeted him […]

Who is the Santa Claus Party? December 31, 2011 1 Comment

After the 2004 election, in which the states that went for Bush formed a relatively neat geographical unity and in all the states that went for Kerry maps and T-shirts were circulating labeling the Republican states as ‘Jesusland,’  I thought, what should the rest of the USA and Canada be called?  Santa Claus Land? As […]

‘Donorcracy’ and ‘Patrimonialism’ December 29, 2011 No Comments

Newgeography.com, one of my favorite sites, has deviated from its usual agenda to post this post on what I have called the “donorcracy.”  The pursuit of money is more important to every person pursuing electoral office than the pursuit of votes.  I don”t know who to blame for this; the nature of technology and modern […]

How To Talk About Abortion in California: Accentuate The Positive August 16, 2011 No Comments

I think it’s OK to be pro-life in California politics.  I am not planning to run for office. The notorious Oscar Wilde is rumored to have said, “The problem with socialism is that it will take up too many evenings;” and I’ve found that the same is true, in our society that is oriented to […]

Learning from Francis Fukuyama August 10, 2011 2 Comments

I have finished Francis Fukuyama’s magnum opus, The Origins of Political Order, and as you might expect I like the way he cuts across traditional categories. Of course I have read his notorious The End of History and the Last Man, which became a laughingstock – somewhat unfairly.  I think his point is that under modern […]

Democrats Are 1955 Republicans June 29, 2011 No Comments

Reinforcing my earlier comment on Barack Obama’s allergy to antithesis, here is Michael Lind claiming that Obama is, for practical purposes, an Eisenhower Republican.  As for the so-called social issues, Allan Carlson, in The American Way, pointed out that the Republicans, before about 1965, were the “socially liberal” party, advocating equal opportunity for women in […]

The Political Meaning of ‘God’ May 12, 2011 3 Comments

I have never been a great advocate of ‘prayer in public schools’ except for voluntary Bible clubs and things of that sort. I was, in fact, going to a public school in 1962, when the decision was handed down, and there was nothing we were doing that we had to change at the time, I […]

The Courage Factor April 1, 2011 No Comments

The Economist on Obama’s general lack of courage.  He campaigned on ‘audacity’ and ‘we can’ but it looks like we don’t.  Remember you heard it first here on Blue Kennel.  I hadn’t quite thought of ‘allergy to antithesis’ in terms of cowardice, but I guess I should. As a trustfunder, I have to be careful about […]

Obama’s Oxymoron: Government Innovation March 26, 2011 No Comments

A former Oxy student’s oxymoron.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.  (For the uninformed reader:  Oxy is the common abbreviation for Occidental College, which both our current President and I attended at different times.) Related: “Obama’s Oxymoron: Government Innovation” by Debra J. Saunders at SFGate.com

The Place of Sharia Law in a Free Society January 3, 2011 No Comments

There has been some controversy recently, because the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, suggested that sharia law could in some ways be incorporated into the British law code.  This suggestion created a certain amount of outrage; and in the last election the state of Oklahoma, not a state with a large number of Muslims, passed […]

Partido de Accion Nacional Norte November 24, 2010 No Comments

My suggestion: Shut down the Republican Party in California for four years, then launch a new political party to be called Partido de Accion Nacional Norte (PAN Norte). Depending on what position this party decided to take, I could probably even join it. The Mexican PAN is pretty good for a Mexican political party. Meanwhile, […]

Elizabeth Warren, Co-author of a Book We Like… September 11, 2010 No Comments

Elizabeth Warren, co-author of a book we like to quote on this site, may be about to be appointed the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I am very pleased. I figured she herself was probably not a Republican, but she had suggestions in her book for what the pro-family movement ought to […]

The Unusually Cool Summer in California Reminds Me… August 10, 2010 3 Comments

The unusually cool summer in California reminds me of one of my pet theories:  that cold winters drive white Anglos to vote economically “progressive,” whereas cold or cool summers push them to liberalism on social issues. This applies to overall climate.  What I don”t know is whether an unusually cold or hot summer will have […]

Living Like a Liberal August 3, 2010 2 Comments

In this article Matt Labash explains how being liberal, or progressive, is becoming more than a political belief but a way of life – I would almost say a spirituality of sorts. The text, he says, is Justin Krebs” work “538 Ways to Live Work and Play Like a Liberal.” Ultimately, this is a trend […]

Who Are All These People on the Ballot? June 7, 2010 No Comments

Ballots nowadays are crowded with all kinds of names that one has never heard of, for offices one has never heard of. Originally the reason for all this was that these small local offices were closer to “the people” than the national offices. Well, that was fine when “the people” were white male owners of […]

Political Partnership and the Prophet Jonah March 18, 2010 1 Comment

In the course of my “annual” reading of the Bible I happened to come across the book of Jonah.  This book has been spoiled for us by arguments about “did it really historically happen?”  I take the position that it could have happened, because we can’t rule out the truth of anything just because it […]

Obama and the Allergy to Antithesis March 8, 2010 3 Comments

The so-called “progressives” are going to be more and more disillusioned with President Obama in the immediate near future, I predict.  And not because he is a “moderate.”  He is manifestly not.  At least in his ultimate aspirations, he is as radical as they. Rather, he shares an attitude – I wouldn’t call it a […]

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization… February 27, 2010 2 Comments

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization, I will move my headquarters to Fresno. It is well located at the center of the state, and for reasons specified here it is the best place from which I can fulfill my campaign promises. Related: “Fresno, Calif., tops list of ‘drunkest’ U.S. cities; Boston least” […]

Global Warming: If You Can’t Beat It, Join It. February 24, 2010 3 Comments

This recent article in Reason Magazine by Ronald Bailey raises the issue of whether Global Warming is worse than the sort of society and government it would take to stop it. Actually, I think a more efficient way of dealing with global warming might be to adapt to it.  That solves two problems. First, I […]

Tax Auditors Keep Tabs on Bars by Imbibing… February 16, 2010 1 Comment

I have never considered running for office, but I think I shall now consider running for the Board of Equalization. And I promise to anyone who votes for me that I will not delegate the important matter of liquor taxes to any faceless unelected bureaucrat, but shall take responsibility for these particular matters myself! Related: […]

Palestine: More than one way to do a two-state solution. November 18, 2009 No Comments

Why does everyone assume that in order for there to be a two-state solution in Palestine, the Palestinian state has to include the entire pre-1967 West Bank? Why could they not just enlarge the current Palestinian zones considerably? You would have a “Samaria” in the north, an entity probably called “Idumaya” including the Palestinian portions […]

I Do Not Have to, and I Will Not, Choose Between Being “Morally Superior” and Being A “Robber” No Comments

I enjoyed Jonathan Chait’s review of two books about Ayn Rand’s world in a recent New Republic. I have not actually read the books reviewed, but I, and members of my family, have been at various times exposed to and fascinated by Ayn Rand, from her first novel, We the Living, which is possibly her […]

The Surprising Fruit of 9/11 September 11, 2009 2 Comments

Today is the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York City. In the US, the event seemed to me to have an effect on the results of the 2004 election, but by the time of the 2008 election the impact had faded. And yet I would contend the long-term impact of the 9/11 […]