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Reagan

Tripolitan War
History/Politics

A Lesson From The Tripolitan War

In the west, people tend to have short memories. Typically this isn’t a problem because most lapses in memory tend to be centered around the mundane: Where you left your car keys, picking up the dry-cleaning, the date of your third cousin’s wedding to the Shriner who resembles Dwight Yoakam, only uglier – if you can imagine that. With any luck you’ll find your keys, get to the dry-cleaner, and, hopefully, you chose something more becoming to wear to the nuptial ceremony than a leisure suit. These things are easily understood and forgiven, if not completely relatable. The leisure suit… Not so much. It’s the bigger things we forget that are less understandable. Entire wars are said to have been lost to the sands of time. Less notable than the Korean War is the Tripolitan War which was declared against the United States some two hundred and sixteen years ago. Angered by President Thomas Jefferson’s refusal to pay ransom in exchange for captured merchant vessels, Yusuf Pasha declared war… Keep Reading

first one hundred days
Politics

The First One Hundred Days Is a Meaningless Metric

The first one hundred days of a new president’s presidency is a media gimmick created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. I’ll skip right to the important part: It was a crock of shit then and it’s an even bigger crock of shit now. It’s an artifice meant to distract from more important things, such as the fact that the effects of policy-making often do not become evident until long after they are implemented. It took years for the deregulation of craft brewing to reap dividends and when it did Reagan’s economy took credit while Carter pounded sand. Like many (maybe most) bad ideas, NAFTA seemed like a good one at the time. The War on Drugs was supposed to usher in a utopia of peaceful streets and whole families; some forty years later it is an obvious failure built on lies. The point is, setting policy – good or bad – is a process, not an event. Roosevelt’s media gimmick is a snapshot of a bigger picture with… Keep Reading

Economics

I’m a Conservative, And I Care About Income Inequality

“The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.”   As a young man growing up in a conservative home in the ‘90s, I must have heard this cliché thrown around by liberals a thousand times.  I really never gave it much thought. Even though my family often toed the poverty line, we worked hard to be self-sufficient and never accept government aid.  To me, income inequality was just a talking point used to attack hard-working business people, and a way to prime voters for the goodies the Democrats planned to buy votes with next election cycle: free health care, free education, food stamps, welfare, etc.  Trickle-down economics made sense to me, and I could see how government policies that benefited business would also help the working-class folks who relied on those businesses for jobs, products, and services. But now, four administrations later, I’m starting to see wage and income gaps in a very different way.  A new report is showing that income inequality is accelerating in the US, and that the… Keep Reading

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