Grover Cleveland: One of the great anti-imperialist presidents

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Daniel Larison

“Grover Cleveland was one of the more remarkable presidents in U.S. history, but today he is scarcely remembered, despite being one of a few men to win the popular vote three times. In a new biography, author Troy Senik seeks to remind Americans of his life and work and to explain why Cleveland has largely vanished from the memory of the nation he served. Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland is sympathetic and admiring, but it is far from uncritical. It tells the story of a genuinely honest and principled man whose sense of justice was so strong that he would frequently put himself at a disadvantage by taking unpopular and losing stands.” (09/23/22)

Ron DeSantis and “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“One of the most popular mantras of the conservative movement and the Republican Party is ‘We need to remove waste, fraud, and abuse from government programs.’ It’s a mantra that these people have employed for decades. It’s found in their speeches, articles, books, websites, and political campaigns. It’s their way of claiming that they are opposed to out-of-control federal spending, debt, and monetary debauchery. According to an article in the Intercept, DeSantis spent $615,000 to ship those 50 immigrants from Dallas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. That’s more than half-a-million dollars! To ship and dump only 50 people for a distance of around 1800 miles. How is that possible?” (09/23/22)

Grift 2.0

Source: The Dispatch
by Kevin D Williamson

“The best case for populist politics is that somebody has to stand up to the arrogant and overbearing ruling class that imposes fads and errors on our common life in the mistaken belief that these are virtues that must be forced on the people for their own good, and if it takes even such a figure as Donald Trump to do that job, then so be it. That is a destructive and wrongheaded view for many reasons, the most important of which is the fact that overbearing mobs need standing up to at least as much as overbearing elites do, and if you are willing to sacrifice anything and everything on the altar of popularity based on the superstition that the People are always — or even usually — right, then you won’t have anything left with which to defend yourself when the mob turns on you. And it will.” (09/23/22)

From “Special Military Operation” to Open War

by Gilbert Doctorow

“The merger of the Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories with the Russian Federation will mark the end of the ‘special military operation.’ An SMO is not something you conduct on your own territory, as panelists on the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov talk show remarked a couple of days ago. It marks the beginning of open war on Ukraine with the objective of the enemy’s unconditional capitulation. This will likely entail the removal of the civil and military leadership and, very likely, the dismemberment of Ukraine. After all, the Kremlin warned more than a year ago that the US-dictated course of NATO membership for Ukraine will result in its loss of statehood. However, these particular objectives were not declared up to now; the SMO was about defending the Donbas against genocide and about de-nazification of Ukraine, itself a rather vague concept.” (09/23/22)

An Education for Thinkers and Doers

Source: Law & Liberty
by Leonidas Zelmanovitz

“A liberal education has long been considered a way to gain general knowledge about how society works and about how to live a proper life, with the understanding that the student will eventually join a trade or a profession and understand how that activity would fit in society. However, it is reasonable to question whether the education of the businessperson or of the statesman should be the same as that of the priest or educator, whatever commonalities they may have. It would take a lifetime for someone to educate himself in all the great books of the Western canon, to say nothing of acquiring knowledge about other civilizations. That may be a lifetime goal worth pursuing incidentally, but it is unrealistic to expect all well-rounded persons to do that.” (09/23/22)

Politicians aren’t better than you

Source: Eastern New Mexico News
by Kent McManigal

“It seems it should be obvious to everyone by now: those who seek positions of political power can’t even run their own lives; they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to run yours. No one is less qualified to do so.” (09/21/22)

Should You Even Vote? Not Necessarily.

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“The usual answer to the question ‘should we vote?’ is ‘of course!’ Some consider it a ‘civic duty’ and even suggest making it mandatory. It’s how the system works. If you don’t vote you have no right to complain about the outcome. Some anarchists, libertarians, and other contrarians take things in the opposite direction. Voting, they say, signals consent to the results, and approval of a bad system. It’s a moral crime. If you vote you have no right to complain about the outcome. Personally, I consider voting neither a civic duty nor a moral crime. If I don’t like my choices (or the overall system), I’m under no obligation to pretend I do by voting. On the other hand, the system does exist …. there’s no reason I shouldn’t register my preferences as to how it operates and who runs it, if I feel like doing that.” (09/22/22)

The Great Authoritarian Arms Race

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Borders

“There is a quote floating around, variously attributed to Lenin and to Marx, which enjoins authoritarians to: Accuse your enemies of doing what you’re doing. Whether this was the work of Lenin or a fortune-cookie writer in Akron, it doesn’t matter. Powerful authorities are actively deploying such tactics. When President Biden gave his now-famous ‘Dark Brandon’ speech against a blood-red backdrop that authorities could have cribbed from a Leni Riefenstahl film, it revealed as much about the machinations of the powerful as the depravity of their strategists. … Those afraid of creeping authoritarianism coming from the Left might be inclined to look to the Right for electoral salvation. But increasingly, you will find that the other side will be motivated more by revenge than by the protection of any principles or American ideals.” (09/22/22)

Tick-tock: Putin escalation begins countdown of diplomacy clock

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Anatol Lieven

“Recent Ukrainian victories made the Russian government’s declaration of partial mobilization a military necessity from Russia’s point of view. Without this, Russia could not sustain the war in the long term. The fact that Putin hesitated for so long before doing this … is a sign of how much he fears the public reaction in Russia. Wednesday’s mass protests against conscription and the huge increase in people trying to leave Russia indicate that he was right to fear this. It also suggests that the Russian government recognizes the extent of its strategic failure. This, and the fact that in his speech Putin made a positive reference to the peace proposals issued by the Ukrainian government last March, suggest that Russia may now be ready for negotiations, as long as they achieve at least some of the Kremlin’s initial goals. But how long will this moment be in our grasp?” (09/22/22)

It’s Time to Undo the Harm the CDC Has Done to Pain Patients

Source: Cato Institute
by Jeffrey A Singer & Josh Bloom

“After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggested dosage thresholds for patients receiving pain medication in 2016, 38 states rushed to pass legal limits on opioid prescribing and dispensing. Even though the CDC insisted the guidance was ‘voluntary, rather than prescriptive standards,’ states wanted to signal they were being tough on opioids. So they enacted tougher laws, even though CDC guidelines recommended dosing thresholds based upon the ‘morphine milligram equivalents’ (MMEs) of the various opioids, a metric that never made sense, was not evidence‐​based, and amounted to ‘junk science.’ … When a government agency ‘recommends’ a policy, it’s akin to a recommendation from Tony Soprano; it is inevitably interpreted as a mandate, obeyed by state and federal agencies, health insurers, and even pharmacies.” (09/21/22)