Current Events Write-Up: School Choice, Climate Change, Etc.

I have some news and opinion links for this week!  I post left-wing links and I post right-wing links, and some of my links fall into neither camp.  My favorite links, though, concern people who say or think differently from people’s expectations.

Domestic Policy/Issues

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Program Expansion, Adjustment Worry ‘Mother of School Choice,’ by Eugene Kane

This article actually dates back to 2011.  With President-elect Trump’s selection of school choice advocate Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education, I was wondering what happened to Polly Williams.  Polly Williams was an African-American Democratic state representative who spearheaded school choice in Milwaukee.  She was featured in Insight Magazine, and she spoke at the conservative Hillsdale College, which was how I heard of her (I subscribed to Insight and Hillsdale’s publication, Imprimis).  A few years before her death, however, she became disillusioned with the school choice movement.  According to this article, a reason for her disillusionment was that school choice programs raised the income limit for qualification, and she was concerned that this would crowd out the poor people they were originally intended to help.

Washington Post: Buzzfeed’s Hit Piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines Is Dangerous, by Brandon Ambrosino

Ambrosino disagrees with opponents of same-sex marriage.  But he also opposes demonizing them.  I agree with him: Chip and Joanna Gaines should not lose their jobs or be shamed because of their religious objection to same-sex marriage.

The Hill: Ivanka Trump Wants to Speak Out on Climate Change, by Timothy Cama

President-elect Trump did appoint a climate-change denier (or so he has been called), but Trump’s daughter Ivanka wants to make climate change her cause.  I hope she has an influence on her father, as Nancy Reagan allegedly influenced President Reagan to deal with Gorbachev.

Townhall: Yes, Climate Change Is Real—-and Skepticism about Its Magnitude Is Good Science, by Calvin Beisner

I’ve wondered: Do climate change deniers (if you want to call them that) truly dispute the science behind climate change?  I mean, you release CO2 into the atmosphere, and that traps heat.  Sounds scientific!  Why is that so controversial?  Calvin Beisner, however, agrees with that science, but he doubts that climate change is a problem of great magnitude.  He also defends his organization against the charge that oil companies support it, while noting that there are vested interests who finance environmentalist opponents of climate change.

Politico: Sarah Palin: Trump’s Carrier Deal Is ‘Crony Capitalism,’ by Madeline Conway

I liked Sarah Palin in 2008, even though I grew disillusioned with her as the election went on.  Then, I didn’t like her so much.  After reading this article, though, I respect and admire her.  She is being considered to be part of President-elect Trump’s cabinet, and yet she sticks by conservative principles and criticizes Trump’s Carrier deal.

Politics and Voting

Forbes: Socialism Won’t Save the Democratic Party, by Adam Ozimek

This passage stood out to me: “It’s easy to scoff at liberals who misunderstood how unpopular identity politics would be among middle America. They spent too much time on college campuses, and in liberal echo chambers in their social and media lives. They’ve confused winning online with actually changing people’s minds. Just because John Oliver ‘destroys’ something doesn’t mean it’s destroyed.”

You may agree or disagree with the ideology behind that passage.  If you disagree, I ask that you at least learn from the passage!

Slate: Keep Hope Alive: Demoralized Democrats Have a Road Map for Success in Trump’s America. It was Written by Jesse Jackson, by Jamelle Bouie

Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential campaign not only drew support and interest from African-Americans.  It also drew support and interest from white farmers.

Townhall: Even the Green Party Has Turned Against Jill Stein, by Leah Barkoukis

As the article notes, Stein’s call for a recount supports the Democrats, since she is not calling for a recount in states where Hillary barely won.  The Green Party states:

“As a candidate, Dr. Stein has the right to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS to distance itself from any appearance of support for either Democrats or Republicans. We are well aware of the undemocratic actions taken during the primaries by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party.”

Foreign Policy/Issues

Moyers and Company: A Progressive Agenda for Renegotiating NAFTA, by Timothy A. Wise

I tend to shy away from posting links that bash Trump, since there is enough Trump-bashing out there.  This article criticizes Trump by saying that, while Trump is critical of NAFTA, Trump does not support fixing NAFTA so that it can benefit workers, American and Mexican.  I appreciate its suggestions.

Townhall: For Secretary of State: John Bolton, by Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas thinks that John Bolton would make a fine choice for Secretary of State.  After reading this, I drew a different conclusion!  I would rather take my chances with the Iran deal.

National Review: Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences, by Victor Davis Hanson

I found one argument that Hanson made intriguing.  Hanson argues that President Obama, by supporting the Iran deal, has inadvertently pressured Israel and moderate Muslims into a virtual alliance.

James Pate: China the Bully

I am posting this in light of President-elect Trump’s conversation with the President of Taiwan, which has angered Beijing.  I wrote this post in 2007.  I was a conservative then, and I was a bit of a hothead.  I don’t agree with everything I wrote in that post, or its tone.  Still, I think I raised valid points.  At that time, Beijing was criticizing President George W. Bush for planning to award the Dalai Lama.

Human Interest

Townhall: The Gay Rabbi and My Mother’s Funeral, by Michael Brown

Michael Brown is a Messianic Jew, a biblical scholar, and a critic of gay activism.  His Jewish mother recently passed away, and a gay rabbi presided at her funeral.  Both the rabbi and Michael Brown have developed a relationship of mutual respect.  I like stories about people from different backgrounds coming together.

Fulcrum: Jared and Ivanka Kushner Tout Benefits of Sabbath Observance

I used to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.  Sabbatarians are a minority, and it can be a challenge for them to get Saturday off from work.  It was cool, therefore, to read that Jared and Ivanka (Trump) Kushner are Sabbath-observers.



About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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