Current Events Write-Up: 8/25/2018

Time for this week’s Current Events Write-Up.

Townhall: “Murder by Government in Burma is the Definition of Genocide,” by Kerri Toloczo

Toloczo criticizes the Obama Administration for doing nothing about this and expresses hope that President Trump will do something.  I wonder why she is optimistic about that, considering Trump’s “America First” approach.

Mintpress News: “US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart,” by Caleb T. Maupin

Not only does this article blame the U.S. for Venezuela’s current economic woes.  It critiques the whole narrative that capitalist economies are better than Communist/socialist/collectivist economies.

National Interest: “Israel Is Not a Liberal Democracy” vs. “Yes, Israel Is a Liberal Democracy”

Good point/counterpoint.

OffGuardian: “They Lied to You About Iran,” by Andre Vltchek

Iran is not some backward, repressive theocracy.

The Federalist: “Meet Ukrainian Victims of the United States’ Proxy War with Russia,” by Adam Barsouk

A sobering article.  Some feel going to war is the only way to be heard from the Western world.

Townhall: “Turning a Blind Eye to Discrimination in China,” by Jonah Goldberg

This article stood out to me for two reasons.  For one, I wonder why the right-wing chooses to highlight some human rights abuses, while giving others a free pass?  The same can be asked of the left wing.  Second, Goldberg offers an interesting analysis of Jim Crow in the American South: “America’s Jim Crow system of second-class citizenship is rightly remembered as our version of apartheid, a racist raft of laws designed to dehumanize and marginalize African-Americans in the name of white supremacy. But it was also a form of economic regulation designed to prevent blacks from participating fully in the labor market and to protect business from the supposedly dire threat of rising wages. Such statist crony capitalism doesn’t detract from the moral horror of Jim Crow, but it does help put it in context.”

The Federalist: “The Rise of the Asian Superpowers Isn’t Inevitable,” by Wilson Shirley

They’re dealing with their own problems.

Breitbart: “Donald Trump Tackles Murder, Expropriation of White Farmers in South Africa,” by Joel B. Pollack

Breitbart is usually too gossipy for my taste, but I am glad that I read this article.  I think it concisely lays out the historical and political background for South Africa’s current policy, as well as highlights where President Trump’s comments may be factually correct.

“Christian War Fever,” by Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin is a pastor and ran for Vice-President and President on the conservative Constitution Party.  Here, he criticizes Christian conservatives who support wars, as long as Republican Presidents lead them.  A quotes an article about renowned preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s criticism of war fever and insights about the disaster that war brings.  Spurgeon was a little chipper about British imperialism, but he was insightful about the horrors of war.

Some defenses of President Trump’s John Brennan Move: “In Spies Battle, Trump Holds the High Ground,” by Pat Buchanan, and “His Long History of Lies Justifies Yanking John Brennan’s Security Clearance,” by Jon Omidi

Buchanan makes a decent point: why should we assume that ex-intelligence people are entitled to security clearance?  As far as the latter article goes, Brennan’s lies sound like the usual spin to justify policies.  They’re bad, but not unprecedented, on both sides of the political spectrum.

The Federalist: “Trump Is Not Only Right to Criticize Jeff Sessions, It’s His Duty,” by Adam Mill

I thought this piece was a bit of a stretch.  What happened to the conservative mantra that the rule of law should trump democracy?

The Case for Capitalism: “Will Medicare for All Save Money?”

This blog post answers “no.”  The health care policy geek in me was intrigued by the following point: “Sanders’ proposed bill optimistically assumes that M4A would reimburse medical providers at Medicare rates…Remember, Medicare reimbursement rates are 40% lower than private insurance plans, and don’t always cover the cost of treating patients.  Low Medicare payments are possible today when Medicare covers only a slice of the population. Medical providers recover some of the shortfall by billing higher amounts to patients with private insurance coverage.  But with M4A, private insurance goes away and M4A covers most of the population. It’s unlikely that government would be able to apply those lower Medicare rates so broadly. At least, not without serious consequences.”

Reason: Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Corruption Bill Is a Big Government Mess,” by Christian Britschgi

According to this article, it makes petitioning the government for a redress of grievances (First Amendment right) a huge inconvenience.  Plus, the rich special interests will be unaffected since they can afford to lobby, anyway.

CNS News: “California’s ‘Must Stay Gay’ Bill Is an Attack on Religious Liberty, Free Speech,” by Peter Sprigg

I am not endorsing everything Sprigg has ever said, or everything that he says in this article.  I do believe, though, that if an adult homosexual wants to undergo reparative therapy, that should be his or her right.  This article offered a lucid explanation and critique of the California bill against reparative therapy.

Huffpost: “Omarosa And Her Trail Of Receipts,” by Julia Craven

“Black women, even the ones with garbage politics, always hold on to the proof.”  Or as a relative of mine says: “If it is not written down, it didn’t happen!”


About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. 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. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also 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.
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