Current Events Write-Up:9/1/2018

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

Let’s start with the passing of Senator John McCain, along with some reflections.

First, there is this CNN reporter’s questioning of John Sununu, trying to goad him into saying something about President Trump.  Sununu calls her out for it, and she responds in an arrogant, holier-than-thou manner.  Newsflash: a lot of conservatives dislike the mainstream media.  They are not required to apologize for that!  Second, I will now be a little hypocritical: after criticizing this reporter for politicizing John McCain’s death, I will do something similar.  My goal here is not to encourage you to vote for one person or party over another, but rather to use these articles as an opportunity to share my own ambivalent thoughts about John McCain.  There is this article: Remember When Obama And His Supporters Hated And Mocked John McCain?  That did annoy me about Barack Obama.  My problem is not that he criticized John McCain.  They were running against each other, so that should be expected.  It really got on my nerves, though, that Obama would lump McCain in with George W. Bush, when McCain had a known record as a reformer, a maverick, one who did not always follow the GOP line.  Obama seemed oblivious to that!  What this article shows, however, is that prominent Democrats questioned McCain’s wartime heroism.  Now, I do not think that being shot down and tortured qualified John McCain for the Presidency, nor do I believe that it gave him the moral authority that he sometimes appeared to claim.  That said, it is ironic that Trump got villified for challenging McCain’s heroism, when prominent Democrats made similar points back in 2008.  Here is a post-mordem criticism of McCain from the left, and here is a post-mortem criticism of him from the right.  I believe that John McCain was a decent human being, at least in his later years.  He was humble, down-to-earth, and a person with class.  Yet, he either participated in policies or encouraged policies that took the lives of civilians abroad.  I should feel bad for his family and his friends.  At the same time, is demanding that everyone feel bad like telling oppressed peoples to mourn for their oppressors?  This is a dilemma that comes with a lot of American leaders, Republican and Democrat, who enact or pursue policies that threaten innocent people’s lives.  Some may say that this is unavoidable and that leaders have to make tough decisions.  I don’t know.  This article was kind of cool: one of McCain’s Vietnamese captors shares his memories of the man.  Then there is this article about the resistance some Republicans are making to renaming the Russell Senate Building after McCain.  Russell was a racist, but these Republicans are saying that he helped effect the school lunch program.  Aren’t Republicans normally critical of those sorts of programs?

Federalist Radio: “The Best Interviews on Gun Safety and Firearm Laws”

A couple of days this week, the Federalist Radio Hour ran reruns.  Ben Domenech, the usual host of the program, is Meghan McCain’s husband, so he was understandably absent this week.  This particular rerun included three excerpts of interviews about gun safety and gun laws.  One of the interviewees was Dana Loesch, the controversial NRA spokesperson.  I will not defend her gaffes, but, in this interview at least, she sounded pretty reasonable.

The Federalist: “Here’s What You Need to Know about Trump’s Proposed Trade Deal with Mexico,” by Helen Raleigh

The good news: lower food tariffs and teeth on issues that have emerged since the 1990’s.  The bad news, according to Raleigh: a high minimum wage and collective bargaining for the steel industry.  Raleigh thinks that could bring jobs back to the U.S., but prices on steel would be high.  You would think that progressives would be applauding that part of the agreement!

The Federalist: “To Break Millennials from Socialized Health Care, Republicans Need an Actual Plan to Cut Health Costs,” by Alex Muresianu

This part was poignant: “Another restraint on healthcare supply has been consolidation among health providers, as large hospitals take up more and more of the healthcare market. Recent regulatory expansion, often supported by big hospitals, has prevented smaller, specialized care providers from entering the market and competing with hospitals on price. This cronyism made headlines a few weeks ago, when a North Carolina doctor who runs a small, low-cost medical imaging center was prevented from buying and using an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine at his clinic — thanks to hospital-backed regulations.”

Roger Olson: “Is Trump ‘Our Cyrus?’ A Critical American-Christian Explanation and Response”

“These people see themselves as a remnant of the conservative Christianity that once made America truly great. And they look at some European countries and Canada where some laws have been passed that could make them criminals if those laws were passed here. (In a highly debated incident a Norwegian Pentecostal pastor was jailed overnight for publicly declaring homosexuality sin.) Their view of American history is a downward slide toward not true pluralism but suppression of traditional Christian values. They truly believe that Trump, even if he is immoral and criminal (the latter has not been proven, of course), was raised up by God to reverse the trend in American culture toward total decadence and hedonism. But even more, they believe God raised up Trump not because he is one of them but because he hears them and will put a stop to efforts by government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. (e.g., in the Department of Education) to persecute Christians.”

On that note, see “DOL Issues New Guidelines to Stop Discrimination Against Religious Federal Contractors,” by Stephanie Taub (Townhall).

LA Times: “California Legislator Shelves Bill to Ban Paid ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ for Adults,” by Melanie Mason

I am pleased that the legislator who introduced this bill took the time to listen to the bill’s critics.

Christianity Today: “Bearing False Witness: Arab Theologians Advise Americans Not to Fear Islam’s Alleged ‘Permission to Lie,'” by Jayson Casper

Discusses taqiyya.

Townhall: “Police Officers Are Not Disproportionately Killing Black Men—Here Are the Facts,” by John R. Lott, Jr.

Lott still offers suggestions as to what the police can do to prevent such tragedies.

Triablogue: “IQ Meritocracy,” by Steve Hays

Hays critiques an Alt-right argument.

Taki’s Magazine: “Africa Destroyed: Poster Child for Liberalism,” by Hannes Wessels

I am not endorsing this site.  When I glance at it, I often want to take a bath!  Still, this article made some noteworthy points and observations.  It said that the landholders produced a lot of food, which helps the South African economy, and that Russia is reaching out to the dispossessed landholders.

People’s World: “Even Nixon Funded Jobs Programs, Why Can’t We Do It Today?”, by Michelle M. Tokarczyk

Tokarczyk shares her positive experiences with the CETA program.


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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