Nominate Judge Merrick Garland as FBI Director – A Brilliant Political Move

Nominate Judge Merrick Garland as the new FBI Director.  This is the brilliant idea of Utah Senator Mike Lee.  His suggestion, if implemented, would solve a multitude of President Trump’s problems.  More importantly, it would provide the country with a full, independent and conclusive judgment regarding the entire “Russia” matter once and for all.  It eliminates the silly comparisons to Watergate.  And it diffuses any notion of a “constitutional crisis.”  But is President Trump up to the challenge? Continue reading “Nominate Judge Merrick Garland as FBI Director – A Brilliant Political Move”

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Civil Property Forfeiture in the United States – An Unconstitutional Approach that Must End

Courts currently interpret the Constitution to permit government seizure of assets from persons who have not been charged with a crime.  How can this possibly be constitutional?  How can a society so fundamentally based on the rule of law and individual due process permit the seizure of private property by highwaymen wearing law enforcement uniforms?  Can civil property forfeiture in the United States in the 21st century be acceptable? At last, it appears, perhaps the Supreme Court will soon be ready to reconsider this whole subject matter.  Justice Clarence Thomas suggested as much, armed with powerful statements casting real doubt on the constitutional validity of civil property forfeiture processes in the U.S.

Civil Property Forfeiture

Let’s outline this subject philosophically.  We do so unencumbered by the long, winding, and arguably tortured history of civil forfeiture laws in the United States.  We also do so without the use of labels that tend to color conclusions. Continue reading “Civil Property Forfeiture in the United States – An Unconstitutional Approach that Must End”

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Judge Gorsuch’s Path to Confirmation is Open – His Fate is in His Own Hands

The road for Supreme Court confirmation for Judge Neil Gorsuch is clear. The likelihood of Democrats using the filibuster to prevent a vote on Judge Gorsuch is diminishing.  There are now three avenues towards confirmation, and the first and easiest (an actual direct vote) is becoming more probable.  Judge Gorsuch’s path to confirmation thus appears wide open.  His fate is likely in his own hands.  He will have to successfully navigate the waters of the Senate hearing process, which no doubt will be hazardous – but the way is open.

Judge Gorsuch's Path
Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

Let’s take a look at the three available roads to confirmation, and why it is highly probable Judge Gorsuch will have his vote. Continue reading “Judge Gorsuch’s Path to Confirmation is Open – His Fate is in His Own Hands”

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Leadership and Hypocrisy – The Sad Tale of Senator Schumer

Leadership and Hypocrisy

What makes a great leader?  There are scores of books and articles on this subject.  We could compile a list of most desirable qualities.  We could draw references to George Washington, or quotes from Winston Churchill (well, we did borrow from Sir Winston, below).  Our focus would start with integrity.  But two qualities that don’t go together are these: leadership and hypocrisy. Which draws us to the sad tale of Senator Schumer, the minority leader in the United States Senate.

Integrity, Wherefore Art Thou . . .

What is integrity?  At its core lies honesty.  Honesty is being consistent in one’s moral and ethical standards.  It is truthfulness or accuracy in one’s actions.  Internal consistency as a virtue.  Where one has conflicting values, it means accounting for the discrepancy.

Leadership and hypocrisy
Socrates, Esteemed for         His Integrity

So how to identify integrity?  No scientific method is available.  We must look subjectively, and utilize this basic test: what could be more deficient in a leader than a failure to follow his own expressed rules and principles?  Certainly, leadership and hypocrisy can’t work in tandem.  So let’s look toward New York’s Senator Schumer. Continue reading “Leadership and Hypocrisy – The Sad Tale of Senator Schumer”

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The Media is Not Trusted: An Analysis and Critique

The Media is Not Trusted: Beginnings

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in 1787 that “the basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  Yet, twenty years later as President, and on the other side of vituperative journalists, he stated: “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.  Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”  Jefferson did not trust the press in 1807.  Today, the media is not trusted by the public.

Media not trusted
The Sage of Monticello

Why is the media not trusted today anymore than by Jefferson during his presidency?  We have an idea or two.  But let’s look at the data first. Continue reading “The Media is Not Trusted: An Analysis and Critique”

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