Articles

Below are links to a few articles that I have had the good fortune to get published in other blogs or news sites. Many of them apply the ideas expressed in the essays here to current events in the United States and around the world. I hope you find them a worthwhile read.

Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds

As was said by Abraham Lincoln one hundred and fifty-five years ago, so still it must be said: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…”

Our nation is wounded again. In 1865, there were more than 500,000 dead from civil war. In 2020, there are more than 200,000 dead from disease, plus a small but growing body count from street violence sparked by police shootings. At perhaps no point in between have political passions been so vindictive.

There are four bandages the next President could apply to staunch the bleeding, none of which are inherently partisan.

Read the full article at Medium.

Sometimes Police—And the Rest of Us—Need to Accept Risk

When I was serving in the Army, a senior commander gathered his officers together for a tactical exercise. The battle we were envisioning wasn’t a skirmish; it was a slugfest, with tanks maneuvering, infantry scaling the high ground, and artillery raining from the sky.

“You can rest assured,” the commander said (I paraphrase from memory), “that I’ll put your ass at risk.”

That lesson came to mind recently when I noticed a common refrain coming from those who have defended the aggressive crowd control tactics on display in Portland. The gist is: “We need to protect law enforcement officers.”

That sounds like risk aversion.

Read the full article at The Hill.


In the debate over statehood for Washington DC, we also need to consider representation for US territories

July 20th, 2020

At the end of June, the House of Representatives passed a bill to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. It was the latest attempt to remedy a centuries-old problem: that the District’s residents have no voting representation in Congress.

The bill is unlikely to even be considered by the Senate, making it a dead letter for the rest of this year. But it can be seen as a statement of intent and could return to relevance if Democrats gain control of both houses of Congress in November.

If that happens, the new Congress ought to spare a thought for the territories.

Read the full article at The Hill.


We all must do our duty

June 22nd, 2020

Before the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Horatio Nelson signaled his fleet: “England expects that every man will do his duty.”

He knew that the next few hours were going to be incredibly chaotic, painful, and hard. He knew that his sailors would feel fear, grief and rage. And he knew that to submit to those instincts would bring ruin.

Duty was, and is, the counterweight to self-destructive instinct.

Read the full article at The Hill.


Fund states to ensure America recovers from coronavirus, then help them fund themselves

May 1, 2020

As the war against Covid-19 rages in empty streets and crowded hospitals, a battle over the authority and resources to wage it has broken out in the halls of government between the federal government and the states.

The outcome of the political battle is yet to be seen. But in the struggle against Covid-19, the states have possession of the field.

Read the full article at Even Better Words.


Abandoning Syria’s Kurds tarnishes our country’s honor

October 16th, 2019

In Kobani, Syrian Kurds fought to the death against ISIS for five months. On the third week of battle, the United States came to their aid with air strikes. On Jan. 26, 2015, the ISIS jihadists retreated.

The Siege of Kobani became known as the “Stalingrad of Islamic State.” It was the territorial high-water mark of the so-called caliphate, which shrunk thereafter under attack from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground and the U.S.-led coalition from the air. Eleven thousand SDF soldiers died in that campaign, as did 10 Americans.

Now Kobani has been besieged again, this time by Turkey. Under Turkish occupation, Kobani will be repopulated — but not by Kurds.

Read the full article at The Detroit News


Why Mars should be our next stop

November 16th, 2018

Almost 50 years have passed since the United States last put a man on the moon — or anywhere else outside of low-Earth orbit. As China builds an increasingly sophisticated space program, it is high time for America to get moving again.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. 

NASA and the Space Task Group, appointed by President Richard Nixon to advise America’s next steps in space, pushed an ambitious plan calling for a manned expedition to Mars by 1986, at the latest. But Nixon nixed it. 

Perhaps 1986 was not the right time to go to Mars. But 2036 may be.

Read the full article at The Las Vegas Sun.