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Shias, Sunnis and George Washington ... An interesting incident took place last week: the President invited the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman) to Camp David to discuss the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran; specifically, to tell the leadership the details of the agreement (to be accurate, it’s the agreement that the US State department insists everyone has agreed to in principle (no one having signed it, nor is it the agreement as the Iranians understand it.) (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Way Forward for Congress ... There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress's long slide into irrelevance may be slowing. Agreements on Medicare reimbursements in both houses, and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in various committees led last month to a chorus of relieved approval both in Washington and in the press. Less noticed, but equally important, a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center found that Congress worked more during the first quarter of this year than the past few years, and that the amendment process in the Senate is once again functioning as it's supposed to. (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Amtrak, Donald Trump, China, Expanding Monster ... I am sad for the eight people and their families who died and the many others injured because of the recent Amtrak disaster. Tragedy can happen regardless of ownership. I wish we didn't own Amtrak. Our federal government should get out of the train business. Amtrak is another government failure. (See Page 10, May 21, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Drones, Special Forces and a Plan ... In the wonderfully entertaining movie "The 13th Warrior” there’s a scene in which, having finally figured out exactly who is burning and terrorizing the coastal villages, it has fallen on the 13 Warriors of the title to do something. Antonio Banderas, playing the out-of-place Arab diplomat turned warrior Ahmad ibn Fahdlan, asks in frustration: ‘Do we have anything even resembling a plan?’ To which Herger, one of the Viking warriors, responds: ‘Ride till we find them… and kill them all.’ (See Page 8, May 14, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
It's Not All About Organic ... A growing number of people equate sustainable farming with organic farming. That's a mistake. At the Center for Rural Affairs we look beyond labels and focus on core values - stewardship, community, and ownership. We ask if a farming system protects the land, water, and how it impacts community, and if it encourages widespread ownership. (See Page 8, May 14, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Free Speech ... Although the story is old news, it is likely to happen again: jihadis struck a "free speech” event in Garland, Texas. The facts of the story are fairly well known. Pamela Geller, writer and activist for freedom and against jihad, held a "Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest” in Garland, Texas. For the chance of winning $10,000.00, free speech activists submitted cartoons in defiance of earlier jihadi acts of violence against Danish and French cartoonists depicting Muhammed. (See Page 8, May 14, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Garland Cartoonists, Mohammed and Common Sense ... The Mohammed cartoon event recently held in Garland, Texas was a demonstration of free speech. People gathered to showcase their cartoons of Islam's Mohammed. Cartoons of Mohammed are commonly known to incite people of the Islam religion. I don't know of any Christians who like cartoons of Jesus if they depict Jesus in an irreverent way. I do not embrace anything about Islam. I do embrace their United States freedom to peacefully practice their religion. I am abhorred by militant Islam religion. (See Page 8, May 14, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Mother imageBaltimore Mother Graham Could Save This Nation ... Three cheers for the Baltimore mommy who was slapping and whipping the heck out of her son. Mommy Toya Graham saw her 16- year-old son Michael in the rioting crowd with a hoodie and a mask this past week and immediately went to him and took him off the street. She should be America's poster mommy this Mother's day for parenting. Kids in this country are starving for a mommy and a daddy to step up to the plate and be real parents. As much as ever before the youth of America need to be loved, mentored, tutored through school, time with loving parents and then a good kick to the backside every now and then. (See Page 8, May 7, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Baltimore PD, the Green Monster and the Federal Reserve ... If you’ve ever been to a baseball game at Boston’s Fenway Park, or have watched the Red Sox on TV, you’ve been introduced to the huge left-field wall, the aptly named ‘Green Monster.’ The Green Monster is, in fact, more than just a wall, it’s a scoreboard. There, in huge letters, set up in 1912 so that they were easily legible from more than 300 feet away, is a giant scorecard. (See Page 8, May 7, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Herring imageMark Herring Stumbles in Sweet Briar Patch ... " Remember Sweet Briar.” Those three words could be the campaign cry of anyone — Democrat, Republican or Libertarian — who challenges Attorney General Mark Herring in the 2017 election. Herring is a front-runner for the Democratic nomination to succeed Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but the state’s top lawyer stumbled into a Sweet Briar patch this month. It could cost him votes. (See Page 8, Apr 30, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Grounds-Keeper Versus the President ... They call major league baseball "the show." It’s on display if you go to any majorleague game: there’s a cast of hundreds (perhaps it’s over a thousand) on hand to make everything "right" for the game. We arrived early enough at a Nats – Phillies game recently to watch batting practice and final prep of the field. One word kept popping into my head: "professionalism." (See Page 8, Apr 30, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
A Key to Happiness ... Americans hoard too much stuff. Everywhere I go in small or large towns I see storage facilities being built. Americans have "stuff" and we need more storage space. We spend most of our lives wanting stuff and then we have to worry about keeping or maintaining what we have accumulated. (See Page 8, Apr 30, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Blast imageRepublicans Blast "Most-Traveled" McAuliffe ... Gov. Terry McAuliffe told a national audience Sunday that Virginia’s economy is "roaring,” thanks to him. But economists aren’t so bullish, and McAuliffe’s critics say presidential politics is Job One for the Democrat. "I’m one of the nation’s most traveled governors. … I’ve brought business back,” McAuliffe said on NBC’s "Meet the Press.” "I’m all about trade and economic activity.” (See Page 8, Apr 23, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
What Difference Does It Make? ... There’s an interesting scene in "Winds of War," Herman Wouk’s superb book about World War II, told through the lives and travails of the extended family of Navy man Pug Henry; in the scene, as Pug and his wife Rhoda head to Germany (early 1939) where he has been assigned as the Naval Attaché, Pug cautions Rhoda that they are being watched and everything they say will be "heard," that their stateroom on the ship and their home in Berlin will be bugged. (See Page 8, Apr 23, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Cicero, Iran, and the American Interest ... Marcus Tullius Cicero was a fascinating man: orator, lawyer, philosopher, politician, Consul, Senator. Famous for, among other things, his eloquent defense of the Roman Republic against the rise of the dictators, in particular Mark Anthony, he was also a man who not only talked a good game, he, as they say, "walked the walk." In the end, his efforts to defend the Roman Republic cost him his head. (See Page 10, Apr 16, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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