A Tragic Geopolitical Puzzle

By Jeff Rutherford

Russia has been described as a gas pump with a country attached.  What this means is that much of Russia’s government revenue comes from exporting oil and natural gas.  Around 65% of Russia’s total export revenue comes from just oil, petroleum products, and natural gas.

Here are some other basic facts:  The GDP of Russia is about $1.3T.  That’s about the same as the state of Florida’s GDP of $1.2T.  Russia’s annual spending on its military, in dollar-equivalent purchasing power, has been estimated at Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Extremism, Our Political Economy, Progressive Paradoxes | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Battle for the Judiciary – Conservatism vs. Progressivism

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By Jeff Rutherford

The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett concluded this week.  See the Day1, Day2, and Day3 transcripts. The committee vote will be next week, with the full Senate floor vote soon after. She will likely be confirmed by the end of October, with at least 51 votes in the Senate.

In three days of hearings, Judge Barrett comported herself well.  By the third day, after she had been impressively composed, knowledgeable, and articulate on Day2, the Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee noticeably backed off from attacking her directly.  Why?

Continue reading
Posted in Politics in Practice, Theory of Gov't | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

What to Do While You Wait

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By Jeff Rutherford

We may be waiting a loooong time for political sanity and public civility to return to America, so I’m tossing out eight ideas to keep us busy helping our countrymen and our great nation while we wait.  They are meant to draw our attention away from distant Washington DC, and back to our own homes and Continue reading

Posted in Freedom and Responsibility, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Plato’s Warning Against Mob Rule

By Jeff Rutherford

Here’s a portion of Book VIII of Plato’s Republic (written in 381 BC), as helpfully paraphrased by Will Durant in his popular 1926 book The Story of Philosophy. The numbers refer to the pages in Plato’s original Greek manuscript.

Maybe this can help us remember again why America’s Founders Continue reading

Posted in Theory of Gov't | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why Can’t We Agree?

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By Jeff Rutherford

Imagine this scenario:

The setting is a candy store.  A child throws a temper tantrum in the jelly bean aisle.  The parent resists at first, Continue reading

Posted in Freedom and Responsibility | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

North Korea’s Cause-and-Effect Cycle of Madness – Explained

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By Jeff Rutherford

The brutal dictator Kim Jong-un and his militaristic communist government appear schizophrenic and paranoid that America is out to annihilate North Korea. The totalitarian dictator acts out his apparent paranoia by diverting resources from feeding and housing the estimated 25.4 million people in his country to developing, testing, and demonstrating dangerous nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

This frightening behavior scares the hell out of other nations in the region, elicits warnings and sanctions from the international community including the toothless United Nations, and attracts displays of deterrent military strength from Continue reading

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Other Team Has the Ball Now


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By Jeff Rutherford

Liberals are freaking out. Many call themselves Progressives. Most won’t say it, but that really means they want ‘progress on the way to socialism’. Unconstrained growth of the federal government to control more and more aspects of citizens’ lives is their goal — their end zone. Most avoid saying their goal is socialism, but it is. Despite no socialist nation having ever achieved sustained prosperity, Continue reading

Posted in Our Political Economy, Politics in Practice | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Term Limits


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By Jeff Rutherford

There are no good principled reasons to oppose term limits. A bogus reason people on the right use is: “When we get a good fiscal conservative in office, we want to keep her/him there to keep fighting for us.” I say BS….if conservatives can’t keep a good stream of emerging conservatives coming to consistently replace incumbents, we’re not worth our salt.

A bogus reason people on the left use to oppose term limits is: Continue reading

Posted in Politics in Practice | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Debating the Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

The Ed - icon size  Contributed by Ed

The Puerto Rican debt crisis is a complex web with many different threads.  Any solution to the crisis will involve ripples that will leave winners and losers everywhere.  These ripples will be felt for cities like Detroit, Michigan; San Bernardino, California; Stockton, California; and other municipalities.  It will ripple to the states whose fiscal conditions are worst: Illinois; New Jersey; Massachusetts; Connecticut; and New York.

Map of US public bankruptcies since 2010City/county (red) and utility authority (gray) Ch 9 bankruptcies since 2010

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Politicians know the best place to raise revenue is from individuals who will not express their anger at the Continue reading

Posted in Contributed by 'The Ed', Our Political Economy | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments