26 May 2016

Uncommon Commentary #504: (My Answer to) Incarceration Consternation

A better idea than what people are calling “criminal justice reform”: greatly increase the number of crimes that are punished by death rather than by imprisonment.  This would lower our incarceration rate (because history has demonstrated that increases in the severity of punishment drive crime rates down, and because an executed person obviously no longer occupies a prison cell, nor has he ever the opportunity to commit another offense), and would also help move criminals to repentance, since nothing’s better than imminent death for making someone think about the destination of his soul.

17 May 2016

Miscellaneous Musing #81: It Would Be Another Miracle if Ignorant People Would Shut Up

As an island state, one that needs to keep the sea lanes open for commerce in order to feed its high population, and one whose people have traditionally feared the ability of an army to seize a government (which a navy cannot do), Great Britain has always emphasized naval over land-based power; it therefore maintained quite a small army (equating to, in the words of one history book, a “colonial police force”) for a country of its importance, even before disarmament diminished its strength through the 1920’s and 1930’s.  In 1940, then, when their ally France quickly terminated resistance to the Blitzkrieg, the British knew that they could not hold territory on the European mainland; they consequently decided upon the long-respected practice of a strategic withdrawal, viz., removing one’s troops to a more easily defensible position, which, in this case, was behind Great Britain’s “moat”, the English Channel.  Anyone who thinks that the evacuation from Dunkirk was a catastrophe doesn’t know much about military strategy; unfortunately, though, public opinion has often been formed by persons who have no expertise in the subject that they are discussing.

10 May 2016

Uncommon Commentary #503: This Trump Must Be Played

Among those of us who know that the life-and-death issue of induced abortion takes precedence over lesser matters, nobody can logically refuse to support the GOP’s pending nominee for the presidency.  Would we rather have a chief executive whose anti-fœticide credentials are questionable, or one whose pro-fœticide positions have never been in any doubt?

02 May 2016

Miscellaneous Musing #80: That’s Not the Ticket

The strange 2016 presidential contest became yet stranger when Republican non-frontrunner Ted Cruz chose a “running-mate”.  Sen. Cruz’s move (presumably a primary-minded calculation, made for such a reason as to capitalize Donald Trump’s perceived vulnerability with female voters) is interesting to an historian such as I, since this is probably the first time that someone who is unlikely to be nominated for the US presidency has selected someone to be the vice-presidential half of his yet-unrealized ticket.  Will Mr. Cruz’s maneuver set a precedent, or will posterity remember Carly Fiorina as the “running-mate who never was”?