Interesting articles in yesterday’s edition — I’m a bit behind — of the Wall Street Journal, one of the world’s greatest newspapers. I know that you may not be able to get access to them, so I offer some annotations:
“Divisions in America reach far beyond Washington into the nation’s culture, economy, and social fabric, and the polarization began long before the rise of President Donald Trump, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of social trends has found.
“The findings help explain why political divisions are now especially hard to bridge. People who identify with either party increasingly disagree not just on policy; they inhabit separate worlds of differing social and cultural values and even see their economic outlook through a partisan lens.”
Democrats, says the survey, are twice as likely to say they never go to church as Republicans are. Democrats tend to see the divisiveness as driven by economic disparity; Republicans are inclined to see the split as political and driven by media choices.
Everybody, the article concludes, thinks that we’re too divided — and that everybody else is wrong.
At a time when Confederate (and other) statues are coming down in the United States, Russia is erecting statues to such worthies as Felix Dzershinsky, the founder of the Soviet secret police (formerly the Cheka, and then the KGB). He oversaw the “Red Terror” and supervised the execution of hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens during the 1917-1922 Russian Civil War, often without trial.
The late Senator Edward Kennedy mocked Ronald Reagan’s proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (anti-ballistic missile defense) as “Star Wars,” and the derogatory epithet stuck. But Reagan persisted, as did his science advisor, Jay Keyworth, who died on 23 August of this year.
“In a remembrance posted last week on the website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Tekla Perry recalled a remarkably prescient comment of Keyworth’s about the original rationale for SDI. ‘We have got a second-class nation,’ Keyworth said, referring then to the Soviet Union, ‘virtually a developing nation, threatening the existence of the United States, threatening the entire free world . . . I think it is a pretty frightening set of circumstances, and the more I look forward into the future, the more unstable I see it.’
“To the extent the North Korean nuclear threat is at all containable, we have Jay Keyworth to thank for it.”
President Obama’s decree called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was the right thing to do, but he had no legal right to do it. Now, Donald Trump is rescinding that executive order. SoCongress must get its act together and, well, act. This shouldn’t be difficult. There’s a broad popular and congressional consensus to do it.
The Deseret News editorial board: “In our opinion: Senator Hatch must lead Republican caucus in passing DACA”