Dean Clough

July 6, 2022

Portico Darwin: 20 Questions


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Wow.  It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago we had a mass shooting that shocked the nation.  Oh.  

Why can't we do better?  On guns or anything?

Ask yourself the following questions, and consider which of our two major parties is best aligned with your own beliefs.  Seriously.

I will publish, without any comment of my own, answers to the following questions that any reader cares to provide.  I would especially love to hear from any of my conservative-leaning friends that occasionally read my thrice-weekly rants.  I'm looking at you, Laura Gonzalez.  Gunther Strobel.  Bulleit Bob.  Dr. Shelly Murphy.  Raymond Michaels.  Alden Michaels.  Max "Madras" Ryder.  Cardi A.  Dr. Davis Fladgate.  What are your thoughts on these matters?

1.  Is Climate Change cyclical and will the problem (assuming it exists) sort itself out over time?

2.  Did Trump win the 2020 election?

3.  Should we teach our children about the history of chattel slavery in America, and its results?  Should any books be banned in America?

4.  Do non-cisgender individuals get to exist?  And if so, under what circumstances?

5.  Relatedly, can non-cisgender individuals marry and should they have children?

6.  Should a sitting or former President be indicted on crimes, assuming there is evidence?

7.  Do we need more or fewer guns in America, and more or fewer restrictions on owning them?

8.  Should a woman be compelled to have a baby, regardless of her own wishes?

9.  Do you agree that taxing the wealthy less creates more opportunity for everyone?

10.  Does America have a national religion?

11.  Is America a country of immigrants? 

12.  Is healthcare a right or a privilege?  If it's the latter, who decides who gets the privilege of health?

13.  Should public schools exist?  How should they be funded?

14.  Should there be a minimum wage in America?  What should it be?

15.  Should America remain a majority white nation?  Why or why not?

16.  Does capitalism in America need less or more regulation? 

17.  Should states be free to enact whatever laws they wish?  Is there a role for Federalism today in America?

18.  Can the US flag be burned?  Is protest of any kind allowable during the playing of our National Anthem?

19.  Is violence against another person ever warranted?

20.  Should our courts legislate from the bench?

I decidedly do not want to tell you how to think - instead, I'm very interested in your answers to each of the above questions.

And for the record, here are my answers to questions you may be asking, on Republican hot-button topics.

1.  No, I do NOT think Biden (or Kamala Harris) should run for President in 2024; he is too old, and she is a political tool with zero ability to connect with people.   Instead, I am rooting for Mr. Handsome, but I'd also vote for a Larry Hogan/Joe Scarborough Republican ticket.  ANYTHING to bring us back from the abyss to which Trump and his Republican enablers have taken us, and ANYBODY with fresh ideas that is not a million years old (Trump, Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, Grassley, Pelosi, Schumer - enough with the old cranks, already).

2.  Yes, inflation is a problem but it is a problem everywhere in the world.  Energy prices are already dropping, as is demand in general.  A soft landing or a mild recession is not impossible. 

3.  Yes, I believe people can be too woke and too sensitive regarding the trials and tribulations of minority groups of which they may or may not not be a part.  See also "Latinx" and "Birthing Person".  Identity politics are destructive and do little but divide us further.

4.  Yes, quality-of-life crimes are a problem in America.  I fully support the police, but can also recognize not every situation calls for a response with automatic weapons and bullet-proof vests.  But laws should be enforced, regardless of the perpetrator or their personal circumstances.  That includes compelled care for the mentally ill and/or substance-addicted.

5.  Yes, I'm in favor of fiscal responsibility.  Whatever the size our economy has been, it typically takes about 25% of GDP to run the US Government and meet its obligations.  There's got to be a way to pay for that in a way that's fair for everyone.  But the complexity of our system now is sheer madness.

6.  Yes, I'm in favor of a strong national defense.  Within reason.  But it is not reasonable for us to spend as much on defense as the next 10 or so countries combined, many of whom are our allies.  See #5, above.

7.  Yes, I am a huge believer in assimilation.  But with a willingness to accept and embrace other traditions and cultures, whilst still being one America.

8.  Yes, I believe we should 100% get behind nuclear power.

Your thoughts?

There may be hope just yet, and it's along the lines of my point with today's post:  we're not as divided as we are lead to believe.

San Francisco Reverses Course Politically - The Atlantic

It's been quiet, but a thank you to those readers that occasionally check-in to let me know they're still out there - like George Valiant Walker did over the holiday.

As always, thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

I will be astounded if anyone has even heard of this, but you're missing out, plus the album's title captures the state of the USA right now.  Here is the Killer "Port Entropy" by the Japanese artist Shugo Tokumaru.


For those without a dictionary close at hand:


About Dean Clough