T.J. O’Hara’s current column, A Civil Assessment, published by IVN (the Indepedent Voter Network) plus a library of past articiles by the author as they have appeared in CDN, The Washington Times Communities and other major publications
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., December 2, 2014 – It has been a week since the not-so-grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. However, an indictment was handed down. It simply had nothing to do with the officer or victim and was extrajudicial in nature. It was an indictment of our society in general, its lack of respect for people and the law, and its misplaced priorities … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., November 14, 2014 – One would hope that operating in an efficient and effective manner would be among the main objectives of our Government. However, those two concepts appear to be foreign to our feckless leaders. Apparently, the rule of “supply and demand” doesn’t apply when a group of individuals has nearly unilateral authority to regulate the supply of programs and services (certainly within the public sectors and, to a degree, within the private sector), control the demand (legislatively), and dictate price (via taxation). To overcome this anomaly, we need to frame an operations policy for the United States … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., November 11, 2014 – On Veteran’s Day, it is appropriate to reflect upon the current state of affairs as they pertain to our ability to maintain peace. With the largely unreported turmoil that continues to brew across the world (other than whatever conflict is fashionable to feature at any given moment in time), peace seems to be as elusive today as it was when the holiday first began to take shape. Our lack of a defined defense policy doesn’t particularly improve the situation, and we need to address it … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., November 10, 2014 – The United States’ economic recovery has been slowed by the absence of a well-defined economic policy. It also seems to have been limited to the rich and missed entirely by the poor; the latter of which has been supplemented by individuals who were formerly members of the ever-dwindling middle class.
Far too often, federal programs dramatically exceed their cost projections and fail to deliver their “guaranteed” savings or accomplish their stated objectives. Meanwhile, the national debt continues to skyrocket … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., October 30, 2014 – Recently, China quietly overtook the United States to become the world’s largest economy on a basis of purchasing power (according to the International Monetary Fund). The President didn’t call a press conference to announce the accomplishment because it’s not exactly a favorable reflection upon his Administration. It’s also an election year, so expect it to be blamed upon a spontaneous response to an Internet video.
In reality, it occurred because China actually has an economic policy whereas the United States does not. Our Nation’s financial behavior in recent years has been somewhat less than “strategic” and the concept of “fiscal responsibility” never seems to have been contemplated … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., October 25, 2014 – The United States federal government spent approximately $141 billion on public education in fiscal 2014, yet test scores continued to fall in our K-12 schools and tuition continued to rise in our institutes of higher education. Additionally, vocational training remained relatively stagnant. Rather than throw more money at the problem, perhaps we should try to identify the root causes of the problems and try to fix them. That would be the “smart” thing to do … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., October 21, 2014 – The United States’ public education system needs to be taught a lesson. Skyrocketing costs plus plummeting test scores on international exams do not equal a successful educational program regardless of how we might be instructed to do the math. We need to develop an education policy that intelligently addresses the challenge our Nation faces in assuring that its future generations remain competitive in a global economy … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., October 17, 2014 – Nature abhors a vacuum and so do our major political Parties. In the absence of a cogent resource policy, they rush to fill the void; not with long-term strategic plans but rather with random musings that only have to survive an election cycle. We deserve better, but it appears that we will have to develop the solution ourselves … Read more
RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., October 13, 2014 – Energy and the environment are inextricably combined, yet rarely discussed within the context of a national resource policy. Then again, we really do not have a national resource policy or any other clearly articulated policy for that matter. Let’s fix that by crafting an intelligent resource policy that inures to the benefit of our Nation’s core interests for both our generation and future ones … Read more