Entries by mcuddehe

Q3 ’16:   2016 Election Issue—The Politics of Destruction

As the 2016 presidential election mercifully draws to a close, the polls indicate that Hillary Clinton will handily defeat Donald Trump. There is great uncertainty, however, regarding control of Congress. The House is expected to remain in Republican hands, but the Senate is up for grabs. At the eleventh hour, an announcement by FBI Director […]

Q2 ’16:   Artificial Intelligence – Blessing or Curse?

2016 has already been an outlier for unexpected events. Political turbulence and violent outbursts globally are on the rise. At home, the ambush murders of police officers in Dallas and Little Rock have shocked the nation. Politically, the ascendance of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President is enough to let us know that […]

Q1 ’16:   WMD Proliferation: India-Pakistan Edition

The border of India and Pakistan has been a toxic zone of conflict for decades, but the situation there has taken a turn for the worse. Pakistan has recently deployed tactical nukes on their border, under the control of local commanders. This hair-trigger situation is such that the slightest miscalculation could set off a nuclear […]

Q4 ’15:   Uncertainty

The world is in a state of confusion, reflected in markets across the board, which went nowhere for all of 2015 (see Bloomberg “The Year Nothing Worked”). The new year started off with a sharp, but historically normal, selloff in stocks (Dow -13%, S&P -11%). Market fundamentals suggest more downside but the selloff precipitated a […]

Q2 ’15:   Green Shoots

“Two things have always been true about human beings. One, the world is always getting better. Two, the people living at that time think it’s getting worse.” Penn Jillette Political, economic and technological changes are rapidly changing the face of human civilization on planet Earth. At such a time it is easy to become overshadowed […]

Q1 ’15:   Rationalizing Lunacy

The title of this quarter’s letter is taken from an article by Andrew Bacevich, professor emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. “Rationalizing Lunacy: The Intellectual as Servant of the State,” reprinted below with permission, addresses the impact of policy intellectuals on our foreign policy….characterizing them as “a blight on the Republic.” Mr. […]

Q4 ’14:   The Tao of Washington

On January 22nd 2015 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updated the Doomsday Clock, moving it up three minutes to 11:57PM — three minutes from Armageddon — accompanied by the following statement: “Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, […]

Q3 ’14:   A Time for Downsizing

One of the big issues for conservatives in recent years has been the size of government, at least when Democrats are in power. Grover Norquist summed it up in his stated desire to “shrink government to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Conservatives are not entirely wrong in their concern with […]

Q1 ’14:   A Model for Leadership

It has been a long time since America has had leadership that puts nation before partisanship. Perhaps we have forgotten what that looks like. This quarter’s letter features the January 17, Farewell Address of Dwight Eisenhower. I would like to draw attention to Eisenhower’s emphasis on the need for balance in national affairs. Balance – […]

Q4 ’13:   History Repeats Itself

Karl Marx got some things right. “History repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce.” The spectacle emanating from Washington in recent months is nothing if not a farce. Republican neo-Confederate nihilists pushed the limit over the debt limit in October, causing a 16 day shutdown of government services and threatening to drive the U.S. […]