The “knockout game” is in the news these days along with much discussion of bullying. Football is a game of violence with rules in which players frequently sustain injuries. Terrorism has been adopted to advance the Islamic goal of global domination. And the administration just announced an agreement with Iran in a vain effort to slow their intention to join the nuclear club of nations with the capacity to kill thousands, if not millions.
It is impossible not to conclude that violence is not built into the DNA of mankind.
In his 2007 book, “The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War”, David Livingston Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of New England, wrote: “The track record of our species shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are extremely dangerous animals, and the balance of evidence suggests that our taste for killing is not some sort of cultural artifact, but was bred into us over millions of years by natural and sexual selections.” Continue reading
“Doom is one of the oldest stories of mankind,” says Josef Joffe in his excellent new book, “The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophesies.”
As long as I can remember I have read and heard that America is in decline beginning when Sputnik was launched in the 1950s. We were all told that the Soviet Union was to be the next great superpower. It collapsed in 1991. The Federation that replaced it was the shrunken loss of many of its former captive satellite states. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, we were told a resurgent Europe would overtake the U.S. and in the 1980s that Japan would become an economic superpower.
Now we are being told that the future belongs to China and the emerging economies there and in India. Joffe, a Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, publisher-editor of Die Ziet, and frequent contributor to Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs, has gathered together the facts of America’s economic ups and downs to present a realistic and optimistic view of the future. Continue reading
The debate that is constantly swirling around the Internet’s many websites and blogs is whether Barack Obama is brilliant or stupid? Like most of the nation, opinions are fairly divided between those who think he is an evil genius and others who think he is an imbecile.
When people start to defend themselves by saying out loud that they are not stupid, there’s a better than average chance they are stupid and, like most stupid people, are denying it. At his Friday press conference in which he declared another illegal change to the Affordable Care Act (one made without going to Congress and requesting that the Obamacare “law of the land” be changed), the President said, “I don’t think I’m stupid enough to say this is going to be as easy as shopping around on Amazon or Travelocity.” Continue reading
If you Google “Obama + Liar” it will cite 33,000,000 times in which someone has written or posted that Obama a liar and, after a slow start, thanks to an adoring media, it took well into his first term for the accusation to become frequent. Inaugurated in 2009, early on his lies were being cataloged in order to keep up with them. There is even a website devoted to his lies, http://obamalies.net/. They are constant.
One of the most famous stories about George Washington was penned by Mason Lock Weems, more generally known as Parson Weems, an American author who is forever a part of our history for his “Life of Washington”, in which he spins a tale about young George and a cherry tree he chopped down. When challenged, Washington replied “I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.” That, of course, was fiction. Washington was a man of widely acknowledged integrity, but he successfully deceived the British on many occasions. Continue reading
Ho and Moe
“Oxymoron: A figure of speech in which antithetical incongruous terms are combined, as in a deafening silence or a mournful optimist; pointedly foolish.” – Webster’s II New College Dictionary. To this definition, one can add “same-sex marriage.”
In their book, “America 3.0”, the authors, James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus, assert that “The impact of marriage and family practices on our American life and our history have been overwhelming. It has caused Americans to have a uniquely strong concept of each person as an individual self, with an identity that is not bound by family or tribal or social ties. Most cultures historically and around the world today have nothing like this American spirit of individualism. Our distinctive type American nuclear family has made us what we are.”
The American nuclear family has always been defined as a man, a women, and children resulting from that bond. Continue reading
One of the great parlor games of pundits, politicians, journalists, and just about everyone else is predicting the future.
There’s a wonderful book, “The Experts Speak”, that is filled, page after page, with predictions and pronouncements by people of presumed wisdom and knowledge, all of which turned out to be often hilariously wrong. In 1913, regarding Einstein’s theory of relativity, Ernst Mach, a professor of physics at the University of Vienna, said, “I can accept the theory of relativity as little as I can accept the existence of atoms and other such dogmas.” Continue reading
When I was a youngster a prize possession of every boy was a set of toy cowboy six-shooters and, if you were especially blessed, a belt and holsters as well. In the pre-television days we all went to the Saturday matinees to see our heroes and to learn what it meant to be a man.
The ultimate icon was John Wayne and, for me, one of his finest films was his last, “The Shootist.” In that film after he instructed a boy on how to shoot, he responded to a question of why he had become known for his skills, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” The fundamental morality of why he defended himself was self-explanatory. Continue reading
The history of civilization dating back some five millennia is one of unrelenting tyranny, rapaciousness, arrogance, and stupidity. The players and the places changed, but the slaughter was unremitting, the suffering broken only by occasional brief periods of peace, good weather and crops. For most of the past, war, famine, and disease killed most people.
During the famous soliloquy of Hamlet, he contemplates taking his own life, saying “There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long life–for who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office…” Continue reading
I have been trying to remember when there was so much anger between the Democrats and Republicans. Or maybe I should say between liberals and conservatives? Or maybe I should say between the Tea Party and the Republican Party? Or maybe I should say those who find the President of the United States a contemptible liar who has diminished a once great superpower to an object of disrespect?
There is plenty of anger to go around. The mood of the nation is one of anger from one end of the political spectrum to the other. Continue reading
STOP the B.S.
I will never understand the kind of thinking behind a lie so big that it became an international fraud and swindle. I cannot understand why an international organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) operating under the umbrella of the United Nations, was permitted to issue reports of an imminent threat to the Earth, to mankind, that a freshman student of meteorology would know were false. Continue reading
I spent the better part of my life during the Cold War that began at the end of World War Two in 1945 and did not end until the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. It was replaced by the Russian Federation and the competition continues.
On February 22, 1946, George F. Kennan, a junior Foreign Service officer serving in the American embassy in Moscow sent the first of a long series of dispatches to the State Department regarding Soviet intransigence, recommending a policy of “containment” of its expansive tendencies. It became the U.S. policy throughout the whole of the Cold War. Nine Presidents maintained it. Continue reading
“Liberalism has become an ugly blend of sanctimony, self-interest, and social connections,” writes Fred Seigel whose credentials include being a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has written “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class”, but you won’t be able to read it until it is published in January. As a reviewer, I received an advance copy from Encounter Books.
It hardly needs to be said that today’s liberals and conservatives loath one another, nor that the nation is as sharply divided politically as in the days before the Civil War. Politically, America has swung back and forth between liberal and conservative administrations as evidenced by the elections of the previous century and this new one. Continue reading
In 1981 Lily Tomlin starred in a film, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman”, and it seems to me that Barack Obama is starring in the 2013 sequel, “The Incredible Shrinking President.”
A half hour late to his Rose Garden announcement on Saturday, President Obama put the best possible spin he could on his badly timed threat to lob a half-billion dollars’ worth of Tomahawk missiles into Syria as retaliation for the gas attack; one whose perpetrator is as yet known with any certainty. Continue reading
Throughout the 2012 political campaign, I was nagged by the feeling that Mitt Romney was “too nice” and said so, despite having supported him during the primaries. I kept waiting for him to wage an aggressive campaign, but it never happened. For the second time in a row, the GOP had selected a “me too” Republican more eager to demonstrate that he had much in common with Obama and the Democrats than with the core values of the party; smaller government, lower taxes, reducing the debt, and less regulation.
The first term of Barack Obama began with the “stimulus” that added trillions to the national debt and had produced no” shovel ready” or permanent jobs. The unemployment rate remained an example of an economy that barely showed signs of improvement. Welfare programs such as food stamps that added one out of every five families to their roles increased dependency on the government, and Obamacare was already proving to be a huge legislative disaster with consequences that killed jobs and was resisted by many states. The term ended with the scandal of the terrorist attack on Benghazi that killed a U.S. ambassador and three others. Continue reading
The President who, in 2009, said he thought it unseemly to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran when protesters against its regime were being shot dead in the streets of Tehran, announced to the world on August 15, 2013 that he was angered by the killing of civilians in the streets of Cairo as the Muslim Brotherhood was busy burning Christian churches and homes when they weren’t firing on the Egyptian military that was attempting to end its efforts to impose Sharia rule.
Egypt may be thousands of miles away but the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to destroy America and, of course, Israel is close to home as the President and his national security advisors have misled Americans as to the true intent and threat of the MB. Continue reading
Wars are often unpredictable. The outcome of such conflicts is also unpredictable, but defeat in future conflicts is now being “baked into the cake” and I suspect most Americans are totally unaware of how serious this threat is. You can be sure potential and actual enemies are calculating the odds.
A recent USA Today article noted that the choice between troops and modern weapons would require the Army to shrink to “as few as 380,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps to 150,000 troops. There would also be fewer Navy aircraft carriers and Air Force bombers. Current plans envision an Army of 490,000 soldiers in the coming years, and a Marine Corps of 182,000”, added that “The Army hasn’t been that small since before World War II when it had 267,767 soldiers.” Continue reading
The thing about a police state is that it tends to creep up on you. One day you think the Bill of Rights is intact and the freedoms you take for granted are intact, but the next day you find out that under the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540), signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011, you can be arrested and detained without recourse to an attorney or the courts.
HR 1540 kills the concept of Habeas Corpus by permitting the detention of U.S. citizens without trail. In 2009 the National Emergency Centers Act, HR 645, was introduced for the establishment of “internment camps.” I have not been able to determine if it was passed and signed into law, nor have I found any explanation why the Congress of the United States either passed or even considered these laws.
The 2001 Patriot Act was justified as a response to 9/11 and revised in 2012. It gives the government unprecedented powers of surveillance and enforcement in the name of deterring terrorism. Continue reading
Interesting to see how Edward Snowden, former employee of a National Security Agency contractor, has dropped off the front pages; how quickly he has become old news.
The leaders of the European Union are shocked to learn that the U.S. spies on them. Since their own spy agencies routinely share information with the intelligence agencies of our government, it did not come as a big a surprise to them.
The real surprise is how much spying our government does on American citizens. Continue reading
American education was based on some very fundamental principles and, from the 1640s until the 1840s, they were, in the words of Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, real civics, real economics, and real virtues.
Bast is the co-author of Education and Capitalism and in a recent speech at the Eighth annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference took a look at the way an education system that produced citizens who understood the values that existed before progressives took over the nations school system, turning it into a one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination.
One-size-fits-all is easier for bureaucracies, but its not good for kids. No two kids learn the same way, and no two teachers teach the same way, but Common Core not only makes this assumption, but enforces it.
The good news is, as Bast notes, that since the early 1960s, parents and activists have been fighting to return to the countrys education system to what had worked so well for 200 years. Continue reading
You have to wonder why all the data gathering by the National Security Agency, Homeland Security, and the FBI failed to identify and surveil the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing? When even the Russians warned national security authorities about the Chechen brothers, Dzhokan and Tamerlan Tsaraev, they were reportedly interviewed and then ignored.
Are you planning to make bombs to kill infidels? No, sir. Okay, have a nice day. Continue reading