A couple of weeks ago, President Barack Obama effectively declared the war on terror was over. Now, he wasn’t entirely clear about what matrix was used to arrive at that determination. It was not that the enemy had surrendered, signed an armistice, called for a cease fire or just gave up the fight. It appears the president simply up and decided one day that, yes sir, indeed, the war is over. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Roger Kimball’s exceptional new book, The Fortunes of Permanence, touches on many important topics concerning culture, education, society, and our intellectual inheritance, centering heavily on the concept of cultural relativism. It includes a chapter entitled: “Institutionalizing Our Demise: America vs. Multiculturalism,” and I thought while reading of how well that applied to many of our current immigration contentions.
Immigration reform is, once again, front and center on the nation’s public consciousness. And, once again, the debate seems to skirt the most important questions posed by immigration. For years, American immigration policy has been more about more emotional, tertiary concerns, than the pressing ones; namely how much immigration does the society need, how much can the existing culture handle, and what are the security implications for the nation? Continue reading
(Eagle Bay, N.Y.) “See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet …America’s the Greatest Land of All!” Thus did Dinah Shore- an appealing songstress of the 40’s and 50’s- close her immensely popular weekly television show. In doing so she evoked one of our nation’s most powerful images: The Lure of the Open Road. Much like Jack Kerouac’s manic novel On The Road or Willie Nelson’s mournful classic “On the Road, Again” this simple lyric conveyed compelling notions of Freedom and Limitless American Horizons. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) It is an easy, and not entirely inaccurate, observation to make that an overly latitudinarian and morally relativistic society is at least partially to blame for last week’s bomb attacks in Boston. It is not entirely accurate, either; in the final analysis, it is terrorists, and the strictures that motivate them, that are to blame for acts of terror. More importantly, it is how a society responds to such attacks that matter, and whether that response will be framed by an unchecked barbarous emotion on one extreme, a fanatically tolerant, multi–culturalist approach on the other; or a more pragmatic, realistic one that recognizes the incompatibility of our own culture with that of radical, fundamentalist Islam. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Much has been made of late over the issue of homosexual marriage, its embers stoked by the Colorado Legislatures affirmation of Civil Unions, and more recently by the U.S. Supreme Court’s tentative wading into the issue over a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. Proponents of marriage redefinition have taxonomized the issue as being a civil right; a bit of terminological license, to be sure, but it seems to have had the desired effect, as public opinion appears to be gravitating rapidly in favor of such a social readjustment. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster was not only enormously fun to watch, but demonstrated a piece of political genius to boot. If nothing else, the filibuster was a symbolic victory for conservatives sorely in need of a public show of resistance against an increasingly engorged leviathan.
On the merits of Sen. Paul’s arguments, we enter more muddled territory, which made the episode all the more fascinating to watch. It recalls one of the historically central arguments in American politics—that of the ontological role of the state in general and the limits of executive power specifically. Continue reading
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union speech last week that, for all of its soaring rhetoric, presented very little beyond a deeply flawed analysis of the American condition.
What stood out most in the speech was not Obama’s assessment of the problems the nation faces — with the exception, perhaps, of his notable dismissal of the most critical of those problems, namely the various rogue nuclear threats and mounting debt. What was most apparent in the speech was the underlying assumption government is not only A solution, but THE solution. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel can, and should, be honored for his service in Vietnam. It’s not for his heroism in 1967 and 1968 the nominee for secretary of defense ought to be evaluated, however, but for his analysis of the national security situation facing the nation in 2013 and beyond.
There would seem to be practical reasons for the Senate to seriously consider withholding consent to Hagel’s appointment. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) One of the peculiarities of American politics is the astonishment that washes over some people when they realize the politicians they elected intend to act like they’ve been elected.
Elections, as the oft-quoted (and just as often forgotten) aphorism goes, have consequences. We are just now starting to see those consequences — just now, that is, providing the previous four years have slipped the mind. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) In the course of perusing the “fiscal cliff” rhetoric dominating the political world recently, I came across a story about deliberations over the Times magazine “Person of the Year.” While meditating on the issues surrounding the fiscal cliff, it occurred to me the perfect nominee for the Times cover is Julia — the haplessly dependent animation the Barack Obama campaign used to show the joys of cradle to grave handouts. Sure, Sandra Fluke does a mean real-life impression, but I doubt her actual impact. Continue reading