In the madcap TV series “Get Smart,” secret agent Maxwell Smart evades surveillance — and archnemesis KAOS — with an array of clandestine gadgets including a shoe phone and the legendary “Cone of Silence.” Americans once laughed at Smart’s privacy-enhancing schemes. But recent revelations about America’s ever-widening surveillance state have stirred many to Think Again about their privacy rights — and pine for their own Cone of Silence.
In his 1980s comedy routine, Yakov Smirnoff celebrated America’s free society and equality before the law, joking, “In America, you can always find a party. In Russia, party always finds you! In America, you break law. In Soviet Russia, law breaks you!”
In the wake of scandals involving the abuse of governmental power, Americans must Think Again about Smirnoff’s ironic wordplays. As we’re learning, the ruling party can find and break you — despite constitutional protections. Continue reading
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life,” counseled Faber College’s Dean Wormer in “Animal House.” For the collegiate class of 2013 — until next year the most indebted ever — add “in hock” to that immortal list.
Compared with their parents, current graduates are paying four times more in inflation-adjusted terms for their diplomas while suffering substantially inferior job and income prospects. Like “Animal House’s” witless frat brothers, those who believe college is a last hurrah before plunging into adult reality must Think Again. Continue reading
(’76 Contributor) Stretching Oscar Wilde’s adage “I never put off til tomorrow what I can do the day after,” some in the mainstream media have finally started to Think Again about the Benghazi attack launched last year on the anniversary of 9/11 — thanks to new revelations by high-ranking State Department whistle-blowers including experts in security, counterterrorism, and the No. 2-ranking diplomat in Libya under slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Contrary to the “spin” that the U.S. Consulate assault was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam YouTube video, the truth is that American officials knew “from the get-go” that it was a premeditated terrorist attack by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. Continue reading
(‘76 Contributor) In his 1831 book celebrating America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned, “In democratic societies, there exists an urge to do something even when the goal is not precise, a sort of permanent fever that turns to innovations, … (which) are always costly.”
After a spate of traumatic tragedies that impact the gun and immigration debates, feverish politicians are rushing to innovate complex legislation without thoroughly and publicly examining the underlying problems and before “we the people” consent to their solutions. Continue reading
(‘76 Contributor) Last month, world–renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and up–from–nothing African–American idol Ben Carson expressed his contrarian opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman and that no group could change this millennia–old social institution. Appalled medical students at Johns Hopkins University, allegedly a place of intellectual inquiry and diversity and “a forum for the free expression of ideas,” circulated a petition to remove Carson as commencement speaker. Continue reading
(’76 Contributor) Last week, political, media and celebrity worlds converged to produce headlines worthy of “News of the Weird.” Sean Penn eulogized anti–American strongman Hugo Chavez as “a friend (America) never knew it had,” while Dennis Rodman declared North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “an awesome guy.” Upon returning from the starving gulag–state, Rodman scored a Sunday interview with George Stephanopoulos, and CNN declared him a “diplomatic triumph.” Continue reading
This year, Hollywood hit award pay dirt for political dramas inspired by American history. Unlike “The Avengers” — the top-grossing superhero movie — best-picture nominees “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” featured authentic, determined and courageous Americans who endured adversity and mortal danger to overcome morally inferior antagonists. Continue reading
(‘76 Contributor) Considered a cancer-surviving “bad*** on a bike,” it turns out Lance Armstrong is just a bad guy — and a fraud. Armstrong”s admission that he doped his way to seven Tour de France titles even prompted CBS News CEO Jeffrey Fager to Think Again about his network”s role in the “Miracle Man”s” narrative. “We helped create the myth,” he acknowledged, because “we wanted to believe this absolutely inspirational story. But we were duped.” Continue reading
(‘76 Contributor) Believing a free press to be a vital safeguard of liberty, Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Many believe the inverse of Jefferson’s maxim — the people are uninformed, and therefore the government can’t be trusted. After all, what well-informed American would knowingly allow politicians to lead us to the monumental economic and budgetary “cliffs” we face? Continue reading