Author Archives: Melanie Sturm

Question gains force: Is college worth it?

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

The media: What difference does it make?

(’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

Irony is the hygiene of the mind

(‘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

Political correctness belies its claims of tolerance

(‘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

Discerning frack from fiction

(’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

Not even Tarantino would touch gory story of sequester

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

Hillary, Barack, and Lance Armstrong

(‘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

The truth about playing the ‘liar’ card

(‘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

Processing what happened, planning what’s next

(‘76 Contributor) After the bitter disappointment of election night, I had to leave Aspen next morning for a journey to NYC where I had meetings this week. After no sleep on Tuesday night, I set out early on Wednesday for a day of travel hell. I finally made it to NYC on Thursday, and I found it surreal being amidst so many people who are so happy with the election result, while I’ve been despairing. It’s a by-product, I believe, of the Democrats’ divisiveness — the fissures in our polity are so deep. Continue reading

Lincoln’s vision of hope fits Romney, not Obama

(‘76 Contributor) During the Civil War, when the union’s preservation and slavery’s abolition were in doubt, President Lincoln roused the nation with his dream “of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.” In rekindling our founders’ vision, Lincoln helped assure that America would become the freest and most prosperous nation on earth, a status that successive U.S. presidents have dutifully maintained, or they were cast aside by voters. Continue reading