Thomas Jefferson said to keep a close eye on government and others chimed in that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Phooey, says President Barack Obama. He recently told graduating college students in Columbus, Ohio, to ignore those thus intervening in their snooze time.
“Unfortunately,” he said in a commencement address at Ohio State University, “you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems,” and maybe he’s right. Maybe some of those students did study the founders who told us government is necessary — but watch out. 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
(‘76 Contributor) Rand Paul must still be licking his wounds after his recent foray into the halls of Howard University. When I read about Sen. Paul’s devastation as his prepared remarks unraveled, revealing a series of factual errors, misnomers, temporal confusions and a failed attempt to equate the post–1968 Republicans with the party of Lincoln, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison with another white conservative who had spoken numerous times to cheering, supportive crowds at Howard University: the late Jack Kemp—congressman, cabinet secretary, and 1996 GOP vice–presidential nominee. Continue reading
(’76 Contributor) Little did I know that, years after being in a parachuting accident during a year at Oxford, I would meet Gen. James C. “Jim” Hall, USAF (Ret.), one of the greatest parachutists of all time, and then plan a recent celebration of his many professional and personal achievements.
Gen. Hall is an American hero who has played a significant role in the history of aviation. 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
(Denver Post, Mar. 25) To get at the devil, says the young zealot Will Roper in “A Man for All Seasons,” Robert Bolt’s play, “I’d cut down every law in England.”
Thomas More, the wise old churchman, comes back at him: “When the last law was down, and the devil turned round on you—where would you hide, the laws all being flat? Do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?” Continue reading
In blaming the Voting Rights Act for “racial entitlements,” Justice Antonin Scalia sounded like Archie Bunker, says Susan Barnes–Gelt in the March round of Head On TV debates. Not so, says John Andrews; the VRA does in fact insult blacks and Hispanics with favoritism. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over school vouchers, the federal budget sequester, municipal tracking bans, and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997 and a presentation of Centennial Institute since 2009. Here are all five scripts for March: Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) Some 60% of Coloradans now feel their religious freedom is being threatened by the prevailing political and cultural forces in America over the past 20 years, according to a new survey done by the Centennial Institute.
These fears have intensified with recent events, including the federal government mandate for many religious organizations (who provide health insurance plans) to include contraception, abortion–inducing drugs, and sterilization coverage for their employees. Hobby Lobby, a Christian–based arts and crafts company, faces a daily $1.2 million fine for non–compliance with the same requirement. Labor unions have been disproportionately granted Obamacare waivers arousing concerns about fairness and religious freedom in the minds of the American public. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow) New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the new Carrie Nation, and that’s no small thing because she was no small thing. Says one biographer, she was the “prime dragoness on a field strewn with the bones of sinners,” a hatchet–wielding, epithet–spouting, hymn–singing crusader who broke whatever was breakable and threw bricks at whatever moved. Her purpose was to stymie booze consumption through bar destruction. 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