(Centennial Fellow) The reprieve from fighting over Hamas tunnels in the Gaza may be over for now but the fight will return and it will get worse. Continue reading
Unable to ignore millions of cancellation letters and a rare presidential apology, fact-checkers at PolitiFact and the Washington Post designated “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as their “Lie of the Year.”
Reeling from Obamacare’s deceptive sales tactics, Americans dread its fallout but know that our system allows us to Think Again. We can repeal and replace bad laws. Continue reading
(New York City, Sept. 4) Last Sunday’s irreverent Daily News headline said it all: “Ready, Aim, Hold Fire”. If this city’s beloved writer Jimmy Breslin redid his satirical 1970 novel The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, it would be about the Obama Administration’s slapstick antics regarding Syria.
But the real issue is not whether Continue reading
The President should be commended for following the Constitutional order and referring questions of initiating hostilities to the Congress. Congress – and the nation – will have a debate. Let’s be clear: The United States should not use military force in Syria. Continue reading
NANTUCKET—While this island’s most famous summer resident –Secretary of State John Kerry- tirelessly pursues a matter of comparative irrelevance- Israeli-Palestinian peace talks- the entire Middle East is turning into a blazing conflagration the likes of which we have not seen since the end of the Second World War. Continue reading
The Fall of Rome can be interpreted in many ways, and for Victor Davis Hanson the lessons of history resonate more clearly in contemporary circumstances as the parallels between ancient Rome and the modern United States grow.
“More and more people became dependent on redistributive government,” Hanson said, as Rome developed what he described as a “parasitical economy.”
Rome, Hanson said, ignored signals that were present over centuries. The U.S. is facing a much shorter time table.
Hanson, a military historian, pulled no punches.
“It’s hard to screw up a system that’s viable and logical and works in a generation,” Hanson said.
“We’ve become attuned, so accustomed to it that nobody finds it shocking anymore that the President doesn’t just say ‘spread the wealth,’ we’re now up to another level–‘you didn’t build that,'” said Hanson.
This way of thinking–that there is something suspect about success–is the perfect setup for what Hanson described as the self-appointed elite technocracy to treat law as “flexible and fluid.” Outcomes based on intentions, in this case, President Barack Obama’s administrative goals, force laws to the sideline, Hanson argued.
How the Roman Republic and later, the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, ultimately declined, came from inside as much as from outward aggressors.
“The answer is, something changes from within,” said Hanson.
The shift in mood, Hanson argued, could be seen in works by other historians, particularly the left-leaning populist Howard Zinn.
“When society gets into a Howard Zinn mode, and doesn’t believe that the United States is not just not exceptional but is no better than the alternative, then history is unforgiving,” Hanson said.
Other issues like immigration destroy the concept of rule of law, Hanson said. You can not pick and choose which laws to follow and expect good results, he said.
Hanson ended on a positive note, pointing to the “perfect storm of the left” in the 2008 election.
Five years later and even after surviving a reelection challenge, the Obama administration faces sinking polls and a nation in turmoil, Hanson said.
“I think that suggests that America is exceptional,” Hanson said. “If we can withstand this dark period in our country, we’ll be stronger for it.”
A weakness for those on the left, Hanson said, is that “they don’t even believe in the ramifications of their own ideology.”
“It’s contrary to self-interest and human nature,” Hanson said.
Krista Kafer, a senior fellow at the Independence Institute and an expert on education, moderated the one-on-one discussion.
Hanson, a former classics professor, is a contributor for National Review and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, a national security expert and commentator, opened up day two of the Western Conservative Summit, in Denver Colorado. McFarland held national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations, a regular contributor to Fox News, and received the Defense Department’s highest civilian award. Her expertise and decidedly conservative world views was a welcome opening for Saturday’s line up of speakers. With the slew of recent foreign policy issues that have been circulating in the news, KT had little trouble finding topics to discuss in her opening remarks.
McFarland began her remarks by asking the room whether they thought America was on the decline, or on the verge of a new renaissance. “Many of the other major world players are about to have significant, fundamental, problems,” she explained. McFarland also explained how she believes America has the opportunity to not only stay strong, but grow over coming years.
China was one of the primary examples she gave for her optimistic outlook regarding America’s position in the world. “They have had major economic growth,” she conceded. But that growth, she insisted, is coming at a high price. First and foremost, China’s pollution problem is a growing concern in not only China, but surrounding areas. Secondly, McFarland insists, there is a ticking demographic time bomb. While China’s one child policy gains little traction in discussions regarding foreign policy, McFarland highlighted the deteriorating female population in China. By some accounts, said McFarland, in years to come China will see 50 million less women due to China’s one child policy, and their cultural preference for sons.
After discussing the perpetual war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in the Middle East, McFarland turned her attention to what is benefiting America. “We elect our leaders,” she pointed out while discussing the inherent values in America’s transitional government. “In fact, part of the Arab awakening is because they didn’t have a system” for changing government, McFarland pointed out.
Most unique in world history, according to McFarland, is America’s Civilian control of the Military. “When, or where, in world history has there been a military as powerful as ours that has not tried to run things?”
In addition to our democratic republic’s transitional government, civilian military, and natural borders, McFarland mentioned demographics and social progress. “Women in the workforce adds anywhere from 15 to 20 percent to GDP.”
But most beneficial to America’s future, according to the National Security expert, is our natural resources. The potential for American oil and natural gas is the “golden opportunity of this generation,” according to McFarland. “We have at least 100 years of oil, and maybe even more natural gas” under America. Such exploitation of our natural resources would create jobs; but most importantly, McFarland says, “cheaper energy would repatriate American manufacturing.”
Additionally, such access to natural resources would greatly reduce America’s military involvement across the globe. “Since WWI, most wars have been fought, at least in part, over industrialized nation’s need for more energy,” she said.
For all those reasons, we have “a golden opportunity,” she promised the crowd. McFarland then pivoted her remarks to what America still needs in order to seize this “opportunity.”
“This [resurgence of America] will only happen if Americans decide that we are willing to take our destiny into our own hands.” McFarland spoke about the need for a youth resurgence within the conservative movement. “This conference is so great, because you’re looking at the next generation of leaders,” she observed while discussing the need for more youth involvement.
Closing her time on stage, McFarland noted, “This is going to be a great time [for America], but it is up to you.”
(Washington, D.C.) From the first panoramic overview of Washington during the descent into Reagan National Airport one is reminded of how varied are the ways in which we can look at and think about the Great City and the nation of which it is the Capital. Continue reading
“The last thing the world needs is more Americans,” asserted population-control advocate and global-warming worrier Phillip Cafaro in an Issue Monday debate at CCU on May 13.
“No, the best thing the world could have is more Americans,” rejoined his opponent, energy expert and space scientist Robert Zubrin.
The exchange went hot (with heavy CO2 emissions from both debaters) and heavy from there for 90 minutes. Continue reading
The first Earth Day in 1970 came to pass with a plethora of statements from the usual alarmist suspects (e.g., Paul Ehrlich, Dennis Hayes, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, et al) that, in hindsight, should make any sane person laugh out loud. The fact making these a lot less funny is that similarly outrageous statements are being made today by the likes of Al Gore & Co. A sampling of the 1970 stuff appears at the end of this commentary.
The fatal fault underlying much said by these disciples of Thomas Malthus is their apparent ignorance of history. Continue reading