Monthly Archives: March 2010


American splitsville? 1 in 5 would entertain secession

Editor: A poll from 2008 on secession talk in the USA caught my attention and that of Centennial Fellow Vincent McGuire, who teaches politics at CU-Boulder. James Bennett, author of The Anglosphere Challenge and contributor of this month’s Centennial Review on the roots of American liberty, himself a Centennial Fellow, penned this thoughtful commentary at our invitation. The poll findings and a few words from Vince and me follow the main article.

Institute plans Western Conservative Summit for July 9–11. Plus other Centennial events on spring–summer calendar

A regional summit of conservative leaders from 15 Western states, California to Kansas, headlines the Centennial Institute’s crowded calendar of policy events for spring and summer 2010. “We’ll take a July weekend and energize the Right for challenges ahead,” said Centennial director John Andrews. The calendar in brief is outlined below. Details will be announced soon for the Western Conservative Summit, Friday July 9 through Sunday July 11, at the Marriott South in Lone Tree, Colorado, between Denver and Colorado Springs.

Lessons from Down Under

For producing both material goods and personal fulfillment, economic freedom makes all the difference in the world. One country that proved that convincingly is New Zealand. Situated in the South Pacific midway between the equator and the South Pole, New Zealand is just two-thirds the size of California and 86 percent as big as Poland. Its 4.3 million inhabitants live on two main islands and a scattering of tiny ones. New Zealanders—known as “Kiwis”—are proud of a long heritage as a British outpost that ended with full autonomy in 1931.

‘Shocked’ Left shows hypocrisy & a whiff of McCarthyism

“We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress,” wrote Bob Herbert in his New York Times column the other day. A Democrat friend of mine from Rochester, NY forwarded me the Herbert piece, entitled “An Absence of Class,” about the alleged ugly incidents in the aftermath of the US House’s healthcare vote. She accompanied the link with this single sentence: “You would never ever defend this.” The following is how I responded.

Classicist points listeners through ‘gateway to civilization’

The Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem of the founding of Rome, provides a “gateway to civilization” for every thoughtful reader through its exploration of timeless truths of the human condition, a CCU audience was told on March 15. Dr. Michael Poliakoff, a classics scholar with degrees from Michigan and Oxford who recently served as vice president for academic affairs at the University of Colorado, spoke at the latest Issue Monday forum of the Centennial Institute. The moral and ethical struggles of Aeneas in love and war illustrate an attitude of “humility, skepticism, doubt, debate, and self-examination” that equips us for civilized life together because it “recognizes we are imperfect beings,” Poliakoff said.

Madison rolls over

As “Black Monday” dawned to the realization that the fraud-filled spectacle of ObamaCare has finally passed the House of Representatives, you may have noticed some rumblings under foot. It wasn’t an earthquake in the literal sense, though from the perspective of our constitutional republic, it might as well have been.It was the sound of James Madison rolling over in his grave. Of all the Founding Fathers, Madison was the one who most understood the importance of structure and process in our new democracy. He would have been shocked to hear the President of the United States telling the media that process doesn’t matter, or the Democratic Majority Leader of the House of Representatives say that the American people don’t care about how the government “makes sausage” — only that it “gets things done”.

Beyond the bill’s constitutionality

Since my college politics class, I sometimes carry a pocket Constitution with me. Sure, there are days it camps on the kitchen table, but most days my goal is to keep the founding document in tow. While I may not have it memorized, there is one thing I know it does not contain: a provision prohibiting government health care. Recently, it seems conservatives have been crying “unconstitutional!” with Oyez fervor when describing Obamacare. Or more graphically, the House approved Senate bill fell out of the unconstitutional tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Give ‘em 219 pink slips

On Sunday, 219 of our supposed Congressional “representatives” approved Obamacare. This so-called health-reform bill, costing nearly a trillion dollars, commits us to a yet more devastating deficit. Cobbled together with undisclosed, unintegrated special-interest deals, the only people whose wishes it does not address are thetax-payers. You and I just get to pay.

Long road to November started at caucuses

(Denver Post, Mar. 21) Political inexperience was the gold standard among 30 of my neighbors at a precinct caucus in Centennial last week. Fellow Republicans viewed the 2010 contenders for senator and governor with the hard eyes of swindle victims or jilted lovers. The less involved a candidate had been with our party’s time in state and national office over the past dozen years, the more acceptable he or she seemed for nomination this year.