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[VIDEO] General Jim Mattis Brings Insight and Clarity to the Nature of War 

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Mattis retired from the Marine Corps as a full general in 2013, where he served as the eleventh commander of the United States Central Command. He also served as the commander for NATO supreme allied transformation, and as commander of the United States Joint Forces Command. Mattis is now an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow fellow at the Hoover Institution.

 

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[VIDEO] Thomas Sowell: Dismantling America

Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell University, UCLA, and Amherst College.

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A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books, the latest of which is Dismantling America.In introducing his new book, Sowell asserts that the Obama administration “is the embodiment, the personification, and the culmination of dangerous trends that began decades ago,” trends that are “dismantling America.” Sowell sees this in the dismantling of marriage, of culture, and of self-government.


The Survival of the Left

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Thomas Sowell writes: Biologists explain how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment. The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

“The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country.”

The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country.

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“You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted. Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected. Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.”

In the humanities, for example, the test of deconstructionism is not whether it can produce any tangible results but whether it remains in vogue. So long as it does, professors skilled in its verbal sleight-of-hand can expect to continue to receive six-figure salaries.

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“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Even countries that were once more prosperous than their neighbors have found themselves much poorer than their neighbors after just one generation of socialistic policies. Whether these neighboring countries were Ghana and the Ivory Coast or Burma and Thailand, it has been the same story around the world.”

You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted. Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected. Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Even countries that were once more prosperous than their neighbors have found themselves much poorer than their neighbors after just one generation of socialistic policies. Whether these neighboring countries were Ghana and the Ivory Coast or Burma and Thailand, it has been the same story around the world.

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Discredited elsewhere, the nostrums of the left live on in public television. 

Nor is economic failure the worst of it. The millions slaughtered by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot for political reasons are an even grimmer reality.

People who live and work in a world where there is a business bottom line, an athletic scoreboard, a military battlefield or life-and-death surgery may find it hard to fully Marx-TVappreciate the difference between that kind of world and one in which the only decisive test is whether your colleagues like what you are saying.

“These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway.”

Academia is only one of the places where wholly subjective criteria rule;and where leftists predominate. Endowed institutions such as foundations and museums likewise often face no test other than what like-minded people find “exciting” and what enables those who run these institutions to get the heady feeling that they are “making a difference.” The same is true of cultural institutions supported involuntarily by the taxpayers, such as the Smithsonian or the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

Taxpayer-supported “public” radio and television are similarly insulated from reality and similarly dominated by the left, not only in the United States but in other countries as well. All the nostrums of the left that have brought hunger to millions in countries which used to have surplus food to export, all the pretty words and ugly realities that have caused millions more to flee the lands of their birth, these nostrums live on in public television;much like old classic movies with familiar lines that the audience of aficionados can recite along with the characters on the screen.

These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway. Although show biz faces the financial need to get an audience, the truth of what they portray is hardly crucial. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Thomas Sowell: What People Get Wrong About Poverty

Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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[VIDEO] Victor Davis Hanson on Grand Strategy, Immigration, and the 2016 Presidential Election

Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson discusses Russia, China, and the danger of American withdrawal from the world stage. In addition, Hanson talks about immigration and assimilation in the United States throughout time. Hanson notes that, when immigrants assimilate and embrace the United States, then immigration works and strengthens us, but that when immigrants seek to separate themselves and reject US values and culture, then immigration becomes detrimental. Hanson ends the interview talking about the 2016 presidential candidates and election.

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[VIDEO] MSNBC Terrorism Analyst Misidentifies Victor David Hanson as Russian Spy

On AM Joy, MSNBC terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance, bragging that he knows some of the FBI spy catchers, says “guys who have taken down big names, such as Aldrich Ames and Victor Davis Hanson.”

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Hanson, an historian and one of America’s leading conservative intellectuals, is currently a Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is surely not a spy.

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Nance presumably had in mind Robert Philip Hanssen, a former FBI agent who was convicted of spying for the Soviets and Russians. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Thomas Sowell is Back Again to Discuss His Book Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses inequality and how it is part of the human condition. Sowell notes that political and ideological struggles have led to a dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture.

What is important is not inequality but human capital; once human capital is unleashed it creates an enormous amount of wealth for people of all classes. In addition there needs to be a sense of humility and gratitude for the generations that have gone before us for the prosperity we have today. Recorded on September 8, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Thomas Sowell: ‘A Conflict of Visions’

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Thomas Sowell discusses the visions that account for the wide political gulf between conservatives 51fgrnfge0l-_sl250_and liberals.

[Order Thomas Sowell‘s influential book “A Conflict of Visions” from Amazon.com]

Source: LibertyPen.com

 


Guy F. Burnett: The Witness Still Stands: The Life and Lessons of Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers’ life was a witness to the horrors and reality of communism. Witness remains one of the most (if not the most) erudite, philosophical, and powerful repudiation of communism ever printed. The story itself is as gripping as any espionage novel or legal drama and it stayed on top of the bestseller list for over a year and continues to be reprinted.

Guy F. Burnett writes: The life of Whittaker Chambers was as astonishing as it was complex. Throughout the course of his life, he was a communist, a conservative, a spy, an informant, an editor of Time Magazine, an editor of the Daily Worker, an atheist, a Quaker, and a friend to both Alger Hiss and William F. Buckley, Jr. At any given point of his life, his enemies were legion.

[Read the full story here, at Dissident]

From the experiences of his life and the copious amount of books he devoured, Chambers became a deeply thoughtful and complex man—a man who understood the flaws in both communism and the West’s weakness against it. Chambers brought the struggle to the forefront of the American consciousness, chambers-bookand became one of the key figures in the intellectuals’ battle for hearts and minds. He stood as a witness of the horrors of communism in both ideology and practice.

[Order Sam Tenenhaus’ book “Whittaker Chambers: A Biography” from Amazon.com]

In the Foreword to his masterpiece WitnessChambers writes a letter to his children about the book he is going to publish. With a soul-searching candor, he anticipates his children—and indeed every reader—asking him: “Why, then, do men become Communists? How did it happen that you, our gentle and loved father, were once a Communist?” His answer is short but powerful: “Communism makes some profound appeal to the human mind.” Chambers’ life was proof that his assertion was correct.

“Chambers, after a gradual and sober consideration of what communism really was, broke with the underground, the Party, and the whole notion of Marxism, and fled. His wife and children in tow, he moved to a small cottage in Florida, where he stayed up all night, writing and keeping watch for the agents he knew would try and find him.”

He was born in 1901 and grew up in Long Island in a lower-middle class family. By his own account, his family had their share of problems, and his childhood was anything but idyllic. His father would spend long absences from home, eventually leaving altogether, and his mentally ill grandmother tried several times to murder the family in their sleep.

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“Shorn of traditional morality, Chambers noted a devious nature in the way the communist faithful conducted themselves. Publicly, they advocated “peace” and “social justice” but privately believed modern man couldn’t be reached through the mind or soul – only through bombs and submission.”

In his autobiography Witness, he recalls that he didn’t have any friends in school, and that from a young age he was enamored with books and languages. His grades were always higher than those around him, and eventually they earned him matriculation into Columbia University where he studied under such luminaries as Professor Mark Van Doren. In Cold Friday, a collection of letters and a second autobiographical manuscript posthumously published, he wrote, “Politically, I was a conservative when I entered Columbia…I was inclined to believe that Calvin Coolidge might be another Abraham Lincoln.” He was also religious, 513Jsca49ZL._SL250_believing “the source of all authority is God” and that “From Him, the line of authority passes to the authority of the State.”

[Order Whittaker Chambers legendary book “Witness” from Amazon.com]

During his time at Columbia, he began to soak in the fashionable intellectual thought that the world was in a crisis and World War I was a symptom of the crisis that would compel humanity to either work together or destroy each other. Van Doren and his colleagues would postulate that industrialization had brought the world to the final crisis and Chambers recalls that by the end of his sophomore year his brain was a “hodgepodge…a spiral nebula which caught up the whirling dust and fragments of literary and philosophical ideas….” He found mockery to be the weapon of choice used by his professors to tear down everything in the way of their perceived world crisis, and suddenly the traditions and beliefs Chambers once held were steadily eroded away.

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“Even the difference between communism and socialism was ‘so slight it would be difficult to slip a razor blade between them.’ When Chambers brought this up after his break with communism to a group of communist sympathizers and fellow travelers, they reacted violently and refused to believe it.”

Even more destructive to him, however, was the realization that nothing was offered as a replacement to the sudden vacuum. He was introduced to, and eventually persuaded that, communism was the only solution to the world crisis. As he wrote, “I became convinced that the intelligence and power of the West were no longer able to solve the continuing crisis.” He left Columbia, believing it could no longer teach him anything, and began to be more active in the Communist Party.

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“Gone were the traditions and rules of the old morality and politics, and in their place was the simpler idea that God does not exist and therefore man was free to build the world as he saw fit. Communism loudly proclaimed to be the new destiny of humanity unencumbered by the false traditions of the past.”

23 Jan 1950, Westminster, Maryland, USA --- Whittaker Chambers, former $30,000-a-year editor of a national magazine and prime accuser of Alger Hiss, is shown reading the headline that told of the conviction of Hiss on charges of perjury. Chambers was on his Westminster farm when the news came from New York. He showed no jubilation, merely pointing out that prosecutor Murphy and the FBI had done the real work. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

23 Jan 1950. Whittaker Chambers Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

When his younger brother committed suicide not long after, he resolutely declared that he would live to change the world and stop the crisis that caused so much pain and death. He became a committed Communist Party member and began to write for the Daily Worker and The New Masses.

[Read the full story here, at Dissident]

Chambers’ seduction by Marxism and eventual embrace of communism is instructive. He recognized the world was in turmoil (not knowing the cause of it— instead, he found a solution in the misguided Marxist theory of history) and tried to do something about it. He wrote in Witness, “The Communist vision is the vision of man without God.” Gone were the traditions and rules of the old morality and politics, and in their place was the simpler idea that God does not exist and therefore man was free to build the world as he saw fit.

[Read the full text of Guy F. Burnett‘s article here, at Dissident]

Communism loudly proclaimed to be the new destiny of humanity unencumbered by the false traditions of the past. Marx, and more especially Lenin, taught Chambers that the world was dying and that mankind had reached its historical limit. Only by fighting the world and everything it stood for until “his dying breath” could mankind finally do something to fix the world. This is how he interpreted Leninism, and this is why, as Sam Tanenhaus put it in his book 51EHMF85PWL._SL250_Whittaker Chambers: A Biography, “he had rededicated himself with a soldier’s faith” to serving the Soviet Union which embodied the triumphant communist struggle.

[Also see – Whittaker Chambers’ book “Odyssey of a Friend: Letters To William F. Buckley, Jr. 1954-1961” at Amazon.com]

While working as a writer for The New Masses, Chambers was approached by the Communist Party, who asked him to go underground and become a handler for several spy rings already established in Washington, DC. He accepted the position and began to work with other high-powered communists, including up-and-coming State Department star Alger Hiss. He grew especially close to Hiss, which set the stage for one of the most tragic and divisive trials in American history. While he worked closely with them, he began to understand what animated communists and how they would stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Read the rest of this entry »


California Dreamers: Ron & Nancy, 1960s

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Check out that linen suit. And Nancy’s pastel pink cotton dress, and pearls. A time capsule of summer style, but also timelessly contemporary. The cut of Ron’s linen sport jacket with tie and casual pocket square is identical to the current line of J Crew mens wear. Unclear what year this is, but I’m guessing it’s when Reagan was governor, and the location (both sunny and smoggy) looks like 1960s California.

[Also See – How Ronald Reagan Described the Economy in His 7th-Year State of the Union]


Victor Davis Hanson: Sherman Suddenly Took Atlanta, Confederacy Was Doomed


[VIDEO] Learning from Ancient Warfare

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From the YouTube summary: As part of our ongoing partnership with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, we spoke with Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson senior fellow and chair of the Military History Working Group at the Hoover Institution.

[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]

Hanson, an expert in the classics and military history, explains what today’s leaders can learn from the ancient Greeks and Romans. As Hanson says, the ancients teach us why wars begin, how they proceed and how they can be ended. Although this may not prevent future conflicts, the knowledge can help mitigate the effects of war on people.


Read the rest of this entry »


Do Chimps Have Human Rights?

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Activists argue that if an animal has autonomy, then it is protected by the law

For Hoover InstitutionJames Huffman writes: Readers of the New York Times Magazine will have seen a photograph of an animatronic chimpanzee testifying at court on the cover of a recent edition. That chimp is supposed to represent Tommy. As the Times story details, lawyer Steven Wise seeks to represent Tommy in court, though Tommy is owned by Patrick and Diane Lavery who keep him in a cage in Gloversville, New York. Not surprisingly, some people are upset by the conditions of Tommy’s confinement. Wise, the president of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP), is one of those people.

potd-chimp_2633133bNRP’s mission is “to change the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere ‘things,’ which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to ‘persons,’ who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty, and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them.” Tommy is their first guinea pig, to use an expression Wise may well find objectionable.

Last December Wise filed a petition on Tommy’s behalf for a writ of habeas corpus in the court of Fulton County, New York. Habeas corpus is an ancient common law cause of action brought on behalf of persons who claim to be wrongly imprisoned. If a court concludes that the petitioner is held captive without legal cause, it orders the captor to release the captive. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the interest of better prosecuting the war, but as a general matter the writ has served for centuries as one of the most important common law protections of individual liberty. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Boko Haram and the Sultan of Brunei Couldn’t Care Less About Western Twitter Outrage

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For National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Nigeria’s homegrown, al-Qaeda linked militant group, Boko Haram, brags openly that it recently kidnapped about 300 young Nigerian girls. It boasts that it will sell them into sexual slavery.

What do we do in the face of 19th-century evil that is unapologetic, has lethal weapons at its disposal, and uses savage rhetoric to goad us? Tweet it to death?

Those terrorists have a long and unapologetic history of murdering kids who dare to enroll in school, and Christians in general. For years, Western aid groups have pleaded with the State Department to at least put Boko Haram on the official list of terrorist groups. But former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team was reluctant to come down so harshly, in apparent worry that some might interpret such condemnation as potentially offensive to Islamic sensitivities.savior-generals

[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book “The Savior Generals  from Amazon.com]

From Greece to Jerusalem to Rome to the Enlightenment to the Founding Fathers slowly grew a standard of human rights that could be applied to anyone, regardless of race, creed, or color. But that is still not how most of the non-Western world works today.

Instead, Western elites now flood Facebook and Twitter with angry postings about Boko Haram — either in vain hopes that public outrage might deter the terrorists, or simply to feel better by loudly condemning the perpetrators. Read the rest of this entry »


Economist: 100,000 Net Job Loss Since September

a-new-job-can-helpAccording to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business professor Edward Lazear, America has lost a net 100,000 jobs since September 2013.

The Hoover Institute fellow asserts in his March 16 Wall Street Journal editorialthat job employment numbers are more accurately measured by the number of total hours worked than by the number of people employed. The job gains often touted by the government don’t always tell the true story about U.S. employment. Lazear explains that an employer who replaces 100 40-hour-per-week workers with 120 20-hour-per-week workers is contracting, not expanding, operations. The professor says that this is true at the national level as well. Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Public Servants

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Private enterprise does more for the national good than it gets credit for

hoover_logo_diJames Huffman  writes:  Alexis de Tocqueville reported that “Americans of all ages, all conditions, all minds constantly unite. . . . Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.”

    [Alexis de Tocqueville‘s Democracy in America is available in paperback from Amazon ]

Tocqueville went on to observe that these civil associations serving every imaginable end were the product of what he called “self-interest well understood.” Tocqueville reflected that “the beauties of virtue were constantly spoken of” in “aristocratic centuries,” but he doubted that men were more virtuous in those times than in others. 

In the United States, he had observed, “it is almost never said that virtue is beautiful.” Rather Americans “maintain that . . . [virtue] is useful and they prove it every day.” This is what Tocqueville meant by “self-interest well understood,” which he illustrated with this quotation from Montaigne: “When I do not follow the right path for the sake of righteousness, I follow it for having found by experience that all things considered, it is commonly the happiest and most useful.”

“self-interest well understood” “forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits.”

Twenty-first century Americans have forgotten this ancestral insight—that “self-interest well understood” “forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits.” Perhaps “self-interest well understood” sounds too much of Adam Smith’s invisible hand for present day Americans whose habit, like the French of Tocqueville’s time, increasingly is to look for solutions not to private collaboration but to an omnipresent government. Nineteenth-century Americans who turned to both neighbors and strangers in pursuit of mutual interests would be puzzled at the hard and fast boundary their twenty-first century descendants draw between public and private interest.

Read the rest of this entry »


What Really Causes International Conflicts? It’s Not What You Think.

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War: The Gambling Man’s Game

Kori Schake writes:  Geoffrey Blainey’s The Causes of War is a genuinely wonderful book. I had it pressed on me by one of the Pentagon’s most thoughtful people, and while it’s not a new book, it should be at the top of the reading lists of people interested in international relations. Like much else in the book, Blainey is straightforward in his title: he is examining why wars occur. He quotes Clausewitz to the effect that of all the branches of human activity, war is the most like a gambling game, and Blainey’s approach is very much marked by game theory.

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Blainey argues that assessments of relative power drive decisions on war and peace, and that war occurs when nations misjudge their relative power. He writes, “War is usually the outcome of a diplomatic crisis which cannot be solved because both sides have conflicting estimates of their bargaining power.” Disputes about issues central to states’ interests can be negotiated when there is a clear hierarchy of power—the weaker compromises to prevent war. When there is doubt about the weaker party, compromise is elusive and wars occur, because “war itself provides the most reliable and most objective test of which nation or alliance is the most powerful…war was therefore usually followed by an orderly market in political power, or in other words, peace.”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] American Conversation: Shelby Steele describes how the Civil Rights Movement veered off course

In the third video produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, describes how the civil rights movement veered off course after its greatest achievement, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. After its initial success in securing individual freedom, the movement increasingly called for government transfer programs, which had the unintended effect of creating dependency, resentment, and an ongoing sense of victimization.

Read the rest of this entry »


Settled-Science Fiction: Liberal Denial on Climate Change and Energy

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A new poll reveals conservatives are the open-minded ones.

Jeremy Carl writes:  According to the Hoover Institution’s recently completed Golden State Poll, conducted in partnership with the nationally respected polling firm YouGov, many Democrats and liberals are in denial when it comes to reality on energy and climate policy, endorsing both science and political fiction.

This is, of course, the opposite of the narrative we hear in much of the media, with its constant paeans to “settled science” and its derision of anyone who opposes liberal climate-policy proposals as a “denier.” (This is certainly not true in the case of this author, who thinks that climate change is both real and worth addressing while strenuously opposing the scaremongering tactics that are unfortunately common among liberals.)

While politics affects both parties’ prescriptions for energy and the environment, a look at the data suggests that Democrats and liberals are far more likely to have their ideological blinders on. In our poll of 1,000 Californians, Democrats and liberals were more likely to give incorrect, highly unlikely, or intensely ideological responses to a set of basic questions about energy and environmental policy than were independents, conservatives, and Republicans.

Such a result should not be entirely surprising. Read the rest of this entry »


Early Skirmishes in a Race War

Time to be honest about racial violence

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Thomas Sowell writes:  One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before.

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Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun, and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place.For

sowell_squareAmerican society, a dangerous polarization has set in. Signs of this polarization over the years include opposite reactions between blacks and whites to the verdict in the O. J. Simpson murder case, the “rape” charges against Duke University students, and the trials resulting from the beating of Rodney King and the death of Trayvon Martin.

More dangerous than these highly publicized episodes over the years are innumerable organized and unprovoked physical attacks on whites by young black gangs in shopping malls, on beaches, and in other public places all across the country today.

Read the rest of this entry »


Radical Right and Institutional Left on Same Page: NY Times Editorial Board Endorses Breitbart News Editor’s Book “Extortion”

extorAll sides of the political spectrum, from Gov. Sarah Palin to the New York Times editorial board, are endorsing the new book Extortion by senior Breitbart News editor-at-large Peter Schweizer.

In a rare moment of ideological similitude, a Wednesday piece by New York Times editorial board member David Firestone titled “The Conservative Who Hates Slush Funds” hailed Schweizer’s book as one “sure to wind up on the nightstands of all campaign finance geeks.” Firestone added, “The issue cannot get enough publicity, but the best news of all is that the book was written by a conservative” who is “a fellow at the Hoover Institution and an editor-at-large at Breitbart.”

The Times’ article ran even as Breitbart News had as its lead story a book endorsement by Gov. Sarah Palin.

On Sunday, 60 Minutes partnered with Schweizer, who is also president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), on an investigation exposing how politicians use their leadership PACs as private slush funds to bankroll lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their families, such as Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) spending $35,000 on NFL tickets; Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) using $64,500 to buy a painting of himself; or Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) spending $107,752 at the Breakers resort in Palm Beach. The Times said outrages such as these should raise bipartisan ire. Read the rest of this entry »


The Bad Fruits of Race Hustling

Welcome to the Al-Sharptonization of the Democratic Party

Welcome to the Al-Sharptonization of the Democratic Party

Young minorities have been taught to believe the system is against them.

Thomas Sowell writes:  Years ago, someone said that according to the laws of aerodynamics bumblebees cannot fly. But the bumblebees, not knowing the laws of aerodynamics, go ahead and fly anyway.

Something like that happens among people. There have been many ponderous academic writings and dour editorials in the mainstream media, lamenting that most people born poor cannot rise in American society any more. Meanwhile, many poor immigrants arrive here from various parts of Asia and rise on up the ladder anyway. Read the rest of this entry »


School Choice: The Closing of Diane Ravitch’s Mind

A once-great education scholar rejects everything she previously believed.

  OZIER MUHAMMAD/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX Ravitch sees school reform today as a plot by private interests to destroy public education.

OZIER MUHAMMAD/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX
Ravitch sees school reform today as a plot by private interests to destroy public education.

Sol Stern writes: Education writer and activist Diane Ravitch is very angry these days. She’s convinced herself and herfollowers that elements of the American corporate elite are working to destroy the nation’s public schools, the indispensable institution that has held our republic together for more than two centuries. According to Ravitch, these fake reformers—the “billionaire boys’ club,” as she calls them—are driven by greed: after destroying the schools and stigmatizing hardworking teachers, she says, they want to privatize education and reap the profits from the new market. Read the rest of this entry »


GRAPH: Every government shutdown ever, in one chart

The 1970s were a really popular time for government shutdowns:

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(Click to enlarge.)

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The Left’s Central Delusion

Its devotion to central planning has endured from the French Revolution to Obamacare.

Soviet Five-Year Plan propaganda poster.

Soviet Five-Year Plan propaganda poster.

The fundamental problem of the political Left seems to be that the real world does not fit their preconceptions. Therefore they see the real world as what is wrong, and what needs to be changed, since apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.

A never-ending source of grievances for the Left is the fact that some groups are “over-represented” in desirable occupations, institutions, and income brackets, while other groups are “under-represented.”

Read the rest of this entry »