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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) August 6, 2014
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.
Activists argue that if an animal has autonomy, then it is protected by the law
For Hoover Institution, James 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.
NRP’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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
Private enterprise does more for the national good than it gets credit for
James 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.”
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.
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.
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.”
[VIDEO] American Conversation: Shelby Steele describes how the Civil Rights Movement veered off coursePosted: January 13, 2014
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.
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 »
Time to be honest about racial violence
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.
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
American 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.
Radical Right and Institutional Left on Same Page: NY Times Editorial Board Endorses Breitbart News Editor’s Book “Extortion”Posted: October 24, 2013
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 »
A once-great education scholar rejects everything she previously believed.
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 »
The 1970s were a really popular time for government shutdowns:
(Click to enlarge.)
Its devotion to central planning has endured from the French Revolution to Obamacare.
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.”