In nearly two and a half centuries of American constitutionalism, from 1776 to today, the words that are most difficult to understand yet crucial to our republic are found in Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address. Reflecting upon the Supreme Court’s infamous pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), Lincoln observed that “the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”
"Third World” is now an anachronistic geographical term of the old Cold War. But after 1989, “Third World” was reinvented from a political noun into an adjective to mean more than just Asian, African, and Latin American nations nonaligned with either the West or the Soviet bloc.
In Tolstoy’s massive novel War and Peace at the Battle of Borodino with Napoleon’s Grande Armée some eighty miles from Moscow, Carl von Clausewitz, then and now the foremost strategist of the study of war, suddenly canters onto the scene in a cameo appearance and is overheard to pronounce on the fighting: Der krieg muss im Raum verlegt werden. Der Ansicht kann ich nicht genug Preis geben.
Last month, the First American Financial Corporation—which provides title insurance for millions of Americans—acknowledged a cybersecurity vulnerability that potentially exposed 885 million private financial records related to mortgage deals to unauthorized viewers. These records might have revealed bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and driver’s license images to such viewers. If history is any guide, not much will happen and companies holding sensitive personal information on individuals will have little incentive to improve their cybersecurity postures. Congress needs to act to provide such incentives.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan to reduce plastic pollution, which will include a ban on single-use plastics as early as 2021. This is laudable: plastics clog drains and cause floods, litter nature and kill animals and birds.
The free world recently mourned the 30th anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square. Although the dreams of a freer, more open China were crushed in June 1989, today in Hong Kong the voices of freedom are again speaking out against tyranny. Hong Kong’s civil liberties and autonomy are at risk.
On June 12, 2019, over a million Hong Kong residents took to the streets to protest a proposed law that would permit the Hong Kong Government to extradite residents, tourists, and foreign businessmen to China for prosecution (which could mean confiscation of wealth, torture, forced confessions, imprisonment, or worse), if mainland officials charge them with breaking a mainland law. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, after meeting with mainland officials across the border in Shenzhen on June 14, 2019, announced the next day an indefinite suspension of moving forward with passage of the law.
There was laughter, merriment, even some horseplay. I noticed it not because it was loud, but because of where it was happening, 40 feet from one of the two memorial pools at ground zero in lower Manhattan.
Hoover Institution fellow Victor discusses why he considers California a “Third World state.” Hanson points to “symptoms” we typically “associate with failed states” such as high taxes, poor schools, a super-rich class, and a significant percentage of its people below the poverty line.
Hoover Institution fellow Timothy Garton Ash discusses the current situation in Europe and says "1989 was the best year in European history so far. A peaceful revolution which ended a nuclear-armed, post-totalitarian empire, and gave us the best Europe we've ever had." But, Garton Ash concedes that the economic liberalism that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet-led totalitarian system ushered in economic inequality.
Hoover Institution fellow Harvey Mansfield presents a detailed exposition of Tocqueville’s masterwork Democracy in America. Mansfield considers the major themes of Tocqueville’s work, including Tocqueville’s treatment of the idea of rights, the role of religion, men and women, self-government, and the relationship of liberty and equality.
Hoover Institution fellow John Yoo weighs in on the Democrats' continued focus on obstruction and collusion, and Yoo notes that the Mueller investigation did not find any evidence of collusion/conspiracy between President Trump and Russia
As the title suggests, The Case for Trump, balances a clinical approach to our currently incendiary politics alongside a brief for Donald Trump’s presidency. Of course, the success or failure of this attempt is a subjective matter though it seems to me that any reader of this book of whatever political stripe would concede that, for its length, it is thorough if not encyclopedic in its presentation of facts and its historical depth.
“Spiritual health and material well-being are not enemies: they are natural allies,” wrote the economist E.F. Schumacher in his timeless clarion call for “Buddhist economics,” penned amid the hippie counterculture of the early 1970s. But it was another visionary economist, as far from hippie culture in both time and ideology as possible, that made the most convincing case for this very concept two centuries earlier — a mind, paradoxically enough, presently celebrated for just about the opposite sentiment.
While the academic study of military history is in a state of sickness unto death in the academy, it lives because of its popularity with the American people. In his terrific essay “Why study war,” Victor Davis Hanson observes:
President Donald Trump's basic misunderstanding of America's trade deficits will continue to haunt American taxpayers after he leaves office thanks to changes made this year to a little-noticed Treasury Department report.
So, I checked the email during the break. “Rush, this is crazy. What more can Trump do? You’re acting like Trump doesn’t want to solve the issue. Sounds like you agree with Mayor Pete. But, for crying out loud, why would Trump put everything on the line with his tariff threats?”
Attorney general William Barr’s controversial decision to launch a new inquiry into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 Russia investigation has fueled concerns about the politicization of the justice department and could hamper attempts to combat Kremlin meddling in the 2020 election, say ex-top DoJ and CIA officials, and key Democrats.
Israeli government employee and olah from Poland Esther Fuerster was walking home last night when she was accosted by an exhibitionist, meters from her home. Posting on Facebook immediately after the ordeal, Fuerster wrote: “I won't say who this was, whether a Jew, an Arab, or a Christian, but on my way home now a religious-looking man turned to me as I approached and opened his trousers presenting his manhood.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the city's specialized high schools have a diversity problem. He's joined by New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, educators, students and community leaders who want to fix the diversity problem. I bet you can easily guess what they will do to "improve" the racial mix of students (aka diversity). If you guessed they would propose eliminating the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test as the sole criterion for admissions, go to the head of the class. The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test is an examination that is administered to New York City's eighth- and ninth-grade students. By state law, it is used to determine admission to all but one of the city's nine specialized high schools.
Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) surprised and mollified a restive crowd of environmentalists Saturday when she announced that when she returns to Washington for Tuesday’s congressional session she will “be signing onto the Green New Deal.”
High above Philadelphia at the Pyramid Club, the local lawyers’ chapter of the Federalist Society, the national group best known as the farm league for Republican federal judges and legal appointments (over half the current Supreme Court have been members), will meet Monday June 24 (corrected) to review whether people born in the United States should qualify to be citizens.
Filmmaker and independent journalist Ami Horowitz’s new documentary provides viewers a glimpse "inside the Muslim Brotherhood," the "largest global Islamic organization in the world," which has branches in dozens of countries and which the Trump administration is considering formally designating a terrorist organization. In a series of interviews, Horowitz asks influential members of the group, including the U.S. and Turkey, to explain their ideology and approach to promoting their ultimate goal: “the creation of a global caliphate.”
Condoleezza Rice, the 66th U.S. secretary of state, will speak Oct. 9 at Purdue. Rice will speak as part of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Series as part of the 150th anniversary celebration. The sesquicentennial celebration draws inspiration from Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon, and the celebration will conclude with an astronaut reunion at Homecoming.