Yearly Archives: 2009

Norman Borlaug: An American Hero

Norman Borlaug: An American Hero

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared with theMackinac Center. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited.

Called “arguably the greatest American in … More>

Where is Your Treasure?

Where is Your Treasure?

The sticker on the front page of Saturday’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune screamed “BERNIE MADOFF AUCTION, SUNDAY DECEMBER 27, THE RITZ-CARLTON, SARASOTA, FL.” The fine print clarified that it wasn’t the convicted Ponzi scheme operator’s property that was being sold off, but … More>

Remembering “The Honz”

Remembering “The Honz”

I was saddened to learn about the death of Fred Honsberger, a Pittsburgh institution who pioneered conservative talk-radio at KDKA-AM, and who was the local forerunner to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and the other horses in the conservative stable who … More>

Journaling for Joy

Journaling for Joy

“Do any of you struggle with joy?” I asked a Sunday school class of 26 college students. To ensure an honest answer, I directed the group to close their eyes and raise a hand if they concurred. Whoa—25 hands went … More>

O’ Unity Tree, O’ Unity Tree

O’ Unity Tree, O’ Unity Tree

‘Tis the season…. That is, to not refer to the Christmas Season as the “Christmas Season.”

Of course, that’s old news. But what’s new news, or recent news, is the bewildering refusal in some quarters to call a Christmas tree More>

Our Moral Hazard

Our Moral Hazard

During confirmation hearings last Thursday, members of the U.S. Senate grilled Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Although senators criticized Bernanke for his policy decisions, they missed an opportunity to shine light on the ethics of the Federal Reserve’s core function—money … More>

Let Us Give Thanks

Let Us Give Thanks

As we celebrate our national Thanksgiving holiday in 2009, are you feeling worry, fear, anger, or despair about the direction of our country? Let us instead give thanks.

As we pass through this temporal world of “tares and wheat,” we … More>

Who Was Nels Konnerup?

Who Was Nels Konnerup?

America honors its deceased presidents, its fallen troops, its late senators, and even its musicians and movie stars. But what about its veterinarians’

Well, there’s one veterinarian who deserves pause for recognition. His name was Nels Konnerup. He recently passed … More>

Meaning for Radicals

Meaning for Radicals

Thanks to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, most Americans have at least heard of the godfather of community organizing, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), and his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals. Turn on conservative talk radio any day … More>

The Coming of Caesar

The Coming of Caesar

We have a problem. This could be “the big one”—bigger than coping with theAhmadinejads, Kims, and Chavezes of the world and bigger than our current economic woes. Our republic, our society, may be heading for a crackup. We are bankrupt, … More>

Keep Voter Guides Out of Church

Keep Voter Guides Out of Church

I may get in trouble with my conservative friends for this: I am in favor of developing voter guides from a Christian perspective but I’m not in favor of distributing them at church.

Perhaps you’ve seen these guides made available … More>

Sex, Life, and Death

Sex, Life, and Death

Two summers ago, while passing through an airport, I caught a TV news story: double homicide in Ohio. The victims were a young woman and the nine-month-old fetus she was carrying. The murderer was her lover, the unborn baby’s father.… More>

Washington’s Masque of the Red Death

Washington’s Masque of the Red Death

New administrations normally inspire commentators into rummaging through a thesaurus to extract that single phrase or word that is apposite to the times. Instead musing about a reincarnation of The Square Deal, The New Deal, The Great Society, or the … More>

Cap-and-Trade Update

Cap-and-Trade Update

On Sept. 30, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) unveiled their proposal for cap-and-trade (C&T) legislation. The Senate bill calls for a 20 percent reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions by 2020, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050—targets … More>

Hope vs. Appeasement

Hope vs. Appeasement

In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama reached out to the world’s rogue leaders, telling them, “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

No doubt, this sentiment and the worldview that underlies it have … More>

Charles Darwin and Modern Politics

Charles Darwin and Modern Politics

With his head under my kitchen sink last week, talking politics and using tools I had never seen, Keith the plumber said, “My daughter stood up in class and told her eighth grade school teacher, ‘I’ll read your assignments on … More>

The Philosophy of Mao and Mother Teresa?

The Philosophy of Mao and Mother Teresa?

“[T]he death of ten to twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of.”
—Mao Tse-tung

“Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life More>

Obama and the Verbal Culture

Obama and the Verbal Culture

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama demonstrates at least three important points about the current political scene. First, in a one-word Joe Bidenesque fashion, Mr. Obama’s selection can be described as amazing, stupendous, fantastic, and … More>

The Nobel Committee Dishonors Itself

The Nobel Committee Dishonors Itself

Even CNN was shocked. Even the Obama White House was shocked.

“Only nine months into his presidency,” reported a baffled CNN news anchor this morning. “President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement made jaws drop even … More>

A Teachable Moment on Communist China

A Teachable Moment on Communist China

When I first heard it, I didn’t believe it. Alas, it’s true.

Last week, New York City’s Empire State Building was aglow in red and yellow. Why? To commemorate the 60thanniversary of the victorious revolution of the People’s … More>

“The Politics of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

“The Politics of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

On September 28, 2009, Dr. John J. Fry—chair of the history department at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL—will be speaking in the Sticht Lecture Hall of the Hall of Arts and Letters on the Grove City College campus. … More>

New Life for the CTBT

New Life for the CTBT

Guest Commentary

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), an agreement which would ban all nuclear tests, may soon be revived from its purgatory in the Senate. It was signed by President Clinton in 1996 and rejected by the Senate in … More>

A Nuclear Japan?

A Nuclear Japan? Guest Commentary

Sixty-four years ago this month, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by the first and only wartime use of nuclear weapons. The death toll totaled approximately 200,000. The shock of the unprecedented destructiveness of the … More>

Truth and Politics

Truth and Politics

Many of us are cynical about promises made by politicians. “Campaign promises are made to be broken” is a venerable truism of American politics. There are “truth-in-advertising” laws against misrepresentation by private businesses, but no such protections apply to political … More>

Monetary Madness

Monetary Madness

China, Russia, et al. are talking about shifting their monetary reserves out of U.S. dollars. Gold has hit $1000 per ounce, even though wholesale and retail prices exhibit a deflationary bias. The United Nations has called for a new world … More>

A Nuclear Japan?

A Nuclear Japan?

Sixty-four years ago this month, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by the first and only wartime use of nuclear weapons. The death toll totaled approximately 200,000. The shock of the unprecedented destructiveness of the weapon, combined … More>

Gore Unhinged

Gore Unhinged

“How can ANYONE take this man seriously?” writes Marilyn, a frequent reader of our Center for Vision & Values articles.

Attached to Marilyn’s email was this headline, “Gore compares climate change fight to war against Nazis.” As the accompanying article … More>

No Laughing Matter

No Laughing Matter

Who won the Cold War? That’s a no-brainer. The United States prevailed while the Soviet Union collapsed, and the People’s Republic of China dumped Marxism; capitalism (free markets and private property) triumphed over socialism (centrally planned markets and state-owned property); … More>

The American Cause this Memorial Day

The American Cause this Memorial Day

“Based upon our observations of American soldiers and their officers captured in this war, the following facts are evidenced,” a foreign intelligence officer wrote. “There is little knowledge or understanding, even among United States university graduates, of American political history … More>

Barack Obama and Religion

Barack Obama and Religion

Americans have long been fascinated with and sometimes disturbed by the faith of their presidents, and Barack Obama’s faith is no exception. U.S. News and World Report recently claimed that “Obama has embraced faith in a more visible way” than … More>

The Riskiest Merger

The Riskiest Merger Guest Commentary

Bumpy though the last decade has been, most Americans have continued to trust in the basic institutions that undergird the nation’s economy. Until now.

Recent polling reveals a public toying with doubts about American-style capitalism yet equally suspicious … More>

When Biden and Rudman Wept

When Biden and Rudman Wept

Is he pro-life or pro-choice? That was the giant unknown hanging in the balance one day in 1990 as President George H. W. Bush nominated a mystery man named David Souter for a Supreme Court seat. Both sides of the … More>

Checkmate?

Checkmate?

Some people I know react with incredulity when they hear television commentators remark on President Barack Obama’s brilliance. “How can he say that?” they expostulate. “He doesn’t understand basic economics, and he relies on a teleprompter even during news conferences. … More>

Two Americas?

Two Americas?

One of the favorite refrains of the class-warfare left has long been to lament what it perceives as a division in America between economic haves and have-nots. From the standpoint of egalitarian, socialistic philosophy, the fact that some Americans prosper … More>

More Bailouts, More Fed

More Bailouts, More Fed

In the last week, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve each announced a major policy initiative for the stated purpose of reversing our economic woes. Don’t hold your breath.

The Treasury’s gambit is a proposed public-private partnership to remove … More>

Anger at AIG

Anger at AIG

A raw nerve was struck this week. Reports that employees of the insurance giant AIG—the recipient of four federal bailouts totaling more than $170 billion—were now receiving $165 million in bonuses, caused an explosion of public anger, even bloodthirsty rage. … More>

Crisis—What Crisis?

Crisis—What Crisis? “Dear Iranians, your children have put the first indigenous satellite into orbit…. [T]he Islamic Republic of Iran has officially achieved a presence in space.”
—Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, February 3, 2009

If a tree falls in the forest, and the … More>

Rush and Rick

Rush and Rick

I was in the third row as Rush Limbaugh spoke for nearly 90 minutes to a wildly exuberant audience as he closed this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. I was also in the third row to … More>

Into the Fiscal Abyss

Into the Fiscal Abyss

The U.S. Treasury recently released its “2008 Financial Report of the United States Government.” In case you had any doubts, our government’s finances are in a terrible mess. According to the report, under generally accepted accounting principles (the ones that … More>

Slumdogs and Slavery

Slumdogs and Slavery

On the Monday morning following the Oscars, U.S. news websites splashed the announcement that the “little film that could,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” had garnered the Best Picture of 2008 award. Buried on many of the same web sites was the news … More>

Hugs and Kisses from Iran

Hugs and Kisses from Iran

Arguably, the world’s leading apostle of hate is Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—few do the task better, especially toward Jews. On Dec. 12, 2006, at a two-day gathering of Holocaust deniers, Ahmadinejad pledged that “the Zionist regime [Israel] soon [will] be … More>

Tough Times for Wise Virgins

Tough Times for Wise Virgins

The biblical parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-12) is particularly relevant today. As you may recall, the five wise virgins behaved responsibly and prudently, making sure they had enough lamp oil for the midnight arrival of the bridegroom. The … More>

An Obama-Reagan Presidency?

An Obama-Reagan Presidency?

What’s the state of the republic—and its citizens—this Presidents’ Day 2009? It is a state of deep confusion. Here are some polls to ponder, as America considers presidents past and new. Brace yourself.

Before he was elected president, Senator Barack … More>

The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln

The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln

On Feb. 12 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The relatively short history of our nation makes this a particularly momentous milestone. Of all of our leaders after the founders, only Franklin Roosevelt approaches Lincoln’s renown and … More>

The Employee Intimidation Act

The Employee Intimidation Act

The Obama administration will make every effort to pass a key piece of pro-union legislation. The bill has a misleading label: The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). In the interest of truth in advertising, the bill should be called, “The … More>

Mission Accomplished?

Mission Accomplished? “Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy the fear to attack.”
— Dr. Merkwurdichliebe, 1964

“War kills men, and men deplore the loss; but war also crushes bad principles and tyrants and so saves society.”More>

A Tale of Two Inaugurals

A Tale of Two Inaugurals

Watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama, I was impressed by the graciousness and civility by the two presidents at the platform during the transition. To tepid applause, Obama began his Inaugural Address by thanking George W. Bush for his … More>

Obama’s $1 Trillion Gamble

Obama’s $1 Trillion Gamble

President-elect Obama is considering an economic stimulus package that will include increases in government spending and tax cuts of approximately one trillion dollars. Many fear a prolonged depression resulting from a sharp reduction in consumer spending.

After saving very little … More>

Howard Dean’s Presidential Victory

Howard Dean’s Presidential Victory

“George Bush is not my neighbor!”
—Howard Dean, January 2004

Five years ago, George W. Bush finished the last good year of his presidency. Things were looking up. The Democratic front-runners seeking their party’s presidential nomination lauded the historic accomplishments … More>