When you make your living in the public arena as I do and when you let your opinion be known as I do in mainstream and social media, you expect some criticism and this is as it should be, this being America where our very way of life is centered around free speech.
I don't mind the criticism and usually give as good as I get, respecting all comers, regardless of how far afield or how vehement I consider our differences to be, but lately I have been receiving a small amount of correspondence from people who resent the headway that, through the blessings of God and hard work, I have made in my life.
I feel awful about what happened in Colorado, but can we stop the hugging and the teddy bears? Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment. There is nothing so hackneyed in the world of photojournalism as pictures of the hugging and the shrines with candles and teddy bears after a tragedy, with a piano softly trilling in the background.
This accomplishes nothing. If you want to do something, please write a check to a good charity, a family financially harmed by the shooting, or send flowers to a specific person.
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.
Over the past few weeks, President Obama and his campaign team have launched a furious attack on Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital firm.
There is clear evidence that the attacks have had some impact. Forty-one percent of voters now see Romney's record in the private sector primarily as a reason to vote for him, but an equal number see that record as a reason to vote against the GOP challenger. That negative perception is up 8 points over the past couple of months.
Stephen Covey, the management guru who died this week, would have had a hard time selling his books in Benjamin Franklin's America, or Abe Lincoln's. His best seller "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" would have been considered a self-evident truth, one drummed into earlier Americans by schools, churches and the Puritan ethic.
Today, Covey's thoughts about how to become a success by applying principles with a proven track record seem innovative and cutting edge. His work is a rebuke to the notion that government can do it all for you.
You recently made a statement to the effect that, ”If you have a business you didn't build it, you had help" inferring that the federal government helped build our businesses by virtue of paving roads and building bridges and keeping the nation safe from foreign invasion.
First of all, Mr. Obama, if I'm going to take advice about business it will not be from somebody who has had absolutely no business experience like yourself.
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod and his hatchet people are still yammering about GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney's overseas investments. It's time for the Romney campaign to educate voters about all the shady financial institutions embraced by Democrats right here on American soil.
The fat-cat narrative attacks on Republicans won't go away by making nice with the White House — or by relying on Beltway journalists to drop their double standards and vet the president's own bad bank entanglements. Indeed, The New York Times admitted this week that their staff and other political journalists from every major media outlet submit their work to the White House for unprecedented review, editing and "veto power."
The agendas of liberals, progressives and assorted tyrants desperately depend on the aspects of human nature they often condemn, such as acquisitiveness, profit motive, self-interestedness and greed. This crossed my mind while reading "How Departures From Economic Freedom Can Affect Freedom In General," by Dr. John Taylor, a Hoover Institution scholar. Taylor tells how former Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich was forced to take Troubled Asset Relief Program funds even though Wells Fargo did not need or want the funds. Kovacevich was threatened that if he did not accept TARP money, regulators would declare his bank capital-deficient even though Wells Fargo had a triple-A rating. At the time, October 2008, Wells Fargo was in the process of acquiring Wachovia, and to be declared capital-deficient would have killed the deal. U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could rely on acquisitiveness, profit motive and self-interestedness to bully Wells Fargo into accepting TARP money. They also knew that Wells Fargo's competitors would go after Wachovia. If all sound banks had refused TARP money, Paulson and Bernanke's tyrannical threats would have failed.
On July 27 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acting on behalf of the United States of America will sign an international treaty through the auspices of the United Nations that is known as the Arms Trade Treaty, which will be represented by the Obama Administration as being a way to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals and would have no effect on private gun ownership in America.
First of all, have you even heard about such a treaty, do you approve of an inept, corrupt, crooked, anti-American agency like the United Nations having anything to do with gun control in America or anyplace else?
Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP convention in Houston was -- according to one's political perspective -- a "calculated move on his part to get booed..." to help his white base (Rep. Nancy Pelosi), or a presentation to "independent thinking adult citizens" whom he treated as equals (Rush Limbaugh).
Having an adult conversation in a racially and politically polarized age is nearly impossible, especially when our current political culture does not require a solution to problems, only the use of rhetoric and symbols to gain political power.
WHITEFISH POINT, Mich. — I have just cleared the "Soo" locks of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, passing from the lower Great Lakes to Lake Superior. In fact, I am now anchored just off a beautiful lighthouse on Lake Superior. Yes, you have guessed correctly. I am in a boat, a cruise ship, in fact, known as the "Yorktown," possibly in honor of the famed battle that ended our War for Independence, though possibly for some other achievement. I shall not hazard the question to our extremely busy captain. He has enough on his mind, and I am told these waters are treacherous. My life jacket is never far away.
This is the first American Spectator cruise undertaken with National Review. The editors and writers at the National Review are old hands at conducting cruises, and so I am watching them closely for instruction and wise counsel. How is a landlubber like me to conduct myself on a cruise? When do I put on my life jacket? Do I wear it at meals? When do we abandon ship? When do I speak? John Miller, the national correspondent for NR, and Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor for NR, are sage mentors and very knowledgeable speakers. Along with them are AmSpec writers Grover Norquist, John Wohlstetter, and John Fund, whom AmSpec shares with NR. Giving even more heft to our discussions of politics is George Gilder, an expert on practically everything.
One of the more difficult lessons to teach economics neophytes — and, many times, trained economists — is that economic theory cannot say anything definitive about subjective statements, such as what's better, good, bad or worse. Let's try a few examples to make the point.
Cabernet sauvignon wine is better than fume blanc. Turkey is better than pork. Matter in the solid state is better than the plasma state. Each of those statements begs the question: Where's the proof? With subjective statements such as those, disagreements can go on forever. It's simply a matter of personal opinion. One person's opinion of what's better or worse is just as good as another's.
There are plenty of reasons that the economy is the most important issue of Election 2012.
Unemployment has remained high for a long time, and even 27 percent of those who have a job are worried about losing it. Only half of homeowners now believe their home is worth more than what they still owe on it. Just 16 percent believe that today's children will be better off than their parents.
In order to get the correct answer to anything, one must ask the right question. That is what former ABC News and current Fox News TV host John Stossel does on his weekly program. If ever there was "must see-TV," this is it.
Stossel's show on Saturday, June 30 was a classic. It was called "Government, Incorporated" and focused on what private industry can do less expensively and more efficiently than government. After watching it, I wondered why this isn't happening. Why does inefficient, costly and unresponsive government continue to grow while the people and companies that could do the work much better are regulated and taxed to death?
Most Americans don't care about whether Attorney General Eric Holder is hiding Fast and Furious documents because they don't understand the story.
Until someone can tell us otherwise, there is only one explanation for why President Obama's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gave thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers: It put guns in their hands to strengthen liberals' argument for gun control.
Hollywood and the American left love diversity, except when it offends their "progressive" value system.
Witness the reaction to actor Brad Pitt's mother, Jane, who publicly opposed President Obama's re-election. Mrs. Pitt's pro-life, anti-gay marriage statement to her local paper last week enflamed the Tolerance Mob. And her mere expression of dissident political views exposed the glittering hypocrisy of the left-wing "No H8" campaign.
During my book "tour," radio hosts are forever asking me whether I believe that Obama is intentionally attempting to destroy America. It's a fair question, especially given the title of my book and because so many people legitimately believe he is.
I have never been too receptive to conspiracy theories, and I'm not particularly enamored of ones circulating about Obama. But unlike many other such theories, this one is about a truly unprecedented assault on the American idea and on those first principles that have made America the unique experiment in constitutional governance that it has been.
In 2007, when I began writing my New York Times best-seller "Black Belt Patriotism," unemployment was less than 5 percent; the annual federal budget was about $2.9 trillion; the federal deficit was $161 billion; and the national debt was $9 trillion.
Today unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent; the federal budget is $3.8 trillion; the national deficit is $1.3 trillion; and the national debt quickly is approaching a staggering $16 trillion.
President Obama's attempt to spin the latest discouraging unemployment numbers as "a step in the right direction" is like telling passengers aboard the Titanic to ignore the sinking vessel and listen to the live music.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of the June unemployment figures offers little comfort, nor does it produce confidence that the economy will improve before the election.
I'm literally sick and tired of people - who instead of having anything constructive or even intelligent for that matter - to add to any conversation they disagree with, repeat what they've heard someone say on TV or read about in the newspaper as being the absolute truth and are not willing to listen to any other opinion, no matter how sensible.
I'm totally frustrated and out of patience with people who, if you say something about cutting entitlements, they say that you want to starve poor people, or if you say you’re tired of seeing money wasted on an educational system that isn't working that you don't care if underprivileged children get educated or call you a racist because you criticize the policies of Barack Obama.
I have a headache. I imagine you do too, if you have been trying to interpret the legalese employed by those legal sages who have pronounced on Thursday's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. I would rather read the lyrics of a thousand rap composers than the anfractuous language of one legal sage.
Thanks, however, to Professor E. Donald Elliott of the Yale Law School, I had a translator at my side, and I shall now hand down my judgment of the Court's decision on Obamacare, which all sensible Americans have abstained from reading in its entirety, including B. H. Obama and the vast majority of denizens of Capitol Hill, including N. Pelosi. Some of these worthies even admitted as much. It fell to nine heroic souls garbed in black to actually read the law and to Chief Justice Roberts to write the decision for the exhausted majority.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Good news: The Waldo Canyon fire, which forced 32,000 residents (including our family) to flee, claimed two lives and destroyed 347 homes, is now 100 percent contained. Bad news: Radical environmentalists won't stop blowing hot air about this year's infernal season across the West.
Al Gore slithered out of the political morgue to bemoan nationwide heat records and pimp his new "Climate Reality Project," which blames global warming for the wildfire outbreak. NBC meteorologist Doug Kammerer asserted: "If we did not have global warming, we wouldn't see this." Agriculture Department Undersecretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service, claimed to the Washington Post: "The climate is changing, and these fires are a very strong indicator of that."
When asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 what the Founders had wrought, Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
That question might also be put to the five Supreme Court justices who voted last week to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates health insurance for most Americans, based on twisted logic that it is a tax and thus within the power of the Congress to impose on an already overtaxed people.
It has become fashionable to equate the French and American revolutions, but they share absolutely nothing in common beyond the word "revolution." The American Revolution was a movement based on ideas, painstakingly argued by serious men in the process of creating what would become the freest, most prosperous nation in world history.
The French Revolution was a revolt of the mob. It was the primogenitor of the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution, Hitler's Nazi Party, Mao's Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot's slaughter, and America's periodic mob uprisings from Shays' Rebellion to today's dirty waifs in the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd.
The French Revolution is the godless antithesis to the founding of America.
When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn't, or when the Supreme Court says it is?
Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn't want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.
The Supreme Court's ruling in Obamacare v. the United States of America is yet another body blow to the U.S. Constitution's principle of limited government and the freedom tradition, but there is a major upside.
Despite President Obama's opposition to an individual mandate when he was debating Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries and despite his postelection insistence that Obamacare's mandate does not constitute a tax, his lawyers insisted otherwise, and the Supreme Court bought it. So we have a law with enormous reach — one-seventh to one-sixth of the economy — having been fundamentally misrepresented to the American people from the beginning.