One would never guess who attended Dick Scaife’s memorial service on the Pennsylvania countryside last week. Scaife has been referred to as the “father of modern conservatism.” In his lifetime he donated a fortune across a whole range of philanthropic endeavors, from the arts to medical research to politics—conservative politics. His conservative causes were very elevated—sophisticated thinks tanks, professorial chairs, intellectual reviews—but also at times they were very partisan. In the 1990s Scaife was a leading opponent of Bill Clinton, and he frequently drew blood. When Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” she doubtless had him in mind.
The exhortation in the title of Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie — America: Imagine the World Without Her — suggests that it is going to be an exercise in what they call “counter-factual” history. In other words, imaginary history. History as it didn’t happen. And the opening of the film appears to bear this out, since we watch as an actor (John Koopman) portraying George Washington is shot and killed by a British sniper. Thereafter, however, the alternative history of our country, a history in which (presumably) the Revolutionary War was lost and the United States as we know them never came into existence as a single country, is forgotten, along with all other forms of idle speculation. Instead, we are taken straight into quite a different movie, one consisting of a rapid survey of real American history, organized so as to constitute a refutation of the late Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.
Not good. Reagan biographer Craig Shirley is the author of Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story That Started It All and Rendezvous With Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America. The books have well established Shirley as a serious authority on Ronald Reagan and the Reagan era, an author simultaneously both deeply informed on his subject and immensely well-plugged to all the authentic sources of the period.
My college diploma is 50 years old today. Good grief. What does that make me?
Looking for something else in my filing cabinet recently, I ran across my diploma from the University of South Florida in Tampa. It informs me, in bold and fancy type-face, that by authority of something called the Board of Control of the State of Florida, and the recommendation of the faculty (which must have been a close thing), that the degree of Bachelor of Arts “with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereto” is hereby conferred upon Larry N. Thornberry on August 5, 1964.
Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.
Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.
Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?
Talk show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?
When all else fails, revolutionaries, being revolutionaries, turn to violence. A new “Monsanto Collaborators” website created by millionaire organic activist Mike “the Health Ranger” Adams charges that hundreds of thousands of deaths have been caused by GMO crops, and that people who support genetically-modified organisms, like myself, Fox News’s John Stossel and the former ABC Newsman Jon Entine, are guilty of mass genocide, and hence deserving of a punishment that befits our crime.
For the third time since the Israeli operation in Gaza began, rockets and terrorist instruments were discovered inside a United Nations building. After the first discovery, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) gave the rockets to the relevant local authorities—Hamas. The second time, UNRWA immediately evacuated all staff from the premises, and thus was “unable to confirm the precise number of rockets.” Hamas was then allowed to retake possession of the rockets.
Last week, the absurdity continued; three IDF soldiers were killed by an explosion from a booby-trapped UNRWA building. According to IDF’s Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Micky Edelstein, “They [Hamas] blow [up] the UNRWA clinic on our troops.” This was a health clinic, linked to a series of terror tunnels leading into Israel’s sovereign territory.
The administration’s foreign policy fiascoes also expose the failure of liberal relativism. Hard as it may be to see now, there is a possible silver lining to the growing gray cloud hovering over the White House’s handling of foreign affairs. Failure abroad is providing a more readily discernible outcome of the approach liberals are pursuing here at home.
Just when it appeared the administration had fallen as far as it could before November, foreign policy has lowered it further. In results released on June 23, a CBS News/NY Times nationwide poll showed Obama’s handling of foreign policy rated significantly lower (36% approval, 58% disapproval) than his handling of the economy (41%-54%). A nationwide Quinnipiac poll released on July 2 showed the same with Obama’s handling of foreign policy (37% approval, 57% disapproval), polling lower than his handling of the economy (40%-55%) or health care (40%-58%).
The great fear among conservatives, stoked by the actual statements of the Obama White House and one of its chief sycophants, Congress Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, is that the president will step far beyond the constitutional limits of his power and grant amnesty through executive fiat to as many as six million illegal aliens.
This would be political suicide for Obama. It would be an act of brazen stupidity and it would likely not only destroy any chance his party has to retain control of the Senate but could potentially fracture his own coalition for future elections. Already Obama polls at just a 31 percent approval rating on the immigration issue. If he were to take such a rash step his presidency could well implode—particularly when the butcher’s bill comes in the November elections. Democratic senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mark Udall, all of whom currently have fighting chances at re-election, would be roadkill.
Sam Groth serves for the match. Five thousand breaths are held as the shot booms off his racquet seven and half feet off the ground. Five pairs of eyes see it land across the net stretched across Washington’s legendary Stadium Court in Rock Creek Park. They belong to him, to his partner Leander Paes, who crouches near the net under the line of Groth’s serve, to the receiving player, Sam Querrey, and the linesman, and the chair umpire. The receiving player’s partner, Steve Johnson, is not looking. He stares across the net, ready for the return of the return.
The five men who see and hear the shot are experienced in split-second eyeballing. They know they must make decisions and stick with them despite their acquaintance with their own fallibility.