September 19, 2012 marked the 216th anniversary of George Washington’s Farewell Address. Deservedly so, this speech has become renowned for its prose and principles — including national unity, tolerance of political differences, and neutrality in the endless foreign conflicts. To avoid the plague of perpetual war, Washington warns against “foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues.” Sadly, our modern proclivity is to surrender sovereignty to international bodies whose members are not elected and thus not accountable to the American people, and to send monetary and military support to “freedom fighters” in the Middle East.
Seventy-five years ago, on September 21, 1937, the world received The Hobbit or There and Back Again, a strong and sweet message from one of the greatest Christian apologists in modern history, J.R.R. Tolkien. Much of the reason for the book's success is obvious: Tolkien was a fabulous writer; he was describing a mystical, but earthy world which preceded the rise of man; and the characters were drawn with a master’s touch of personality. The Hobbit has lost none of its allure over the last 75 years and it has been continuously in print since then.
Neil Armstrong was a quiet hero in an age of antiheroes. In an era that made cult heroes of amoral spies and cops who broke the rules, of James Bond and Dirty Harry Callahan, Neil Armstrong was the engineer who peacefully conquered a remote outpost of "the Last Frontier."
Today, August 25, the predecessor of another Marxist regime celebrates its 100th anniversary.The Kuomintang, or Chinese Nationalist Party, has uniformly been given a bad reputation in academic communities and its members are invariably portrayed in films or novels as “corrupt” and “incompetent gangsters.” The Kuomintang, or “Party of the People,” was certainly imperfect, but then so are all political parties and all governments. A more pertinent question is how does the Party of the People stack up against other Chinese governments? A century ago, China had real hope.
Two hundred years ago today — during the War of 1812 — perhaps the most storied vessel in the U.S. Navy, the Constitution, earned her nickname Old Ironsides when cannonballs from the British warship Guerriere bounced off her hull.
U.S. Secretary of State John Hay called the Spanish-American War of 1898 a “splendid little war.” Superficially, the description seemed apt. The war lasted less than four months; our fighting forces distinguished themselves with valor; and the United States, acquiring territory from Puerto Rico to the Philippines, emerged as a “world power.” However, behind victory’s fervor lay deceptions, and principles of the Founding Fathers were discarded, portending future misery for Americans.
Seventy-five years ago, on August 5, 1937, one of the most horrific — and most ignored — episodes in human history began. “Operation Kulak” ("kulak" meaning rich peasants) was the Soviet Union’s effort to repress those farmers who had a little more than other farmers (according, at least, to the definitions of the Communist Party), and who resisted collectivization.
Twenty-five years ago this month, the Federal Communications Commission ended the “Fairness Doctrine,” which in the name of "fairness" infringed on the freedom of speech of radio and television stations, in violation of the First Amendment.
Seventy-five years ago President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court in order to insure that his extra-constitutional New Deal policies would be upheld. But though FDR's packing scheme failed, the court got the message.