Nearly all Americans know they are plagued by inflation. In 1962, a postage stamp cost four cents, a candy bar a nickel, a movie ticket 50 cents, and a pair of tennis shoes $5. A new imported Renault automobile cost $1,395, annual tuition at Harvard was $1,520, and the average cost of a new house $12,500. Over the last century, a dollar's purchasing power has declined over 95 percent — i.e., it won't buy what a nickel did in 1909.
It was 70 years ago on March 31 when Great Britain committed the fatal blunder that led to World War II: issuing a war guarantee to Poland. This was the war, as Pat Buchanan says in his recent book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, that “led to the slaughter of the Jews and tens of millions of Christians, the devastation of Europe, Stalinization of half the continent, the fall of China to Maoist madness, and half a century of Cold War.” Buchanan’s book is essential for understanding why World War II was so unnecessary.
The army — defender or destroyer of freedom? Throughout history power-hungry rulers have used armies to conquer and oppress other lands, and to impose tyranny on their own people. But armies have also been used to defend country and freedom — particularly when the government is restrained from abusing the power of the sword, and when the military itself is composed of citizen-soldiers who love liberty and have a strong attachment to the homeland they are entrusted to defend.
ITEM: Writing for Newsweek's online edition on January 13, Daniel Gross complains: "Even before President-elect Obama takes office, critics are circling his yet-to-be-released stimulus plan." The most "emphatic objections come from conservatives, who question the utility of deploying old-fashioned fiscal stimulus ... [to] boost demand and right the economy."