A generation after George Washington’s Christmastime farewell to his troops and to the Congress who commissioned him in 1775, Clement Clarke Moore penned the iconic poem he called “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” but known to most as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. But was the surprise attack really a "surprise"? The American military personnel and their commanders at Pearl Harbor were certainly caught by surprise, but the evidence is overwhelming that this was not the case in Washington, D.C.
Sixty years following its first publication and twenty-five since the fateful year, George Orwell’s 1984 remains a mystery to the experts. They convene often in exotic places to agree that Orwell wrote a dystopia on the communist take-over of Britain and America. They concur how he reversed the final two digits of the year he wrote the book — 1948 — to arrive at the title 1984. They write that Orwell was not a prophet and few predictions fill his volume. These consensus beliefs on 1984 by the experts still shape the views of tens of millions of citizens who read Orwell’s work in the public schools and colleges.
In politics, it seems, nothing succeeds like failure. The most successful men in American political history are its most spectacular failures. Consider that the most important responsibilities that a President has are preserving our liberties and keeping the peace. Yet the Presidents we celebrate the most are those who led the nation into war and expanded the power of the state.
Benito Mussolini has an infamous place in modern history, as well he should. Nearly everyone knows Mussolini as the dictator of Fascist Italy and the ally of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. But that is only part of the story.
The statement by Anita Dunn, Obama’s Communications Director, describing Mao Tse-tung (aka Mao Zedong) as one of her two favorite philosophers, is, of course, appalling. Sixty years ago China, which had been slowly progressing towards a free republic under Chaing Kai-shek, was placed into the hands of one the most ghastly thugs in history.
Reuters reported on October 14 that Benito Mussolini had been in the pay of British intelligence services during the First World War. The implication of the story is that Mussolini was paid to beat up Marxist peace protesters and that his “right wing” Fascist movement was a willing tool of British wealth. The position that Mussolini took, in fact, was the same position that Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin were taking at the same time.
In 1909, in the great state of Illinois, school teachers one February day were directed to spend at least half the school day in public exercises, patriotic music, and recitations of sayings, verses, and speeches to mark the centennial birthday of a great hero. At the end of it all, they were to have their students face in the direction of Springfield and chant in unison the following: