Back in 1967, during the Johnson administration, there was a well-organized campaign by the liberal establishment to saddle the American people with subsidized, “public” television. Prior to 1967, noncommercial “educational” television depended on foundation grants, viewer contributions, and government subsidies from the Health, Education and Welfare Department for its subsistence. That was before there was an Education Department.
Candy flies through the air. Flags flutter from lamp-posts, bunting festoons every porch. Veterans of America's various imperial wars wave from their cars. So do members of the Town Council as they toss handfuls of Tootsie Rolls and lollipops to the spectators. Cheerleaders twirling batons precede the marching band, whose trumpets and tubas compete with the Canadian geese honking overhead. The temperature's climbing towards 90 degrees.
During the filibuster that effectively killed the controversial nomination of University of California law professor Goodwin Liu to a federal judgeship, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for his nomination on the grounds of his ethnicity: "There is no Asian-American member on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals," he noted. "There should be, and Professor Liu ought to be that judge."
The latest Social Security Trustees Report tells us that the program will be insolvent by the year 2037. The combined unfunded liability of Social Security and Medicare has reached nearly $107 trillion in today's dollars. That is about seven times the size of the U.S. economy and 10 times the size of the national debt. Those entitlement programs, along with others, account for nearly 60 percent of federal spending. They are what Congress calls non-discretionary spending. About half of discretionary spending is for national defense. Each year, non-discretionary spending consumes a higher and higher percentage of the federal budget.
As the presidential campaign for 2012 gets under way, conservatives, libertarians, and others typically disposed to vote for Republican candidates would do themselves a good turn to bear a few things in mind as we enter the next election cycle.
One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama's book Dreams From My Father describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Among the things said in that sermon was that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." Obama was literally moved to tears by that sermon.
By all means let us continue to remember and honor our war dead, as many (though too few) did yesterday in observance of Memorial Day. Let us be grateful for our living veterans as well. Go ahead, thank a "vet" for his or her service. Let no one think that those of us who rail against unconstitutional wars and the pretenses for them do not appreciate those who stand ready to fight in the defense of our country.
Although it had been in circulation for decades, it was only during the tenure of our last President that the term “neoconservatism” really gained traction. It is a funny thing, this word, for while it was a Jewish intellectual, Irving Kristol, who first coined it, those to whom it was ascribed would alternately embrace it or, which was more frequently the case, eschew it as “anti-Semitic.”
We already know of Patrick Henry College’s superb homeschooled debating team, which won against prestigious Oxford University in December 2004. Its students have also competed in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association debates, winning National Tournaments in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
But now, we can also celebrate another great homeschool victory. This time on the high-school level in New York state. A team of homeschoolers from Schenectady County won the statewide mock trial championship in May 2011 against the formidable opposition of a team from the Bronx High School of Science, one of the state’s most highly rated public high schools.