“Third-rate men, of course, exist in all countries, but it is only here that they are in full control of the state,” wrote H.L. Mencken in his 1922 essay “On Being an American.”
A current case of third-rate performance is the surprise visit by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., with the rebels in Syria opposing President Bashar al-Assad's regime and McCain's call for the United States to become more militarily immersed in that dysfunctional nation's increasingly bloody civil war.
A passionate debate now rages over whether international safety standards should be enforced against manufacturers in the developing world and their Western retailers. Unfortunately, the debate is unnecessarily narrow. What needs discussing — and radical changing — is the Bangladesh's political-economic system, which benefits elites while keeping the mass of people down.
We now know that White House officials were told of the accusations and a resulting internal investigation long before the news became public. But we’re supposed to believe that no one told President Barack Obama about it. Just like the rest of us, he didn’t know anything until the story made national TV. Sure.
“Ask him about the cemeteries, Dean!” The speaker, if the story is true, was President Lyndon B. Johnson instructing Secretary of State Dean Rusk on what to say to French President Charles DeGaulle. The year was 1966 and DeGaulle had announced he wanted all U.S. troops out of France. Johnson thought it appropriate to ask if that included the ones in the ground.
Let's say you're like most people and believe the federal government has become too large, too wasteful, too crooked, and too intrusive. Now imagine you receive a letter from the IRS with a stern warning about “penalties for perjury” and a long list of questions and probes about your friends, associates, ideas, and political activities.
This time of year, as college students return home for the summer, many parents may notice how many politically correct ideas they have acquired on campus. Some of those parents may wonder how they can undo some of the brainwashing that has become so common in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning.