Imagine a dark world in which most of North America is destroyed and what remains is ruled by a totalitarian regime that represses any urge toward uprising by pitting children to fight against each other to the death. That is the premise of Suzanne Collin’s best-selling novel-turned-film, The Hunger Games, the first of a trilogy. Both the novel and the film have been highly popular among middle- and high-school students, as the plot delves into the world of tyranny and the mind of a heroine who is motivated by her survival instinct and her desire to help those in need, even at her own peril.
A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed Ilana Mercer’s Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa. A week or two after that, my grandmother passed away.
Considered in themselves, each of these events is entirely distinct from the other. But, interestingly, reflection upon the loss of my beloved grandmother has deepened my reflection upon the loss that Mercer relays in her book, the loss of her beloved homeland. Although the death of which Mercer’s compelling Cannibal is an account has occurred sometime ago, the fact of the matter is that it is a death that its author mourns, the death of a country—her country, her world.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists on the United States, and the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, vague invocations of “the Crusades” have gained a new relevance. Both sides of the conflict have sought to link the current series of wars to those of the Crusades — either by way of justifying or denouncing of their current course of action. History is one of the victims of the current conflict, as the much-maligned and ill-remembered Crusades have been recast time and again to serve various agendas.
When parents are told that their child is having a “reading problem” in primary school, they usually accept the teacher’s explanation that little Johnny or Suzie have some sort of learning disability. The fact that these little rambunctious kids came to school having taught themselves to speak their own language is proof positive that they don’t have a learning disability. In fact they are quite learning able. Children who teach themselves to speak their own language virtually from birth are little dynamos of language learning. And when they enter school, no one expects them to suddenly have a learning problem. It doesn’t make sense, unless you understand what is being done to them in that school.
One of the things that turned up, during a long-overdue cleanup of my office, was an old yellowed copy of the New York Times dated July 24, 1992. One of the front-page headlines said: "White-Black Disparity in Income Narrowed in 80's, Census Shows."
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has just introduced legislation designed to rein in out-of- control federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill, if enacted, will be a vital blow to the enforcement of radical environmental/Agenda 21- inspired regulations. The bill is called the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012 (S.2122).
Many people may be voting for Mitt Romney because of the view in some quarters that he is the inevitable Republican candidate for President of the United States and the candidate with the best chance of beating Barack Obama, rather than because they actually prefer Romney to the other candidates.
Many years ago, I learned of an episode in the life of a promising young black man that is relevant to things happening now. He had been educated at a good school, and went on to receive degrees at good colleges and universities. Then he went for a Ph.D. in mathematics at one of the leading departments in that field.