November 23, 2011
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OPINION: Prime Minister 'Question Time' refreshing
On Thursday, the three main candidates for prime minister — David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg — one by one appeared before an audience of voters at the Leeds Town Hall where for a half-hour voters asked them informed, pointed and detailed questions. The host, the BBC’s David Dimbleby, called for questions and occasionally followed up, but mostly voters drove the program
Solutions to the problems of black America are not a secret, but they must be taught at every level. They begin by allowing parents to choose where their children go to school.
College freshmen are completing their first month on campus. According to the website The Other Freshman 15, “The first 15 weeks of college can be the riskiest for sexual assault. … One out of five students experience rape or sexual assault while they are in college, and in the great majority of cases (75-80 percent), the victim knows the attacker.”
To paraphrase the old Peter, Paul and Mary song: where has all the money gone? Long time passing. Gone to earmarks and down a sinkhole. When will we ever learn?
Most businesses conduct audits or internal reviews to make sure they are operating efficiently. Not the federal government.
Though Fred Phelps is gone, the kind of hate he preached remains. It is why hate must be opposed no matter which group, faith, ceremony, or individual is the target.
Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the “religious freedom bill” passed by the Republican legislature. While there is no mention in the bill of same-sex marriage, or even homosexuals, most people believe same-sex marriage and homosexuals were the targets of the proposed law.
After much criticism from conservative quarters, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided, at least for now, to withdraw plans for its proposed study of how media organizations gather and report news.
Michele Bachmann remains confident and resolute despite many political setbacks. We met in her office while much of Congress was fleeing the Capitol Building ahead of a major storm that eventually dumped a foot of snow on Washington. The snow was a big deal to residents of the nation’s capital, but little more than flurries to a Minnesotan like Bachmann.
Should Governor Christie be exposed as a liar about lane closures, would that be more serious than the lies the president has told about far more serious matters?
Americans typically hate waste. It is why as children most of us were told to clean our plates because somewhere in the world there were hungry people. Requiring the left to prove their programs and policies are producing outcomes at reasonable cost would shift the debate from ideology and good intentions to reality.
Outrage is the primary ingredient for political fundraising and political power. One must always have an enemy.
Freedom and security should not be contradictory, but complimentary. In an age of terrorism, this “devil” is really in the details.
This is the problem when humanity does not accept an Authority higher than itself, an Authority that holds life, all life, however inconvenient, however tiresome, infinitely valuable. But if we consider ourselves nothing more than evolutionary accidents in an impersonal universe, then we are all potentially vulnerable, depending on the value assigned to us by the state.
Many violent revolutionaries became peacemakers once their oppressors were removed from power. Whether Mandela experienced a “conversion” after we met him, or simply adapted a more pragmatic path to his goals, I cannot say. Let us charitably assume the best about a man revered by many who ended an evil and gave his country an opportunity to build something better.
If things satisfied, wouldn’t Americans be the most satisfied people on Earth? We have more stuff than any generation before ours. The overflow we deposit in rented public storage units. The stock market is up substantially, but we want it to go higher with no bursting bubble this time. Then what?
History can be a great teacher if the “students” pay attention. Many things in the world have changed since the disastrous Munich Pact, but human nature never does. Tyrants respect agreements only so long as it allows them to further their objectives. Munich only delayed the onset of World War II; it did not prevent it.
On the 50th anniversary of his death, C.S. Lewis remains perhaps the 20th century’s most towering intellectual practitioner of the Christian faith. Lewis combined humility — rare among those who have achieved fame — with a style that relied less on argumentation than on logic and persuasion. He asks readers to join him on a journey he himself has taken and, like a tour guide, shows us a better world and a better life than the one he describes in “The Chronicles of Narnia” as being “always winter, but never Christmas.”
The administration pledges to watch Iran closely and if it violates any provisions in a final agreement, sanctions would be re-imposed. If sanctions and other means, such as the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into Iran’s computers, failed to deter Iran’s nuclear program, why would anyone think additional threats and more sanctions would produce the desired results? Iran is playing for time and it appears the United States is willing to give it to them.
If individual members of the Greece, N.Y. town board, or any other legislative body, wish to pray silently to their God before their meetings, no law or court decision prohibits them from doing so. Why would God be more impressed and more likely to respond to a public prayer than to a private one?
Too great for small dreams. What an inspirational line. Reagan believed the strength of America was not in Washington, but in the people. If the people can catch that larger vision, he believed, they could fulfill their greater dreams.
Rather than sending people to Washington in the vain hope the capital can be run like a state, Mike Pence says Washington should look to states “where there is innovation in health care, education, balanced budgets and taxes” and follow their lead.
Nothing would change Washington faster than the transformative idea that only we can make our lives better by our financial and moral choices. It’s long past time for politicians to say “eat your vegetables, they are good for you” and for citizens to comply.
If the United Kingdom, whose population of slightly more than 62 million people, is experiencing severe problems and potential insolvency with its 65-year-old National Health Service (NHS), why would anyone believe a government-run health insurance system in the United States and the health care monstrosity that must inevitably follow will be any more successful with a population more than 300 million?
There is no “community of nations.” There are individual nations with individual interests. If the United Nations could bring peace and prosperity to the world, progress toward that goal should have been made by now. Instead, 68 years after its founding, wars and rumors of wars are increasing.
It was an atypical August summer day in Washington, D.C., 50 years ago next week. Temperatures were in the low 80s, about 10 degrees cooler than normal. Skies were partly cloudy. Most government officials were vacationing.
It bears restating that the Ayatollah Khomeini believed in the strength and resolve of Ronald Reagan. That is why on the day of Reagan’s 1981 inauguration he released 52 American hostages held for 444 days. Strong individuals deter bullies. Strong nations deter enemies and keep the peace.
On the day I visit the Anne Frank House, which is actually the family’s hiding place atop Anne’s father’s business, the wait to get in is as long as three hours. Such is the attraction of this historic site, 53 years after it was opened to the public.
A USA Today poll found that young people put “elected official or working for one” at the very bottom of their career choices. Given the performance of Washington’s political class, who can blame them?